Sunday, January 1, 2017

Quiet and Simple. (2016)

Last February, I spent some time thinking about the New Year and how I wanted to be intentional with it. Two words had already begun to stand out to me, and I decided to make 2016 the year of quiet and rooted. 

I loved this definition of quiet: to make or become calmer or less noisy. Yes. Less noisy. That's what I wanted 2016 to be the year of. And looking back, I think it really was. We had a few big things happen, like selling our first house and moving into a home we love and plan to be on for a long time. And of course, settling into life with two kids. 

  When I look back, though, I can see how deeper roots were developed. If 2015 was the year of digging deep into God's word, then I would say 2016 was the year of committing to prayer. So much prayer. My friend Chelsea once shared with me how challenged she was when she heard (or read?) someone say how different our attitudes and anxieties would be if we prayed about things far more than we talked about them with others. Oof. I caught myself so many times this past year talking about the same worries or frustrations with friends or family- only to realize I needed to pray about them first and more. So that's what I truly did and I can honestly say it changed things. 

  I probably could not even estimate the hours spent praying for my marriage and children and family members and friends and elected officials and tragedies happening around the globe. And if I'm being honest, each prayer seem insignificant when it was uttered. I felt the very same when I read through the Bible two years ago- the daily time in the Word didn't seem life-changing. When those little utterances are strung together and those tiny seeds planted in faith start sprouting, it's nothing short of amazing. Maybe that's why I love these posts each year where I sort of take stock and look back. 

  Taking account of answered prayers seems just as important as looking ahead. Where was my faith this time last year? How has God changed me? How much better do I know God now, after 365 days of drawing nearer to Him? I can look back and see a bigger picture of the last year instead of just full, long, sometimes rough days taking care of two littles. Hard things don't seem less hard, but God's generosity and consistently is far more evident in hindsight. The joys and tangible blessings seem bigger and are more clear when I write them down and thank God all over again for them. 

  2016, you were the year of prayer. Of seeing God more clearly in every thing. Of trusting him more in the hard and simple things. Of talking less and listening more. Quite simply, 2016 lived up to being quiet and rooted. 

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