Last year there was a definitive reshaping of my life and perspective (an ongoing adjustment, I'm sure!) As we enter into a new year, I feel God is moving me into a new season. If 2017 was a season of being planted, 2018 is the time to take root. The seeds have germinated, and the garden requires tending. No longer do I feel like a seed buried deep in the earth; rather I am surfacing, gentle green tendrils unfurling in the sunlight. This is a time to dwell, grow, and bloom.
Dwelling in the Lord requires dedication to the discipline of reading His Word and spending time in prayer. The more time I spend with God, the more likely I am to pick up on the subtleties of His messages. God speaks to me through my journaling and writing, Bible reading and devotional time. He speaks in dreams, and when I enter into listening prayer. He makes His presence known in moments of connection with family and friends. His gardener skills are nowhere more noticeable to me than when I ask for guidance in my interactions with others. I find myself continually praying for the ability to show peace, patience and kindness to others. The Gardener is shaping the fruits of my spirit and there is still a lot of pruning to do!
The book of Acts tells the story of Simon the Magician, who has been recently baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (see Acts 8:9-24). Simon, new to the ways of the Christian walk, is steeped in the realm of the worldly. He sees the magnificence of the Holy Spirit in action, and tries to purchase this power from the apostles. Peter rebukes him, saying, "You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you" (Acts 8:21-22 ESV).
One of the words God has put on my heart for 2018 is intention. I am called to become conscious of the intent of my heart before acting. Setting the intention to do small things with great joy propels the everyday actions of an ordinary life into the realm of extraordinary grace. Likewise, I pray to God to transform and heal this heart so that my intentions reflect the love and light of Christ.
I am also called to look back - not to ruminate on the past - but to honour the path I have traveled and the ways that God has met me, shaped me and transformed me. Looking back to find Jesus in the picture helps me reshape my perspective. Memories and circumstances that were once overwhelming shift in the light. As I seek the face of Emmanuel, I find hope: He has always been there, I just haven't always seen it.
The deeper I dig into life as a Christ follower, the more I feel the call to live an apostolic life. Can you imagine the pioneering spirit required to develop a heart for such discipleship? To persist in faith through any and all trials? And yet, the journey is predominantly an inward excursion. I don't believe I am meant to drop everything and head out on international missions right this moment. (Maybe someday?) Rather, God is guiding me to develop an apostolic spirit while continuing to "bloom where I am planted". In the spirit of blooming, I am currently writing a book of poetry and taking the initiative to enter more writing contests this year. I am stepping out in faith, and trusting that the words I write will make their way to the people God intended.
And, so, I dig into this new season. I cultivate an intentional heart. I tend to my life: husband, kids, home, friends, this tender heart's needs. I find God in the ordinary details of this extraordinary life. I make time to write. I seek connection and fellowship, while creating space for alone time with Jesus. I lift my face to the Son and raise my hands high in praise and thanksgiving. I continue to grow.
Karma writes from the golden house in Northeastern BC. You can connect with her online at redraincoatcreations.com