A new year brings excitement and anticipation. In general, it is a time to make goals, renew vision, and start healthy habits. So, 2017 for me brings a renewed commitment to blog consistently. Blogging helps me process the discoveries I am making about God and myself and life in general, and from what feedback I have been given it helps encourage others in their discoveries as well. Which is an added bonus! Blogging and writing has also been something that God has put His finger on in my life so there is an element of obedience in renewing this commitment to write.
In 2016 I had intentions to write, but good intentions and being intentional are not the same thing! I have lots of excuses I can use. I am a mother of six kids between 6 months and 13 years of age. I am tired from nursing a baby in the middle of the night. I have ten loads of laundry to wash. I have dirty dishes in the sink. I have prayer group to prepare for. I have dinner to plan. I have groceries to get. I now have a husband who travels as a missionary for a job. I own and run a cleaning business with my other busy mom partner and friend, Kallie. I have errands to run, sports events to attend, and of course the middle school social life of my two oldest children to engage in. I have bills to pay and budgets to balance. And somewhere in there I have friends.
Last year, however, I learned from Dani Johnson’s Steps to Success seminar (which, FYI, I would highly recommend this business seminar for anyone wanting to grow in life/business/financial areas.) that there are NO good excuses. Excuses cannot exist in my life if I want to be successful. So, although all those things I mentioned are valid and true, they are NOT good excuses. I have no excuse for what I have not prioritized. Life is full of choices, and I am responsible for the choices I make, good, bad, or otherwise.
My choices last year put blogging and writing on the back burner of my life. This year, however, is a new year. Every year towards the end of the year I take some time to contemplate what the year ahead holds and what the focus should be. I usually get some statement or word to live by each year from the Lord. This year, God used a dear friend of mine, Crystal, to give me the word for the year. She told me the word “Intentional” kept coming up in her conversations with the Lord.
Intentional. I liked that. I kept saying it to myself. It had a nice ring to it. A feeling of purpose. I couldn’t shake the word. This year feels like a purposeful year. There is so much to be accomplished this year. There is destiny to be fulfilled, in your life, in my life, in America as a country, even globally there is a sense of shifting and destiny being released. Prophetic purpose over the nations arising. And in order to fulfill my part, I must be intentional. Intentional in what I am going to do, and intentional in following through and actually doing it. I need to be intentional with my vision and plan, intentional with my time, intentional with my health, intentional with my finances, intentional with my emotional energy, intentional with my prayer life, intentional with my relationships, intentional with the skills I develop and the resources I draw from, and intentional in getting rest and renewal. Yes, Intentional seems to be the word for 2017 for me.
2017 in summary, is a year where I am committed to developing and refining an intentional lifestyle. A lifestyle that has purpose and meaning, that can hold and wisely use the oil that is going to get poured out. Another dear prophetic friend of mine, Ashleigh, shared that she kept hearing that 2017 is the year of oil. In Scripture, oil is significant of abundance, of healing, of unity among brothers, and of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There are several stories and Scriptures about oil that I think we can gain understanding from about why we need to be intentional this year so we can hold the oil, and you may hear more from Ashleigh on this later on as a guest blogger on The Light and The Glory.
Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise[who prepare for the future]; but a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.” (AMP)
This Scripture shows that wisdom develops an intentional lifestyle and doesn’t squander the oil that is given to her, but instead uses it to prepare for the future. I don’t want to be short-sighted that all I can see is the pile of laundry and the mountain of dishes, and the tv show/movie and glass of wine or bowl of ice cream in the evening to de-stress from all the meaningless activity. I want to be wise in what I do. There is wisdom in being intentional and looking beyond the present and pressing on toward what is ahead.
“I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:14 (ASV)
I leave you with these questions to think about: Where in your life do you need to press on or renew commitment? What things need to be met with intentional focus to achieve them this year? What area is God putting His finger on in your life?
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