As I reflected on 2015 I realized that for all I like to talk about intention, I really wasn't intentional in every area of my life. I think that's okay, but I was also feeling that uncomfortable God nudge that a few things need to be different this year. So I began seeking out what and praying for God's ideas on this brand new 2016.
A few days after Christmas I was reading in Ezekiel when these words captured my attention:
"Mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning the statutes of the house of the Lord and concerning all its laws...." (Ezekiel 44:5)
God was speaking to Ezekiel about his physical house on earth, the tabernacle that was to be rebuilt. But those words "mark well" caught me. I found myself repeating them over and over. What does it mean to "mark well"? As I prayed about it I realized that God was referring to intention and diligence in how Ezekiel was to apply these words. The original language renders it something like this: "put, set, mark on your heart, in your understanding, in your inner man all that I say concerning these words." At least that's my interpretation, based on the original language.
I began to pray about marking well in this new year. And God led me right to the word diligence. To be diligent is to be characterized by steady, earnest and energetic effort. That means I give my all to everything I do, from washing dishes to studying God's word and everything in between.
The more I prayed the more I knew. I am supposed to be diligent this year. But since a year is an awfully big chunk, I've purposed to take it one month at a time. Because it's easier that way.
January will find me being diligent in three specific areas: prayer and Bible study (specifically journaling), working on my art (watercolors and barns, oh I dream of barns and open fields), and with my kids, taking date time at least once with each.
I'm excited for what God has in store. I know he rewards those who earnestly seek him and that he is pleased with those who make the most of the resources they've been given. (You've read the parable of the talents, right? Read Matthew 25:14-30 here if you need a refresher.)
And to get the year off to the right start, I picked up a new Moleskine and made a snappy little cover for it. Because it's cute and makes journaling so much easier that way.
So friends, what about you this year? What does God have in store for you in 2016?