sunrise3As 2013 comes to a close, it’s a perfect time for reflection on the past year and also a time to look forward with anticipation to the New Year.

I think one of the reasons we all love a new year is because it’s a chance for new beginnings, a chance do-overs and fresh starts. I love that we have a God that gives us many second chances and many new beginnings, yet we can always count on Him to remain the same (Hebrews 13:8). Now that’s comforting!

We all usually come to a place where we see changes that could be made, mistakes we’ve made,  disappointments/ failures or struggles we’ve experienced along the way, whether it be our health, spiritual walk with the Lord, financial/educational or other personal goals. The New Year presents a perfect time to set many of those plans into action.

In reflecting on the past year, I was challenged to pray for a word from the Lord concerning the year and the word that the Lord gave me was “expectant.” The verse that went along with that was Psalms 5:3, which reads “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

One of my goals last year was to continue giving the Lord the first part of my day for disciplined bible reading and prayer time and then to watch expectantly for what God was doing and where I could see Him working and fulfilling the different promises from his Word. I think in watching and waiting in expectancy, the Lord birthed many new dreams into my heart and I saw him do many amazing things. But I also realized that with birthing also comes difficulty and pain, and through some difficult seasons I had to learn to fully rely on God and his promises and most importantly to trust Him and not to forget to breathe.

Let me tell you, in many ways it was a very blessed and fruitful year, but in other ways it was also a very difficult and challenging year. One thing I know for certain is that it was a year of growth in many areas. I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through it all, is just how big and amazing our great God is and how he continues to show his great love, faithfulness, and mercy to me as I stagger along in this journey called life.

It’s through the difficulties and relying on Him that God continues to grow me and to show me more and more facets of his amazing character and for that I am so grateful. I’m having to learn to embrace change because sometimes it’s only through change and by walking in faith that God can change our hearts and transform and mold us into more of what he wants us to be.

When things in life get difficult God wants us to press into Him, like a child burying his face in parent, fully relying on and trusting in him. That is the kind of God we serve, he doesn’t change like the shifting shadows and when we press on into him he bursts forth like the rising sun and shows us that he is always with us and that he is there to help us in the struggle.

So that brings me to my new word and verse for this new year. As you can see from my picture, I’m a sun seeker and not only that, I am a true “Son” seeker.  I’m kinda drawn to watch a beautiful sunrise and see the gorgeous evening sunsets and I think this is a place where God shows me his Glory and I can sit in awe of Him as our creator and the amazing creator of it all!

So the word God has impressed upon me for 2014 is ‘RISE’ and the verse being Isaiah 60:1 which reads, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” It reminds me that God’s presence is always with us, from sun up to sun down and through the watches of the night. It it also reminds me of His faithfulness, day by day as we keep our eyes fixed on Him. He is looking to shine his light upon us and in us and he wants us to rise up for Him and shine that He may be glorified on the earth.

Thank you Lord Jesus for what an amazing God you are. Thank you for your love and faithfulness and that you are always with us. I thank you for the many blessings and look forward with anticipation for how you will work in this new year! To you be the Glory both now and forever! AMEN

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