For the past couple of years, my husband and I have made it a priority to get a way during the month of December to spend some time together. It's a hectic, crazy time of the year to try to carve out a couple of days, but we are discovering it's actually a wonderful time to do it.
Because disconnecting from the noise at the end of the year makes it easier to start fresh in a new year. We've had some late night talks, a romantic one by a fire and a humorous one by a space heater, where we've emptied our souls of the clutter and kindled some new dreams. We've asked each other uncomfortable questions, laughed together, and prayed together. And somehow, on the other side, we were ready. Ready to plow into a new season, confident we're playing on the same team.
It's been a blessing to see the fruit of this simple act in my marriage, but I was even more surprised to discover that for the last couple of years, the same thing has been happening in my relationship with my God. Somehow in the turning of the calendar page from one year to the next, He speaks. And I have learned to treasure standing under the spigot of words that flows from His mouth. Just as Mary "stored up all these things and pondered them in her heart," I want to take each word that comes from the Father and tuck them away in the storehouse of my soul, to take them out again and turn them over and over until they become more than words, but seeds. Seeds for new things.
Because the Lord loves new things. He loves to take the tired and worn out, the cracked and broken, or even just the familiar and comfortable...and breathe life into them, turning them inside out, and calling forth a new work from an old vessel.
And so my prayer is that I will not cling to the lifeless shell of last season's seed, but allow Him to bury within me a new one.
And then for Him to do it again.
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." - Isaiah 43:19
Author's Note: If you are looking for some resources for the new year to deepen your time under the spigot of His voice, I would recommend these. I have provided links for where they may be purchased online. Have a blessed and fruit bearing 2015!
- The "Quiet Times for the Heart" series by Catherine Martin. There are several books in this series, but the one I have linked to at Amazon here addresses specifically how to grow in intimacy with the Lord.
- "Road Signs" Bible Study, an 8 week DVD course that is written/produced by my friend Paige Allen (she was a guest speaker here for us last year). Our ladies' lifegroup just completed this study, and it was a big blessing for many women. The link will take you to the order page. You can toggle to choose one book or one DVD/book. (If money is tight for you, you can purchase just a book and borrow a DVD from me!)
- Knowing the Heart of God: A Year of Devotional Readings to Help You Abide in Him by John Eldredge. Nobody speaks to the male mind quite like John Eldredge!
FOR EITHER MEN OR WOMEN:
- Sparkling Gems from the Greek: 365 Greek Word Studies to Sharpen Your Understanding of the Word by Rick Renner. It sounds intimidating, but it's not. A favorite of mine that I go back to again and again.
- Beautiful Outlaw: Discovering the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus by John Eldredge. It's not a devotional book, but it's one that I read last year that made me fall in love with Jesus all over again!
If this an area of needed growth, please don't delay in pressing in. Whenever my time with the Lord grows a little distant, I find that being aggressive and, often, finding a new resource, will bring fresh life and clarity to my ability to hear from Him. Don't let your love grow cold! Invest in it.