‘What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?’
This is what Ray Edwards asks at the beginning of a year. He writes down the answer, and that answer informs the rest of his year.
So I’m thinking, What’s my answer? How am I filtering all my choices this year?
Turns out I have four answers. Here goes.
One year from now –
- I want to be grateful that I lived with simplicity.
I want to be grateful that I cleared the trappings. That I weighted rightly my time and energy expenses and made space for spontaneity, routine and relationships. That I was a happy, uncomplicated, undisturbed and undisturbing wife and mom with a home that was safe and simple, warm and welcoming – a place of peace where Christ is King.
I want to be thankful that I remembered that priority determines capacity and that I built my days on the four foundations of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I want to be glad that I stopped glorifying busy and unwound with intention into the beautiful discipline of rest because calm is contagious. And nicer to be around.
And I want to be so very glad that I simply set my hope on Jesus and simply kept on simply doing the Next. Right. Thing.
- I want to be grateful that I saw people.
Noticed them. Acknowledged their depth, potential and positions of influence. I want to be thankful that I didn’t waste a single interaction and that I prayed for discernment and insight to read people right, recognising the unique context from which they were arriving at each conversation or brief encounter.
I want to be glad that I looked my boys in the eye as much as I could without crashing the car. That above the din of life I heard their hearts – saw the hurt, frustration or anxiety – and sometimes let them eat pudding first.
- I want to be grateful that I sowed whatever seeds were in my hand.
I want to be thankful that I tried to be a pocket of excellence wherever I was, whatever I was doing. I want to be glad that I kept praying for words of life and wisdom so that I could sow in truth and excellence. I want to be glad that I fell asleep each night asking, Was today a good day? Did I sow thanks and reap beauty?
- I want to be grateful that I surrendered to God.
I want to be grateful that I believed all the things God says about himself. That I leaned hard into him for strength and sanity in the crazy. That I trusted him utterly and unblinkingly to protect, establish and uphold me. That I relaxed into his grace-grip that never relaxes on me. (Tweet that?)
I want to be grateful that surrender bought me time, space and humility to combat my bent towards criticism, anger and disappointment. I want to be glad that, in the gap between experience and expectations, I could trust him, as someone has said, to help me believe the best, not assume the worst. I want to be grateful that I said yes to prayer when names or faces swam through my thoughts. That I never held back when I felt to speak lower or closer, louder or braver.
I want to be glad that I trusted God with today’s to-dos, eternity and the in between unfolding Earth-side journey. Glad that I only every defined success by obedience. Glad that this got stuck in my head on repeat:
His will, his way, in his strength, for his glory.
So help me God.
. . .
I’d love to hear your answer to, ‘What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?’ What decisions do you need to make today to turn your answer into future fact?
It would be so cool to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment, contact me here, or keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter. And if you sign up TODAY, Monday 12 January 2015, to receive these posts each week by email, your name goes into the hat for a free copy of Dragons and Dirt: The truth about changing the world – and the courage it requires.
Living the questions alongside you, and trusting God for the answers,
Thank you! I love what you want to be thankful for in a year – a very tall order and demanding so perhaps for me I will try to concentrate on simplifying to be less cluttered in thought and in ‘things’ and then also to concentrate on surrendering my thoughts, worries, words and actions to buy me ‘time, space and humility’ instead of ‘criticism, anger and disappointment’. It is so easy to fall into these traps when going about our daily living.
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Thanks so much for commenting, Maretha! Trusting with you that God will help us to live so that we can be thankful… So appreciate your encouragement. Much love