Powersheets time is one of my favorite times of the year, and I'm excited to be making some space these last few weeks of 2017 to dig into my 2018 Powersheets and get equipped for the new year ahead. The snow is falling outside, my tree is twinkling, and I'm drinking a hot mug of coffee from my favorite Birds Don't Worry mug.
I'm ready. :)
2017 was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a long time. It was a season of broken and redirected dreams, but through it all, I have seen His faithfulness to me, and I know He has been growing me and strengthening me.
I know the best is yet to come, and my story isn’t over yet.
As I began writing my celebration list for the year, I realized how much GOOD truly did come out of a year I'm tempted to label BAD. It was a hard year, but it wasn't a bad year. God is good on the mountaintop and in the valley. And He doesn't waste a thing. I'm praising Him for ALL the goodness He brought, even in the midst of challenges.
HERE'S WHAT I AM CELEBRATING ABOUT 2017:
- New adventures (my trip to Nashville and getting to reconnect with a sweet friend)
- Learning and growing (I read and was encouraged by so many good books)
- Praising through the pain (I got to worship with my sister and with some of my favorite worship artists this year: Rend Collective and Elevation Worship)
- Bold prayers (even in the face of disappointment, I found God prompting me to keep praying boldly, and I’m excited to see the ways He answers each of those prayers)
- I went deeper in my Bible study and am so excited to continue this more in-depth study in 2018
- I redesigned my website!
- I began writing my women's devotional Expectant Faith (coming in 2018! Stay tuned!) :)
- I grew STRONGER - emotionally, spiritually, and physically
- I started working with a personal trainer in September and have been strength training twice a week for the past four months — I'm so encouraged by this progress!
- I completed the Whole30 program
- I shared my story in Laura Dudek's Written Bible study (releasing in January 2018)
- I have another piece of writing being published, too (I'll share where in January!)
- I took another God get-away in June, and it was such a sweet and refreshing time
AND HERE ARE A FEW LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2017:
- I want to practice praise more often. Doubt, discouragement, and comparison stole my focus and my joy much too often this year. I want to live so fully surrendered to God that I trust and praise Him even when the story looks like it has gone terribly wrong.
- I want the story that gives Him the most glory — even if it looks different than what I (or culture) expects.
- Doubt often leads to discouragement and despair. It's so important to remain anchored and immersed in His truth. I want to focus on studying and praising His attributes this coming year.
- I can trust God with my dreams and desires — even when it feels or seems like I can't.
- I can do hard things. But not because of my strength. Because of HIS.
- Waiting is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts (Eugene Peterson). God ALWAYS knows best. So often I trust myself, rather than trusting Him. But I want to wait for the story He knows is best. I want to trust Him even when things don't seem to make any sense.
- Chasing dreams — even God-given dreams — should never replace chasing God.
- Prayer changes things — and it changes ME.
- I am a Teacher, or Light Giver, in the Kingdom (Five-Fold Ministry Assessment); I want to study and teach His Word, using my creativity and curiosity to build His Kingdom.
I'm going to end with a great question Lara asked in her 2018 Cultivate What Matters goal-setting series:
What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
The thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is an expectant faith. I want to trust God completely with my most precious dreams and desires (like marriage and family and teaching and writing for Him). And I want to live with the kind of hope in Him that NEVER gives up, the kind of hope that knows He’s a God who can flip the script at any time.
How are you doing today, friends? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Tell me about your year, what you've learned, how God's worked...I'm cheering you all on as you reflect on the year behind and look forward with HOPE and FAITH to the year ahead. :)