At the end of 2015, I thought about the word I wanted to mark my 2016. I wanted a word for the year to lay claim to throughout and to refer back to on the discouraging days. And although that word was in clearly in front of me as 2016 approached, this is the first time I've announced it.
Uncertainties marched into 2015 with us, so my word for last year was able. I clung to the truths found in Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
We needed provision in every way--a job, a home, a church, friends, a car, furniture, community. All I could do, all we could do, was trust in the God who is able. We didn't know how He would provide, but we knew He would. And He did. In some ways it wasn't what we necessarily prayed for or wanted, but His provision is so good. I'll always look back to that year as a marker of my God who is able.
So as 2016 approached, I wanted to lay claim to it. As we thought about our photography business and my writing career and making friends and building community, the word that kept coming to mind was courage.
Last week our fridge decided to stop working. Every day it seemed to function less and less, and then it finally gave up. Thankfully, I had been putting off grocery shopping so we didn't have a stocked fridge or freezer. I'll be honest, it was hard to not worry (and continue to not worry) about how we would scrape a few hundred dollars together to get a new one. After searching around, we found an outlet store nearby that had one for a good price. And Spencer had a friend from work that offered to help him get it, so that saved his back and the extra delivery fee. But when those unexpected expenses come, I have to fight being anxious and worrying.
Although we found the least expensive one we could find, it was still a bit discouraging. And it's times like that, when finances seem to burden and cause anxiety that I lose sight of my Lord being provider.
I have noticed Katherine getting anxious at certain times. And instead of telling her that I'll always be there, I have started to tell her Jesus will always be with us and take care of us. He will always be with her and take care of her. And I have had to remind myself of that. When the bank account runs lows and we steward what we've been given the best we can, I can still trust in the Lord's provision. I may not know exactly how he will provide, but I know He is good and trustworthy.
What He says in Matthew 6:25-34, He means:
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I had a goal to read 25 books last year. And I didn't quite make it. Which bums me out because I'm pretty competitive and like reaching goals. But I have to remind myself I read more than the year before and that was an accomplishment.
I learned that sometimes the journey towards the goal is just as important, if not more important, than reaching the goal itself.
Who you become along the way, and what you learn along the way, is way more important than simply being able to say you got there.
These are the books I read last year:
I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this.
Last week I wrote down my goals for this year.
Guys, it was the last week of April. It's May now. Writing down my goals has been on my to-do list since the end of 2015. And I just now did it.
But I did it.
And that's the lesson I learned from this. It is never too late to start.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.