I love the rush of quiet and stillness that always happens after New Years. The Christmas chaos – however delightful it might be-can be exhausting and might I add terrible for the low-carb dieters out there. It might be a bit depressing when the Christmas lights come down and the scale numbers spike, but January also brings represents a fresh new year, with new goals, hopes and paths we hope to travel through 2023. A time for new beginnings and perhaps a few re-do’s that Lord knows we all need.
We all want better quality in our relationships, better fitness (I will rock that dress this year) better parenthood success (I will do weekly check-ins with my teens despite the eye rolls) and progress on the job and ministry fronts. I think we’re divinely wired to strive for excellence and abundance, and I believe God wants even more for us, than we aspire to.
Unfortunately many of our efforts are muted when we’re unplugged from the very source that makes us better versions of ourselves, always replenishing our bone-dry energy reserves and offering us guidance, wisdom, inspiration and peace. In a time when distractions and chaos seem at an all-time high, I believe the key to having the best 2023 possible, is to commit spending more time with the Lord. This means literally dedicating time each day to quiet our hearts, being still in silence, praying and most importantly listening to what He has to say.
When we take time to be still and soak in God’s presence intentionally- not when we’re in the car, or on a run, or in the shower, although of course we can hear from God anywhere/anytime-we not only receive direction, but we’ll receive all the other benefits from His presence that make such a difference in our lives. We’ll experience peace, joy, inspiration, strength and patience, etc. I for one, am a much better mother, wife, friend and employee when I’m filled up by Him. Even my road rage subsides, on good day.
When we’re really in tune with His heart, we’re simply more grounded, and focused. We’re reminded of how much we’re loved, how precious this life is, and we become more of the person we’re meant to be. Somehow all the things that matter rise to the surface, and the “things of the world” take a more rightful, lowly place in our lives. The problems, irritants and stressors in life diminish and we’re able to operate above the fray, not distracted or tempted by the things that come against us by the hour if not minute.
And how can they not? How can marital tension, or that pending deadline, or financial strain un-do us, when we’re in constant communication with the one who has power and victory over every area of life? They really can’t exist in the same space.
It can be tempting to skip out on quiet time when running the kids out the door every morning and falling to our pillows like bricks on cement, muttering “nite Lord,” if that. Some days it’s bound to happen. But if we really want better for ourselves-more breakthroughs and changes in habits and victory in areas we’ve been praying about for years-we have to commit to being still, and hearing God’s voice.
We might have to give something up to make the change, like no email or social media before 9 am, or one less episode during the evening, but it’ll of course be more than worth it. Praying for a year of abundance for everyone, and freedom and victory for us all in 2023. Enjoy the still. xo
“Be Still, and Know That I am God.”– Psalm 46:10
For more on hearing God’s voice, check out my post, 5 Ways to Hear God’s Voice.
Listen to Priscilla Shirer’s excellent teaching on Hearing God’s voice.