Four Words for the New Year

Inspiration

Okay, so I know I’m a little late to the game in writing something about New Year goals.  I’m not really one to make a list of goals or resolutions each year, however I do find that as each year draws to a close I find myself reflecting on the past year.  It normally begins as I’m writing my Christmas letters to family.  If you’re new to the blog, you can read all about them here.  This year, they were encouraging, beautiful and the highlight of my Christmas…as they always are.

This year was full of new blessings and memories for our family —two grandbaby girls and our firsts!  Our son and daughter-in-law and our daughter and son-in-law both celebrated becoming first-time parents —Emma and Evelyn were born a week apart. Our year has been one of watching them grow and discover their world. These cousins have already become fast friends. I love watching them interact together! And…Emma will be welcoming a baby brother, Charles Walker, this Spring. My heart is so full!

My husband took on a new job that has created some changes in the way we do life, but it was a long-awaited answer to prayer.  And our youngest is in his senior year of college and preparing to graduate in May. He’s our child whose heart is full of adventure. He loves to travel and enjoys new places, people and experiences. I’m sure once graduation has passed, he will be off on a grand adventure somewhere (and probably not close to home). But I love his heart for the Lord and for ministry. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him.

So once things settled down a bit from Christmas and the gatherings with family and friends came to a close, I found some quiet time to rest and reflect and ask the Lord what He would have me to focus on in 2015.  Every year, He prompts and prods my heart with something He wants me to focus on. The last few years have been about learning to rest, slow down and allow Him to refine some areas of my heart and life. And a big one for me —learning to love better!  I’m so task and project-oriented. That is my comfort zone. My love language is acts of service. And my “flesh” tends to find satisfaction in performance-based approval.  So learning to slow down, say “no”, rest and focus on people rather than tasks has been a hard journey for me the last few years. But I’m beginning to see the fruit of God’s Spirit and His Word at work in my heart and life.

So this year as I prayed four words came to mind.  Here are the four things I feel the Lord desires for me to pour more time and energy into this year: READ —WRITE — CREATE — RELATE.

Read

I love to read!  I’m crazy about books.  I love to spend the day in Barnes and Noble or surfing Amazon. I’m normally reading three or four books at once. I have bookshelves in every room. I have stacks of books in all my favorite spots. I’m never without something to read. But I want to read more. I found myself in the last year reading less and watching more TV. And I’ve never really been a big TV watcher. I grew up without one for most of my years at home. We lived abroad and so there wasn’t much on the Armed Forces Network. And I was blessed to have a father who encouraged, and often pushed, his daughters to read. We always had books available and trips to the library were common.  I was born into a family with a natural love for books and reading. I recently ran across a picture from my childhood. This was a typical Saturday morning at the Hutchings’ household growing up {sorry for the poor quality}.

2013-08-16 18.48.41

I’ve got stacks of books on shelves and tables and in my Kindle reader that I have not even touched. So, I’m committing to turn the TV off and READ more.

Write

I’ve never really considered myself a writer. I loved English and literature courses in high school and college, but never really thought of myself as someone who enjoyed writing. Now…my mother and my daughter! They are true Wordsmiths. Beautiful, creative writers that can wield a pen like no other!  But that’s not me…well you know if you’ve spent any time on this blog. But my journey with writing began through journaling what I was learning in God’s Word. The page became a place for me to make sense of the truths of God’s Word and how it was to find expression in my heart and life. These became Bible studies I’d write and teach and many eventually made their way onto this blog (with the encouragement of my husband and daughter). I’ve enjoyed this online journal over the past few years. But I’ve been resisting this whole writing endeavor. However, the Lord is making it clear —WRITE. So I’ve committed to writing more and to learning to write better.

Create

Create! I love to create. I have a background in interior design and creativity brings me such joy. I’ve always loved working with color. I love design that reflects the natural world. I love old things and have a desire to preserve them and the stories they tell. I love repurposing things to give them new life. My design philosophy is to decorate and surround yourself with what YOU LOVE —not what’s trending this year in design style or showing up on Pinterest, but to surround yourself with those things that make you smile and bring joy to your heart. I’ve been doing a lot of purging in my home over the past few weeks, but it’s amazing how much more “stuff” I have that is just not that important or appealing to me. So part of my commitment to CREATE this year, is to choose wisely. To think through what I purchase and put in my home and my life.

Relate

People! I’m an introvert at heart. I can talk, that’s for sure! But it might take me awhile to get comfortable. Small talk…forget it. Never really cared for it and was never good at it. However, being a military brat who moved every two years of my life, I did get used to making new friends quickly. And I’m married to the most extroverted, people-loving man I know! I’ve learned so much just watching him and mimicking what he does. But as the Lord has been working His Word and desire into my heart over the past two years to really learn to love better, I’m finding great joy in getting to know people —in making small talk, in finding out who they are and the stories of their journeys.  So this year, I want to RELATE more. I’m looking forward to who God will bring into my life this year and how He will use each of us to encourage one another.

And as I reflect on each of these words, I see them in my relationship with the Lord.

He IS the Writer and He IS the Word. God has chosen the written Word as his means of communicating with His people —as a way to share who He is with the people He has created for His good pleasure and for His glory. Jesus is the Word, from the very beginning we see Him speaking creation into being. And He is the Word that became flesh, taking on the sin of the world, reconciling us to our Creator God and restoring us into the hope, joy and peace found in Him.

He IS the Creator. He is the source of all creativity. He who created the heavens and the earth— out of nothing. He who breathed life in to man. He who creates and renews, making all things new. He who takes what is broken and worn and gives it life and hope.

He IS relational. I love how the Lord pursues His people so passionately. He who has made a way for us to walk in relationship with Him once again, through His Son Jesus. The one relationship that I cannot live without. The one relationship that completes me and gives me hope, satisfaction, joy and peace in  life. He who mends broken relationships. He who orchestrates my encounters with others and gives the gift of friendship.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. —Genesis 1:1

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.—Ephesians 1:13-14

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. —Romans 15:4-7

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. —Colossians 3:17

I’m excited to see what this year holds!  What about you?  Do you have a word or focus for this year you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear from you.

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5 Replies to “Four Words for the New Year”

  1. I will give that question some thought. But all of your goals for 2015 will be a joy for many, me included as I look forward to what you write! I don’t see the introvert in you so you’ve already grown in that! Love you very much!

  2. Pingback: Restless Wandering

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