Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Year 2014

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions.  At least the specific ones some people set.  But I do always feel like a new year brings a clean slate, and a chance to recharge and restart.  I might be behind the times, but this is the first year I've seen online conversations about "words" for the new year.  I've never really given thought to christening a year of my life with a theme of sorts, but I admit the thought was intriguing.  However, coming up with an actual word would be the trick!  What if I picked something I couldn't live up to?  What if I picked something completely contrary to the year God had planned for me?  

But as we drove home last night from dinner, (a dinner that had been paid for by an anonymous stranger in the restaurant), the word became clear in my mind's eye.  

Sounds quite spiritual doesn't it?  

There are only about a million problems with this being my word of the year . . . for starters, I'm less than perfect when offering grace to others.  And graceful is definitely not a word I would use to describe myself.  In fact, as soon as I saw the word in my mind, I starting making excuses for why I could never live up to a "Year of Grace."  

But therein lies the twist . . .

I'm not supposed to be doing it on my own!  Living a grace filled life is not about me doing it in my own power, but completely about God's grace flowing through and out of me as I learn to dwell in the Holy Spirit.  And is living gracefully contrary to God's will for my life?  Certainly not!  If I am to become more like Him, then receiving and giving grace is most definitely a part of that plan.  

I admit that I am scared even putting this out there for anyone to see.  I know those close to me will read this and about a month from now wonder where the grace is when my temper flares up.  I'm praying that with God's help those moments will be non-existent, and that I will be able to truly focus on living GRACE-filled.  

This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  
1 John 4:10-11

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