Where do I want to be when I'm 80? It's a question I've been pondering on this month. It likely has something to do with the very intentional words I have read and heard from Lara Casey. Lara Casey both in her wildly successful Powersheets and on her blog asks the question - What is the big picture? If I were to live out my most purposeful year in 2015, what would that look like?
My most purposeful year yet would be a year lived out of a surrendered heart - a year where I am okay being out of control and filled with joy as I allow Christ to be in control. It will, Lord willing be a year of seeking after Him - knowing His Character - and walking in His promises and commands. It will, Lord willing, be a year spent investing in new and old relationships. And it will be, Lord willing, a year of exploring and building what God has uniquely called me to - each and every day.
If all that were to be true when I look back on 2015 ultimately it would be a year of going after His heart. Whether in relationships, my career, our family, or new ventures - each would have been Spirit led.
Because when I'm 80, Lord-willing, I want to have a thriving, God glorifying marriage - to be a wife who supported and loved her husband and a marriage with Christ at the center - a marriage in which we went together to do and go where He called us. I want to have God-loving children, to have taken every opportunity given to me to share the love of Christ with others. When I'm 80 I want to look back and see a woman who listened and sought after the Lord in every one of her purposes and pursuits.
My 2015 Anthem is Surrender.
More specifically, these are the themes I have saved to my desktop, printed in our office, and that I carry with me in my work bag. This is what I have prayed over and laid before the Lord to be surrendered - to live on purpose in 2015.
01. TO BE SURRENDERED I want to surrender my heart and plans to the Lord. I want to lead and live out of a heart fully surrendered to the Lord’s plan for my life and not out of my personal desires for my life. I want to be okay being out of control and filled with joy as I let Christ be in control.
02. TO WRITE FROM A PLACE OF TRANSPARENCY THAT GLORIFIES GOD AND FOSTERS AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS I want my writing to come from a surrendered heart. I want the words I share to point back to the source of living water. For my words to glorify and magnify God’s role in my life in times of great blessings and in times of great sorrow. I want to write from a place of transparency. There are no shiny store fronts to put up in place of the life I’m actually living and I desire to invite other women into the mess. To point once again to my desperate need for a Savior and the incredible freedom and joy that comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
03. TO WRITE FOR THE INFLUENCE CONTENT TEAM AND GROW IN LOVING AND ENCOURAGING MY TEAM WELL I want to continue to be a part of the mission to equip women in their passions, places, and projects. I want to see women embrace and celebrate and use the influence they have in Christ for building His Kingdom. And I desire to grow personally in encouraging and loving the women I work with on the content team. I want to pray for them and walk alongside them.
04. TO LIVE IN COMMUNITY WITH OTHERS I want to open our home and lives to doing life with others. Intentionally pursuing our community at Church, our Coworkers, and the relationships we continue to grow in Milwaukee and long-distance. I want the mess to not keep us from walking in the kind of community described in Acts 2.
05. TO WATCH MY ”NO’S” I want to experience freedom saying no so that I can say yes to the opportunities and experiences that truly matter.
06. TO KNOW SCRIPTURE I want to memorize scripture that confirms what is true of my identity in Christ - complete in Christ, direct access to Christ, free from condemnation, assured He works for my good, no separation from the love of God, confident He will complete a good work in me, and given the Spirit of power and love.
07. TO LEAVE MARGIN FOR REST I want to leave margin in my life for true rest. Rest that does not include social media, the internet, or time on my phone as I know for me personally those things do not bring true rest. But rather rest in ways that fire my soul and grow me in the ways the Lord has created me. These include taking purposeful time for Holy Yoga each week, reading books, going for technology free walks with my husband, writing in long-form, and spending time with the Lord both in reading and in silence.
08. TO COMPLETE MY NEW STAFF TRAINING FOR WORK AND BECOME SENIOR STAFF I want to complete my new staff training. I want to grow in both head and heart knowledge of God and His character, plans, and purposes. I want to lead in ministry out of a strong personal relationship with Christ and that begins with digging deep before going wide. I want to know the Bible so that I can share it’s promises with others. I want to memorize scripture so it’s the first thing off my tongue each day. I want this training to not be another box to check on the way to a new job title, but an honest pursuit to know Him, His heart for others, and purposes for my life.
09. TO AFFIRM AND ENCOURAGE MY HUSBAND I want to love my husband in the manner he receives love; words of affirmation. I want to encourage him in the passions, pursuits, and places God has called him to and I want him to feel my overwhelming support and love for him as the leader of our marriage and family. I want my words and actions to flood grace, encouragement, respect, and truth.
10. TO HAVE A STRONG MARRIAGE I want Guy and I to experience a thriving marriage. I desire that with Christ at the center of our marriage we would together do and go where He calls us. I want to pray for and with one another. I want to know him more intimately, experiencing and pushing into the joyful and difficult moments of marriage. I want us to fight for one another, to be for one another, to out-serve one another, to be a team, and to affirm one another in our identities in Christ, to understand one another’s hearts, passions, goals, struggles, and challenges.
11. TO BE AFTER HIS HEART I want to live life not from a place of following the latest trends or what’s culturally popular at the time, but a life following after His Heart. I want the decisions I make to be made out of habitual acts of faithfulness. Stated differently, I want my daily tasks to reveal a after His.
12. TO BE PHYSICALLY STRONG AND CARING ABOUT WHAT I PUT IN AND ON MY BODY I want to care for my body in a manner that allows me to work hard for the Lord’s Kingdom for a lifetime. I want to be aware and faithful to care for my body well and that includes regular exercise, sourcing and purchasing foods locally that are grown using practices that respect he worker, the animal, and the environment, and continuing to clean out and invest in products that are safe to put on my body.
13. TO HAVE BABY I hold this as an open prayer. A prayer that we hold to and walk in trust of God’s faithfulness in His timing to grow our family. I also want to honor Guy as we continue on the path of growing our family, while also continuing to grieve and celebrate together Keller’s life and the joy we had of knowing our first baby.
14. TO THRIVE WITH LESS AND STEWARD OUR RESOURCES WELL I want to continue to be purposeful about the purchases we make and the ways in which we chose to spend our time and resources. I want to be for quality over quantity. I want the stewardship of our resources to point to a life lived for Christ.
15. TO BE INTENTIONAL IN FRIENDSHIPS I want to continue to pursue my closest friends at levels that dig beyond the surface. I want to foster friendships with continuous threads of truth, grace, and encouragement. I want to move towards intentionally connecting regardless of distance via phone calls, handwritten letters, texts, or gathering in person.
16. TO WORK ON MY WALL I want to build what God has uniquely called me to do before the end of each day (Nehemiah). I do not want to live by the tyranny of the urgent, but in a manner where I daily put even just a few minutes towards the projects, passions, and places He has called me to do. Specifically I want to explore writing, web design, my role in ministry, my role as a wife and homemaker, and expanding into entrepreneurial opportunities.