Last year my word for the year to keep me focused, grounded was Presence. You can read more about that here: https://wordpress.com/post/bikegirl2.wordpress.com/2005.
I wanted to be more present in the lives of those around me and to experience God’s presence in my life. One way I practiced presence was a to keep an envelope of one dollar bills in my car and make sure at least $2 was always handy. I pass so many homeless and/or panhandlers going to and from work that I wanted to be able to bless them with something as I drove by them. Knowing that I had the money available and dedicated to this purpose allowed me to open my eyes and see these people. I was able to be present with them for a brief moment in their lives.
Another way I practiced Presence was to not turn the TV on. I have watched very little TV this past year. There is only one show I am current with and really I only watch sports. With the TV off I am able to be present with my family. We play games, we eat meals together, and my husband and I are able to work on household tasks together. I’d rather know the people in my house better than the made up families on the TV.
My husband teaches me daily how to see and experience God’s presence. He is so disciplined and very intentional about spending time in God’s presence every day. He gets up early EVERY morning (seriously he never fails to get up, not once since we’ve been married) and spends 30-45 minutes in prayer. After he spends time eating breakfast with me and seeing me off to work he will spend another 30 minutes or so reading his Bible or Bible study material. He truly hungers for the presence of God. His words and actions display this discipline. I work harder to be disciplined in daily Bible study, but I’m not as focused as my husband. I read a daily devotional and spend parts of each day in dedicated prayer but I’m not consistent like he is. My words and actions reflect this lack of intentionality. I hope to continue growing in my desire to be in God’s presence.
So, for this year I felt that I am being called toward a focus on Joy. I moved from Hope to Presence and so it seems fitting and a natural progression to Joy. I learned 2 years ago that Hope is not in things or desires but in Jesus himself. I learned last year that I don’t have to seek God’s presence I just have to notice it because he is present with me, living inside of me. I take him everywhere I go. My verse for the year became, “God said, ‘My Presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.'” Exodus 33:14
When you learn that God is with you, living inside of you and goes where you go leading your journey in reconciliation with and to Him, then it stands to reason you would experience and live Joy.
I want to be in tune with the Joy that God is in my life. I want to be instilled with a joyful spirit and I want to leave a trail of Joy as I journey together with God. My hope is that my presence (inside of God’s presence) will be a Joy for others who journey with me in 2019.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11