Kure Beach, NC
I'm awaiting the arrival of my garden boots so I can go out in the yard and plan out next year's vegetables that we'll grow out back. Half of our yard is fenced off as a garden, and the other half is for our soon-to-be dog that will roam around sniffing things and finding whatever mischief is to be had in the backyard. I'm watching as the days grow longer (according to my small group girls, the sun sets 1.5 minutes later each day!) and am anxious for the time when it will be light outside at 9:45 at night as we park our bikes in the garage after a ride on the Monon.
We ended the year with a lot of craziness-- we moved into our new house and promptly left for North Carolina 2 days after. I flew back to Indy to work a few shifts over Christmas and then flew back to North Carolina again to wrap up our holiday extravaganza. We ate at all of our favorite local spots, played catch on the beach on an 80 degree day, got sand in our shoes that we're still shaking off, and spent time with family that we hadn't seen in a year. We came back with full hearts and finally felt ready to make our new house feel more homey.
Every year I pray over and pick a word to focus on. Last year's word was endure. We did a lot of enduring during that year, and I held Hebrews 12:1-2 very close to my heart. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
2016's word is nurture. I went through about 10 different words that I wanted to pick for this year, but ultimately felt led to choose this one. I looked up nurture online before committing to it-- and according to the Google dictionary, to nurture is to "care for and encourage the growth and development of." Nurture, for 2016, is about a lot of things for me-- it's about nurturing my body and caring for it in ways that I have previously neglected. It's about giving my body proper nutrition and hydration, and about doing things like washing my face and my hands, taking care of my skin; it's about exercising to take care of my body.
But it's also about nurturing relationships. I have had so many people on my heart to reach out to in 2015, but I allowed a busy schedule to take precedence over those relationships. Other than relationships with people, I need to nurture my relationship with Jesus. I spent a lot of this year praying but not reading Scripture. I would talk to Jesus on the way to work but then wouldn't spend any time getting to know him through Scripture reading.
I don't do New Year's resolutions, but I think this word is a resolution in and of itself. It's my resolve to nurture my body with things that are good for it, to nurture my relationships with people by pushing through small talk and finding out what's happening beneath the surface, and to nurture my relationship with the author of creation through time spent with Him daily.
Things I'm looking forward to in 2016 as I practice the word nurture:
-inviting people into my home to share meals around the table
-going to bed earlier and waking up earlier to spend time with Jesus
-spending time outdoors running and walking, or tending to our vegetable garden
-saying no to things that do not help me to nurture my body or my relationships with Jesus and others around me
Here's to a beautiful year. I love the feeling of a fresh start in January, and the feeling of hope for what is to come. It's a clean slate, the early morning snow that no one's made footprints in yet. What does your year look like? Are you dreading it or do you find hope in all that is to come?
Lots of love,