Posted by: bellissimanh | January 2, 2009

A Word for 2009…

I noticed over the past year that several of my bloggy friends, felt it helpful to begin the new year with a theme… a phrase or a word that sums up their vision for the coming year, or what they feel the Lord desiring of them.  I don’t know that I’ll carry this through the entire new year, but I definitely have felt the Lord putting a certain theme on my heart over the past several weeks.

This word (Word?) keeps popping up all over the place… in the music I listen to, in my weekly memorization of Psalm 119, in my personal quiet time, in the various studies I attend, in conversations with other believers. The word?

Diligence.

Exciting, eh? Maybe not to you, but for me… well… it IS exciting to realize that the Lord is calling me to a deeper level of commitment, and what a way to start a new year!

There are so many roles the Lord has given me.

I am first and foremost, a child of the Most High God. I am His beloved, His princess, His servant, His embassador, His friend.

I am a wife and mother.

I am an employee.

I am a friend.

I am a ministry leader.

So many different aspects of my life, and yet He has commanded me, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…” (Col. 3:23)  To me, that sounds like diligence.

So the challenge is to discover, through prayer and careful examination of His Word, how I can be more diligent in each of the roles the Father has given me.  I know full well how far short of the mark I fall on any given day. Yet I thank the Lord for giving me fresh motivation to be more intentional about the way I enter this new year.

I looked up “diligence” at www.merriam-webster.com and got this:

1 a: persevering application : assiduity bobsolete : speed , haste

2: the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (as a party to a contract)

 “Assiduity”? Ok… I consider myself a lover of the English language, and fairly literate… but I couldn’t quite grasp the full meaning of that word without looking it up. It includes the idea of persistent, personal attention.

Now we’re getting somewhere! That is a great way to explain what I feel the Lord impressing upon my heart. All of the areas I mentioned above deserve persistent, personal attention.

But not just from a human perspective… from a divine perspective. They deserve the best I have to offer because anything the Lord has called me to do is worth doing to the best of my ability, through the power of His Spirit.

Throughout the coming year, I will be looking for ways He is calling me to greater diligence in my life. I intend to study this subject to pieces… literally. To dissect each reference I can find in Scripture, and to flesh it out in the everyday moments of life. Head knowledge means nothing if it doesn’t change us. As I learn what the Lord has to say about diligence, my desperate desire is for the ability to apply those principles to my life.

I want a deeper intimacy with my Father – to experience the reality of His presence in my life in powerful ways as I learn to recognize His hand at work. I want to more closely resemble the woman He created me to be… to be transformed more and more into the image of Christ. I want to pursue Him with renewed passion. I want for Him to be my magnificent obsession. Choosing to take Him at His Word will play a major part in that. If you remember this post, you’ll understand why I chose the bee in the flower for my “Diligence” graphic!

I want to be a better wife and mother… to be more loving and more patient with my family. I want to fulfill my responsibilities in this area of my life with more consistency, more efficiency, more purpose. I want to be a woman who is worthy of the respect and admiration of her children and husband. I want to edge closer to that ideal of the Proverbs 31 woman.

I want to honor my God by honoring my employer. I want to give 100% when I am at work, rather than being distracted by other things throughout the day. I want to excel at the projects I take on, not because I want personal success, but because I want to do my part to better the company. I want to be a credit to my boss.

I want to be a better friend. I want to be more observant of the struggles my brothers and sisters are facing, and be faithful to pray – consistently. I want to be a Barnabas – to encourage those who are weak or downhearted. I want to rejoice with others as the Lord blesses them and weep with those who mourn. I want to be iron to those around me. Yes, I would love to be called “Ironsharpener!”

I want to wait on the Lord for guidance in my ministry. I want for Him to determine my steps… for Him to set the course for the coming year. I want to be more patient and loving with those who serve in my ministry. I want to be a grace-dispenser. I want to lead not by words, but by example. I want to behave in a manner that is consistent with the words that proceed from my mouth.

In all of these things, I want to be real. I will not make excuses for my sin, but instead I will own it. When I fail, I will admit my weaknesses and draw on His strength. I will not pretend to be someone I’m not. I will do the best I can to ensure that the person on the outside is the same as the person on the inside. I want to be authentic.

I’m excited to see how the Lord will work all of this out in my life. For now, it’s a vision… a goal… an ideal to strive for. But as I study, as I listen to the still small voice, as I put into practice the things my Father reveals to me… I pray that it will become so much more than that. I pray that it will become reality.

So the question is this: If you had to choose one word as a theme for the coming year, what would it be? Is there a particular idea that you feel the Lord trying to imprint on your heart and mind?

I’m interested in hearing how He is speaking to YOU, and how you will apply that Word to your life.

For now… I’m off to look up some Scripture references on diligence…. with special persistent, personal attention. *grins*

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Responses

  1. “I want for Him to be my magnificent obsession.”

    Come on with that! Great words, Heather. Im with you and am feeling the ‘Diligence’ as a word for 2009. I think of that scripture,’ Draw nigh unto Him and He will draw nigh unto you.’

    Sometimes I think He wants to see HOW diligent we are, HOW much we want Him in our lives, and HOW badly we want intimacy (my 2009 word) with our savior. Lets drawn nigh! And be diligent about it! SO many people are diligent in their efforts in going after things in this world. Some of these things may even be good things, but ohh, to be found going after Him, to be found being diligent in going after Him!

    Girl, you about have me fired up! 🙂 love, s

  2. I want to comment, yet feel I have absolutely nothing to add. This was so moving. Your writing is lovely.

  3. What an awesome post. I’m going to have to digest this one for awhile, there’s a lot there.

    Bonus points for teaching me a new word, ‘assiduity’!

  4. Diligence! Real! Authentic! Ironsharpener!!

    Those are all fantastic words! What a great post! It is challenging and deep and makes me want to strive to be more like Christ.

    Thank you for visiting me over at The Point. I hope you found a blessing or two there.

  5. I think that you hit it on the head…we should all desire to be AUTHENTIC in everything we do. This tends to be an area of weakness for me, and I striving to correct that area of my life.

    Great goals for the coming year!
    Xandra


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