Four months and 3 days. That’s how long it’s been since we last interacted. Since this place, our home, has been open for conversation. It’s a new year, right? And considering that we haven’t spoken since the heaviness that was 2020, allow me to wish you a Happy New Year! And as the saying goes, new year, new me right?
I’ve been thinking about that, you know. The phrase new year, new me within the context of what life looks like right now. It seems, for many, that 2021 doesn’t carry much of a newness to it. At least not the way other years used to. There weren’t as many resolutions being made for this new year, nor did I sense the excitement I usually do from people as a new year comes around. This observation, coupled with the plethora of thoughts I’ve had over the past couple of months, as well as conversations with the Holy spirit made me view new year, new me in a completely different light.
If there’s anything I can tell you about God, about His Spirit and the way He communicates, its that He is consistent. When He speaks, there are no incongruencies in His message. His word is consistent, just as He is consistent.
From about late October, early November last year, I started to pay attention. Not to everything that was happening in our world, but to the voice of the Lord. And one thing kept coming up. That we need to Abide. To remain in His presence. To spend time with Him, and grow in Him.
It started with the Holy Spirit checking me, reminding me that as His vessel, I don’t pour of myself, but of Him. And in order for that to continually happen, I need to remain in Him. I’ll be honest, with everything that had happened throughout the year, I found myself more often than not fighting and just in general doing life out of my own strength. The thing about that is, eventually whatever strength you’ve stored up will run out. Especially if you are not intentional about consistently refueling. And then, you’ll be running on low. Or on empty.
With the direction in which this world is moving, you and I cannot afford to run on low, or on empty. Not when this life we live requires that we be a light in this dark world. Not when the enemy, satan, has his devices coming for us in every direction. We need to be grounded, anchored in the One who’s strength doesn’t run out.
And so, as the year began, I took the time to really pull away.
I deactivated and deleted one of my most distracting social media apps, and minimized my interaction with the rest. I became a whole lot more intentional about taking the time to listen. Amongst other things, to really just listen. Because God is always speaking, but we’re not always listening.
In that space, that time frame, new year, new me took on a whole new meaning. The newness of self, of life and of experience that we tend to seek out as we look forward to a new year doesn’t lie in our resolutions. Dare I say, it doesn’t even lie in our effort to change our habits.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.– Romans 12:2 [NLT]
A new you for a new year lies in an unchanging God.
How do we let God transform us?
Is it a thing that requires that we stand in the center of our rooms, or sit cross-legged on our beds, eyes closed, palms facing the ceiling as we wait for a transformation? Or is there something more to it?
Well, my first response to this is a question.
Have you ever found yourself picking up on mannerisms, thought patterns and beliefs as you’ve spent more and more time with a particular friend? The general answer to that is yes. And that is because the more time we spend in an individual’s presence, a natural rub off occurs. Now you may not have explicitly given this friend permission to rub off on you. But by virtue of regularly being in their presence, you’ve allowed it to happen.
Bearing this in mind, the same goes for letting God transform us. It’ll only happen when we spend more and more time with His personhood. Communing with Him, spending time with Him, talking to Him. Being surrounded by Him. That way, we make room for His transformative power. The cool thing about this is, He doesn’t become like us. We just become more and more like Him (1 Corinthians 3:18).
That should be the goal for this year.
Because that is where we’ll find the newness we desire/seek.
Faith, Fros & Food in 2021
At the start of every year, I always map out (in a post) the ideas I have for what I want to post on this blog. Following how 2020 panned out, and how nothing went according to my plan, I realized that I need to take a step back and let God do what He does Best.
Which is Lead.
I mean He is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end) after all. When He is present in a thing, there is assurance of its continuity.
All I am committing to for this year regarding our home is making sure that I post genuine, wholesome content and conversations. Even as I am continually made anew.
That’s it. That’s the plan.
My hope & prayer is that you will walk this journey with me, and bring a friend or two along.
With that said, dear family, welcome to the First Friday of February!
Surely does feel great to be back!
Grace & Peace to you & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺