There’s a theme out there in the blogging world about selecting ONE word for the new year ahead. I’ve never done it. I’m not doing it this year. But I love the concept. If you had to capture all you want out of the year ahead in one word, what would it be?
For me, as I have written earlier, my word for 2015 would be brave.
Brave as dressed in entirely new clothes.
Brave as being rather than doing.
You see I’m a doer. It turns out being takes far more courage (for me) than doing.
When I wrote a God-sized Dreams link up post last year at this exact same time, I wrote about wonderful stuff but it generally involved doing. I did not envision just being one year ago. I envisioned doing. And so I did. I thought I was brave this year by working on a second book and taking more significant assignments at work and speaking on bigger and brighter stages in front of hundreds of women and leading an organization with an increasingly national profile.
That was not actually all that brave. It was good, don’t get me wrong. God opened those doors and I am grateful for every single one of them. But what God is teaching me, in these hours we’re spending together, is that brave MUST look different this year.
It takes more bravery for me to offer a dozen neighbors cookies in my front yard that to stand on a stage in front of a thousand women. It takes more bravery for me to read bedtime stories every single night I’m given with my children this year than to finish writing my next book. It takes more bravery for me to wake up early every morning and work out so that I can lose weight and be a healthy momma than to attend dinner parties with “the important people.” It takes more bravery for me to spend less and live “smaller,” than to gain everything but lose my soul (Matt. 16:26).
It will take a mighty act of courage, with significant assistance from my patient Heavenly Father, to focus on my influence within my property lines than my influence within my city or state or anywhere else.
I studied the 40 Day Prayer Circle Challenge by Mark Batterson this fall, and in it he writes about drawing a circle of prayer around the area you most fervently want God to work. Then he uses this beautiful image of how God draws a circle around us:”Long before we woke up this morning and long after we go to sleep tonight, the Holy Spirit was and is circling us in prayer. And if that doesn’t infuse us with holy confidence, I don’t know what will. But it isn’t just the Holy Spirit who is interceding for us; the Son of God is interceding for us as well. They are interceding for the will of God to be accomplished in our lives. We are double circled. They are circling us all the time with songs of deliverance.” (Day 15, Draw the Circle)
He wants His work to be done in you even more than you want it! I could just visualize that 2015 is the year God is drawing a circle around my family and saying, Here. Here is where you stand. You stand in this circle this year. I have a plan for you. But it will take you being brave to trust me that I can accomplish it while you stand right here in a circle that might feel a little small at first.
I wrote for God-sized Dreams, “God sometimes requires us to lay down our dream, even the dream He placed on our heart, in order to know him more.” I want to be brave enough to do that.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
The line in a song by Francesca Battistelli resonated in my core, “I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes. Make no mistake, He knows my name. I’m not living for applause. I’m already so adored. It’s all His stage. He knows my name.”
You see, it’s all HIS stage. Thousands of articles have been authored by media specialists and blogging experts about the size of your platform (aka your stage). Your reach is supposed to grow and your name found at the top of every search engine. But it is His stage. I only need HIM to know my name.
So my God-sized Dream for 2015 is for the size and shape of my stage to just so reflect Him. The stage may look, from the outside, smaller and less bright, but oh friend it feels so brave and big to me.
Linking up with God-sized Dreamers today:
Jenn Hand says
wow. This post is so profound and beautiful. I had holy cold chills the whole time I read it. What a beatiful reminder of what bravery really is.. it’s being!
Thank you Jenn, it’s a hard lesson I’m learning but I’m grateful He’s so willing to teach me (slowly) what it really takes to know HIm and be brave.
Kristin Hill Taylor says
Brave indeed, my friend! You’re leading with such a courageous example.
Thank you friend, now it’s just carrying through with it.
So sweet. Brave is just that for me too. I’m a doer…I have never done the one word thing either! I have TOO many words to ponder and share! 🙂 Hoping that we all slow a little in 2015 to dream alongside others and hear those whispers of what God wants us to do versus what we want to do. 🙂 Jenn, fellow God Sized Dreamer
Isn’t that true, that one word thing kills me, I couldn’t believe I could even think of one. But slowing down is at the top of my 2015 list – and I think it’s true for so many of us.
Sarah Donegan says
i definitely think brave looks different to everyone. The bravest any of us can do is step out and do what God asks. It is always worth it!
You can be. As long as it is with Jesus! 🙂
Very true Sarah, brave is going forward despite your fear and its shape changes depending on your season or who you are.
What a GREAT post! I think that is exactly right, brave is what’s HARD or not natural for you. This is one I can stand to work on also. (I can spin like a perpetual motion machine, and get 50 things done a day, but boy am I LOUSY at just being…and being present in the moment.) This may have inspired me to make this my 2015 goal- to work on presentness, mindfulness… many thanks for the food for thought.
Thanks so much Brandy. You are right, that is why brave looks different for every person. And I’m that motion machine too, I’m really trying to reprioritize, we’ll keep each other accountable.