It feels like just yesterday we were clinking glasses and making resolutions. And today, almost a full month has gone by.
The new year, brimming with hope and possibilities, is already 1/12 over.
Where does the time go?
Each year, I pray about a word to meditate on for the coming year. Last year that word was abundance.
From my vantage point at work, abundance took on many different forms: a garden and a relationship with a local farm that provided healthy food alternatives for hundreds using our food pantry.
Hundreds of volunteers gave of their time, treasure, and talents at events as well as on-going initiatives.
Eleven vehicles were donated out to single moms in need and two of the women from our life skills workshops are now homeowners!
All these blessings show the abundance of God's grace and I was excited to be used in the process.
But I am also the beneficiary of an abundance of God's love and mercy, forgiveness and favor.
I truly want for nothing. A place to live, food to eat, a car to drive, a job I'm passionate about, children I love, friendships I treasure...I am wealthy beyond measure.
And that leads me to my One Word for this next year.
I considered Gratitude long and hard. I want to make sure I always remember God's abundance is a gift never to be taken for granted.
I also prayed about Obedience. I have a stone on my desk that says "Obedience" on one side and "Seek Him in Everything" on the other. I want to stay in His will because life is just too hard when I fight for my own imperfect desires over His master plan for me.
But I think this is the year to meditate on Wisdom.
Daily I make or influence decisions that have a major impact on other people's lives. It can be a heart-wrenching, difficult process.
That's not an overstatement or dramatization. No one envies me my job because it's hard. Too hard to do based on my own knowledge and leaning on my own experience. I am tasked with being a good steward of funds while being compassionate to those who are hurting. I listen to so many stories of brokenness and need that more than once I've wished I had a degree in counseling or formal experience in social work to be better equipped.
The truth is, what I really require isn't earthly knowledge but wisdom of a divine nature.
An abundance of wisdom.
While it is a huge part of my existence, work is not the only place wisdom is needed. Every day, just like all of you, I am faced with the choice to utter words that can hurt or heal. To make decisions that can prosper or ruin me. To be foolhardy or wise in a myriad of ways.
I'm not foolish enough to believe that this year every decision made will be a wise one.
But I am praying that I will seek God's wisdom, be obedient to His leading, and be grateful for His answers no matter what.
What are you asking God for this year?