This year I chose the word communicate to be my theme for 2019. My original intent was for this word to be applied two ways:
With my husband: I want to be very careful to communicate love, faithfulness, appreciation, respect, friendship and closeness with Paul. This might require specific words, specific actions or a specific heart attitude.
With others: I want to communicate a gentle and quiet spirit, one that hopes in God (1 Peter 3) and is quick to share that hope with others. This applies to every situation in my life – marriage, family, work and everything in between.
It’s time for the final check-in to see how it went this year!
Setting goals makes me available for God to work in my life and to use me in ways I would never imagine on my own. Here’s how I have seen God use communicate in those two ways this year:
With my husband: 2017 and 2018 were the hardest years of our marriage (we were married in 2010). This year wasn’t a breeze – and we’ve learned that marriage isn’t ever a breeze – but it was a year of growth and understanding each other! The question that made the biggest difference this year came directly out of my desire for words, actions and heart attitudes that communicated the things I mentioned above.
With others: This one completely overwhelms me. God brought several people into my life who I was able to connect with as a result of difficult things I’ve experienced in the last few years. Those opportunities to share how God’s Word brings hope and makes the difference are never fun or exciting. They’re hard – walking through dark things with people and reliving those emotions myself – but they bring joy as I’m able to point my friends to Christ. That’s the beauty in suffering.
I wanted to communicate things that are not always true of my nature (hope, peace, kindness, gentleness, respect and so on). This is not possible on my own! Here’s how it was possible – a consistent intake of God’s Word. 2019 is the third year I’ve followed a “Bible in a year” plan (the 2nd where I’ve followed a plan that covered every book, chapter and verse).
If you haven’t read through the Bible recently (or at all!), I cannot encourage you enough to consider doing that in 2020. Walking through the chronological order of the Old and New Testaments over the last 3 years has given me an understanding of how the Bible fits together and how God works through His people that my Christian education could not provide.
There’s something about beginning each day with God’s Word and seeing the Holy Spirit use it in the hours of that same day that changes the way you live your life! I’m so thankful for how God has worked through my word of communicate this year.
Want to get more of God’s Word into your life? You can join me as we read through Proverbs together in November – get the details and sign up for the reading plan here!