Every year at this time, I sense the call to reflect where I am and where I am going. So as the sun is low and slowly moving across the sky as it streams into my dining room window, I write here some of my findings.
My new years prayer for 2022:
My words for the year of 2022:
Awareness – be watchful and vigilant in all I do.
Humility – modest, sweetness, respectful, allowing self to be seen as less or lower.
Curiousity – careful attention to detail, desire to know, learn, inquisitive, to see what is unknown.
My verse for the year of 2022:
So, I see that I asked for the Lord to come deeper in my heart, which would require that I become aware, be humble, and curious about the process of Him becoming my perfect peace as my mind was fixed on Him simply because I would choose to trust in Him.
My Grandma passed away and when few people showed up for me through that moment I realized how important it is to show up for others when death walks into their lives.
I wrote about feeling pulled away by the tapes running in my mind about things that needed fixed.
- the oughts
- the should’s
- the why nots
- the how comes
- the I dont get its
- the it doesnt make senses
- the wouldnt you rathers.
Silence and awareness are the same thing…to be silent is to be in the right state of mind. Being still helps us to interpret the circumstances of life from the view of eternity instead of putting our own spin on things where we try to make ourselves the hero of the story or we make ourselves the victim.
God is at work and stillness before God is the only way to see His view. When we choose to enter the stillness and let silence do it’s work, awareness opens us up to be able to observe and watch the mental chatter that goes on without it becoming “my story.” When it becomes my story – vainglory comes alive. An excessive thinking of ones own accomplishments and abilities. An anxiety is fanned when we worry about what others think of us. This to is vainglory.
To notice it is like God has granted what I have called many times 5 seconds of grace. It is the pause that happens between something that has triggered a thought reaction and the action that we choose to express.
The heart and mind are not the only things that need to be cared for – what about the body? I wrote in January that I struggle with the snack and scroll life that are attatched to neglect of my body. I snack, I dont eat well, I dont drink enough water, I lack enough excersize.
I had a moment in prayer with the Lord where I saw Him remove an old garment off of me and replace it with a hooded cape and rainboots and I felt as if I was standing with loving light. I didnt know it then but coming ahead were stormy times for me. I was spending 20 minutes in silence at this time. I had a dream that I had an insurance claim specialist tell me that I would recieve multiple payments and had rights to land. After that dream, I recieved half of a settlement concerning my grandmother, who I had been taking care of all her end of life things for most of 2021 and our yard (which I hated the disorder) got a major cleaning by my hubby and my son.
I gave up coffee for Lent. I woke up on March 16 with a beautiful, colorful plant in mind and thinking the Lord is making us fruitful.
I woke up on March 25 with this verse in mind. 1 Tim 1:7 God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
- Power – the strength to overcome to be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God.
- Love – the ability to love one another to let your faith not be based on human wisdom but on God’s power. The Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us.
- Sound Mind – the gift and grace of the mind of Christ for we have the mind of Christ.
I found at the end of Lent that I didnt love coffee more than Jesus but I was still frustrated that snack and scrolling could waste so much time.
I began to talk about how my soul was doing through the storms I had been walking through.
I heard the Lord say this:
I was starting to struggle with control. I wrote in my journal, “Remember what you can hold on to when you feel out of control. These are, ‘how you do things and your choice to react well.’ It is not about right and wrong it is about what spirit are you using.”
I officiated my first funeral for Wanda Jakabak. I said yes to officiate because of what I experienced with my grandma’s passing and the words that I felt burned on my heart, ” Lean in when death happens, show up, call, go. It matters alot!” I remember Wanda as a woman of wisdom. I remember saying to her as I was leaving her house one day, “take care of yourself!” and she said, ” I will not, I will cast all my care on the Lord for He cares for me.
I was asked by Pastor Tim, “What motivates you?”
Righting what is wrong and meaningful connection.Starla Smith
I was struggling with disorder, meaning, obedience, and I wasn’t feeling well. I was struggling with sickness when I know He is the Healer. Our weaknesses causes us to have to cling to Jesus. Would we cling to Him otherwise? Without weaknesses I would run my own life without God. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Could we then learn to be content? Content to be at ease with what is without pinning and coveting needlessly for what is beyond our reach. Could we trust that much? Sometimes we forget that change comes through brutal honesty and vulnerability before God. This often requires us to slow down for the unfolding of the heart to be revealed. Why do we hate slow? Jesus moved slowly, not striving or rushing. It it because busy makes us feel important? Is being vain at the root of it? I felt God calling me to let the turning happen to let the slow work of God be in me.
The Lord revealed to me that I had been mad over the outcomes of a situation that I had been dealing with. I was practicing 5 mins of silence and I asked God to come and He said, “I’m here” and my mind started to run all over about the situation. He said, “Be Still.” All of my focus went to a single point, my breathing calmed, and my heartrate slowed. Then He said, “You’ve prayed for help and clarity. Why are you mad when I have revealed an issue? Have I not answered your prayers?” He had.
I found a quote that goes with what the Lord said, “It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about being honest.” Here is the quote below:
Everyone has a false self that wants to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful but Jesus offers Himself as the source of the new self we have in Christ.
My declaration: My hope is You alone. He’s been faithful. He’s been good. Jesus, let me cling to you cause I know that You are able.
I am really good at ignoring how I feel and just to continue functioning at life and looking good doing it. But managing then is not helpful and often leaves me somewhere between depleted and fine. Turning to Jesus – bringing all of my fears they will turn into praise. True freedom is when we no longer need to be special in the eyes of other people because we know we are loved and good in Christ because He is Good.
I had a dream that I went to a ministry that was teaching others to have a skill. The ministry was teaching ladies to do nails. In the waiting area a man was preaching but the men in the waiting room were correcting his doctrine and biblical soundness. As I sat with my hands at a ladies table to get my nails done. I was there for an hr waiting for her to finish my nails while she spoke about herself the whole time. I gently said to her, “It would be good for you to learn to do the job instead of talking about yourself the whole time.” She proceeded to tell me how I had a spirit of anger and needed deliverance. I said, “Just because someone brings correction doesnt mean they need deliverance.” These people were convinced that if anyone spoke up and shared how they didnt like something, that it was an attack from an evil spirit.
I heard the Lord say, “Rise and Write” – I knew He meant the way that I use to write without worrying about the sentence structuring and punctuation.
Oh my heart belongs to you
I’ve heard your call to come and write
It’s been so long since I put pen to work this way
I wait, I listen, I look, I seek your face
Write from a memory
If we dont grow through what we go through
Its easy to get stuck in the living when the living is rough
Hard things become soil for a soft heart
but hard hearts make concrete there bed
We all know that concrete makes a awful place to try and plant seedStarla Smith
When God gives simple direction why do we try to make it more complicated like this is not enough. (I am still struggling here) Don’t do more than He has asked of you. Just do what He has said and go along for the ride. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It is grace to you. As you add and change it becomes burden you were not meant to carry.
Good Quote from this month:
My daughter had a dream she felt was from the Lord:
I looked at all the objects you had in your home. They looked like heavenly objects with such ornate beauty I had never seen before. And when we started to create the museum of your home (I think this is important somehow) your HOME became a place of beauty and was completely transformed. Beautiful brick and the trim was ornate with woodwork. It looked amazing.Sarah Furrow – Dream
She said, “Obviously I think it was metaphorical home like your mind. Your mind being transformed through the process of creating.”
I woke up hearing the Lord say, “I have anointed you to preach the gospel.”
I didnt write much this month – I launched a ladies Bible study – through Galatians.
The fruit fly nation hit the house this month. I’ve felt angry and frustrated. And yet, I heard the Lord say, “It’s time to speak again.” He has freed me from holding back. A few years back – I was to do what I could do when I was frustrated with how things were going – this taught me to be patient and quiet. But now I was free to speak but to be careful of the “little things.” I understood this to mean becareful of the little things that if not dealt with cause quick explosions.
I felt frustrated alot in this month. I started naming the good to relieve the pressure. Quietness and rest return my soul to His throne.
The funny thing is how much disorder drives me crazy and I try so hard to order my life but over and over, it falls apart. The more I try to make myself stick to a schedule, inside of my regular routines, the more I seem to revolt and just plane out refuse to do it. Most of August was about writing what my new schedule would be and why. Our lives are a combination of work and rest. I struggle with both. I feel like most the time I bounce between working too much and forgetting to rest and wanted too much rest, that I do nothing for days on end.
Psalm 92 is a song for the sabbath. Keeping the sabbath keeps us ” green and full of sap” a tree of righteousness planted by the water.
Hebrews 4 talks about striving to enter into rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. I am still struggling with disorder, meaning, and obedience.
Jesus came to elevate our perspective of life. To be sabbath hearted is a settled state of security and peace. It is literally a yoke of rest. Jesus wants our inner and outer life to match.
Pastor Lindsay asked me a question: “How can you communicate the sadness under the anger?”
This question stumped me.
I wrote about how the main harvest push is here. So lots of work at home. I have continued to walk through storms. Thank God for a hooded cape and rainboots. I seem to be having a collision of things happening. I am tracing my lack of sad and feeling emotions to all the waiting processes of multiple areas. I feel uncared for and so I shut my emotions off. I just get angry and I clamp down to control. I think the Lord is helping me understand how this happens. There is no shame for those who keep their face toward the Lord.
I will keep walking with my face toward the Lord. I was a church praying, “Lord, be the workman of my heart, be the workman of my mind, of my soul, of my spirit, and my body.”
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…Ephesians 2:10
I am supposed to be getting ordained in November and I have been struggling with why…
In my journal I had written that I had been seeing 911 all over the place. I had thought that it could mean caution, watch out, emergency – which would make sense considering all that I’ve been walking through and the fact that God put of hooded cape and rainboots on me but then this verse caught my eye – which also goes with what the Lord said about me being anointed to preach the gospel.
The the other day, a guy from church, sent me this little interaction he had online with one of my favorite pastors.
“A piece a paper does not make you a minister. It may confirm a calling by some of your peers and indicate a particular assignment, but pure ministry flows from a calling (from God) and an obedient response (by the person called). Keep going, keep ministering, keep leading, keep rescuing.Glenn Burris
I needed that.
Jumping back to how I turn off my emotions when things are difficult. My sister came to town and shared with me a excersize she was trying to do, that had to do with writing down the safe people, from her childhood. As I reflected, I found that I had a few people but mostly I retreated into my own mind. I learned how to limit and mitigate trouble by retreating into my own mind. Which reminds me of something someone said to me about how I become like one who retreats to the mind tower where they observe but are not touched by what is happening.
I took the time to write down what I learned this year about my 3 words:
Awareness – I have become aware of when I flip uncomfortable emotions or thoughts into a “faux positivity” instead of just acknowledging the feelings or thoughts as they are.
Curiousity – Entering into curiousity during uncomfortable conversations has helped me listen to what people are actually saying instead of becoming defensive.
Humility – being able to allow myself to be less or last allows other to shine.
I am still walking through a collision of feelings, thoughts, and circumstances but God is good.
Back to vainglory – vainglory blinds us from God’s goodness – from seeing the weight of his glory – of experienceing the goodness of God. Humility is the solution to vainglory.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Philippians 2:3
When we operate in vainglory – we behold it – and fling truth away. It makes us unable to see God’s glory and goodness. We are only able to see our own glory. Vainglory will try to stone the truth to exalt ourselves. Truth is God’s glory – it is His goodness to work all things for good because He is a good good Father. We are the temple of God! Christ in us is the hope of glory.
The idol of control will have you worrying about everything – anxiety around every corner. It will masquerade as helping, caring, doing good, being responsible – it will be anything you want – just as long as it is sitting in the seat of God. When worry is challenged, at its root is the idol of control that stands up to help “fix the problem” rather than turning to the Lord and casting all our cares upon Him.
One of the ladies a church told me about a dream she had of how she and I were being chased down by two bobcats. Just when we thought that they were going to get us they fell through the floor of a house we were hiding in and disappeared. I took that as the hunters of my soul are done pursuing me. Today feels so much lighter than the rest of the year. Thank you God for your goodness to help me walk through and grow through what I go through.
I hope you, the reader, have a way to reflect on your year. It truly is a blessing and helpful. Can you see how God was writing the story the whole time? How He was weaving lessons and teaching me about deep things in my heart and answering my prayer from the beginning? This is my process and Oh how I rejoice to see that He certainly has been so so good to me!
November is a when I do a 30 day challenge of numbering the grace and goodness of God – how better to be ready than to see how God has been so so good. HA! I am so excited for November!
Want to join me – download this PDF and practice 5 mins of stillness and giving thanks! Copy this graphic and post your found grace and goodness on your social pages with the hashtag #thankfulheart
Thanks for listening,