Monday, December 4, 2017

Advent, Serving and 2018....

I don't usually get so excited about a New Year this early, but this year I am excited.  I am ready to be done with 2017.  It was a year of a lot of change, some good, some bad, some still ongoing.  Have you ever just wanted to go back and make a different decision.  Like just one different choice, because you know that one choice opened you up to so much more hurt and pain than you really needed.  But 2017 was supposed to be my Year of Risk, and boy did I ever accomplish that!  I risked a lot, I might have risked too much... but it never helps to regret things, right?  I am stronger, and wiser because of decisions I made this year.  I know what I don't want, and that was something that I was unsure of at the beginning of this year. I know how I want to be treated, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will never again date just to date.  It isn't worth my time, my heart, or my reputation.

But the thing is I can't live with regrets.  I can look back and wish that I had done things differently, wish that I hadn't said yes and put my focus in a different direction.  Wish that I had looked around a little bit more, and had seen what was standing right in front of my face.  Things might have turned out differently, but I also wouldn't have learned the lessons I did.  The truth is that through the past year I have learned to depend on God in a way that I never have before.  I have had to decide where my focus was going to be.  I have poured out tears of joy and sadness for the loss I have experienced.  But I have also been able to heal.  I have been able to heal from all the times that I didn't think I measured up.  I have been able to grasp a stronger hold of who I am, and am supposed to be.  I have been able to search inside of myself and understand that there is so much more to this life than being the most liked, wealthiest, or most well-known. 

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of advent.  As I sat listening to the sermon, I was once again amazed by what I was hearing.  You see it wasn't just the same old sermon that you hear about the first Sunday of Advent.  It was this view that took me to a place I had never been before.  To think of the radical way that Jesus changed the world when He came to earth.  How he mixed up everything that everyone had thought to be true.  I can't even imagine being around for a time like that.  To have everything you've ever thought to be true, your world is upturned.  Shouldn't that be how I live my life?  My world being upturned everyday!  Answering any call that He gives me, because it is that important for me to be living my life for Him.  I don't!  I don't at all most of the time.  Most of the time Christmas to be is jingle bells, mistletoe, and glitter (lots of it!)  Most of the time Christmas to me is family and friends, singing carols, and occasionally serving here or there.  But really Christmas is about a radical change.  A change so big that it turned the world upside down.  How do I just sit back and quietly observe that kind of change?  Shouldn't it penetrate my heart, shouldn't it cause me to make my focus count? 

It should, and it is.  I have been thinking about my word for 2018 a lot lately.  This is something that I have done for the past few years. I mean I still have a list of resolutions, most of which I fail at in the first 2 months.  But my word, it drives my year.  When I think about my life, and what I want my focus to be on, I just can't get out of my head how my life shouldn't be about me.  I just can't stop seeing that baby in the manger.  I just can't stop wondering what my life would look like if my life was radically different. 

So... my word for 2018 is serve.  I have spent this year pining after a family, kids, and even though I am not done with that dream... if it continues to be my focus then I am going to lose sight of where my eyes should be.  So, I focus on serving others.  I am going to go out of my way to put those around me first.  I already know it is going to be hard, it is going to be time consuming, and there are going to be days when I want to quit.  But you know what?  It will be worth it.  What does my life mean, if it isn't serving others?  I don't know what it is going to evolve into, but for now it means putting myself out there into situations where I have to give of myself.  Situations that require me to stretch outside of my comfort zone, and just be. 

I might fail, actually it is a pretty strong guarantee that I will fail.  But you know what?  I will be a better person because of it.  I will be more loving and kind.  I will understand other people's stories more, and be able to know what they have gone through.  Mostly though, the end goal is that I will be grow in my faith, love and knowledge of Jesus.  I am so thankful that He didn't come into this world to be served, but to serve many. 


Beverley Baird said...

Your post really resonated with me. What a great message about how we need to shade up our livesw and live with our eyes on Jeswus.

tawnya said...

Thank you!!!! I appreciate your comment so much!!!!