A year ago I’ve given the year 2011 a name… The Year of Rebuilding Relationships. Three hundred and sixty five days later I’m looking back. Did I accomplish my goal for the year? I’m not quite sure. There is still so much more to discover, improve, rebuild in my family relationships. But that is life, isn’t it? Always more.
I try to think what this year would have been like if I didn’t name the year. If my goal wasn’t to rebuild relationships. If I wasn’t crying out to the Lord to restore my relationship with Him, what He indeed did through the Fall Hello Mornings Challenge. Throughout the year the name was before me. Every time I was tempted to blow it all, the Lord gently reminded me of my goal and I could press forward.
As I look back I saw the changes, the softer hearts, the compassion, the growth. God bestowed grace upon me, and did amazing miracles.
And I’m longing for more grace, more favour, more miracles.
Abundance of miracles, in an abundance of grace...
Isn’t my God a God of grace who delights in miracles?
How can I experience more of His grace, more miracles, more of His joy?
Joy, as a fruit of the Spirit, is one of my biggest challenges. I remember studying Joy in Psalm 16. Struggling to understand the true meaning of joy.
I’m by nature a fun girl, someone who can laugh easily, seek joyful moments.
Seeking the Lord’s pleasures apart from my pleasures and still be joyful and at rest?
Allowing the Lord’s joy to guide me through night seasons?
Being joyful in all things - quite a challenge.
How do I find this joy of the Lord?
How do I wake up to joy and grace, miracles and beauty;
all that is the fullest life?
How do I exchange a life lived in emptiness, for a life lived to the full?
I desperately need the code to the heavenly vault of joy and miracles.
And then I read it in Ann Voskamp’s book. It’s all there in Jesus’ example.
What did Jesus count as all most important, hours before His death and the miracle that would follow?
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luk 22:19
“He gave thanks”
And I quote from the book:
“In the original language, “he gave thanks” reads “eucharisteo.”
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.”
Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be a gift and gave thanks.
But there is more…
Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis.
But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.”
And the result? The miracle. The miracle of Jesus enduring the cross for the joy set before Him.
Is it possible that Eucharisteo - thanksgiving - always precedes the miracle?
Could this be? The code to the heavenly vault of joy and miracles, could it be Eucharisteo?
But this is a hard word? Can I really do this?
And then I realized this is the Name for the year 2012. This will be my goal.
In the year to come I want to practice this “Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live - this is the only way from empty to full.”
From an empty life, trying in myself for a fuller life; to a life overflowing with grace, joy and miracles, through thanksgiving.
In 2012 I will embark on a journey of naming the gifts of God bestow on me in everyday life. Throughout the Bible, to name a thing, is to bless God for it and in it. (Alexander Schmemann)
In 2012 I want to cling to God’s Goodness, through thanksgiving;
Experience the grace and joy of the fullest life;
Wait in anticipation on the miracles that will follow.
“For of all the things our minds can think about God, it is thinking upon his goodness that pleases him most and brings the most profit to our soul.” (Julian of Norwich, quoted in Richard Foster)
It is my prayer that you all may enter 2012 with great expectation in the love, grace and truth of the Lord!
With much love
What would you name your Year? You’re welcome to share in the comments below.