Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Word for 2014...

Hello to a brand new year!

Do you like my new look?  I’ve been wanting something fresh for my blog for some time now,  something clean and graphic that still reflects me.  I’m so happy with it.  It feels like a fresh start to the new year.    I thought I’d start the year on a real transparent and personal note.  Care to grab a warm cup of coffee and spend a few minutes with me?

I’ve never been one to pick a word for the year or have a theme for what was ahead, mostly because I think that God dictates that for me and He hadn’t ever given me one.  But this year, I think I do have a word.  I’ll be honest, it’s not a word I like.  But, there’s no denying it, it’s the word for 2014.

That word is change. 

I’ll tell you why I don’t like it.  Simply put, I don’t like change.  I’m a girl who values stability, security, the known.  It makes me feel safe and as though my world has good boundaries to work in.  I like knowing what to expect of the times ahead of me.  And yet it’s apparent to me that it’s time for change.

Some changes are being thrust upon me and I’ve been struggling with them all fall.  The biggest change begins today.  As many of you know, my husband and I work together at a church with youth.  We’ve been doing this job together for 9 years now.  We really do love working together.  We get each other, we communicate well about our roles in ministry and with the kids.  We have a real sense of purpose in working in ministry together.  We laugh a lot, we pray a lot.  But today my husband begins a new role at our Church as full-time Executive Pastor, moving out of youth ministry.  I’m very proud of him and I know he’ll do an amazing job.  He’s gifted in so many aspects of administration, finances and personnel management.  His abilities will serve him and the Church well, and we know this is a where he’s supposed to be.

But, he’s leaving me without my partner in that youth ministry part of our life.  And that’s a change I’ve really had to do some getting used to.  For the first time in 9 years, I’ll be doing youth ministry without him.  And that’s got elements to it that make me sad and a little bit anxious.  Though I’m capable to do this, I’m grieving a little not having him beside me in the same way.  This change has been hard on me.

Change however, isn’t all bad.  Some changes are necessary, even when we don’t see them that way at first.  Because in change we get out of our typical patterned ruts and into new territory.  Change has the great potential of growth.  And I always want to be a person that’s growing.  It’s like the first (and only) time I went downhill skiing.  The bunny hill was fine, but take me up on the mountain and it’s a whole different story.  As that chair lift went higher and higher my anxiousness grew greater.  And, as my ski tips pointed down the mountain, I was in full panic mode.  All I could see was the steep distance straight down the mountain that I’d have to conquer.  I couldn’t see far enough ahead to have confidence I could make it.  My husband kept reminding me, "just do this chunk in front of you, don’t worry about the whole mountain, don’t worry about what you can’t see yet”.  I need those reminders that I’m only conquering a little bit of the "mountain of change" at a time.

One of my favourite Bible verses is Psalm 121 “I lift my eyes to the hills (or mountains in this case) - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth”.  The idea for me is that in looking up to height of the mountains I get perspective on who’s really in control and that I’m not alone in any of this.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t create the stability that lasts in my life - only He can.

There will be a lot of changes in the year ahead.  We’ve got a daughter who’ll be finishing high school this spring and heading to University, a son heading into high school in the fall.  Those are changes I know are coming;  in good faith I can say with a measure of confidence that there will probably be many more changes ahead.  How will I approach them?   I can fight and mutter and drag my feet about it all, prolonging the inevitable.  Or I can ask for His help to move forward with some grace, knowing that ultimately there’s great potential for growth in me in the change, and that brings me hope.  I won’t be the same at the end of 2014.  And that’s a good thing, I don’t want to stay the same.  And little by little I’m learning to embrace this word with a greater willingness and openness.

I have good changes ahead in the hopes and dreams for my creativity and this blog in the year ahead too.  Somehow, those are easier to be excited about!  :)  I hope you’ll enjoy following along in the year 2014!  I look forward to sharing it all with you!


D- said...

Happy 2014!
Thanks for sharing.
Change can be scary. Hang in there. Change helps you grow. You will do great.
Crafty hugs,

Conniecrafter said...

I can do all things through him who strengthens me, that is a great verse to say at times like this, look forward to hearing how all goes with all the changes God will lead you through this coming year.
Oh your blog looks great!

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

You do have a lot of change to process this year! I'm always so grateful that our Foundation doesn't change though, even when everything around seems to be swirling. I'll be praying for you!


Marilynn said...

Good of you to share your word with us. God gave me a word this year for the 1st time as well. It's a verse from Romans 12 from The Message version it says-"Fix your attention on God and He'll change you from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it." Know that will bring change in me this year, but makes me excited about it. Hope this is an encouragement for you as you respond to change this year. :-)

ColleenF said...

I like the new look of the blog. I also like your inspirational message. It's something we all struggle with and a good reminder of who is guiding us and wanting nothing but all good things for us. Thanks.

Marisa said...

I'm with you re: change. Hated it with a passion when I was younger and though I have adapted to it quite a bit better now, it is still not a fun thing for me. But just as you said, change brings great opportunity for growth and you are not alone in the midst of all that change as we have a faithful God who is the same yesterday, today and forever :)

Hugest of hugs to you!! Can hear your pain in losing your youth ministry partner - sure the kids will miss him too. Trusting God will provide an amazing person to fill his shoes and use him in great ways in his new role!

Lots of changes here too - two kids in HS, no longer doing the daycare from my home this year, switched churches (looooong and painful story there), working in my hubby's office etc. Yet I'm excited about what God do as we enter so many new areas as a family.

My word last year was intentional and this year I've chosen legacy and in all honesty, put the two together(sssshhhhh - it's two words LOL). So wanting to leave a spiritual legacy for my kids and others God brings into my reach. Best wishes in 2014!!

TLady said...

Hi Christine! :) Your blog looks GREAT!!!!!!! :) I LOOOOOOVE the NEW LOOK!!! AND your word for 2014--- We humans, ALWAYS THINK "change" is bad! We like our little comfort zones! BUT, I also see change, as a time to Glorify HIM! There are things that we CAN DO & we know it! BUT, it's those things that we CAN'T DO on our own where HE is GLORIFIED! When we yield to Him & let Him have HIS WAY in our lives! That's what it's all about, GLORIFYING HIM!!!!!:) You'll do FINE or HE wouldn't have given you the job!!! :) Isn't it NICE TO REST IN THE FACT, that HE KNOWS EVERYTHING!!!!!!:) WHAT AN EXCITING YEAR you're going to have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Bobbi's Paper Trail said...

Christine, your blog looks awesome! I love the fresh, crisp happy new look! I also loved your post today; change is inevitable; and without it, there would be no seasons, the sunshine, the rain, the clouds, etc. Try thinking of it this way. God has led your husband into Executive Pastor, knowing that you've been working side by side for 9 years. I'm willing to bet that God Himself, has chosen you to lead the youth ministry alone because He knows you can do it and it will help you grow. :-) I have no doubt at all, or ever, that you are meant to be where you are. You will do a wonderful job, and we will still enjoy your updates and beautiful creatibity! God Bless you...and it will be fine! Hugs!

Bobbi's Paper Trail said...

oops... I need to check my typing.... that should read. creativity. sorry! :-(

LLK said...

Hi Christine!
I've been reading your blog for months without commenting, however, your entry about the changes in your life led me to say a few words.

My mantra for years has been 'Change is Good' and you will find great challenge and joy in 2014.

The Lord opened some big doors and has prepared you over the past year for the new challenge. He will be with you every step of the way as you guide the youth of your church to learn more of God and themselves.

I so enjoy the new look for the blog! It's simple and happy. The photos and art you share with us are amazing.

It's 2014 and Change is Good!

Julie Koerber said...

What a wonderful post Christine. I just read something the other day with Miss Ellie and it is so true -- it kind of reminds me of the changes we are all going through right now. "When we cling too tightly to the people and things in our lives, we have no room for God's new beginnings." Congrats on your path of change. I know in time, you'll be sailing down that mountain with ease! :-)