02 January 2016

Complete: My One Word for 2016

The new year is such a gift. God could've created the world to have one season, one continuous count-up of days--without the full-circle feel of January, of fireworks, family gatherings, and resolutions. I'm so grateful He spun the world and put it in orbit. Every twelve months, I get to reflect, evaluate, dream, and plan.

Closing 2015, I look back on the word that has guided me through day by day: count. I knew I needed to limit my commitments, exchange stress for peace, and find blessings in the commonplace. From January to December, I kept thinking about what counts: faith, joy, and wholehearted commitment. "Count" was what I needed to stay focused.

Looking forward into 2016, I see what word naturally follows: complete.

Faith counts...
and I must be complete in Christ.

"...in Him you have been made complete..." Colossians 2:10

Turning my eyes to Jesus--instead of to ministry--is life-changing. Still, a natural need for identity can trail behind that resolve, an irritating urge for acknowledgment. As a believer, though, there is no other need than Jesus. He is complete, not a complement. In Him, I am complete. "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." 

Joy counts...
and joy is made complete in fellowship.

"These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete." I John 1:4

What are "these things" that John wrote? 

What was from the beginning, 
what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, 
what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--
and the life was manifested, 
and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, 
which was with the Father and was manifested to us--
what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, 
so that you too may have fellowship with us; 
and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
I John 1:1-4

This magnificent gift of an eternal, despite-the-circumstance perspective is meant to be shared. The Apostle John was eager to extend this news about Jesus to the recipients of his letter, knowing that a shared belief and purpose would result in a unity unlike anything on earth. 

Finding joy in my own life is amazing, but it is made complete in fellowship, in discipleship...in the church. I cannot hide away, hoping not to be burdened by others' struggles or hurt by their eventual leaving. Friendships are work, but they are worth it

Also: Joy in trials counts...
and endurance completes my character.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result,
so that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Facing problems with a positive attitude is the beginning. Endurance is what builds character. There is still the follow through, the steadfastness through the difficulty. I can have a great outlook on what's going "wrong" and still avoid the issue altogether. For example, I can understand that my child's sickness is an opportunity to teach them certain truths and still neglect to teach them. Or, I can recognize God's purging me of an unhealthy habit and lazily allow the same temptations back in later. Endurance through trials is so important: I must complete what begins with a good perspective. Only in that way can I myself be made complete. 

Commitment counts...
and I must complete what I choose to do.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, 
does not first sit down and count the cost, 
whether he has enough to complete it? 
Luke 14:28

This past year, I narrowed my commitments. (I may still cut out some more.) The next step is to finish the remaining commitments well. It does no good to limit my engagements and remain half-hearted in what's left. The purpose of scaling down is to increase quality in what's left--and to finish projects that had been pushed aside. 

So here are the projects I want to finish this year:
  • publish a series of children's books written and illustrated in 2014,
  • combine my blogs into one website that includes regular writing, published works, literature curriculum, and preschool curriculum,
  • finish my son's birthday cross-stitch. (My son is 5 years old.) 

So that is my word for this new year! 
May I be complete in Christ,
make my joy complete in fellowship,
endure through trials to complete my character,
and complete the commitments I've counted important.

In 2016, I aim to be...
All in 
      in Christ
                      focused narrow

Abide in Him,

Do you have resolutions or one word for this year? 
If so, please share with the community at Velvet Ashes' The Grove.

{I plan to blog about this word at the beginning of each month in 2016--to keep myself accountable and any interested readers updated.} Look for this button in the sidebar:

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  1. This is really beautiful and I love the way you have thought and written about your words. This really struck me: "He is complete, not a complement." Wow. It's so convicting because I DO look to Him to complement my life, not complete my life. Thank you for these words!

    1. Yes, I think that is the one line that I'll be repeating to myself most this year! I'm so glad to know these thoughts were encouraging to you.


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