In 2011, I wanted to Love More. For reasons I won't get into, I felt like I had spent the years before kind of in a state of withdrawal, partly because I had been hurt and partly because I had selfishly taken on too much in the name of serving God. I had been working myself into quite a state trying in my own power to do everything I thought God wanted or expected me to do. It took a good friend to remind me that Jesus told us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And it didn't seem that way at the time, so Dan and I took a deliberate effort to slowly unwind those binding cords and focus on what we knew God had given us.
So, along came last year and after a good 12 months of stepping back, I really wanted to take one baby step forward. I wanted to actively love others, outside of my immediate family, since I felt like I had lacked in that area. But then I found out I was pregnant, and the endless Dr's appointments and subsequent surgeries and stays in the hospital (which Dan lovingly called our most expensive home) and bed rest helped push that goal completely out of my mind.
Then 2012 stared sneaking up on me. And I was back on the bandwagon of resolutions (exercise more, lose weight, read more, stay in contact with family better, etc. . . ) But I felt like 2011's theme was wasted. That I didn't really love anyone better last year. Once again, God sent a friend to remind me that even though last year didn't look a thing like I had planned, He was still working in me. And although my loving others didn't pan out like I had envisioned, He was growing in me love, and a desire to help those who are hurting and love the unlovely. He cultivated a new compassion, tender young sprout that it is, and He was faithful to bring me to His goals, without my direct involvement. And while I could wax eloquent about the theology behind "working out your own salvation with fear and trembling" I had certainly not given adequate emphasis on the "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:12-13)
So for this "make-a-list-and-stick-to-it" girl, it was exactly what I needed to learn in 2011.