2016 – I started Bible journaling and joined a fantastic creative community on Instagram (after several month of lurking in 2015). God gave me a clear word for the year, PRAY. And I did. My morning prayer time was sacred and protected. It was the first time in my life I had a dedicated “quiet time,” but there was nothing quiet about it. As I sat with Jesus each morning, we talked and laughed and cried together. I read books on prayer. I wrote prayers. I recited prayers written by others. I prayed over everybody and everything! It was truly a mountaintop season, and I am forever grateful.
But in the midst of all the prayer and spiritual development, I was reconnecting to myself as an artist. I was following my love for paint and creative expression and buying all the times. It was fun and experimental, but it lacked cohesion. I was apparently a bit too all over as God gave and confirmed over and over a different word for the next year.
2017 – God reeled in my attention as only and called me to FOCUS on developing my relationship with Him and my family. I went through a powerful study of Isaiah in that season, and He stripped my creative worship down to just ink and bold words for a time. My art became mostly handmade cards for encouraging others. It was not what I expected, but it was wonderful. Then the focus was on the book of Romans, and I was blessed by his messages of salvation, hope, and redemption that were pressed into me that year. When things changed and we had to move within a matter of weeks midyear, I understood why. Keeping Him central and seeing Him clearly was just what I needed.
2018 – When FOLLOW came for 2018, I was nervous. Were we moving again? Was this an indicator that I wasn’t where I should be? But as I worked through the monthly themes and verses that developed, I understood that following is about daily life in the Spirit and being so in step with Him that the curves and bumps on the journey don’t seem as big as they once did. I thought there would be more space and time for sharing art and blogging and writing in 2018, but it was not. Following meant listening to His voice and moving in a new role at work that was truly a call to obedience rather than what I might have chosen for the next step in my career. I learned a lot about myself in 2018, but more importantly, I learned a great deal about the character of my Father. He is truly a good, good Father.
But did you notice what I said about being nervous? Truth is, I am a big ball of fear sometimes. A big part of my 2016 prayers (and since) has been to walk in a manner where I live the truth that I am set free from fear. So I wasn’t surprised when the Lord brought me the word FEARLESS months ago to be my word for 2019. Apparently I need the daily reminder. So I’m jumping in with Ali Edwards Design to document this year in my word. I am still praying through my goals and plans for this year, but I feel like writing and sharing more of this journey is a part of what I am supposed to do. My dear sweet husband was moved to get me a gorgeous new laptop for Christmas, so I have to write, don’t I?!
My main verse for the year is 2 Timothy 1:7: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV). It is a verse I have known and said many times, but it is time to get this truth out of my head and into my world! I hope you’ll join me for the journey. Changes ahead for the blog–stay tuned!
Happy New Year!!