Breath of life I breathe you in

IMG_3544Today was one of those days when the schedule you start off with in the morning doesn’t end up being the one you stick to.  Each morning I tend to think through my day and plan it out a bit.  But today, my plan went out the window.  By the time I got home after youth group tonight, I hadn’t done my reading yet.  So I climbed into my bed with my bible and journal and I opened it up to Genesis.
A few weeks ago I wrote about finding rhythm in my crazy messy life.  I’ve made some good changes and have surprisingly stuck to them thus far, two and a half weeks in.  One of those things was to follow a reading plan and read through the bible in a year.  I picked a plan that has 5 readings per week, which I thought was good enough since I have never really done something like this before.
And so far, I’ve made it.  I’m going into week three feeling good.  I’m figuring out this whole Bible journaling thing, making it work for me.  And I’m learning a lot, diving into God’s Word.
But the biggest thing to come out of this time has been my One Word for the year.  Our church (like many churches) has been doing One Word for a few years now.  It’s been a really good process for the last few years.  I have/God has picked some good words over the last few years that have really helped me grow as a person and in my relationship with Him.  My words have included: Stand Out, Bold, Gracious and some others that to be honest – I cannot remember.
This year I really wanted a good word.  One rich with meaning, one that was going to push me (but not too hard) and one that was really truly from God.  So of course, in my listening, I started telling God a few options.  Maybe heartbeat or just heart, or love, or … or…  what about …. Then one day it just happened.  I was reading Genesis, my second or third day on the reading plan and the word almost jumped out at me.
In the context of the story I was reading, it wasn’t a profound word.  But it popped out, as if I had some sort of mental highlighter that was causing it to become neon yellow.
So when I finished the reading of the day, I pulled out my journal and started reading.  I did a quick word search to find where else it popped up in the Bible and found this verse in Hebrews:

For the Word of God is alive and powerful

And then a section from Ephesians 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.

And I started journaling, almost like a note from God to me, calling to me, challenging me to believe that He is ALIVE.
I mean I know He is ALIVE.  I know that he is at work in the world all around me, but sometimes I don’t live that way.  Sometimes I don’t place that trust in him.  I’m too afraid that I’m going to miss out that I start to hedge my bets with my own money.  But the reality is that we can’t miss out on what God’s doing if we are really looking for it, if we are conscious of the Spirit’s movement in our lives.
So my word for the year is ALIVE.  I’m accepting the challenge of living in the truth that God is ALIVE rather than living in the fear and stress that I have to make it happen on my own.  In my life, in my ministry, in my relationships – He is ALIVE and gives me life.  He makes me ALIVE in him.
I’ve always been pretty good at seeings his work in retrospect.  I mean hindsight is 20/20 right?  I’ve never been very good at slowing myself down enough to hear his voice in the midst of everything.  To feel his prompting and see his hand at work while it’s still working.
Since that first week though, he’s been revealing new things to me each day.  It’s almost as if he’s saying, “I’ve been here all along, just waiting for you to look my way and see my hand at work.”  And I’m just now noticing all the ways he surrounds me each day.  I give it up to him and he shows up … each time.  In ways I never would have expected.  But he does.  And I am beyond grateful.
I can’t wait to see what else he has for us this year.

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