Happy New Year!! 2013 was either the worst year I've ever lived or the best depending on what I focus on. I am choosing to focus on the good because this year I've never felt more loved, or understood how important godly relationships are in my life. In November, when my son went missing, I thought my heart would just break in two. I have never hurt like I did when I thought he was dead. Hearing things like 'we're calling in the homicide team' are things I'm still getting over. Thankfully we had a happy ending, but it's far from being over. What I also experienced that night was community. I had someone that never left my side, people that came to tend to my other kids, text messages from people I hadn't talked to since our church split/scattered. I had emails. In short, I had the body of Christ. What I learned was we need others. I'm a pretty independent woman and I'd like to think I can do anything without the help of others, but that isn't how we were created. In the garden of Eden, Adam was created and everything was perfect. No sin in the world. He had everything he could ask for, yet something was missing. That is when God created a helpmate. We were created for relationship... with God and with others.
That brings me to my next thing...
I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted my 'one word' for the year to be for 2014. I've decided on the word intentional for many reasons. I want to live my life with purpose not just with myself, but with my finances, with my relationships, I want to be the body of Christ to others. I want to get outside myself and reach out to those hurting. I want to invite that person to dinner that lives alone or doesn't have family. What may be leftovers for me could be the only home cooked meal they have. I want to remember significant dates so people will know someone cared enough to remember. I want to listen more so I'll know the needs of those around me. I want to give more. A simple smile, a word, a hug, sharing a verse with someone on my heart means the world to someone hurting. I want to reach out to a hurting world and show the love of Christ. I want to see past the 'I'm fine' or the fake smiles and remind someone they matter. I want to overuse the words I love you.
I want to be more intentional.
I want to challenge you as well. Open a door for someone. Smile at a stranger. Pick up the bill for that young couple or elderly person sitting alone. Mow your neighbors lawn. Give someone a card just because. Write more letters this year. Love more.