Sometimes God talks to me.
I’m not saying He calls my cell phone or writes big puffy letters across the sky (or on my Facebook wall). But every once in a while, He whispers into my heart. More often than I’d like to admit, though, I simply ignore those whispers, those nudges, those words of instruction, correction, encouragement and truth, made just for me.
What am I talking about? Well, to start with, let’s talk about mornings.
For years I’ve complained about not being a morning person. I’ve whined about it to my husband, my friends, my readers and to God. Strangely enough (or not), most mornings that follow me griping, “God, I know I need to get up in the morning. I want to, I really do. It’s just that . . . but . . .” arrive abruptly and early. For no reason other than what I’m pretty sure is a divine alarm, I wake up early.
And you know what I do? I roll over and go back to sleep.
My morning routine – or lack of – is not the only area that gets this Godly boost on a fairly regular basis. Every time I tell myself, “Who cares? Just eat it. I’ll start over in the morning,” another, wiser voice says, “Don’t. Just . . . don’t.”
That’s the one that’s happened most often (and the loudest, if that makes any sense at all), but it’s not the only time I’ve heard from God.
It never fails that in the middle of hollering at my husband or my daughter, something tickles the back of my brain and tugs on the corners of my heart, saying, “Calm down. This isn’t how you want to speak. This isn’t working. This isn’t love.”
Then there’s my writing. As in book writing. I’ve felt pulled, called to write a book for quite a while now. While it used to be a vague dream, it’s become a driving desire over the past few years. And now, not a month goes by without a hit-me-in-the-face, sock-me-in-the-gut, wake-me-up-and-shake-me reminder that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
But . . . it’s just so scary. So I haven’t done it.
As I’ve been thinking about resolutions and goals the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized what has probably been glaringly obvious to anyone looking into my life: I’ve got an obedience problem.
This year, like every other year, I’ve written down goals for the next 12 months. I want to improve several areas of my life and I’ve come up with concrete strategies to do so. But no matter how many bullet points I type or plans I make, these goals aren’t likely to be met without some major heart work.
Let’s face it: resolutions aren’t working. Sure, I’ve worked out this week, eaten every meal at home and even cleaned out my underwear drawer. But how long will this new year motivation last? No longer than it did last year . . . or the year before . . . or the ten years before that.
I wrote about resolutions at (in)courage on Tuesday, and one of the comments echoed what I’ve been thinking all month [yes, all less than two weeks of this month]. Sarah said, “Oftentimes success comes through surrender.”
Yes. YES. That is exactly it. Until I surrender my will to His, I’m not going to dig up enough gumption or motivation or determination or anything to meet a list of goals that I’ve decided are important. So this year, I’m going to try something different.
I still have my list of goals, bullet points and all. But I’m surrendering this year, this life to God. I’m going to obey.
To be honest, saying that is a little scary. I’m pretty sure, though, that by obeying, by saying yes to God, I might just be in for my best, most exciting year ever. As my pastor has been saying, This could be the year. Which, you know, is still scary. But in the most awesome way. This year, I’m going to obey.
Do you have one word that you’re focusing on this year?
Notes: You can find encouragement and community about One Word goals at One Word 365. And the graphic up above is from my friend Sara.
Yes Mary. I just posted my word for 2012. Fellowship. It took a lot of soul searching and guidance from God to focus on a word this year. May we both learn and experience the fullness of our words throughout 2012! Blessings!
I don’t have a word yet, but I would read your book! :)
Thank you!! I’ll let you know when I have one! Ha!
Obedience, surrender, is scary. But unless we risk it, we’ll miss out on all that could be. I look forward to seeing how this plays out in your life this next year! My word is hope, ironically enough.
Hope is harder than it seems on first glance. I think that’s a great goal for 2012!!
That is hard stuff to admit and I admire you for it! My word this year is action – not too sure how it will flesh out, but I tend to be good at instigating, poor with follow up. Obedience day in and day out is surrender and is blessed. I think the blessings with certainly follow your choice!
I am right there with you on the instigating and follow-through! I look forward to hearing about your year of ACTION!
Awesome word, Mary. And what you said about writing that book? I am so right there with you. Obedience IS what hinders us.
My word, which I haven’t even written about yet, is “LOVE.”
I can’t wait to hear your perspective on LOVE as your one word, Shelly! (And like I’ve said before, I will be first in line – or at least in the first line – to buy your book!)
just to be clear…totally clear…i could have written this post. i could have. but i didn’t. just like i didn’t get up at 5 am to spend time with God again today. just like i didn’t exercise, eat right or lift weights again today. just like i didn’t finish my writing goals or spruce up my blog again today. i could have done one of them. i could have done all of them. i could have done anything but i didn’t. because i struggle with obeying too. and that struggle has led to laziness. and that laziness has taken over a part of my life. and i think it’s because, like you, i’m scared. i’m scared of what God will need me to do if i get myself together. i’m scared of where He will ask me to go. i’m scared of what will be next. i wrote a post the other day about it http://www.thegiftofmondays.com/2011/11/im-scared-of-god.html because God has been talking to me too. i pray we both listen and we both surrender.
it’s not about us…it’s about Him.
my word for the year is “intentional”. to live intentionally. to live on purpose. so often we just go through the motions. not this year. our actions are our choice, our decision. i choose to be intentional with them.
“Intentional” is a great one, Colleen! I think that will lead you toward surrender just as “obey” will for me.
I don’t have a word. But maybe mine should be “obey” too. Thanks a lot. :P ;)
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