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My Favorite Season

It has been a difficult year. But a good year. I’ve grown a little, still have much more growth to come, but the challenges God appointed for this year were with good purpose. And I’m thankful.

I was born in the “Giving-Thanks” month, so for me, November is always a time of reflecting on the past year and anticipating what’s ahead. I love this season, the crisp air, the cool temps, the gorgeous colors, the clear skies, the pumpkins and mums, the harvest parties with bonfires, roasted marshmallows, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa. I love the stunning sunsets and frosty mornings.

I love fall.

But one of my favorite things about this season is taking stock of the past year and preparing for the next. This is the time of year when I begin asking God to confirm what spiritual focus He wants me to have for the coming year.

Click here to read some of the practical ways I tackle this.

In 2005 my focus was cultivating “purity of heart” (Matt. 5:8), and believe me I realized how much I needed a purified heart because that year was filled with refining! As I prepared for 2007 God made it clear “trust” was to be my study focus, and also that this would be the year of taking faith to a deeper level. That certainly held to be true—I faced the threat of cancer three times that year.

This year my focus has been “learning from and resting in Jesus.” My Scripture passage for the year has been:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)

This week I’ll be sharing with you some of what I’ve learned about “resting in Him.”

I’m inviting you to join me in seeking God about what area of spiritual focus He has for you in 2015. We’ve only got a couple of months left in the year, so it’s not too soon to start asking Him for direction on that.

Here’s a few questions you might consider as you seek Him for confirmation:

♥     Is there a passage or book in Scripture that He keeps bringing to mind?

♥     Is there a fruit of the Spirit that you are recognizing you’re in desperate NEED of cultivating?

♥     Is there a topic that keeps surfacing in conversation with others or in your reading that He might be putting before you for study?

♥     Is there a character trait of God that you’re curious or drawn to know more about?

Here are a few suggestions of topics for study:

♥     The life of Jesus through a parallel study of the gospels

♥    The ministry of the Holy Spirit

♥     Spiritual Adoption

♥    The Atonement

♥     Thankfulness

♥     The Gospel

♥     Humility

♥    Prayer

♥     Faith

♥     Love

♥    Joy
The list of topics is endless really because there is no “bottom” when you start plumbing the depths of Scripture!

[box]Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36)[/box]

I hope you’ll leave a comment and share with me what your focus of study for 2015 will be!

Will you join me?

Image courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Comments

  • Carrie

    I just shared with our Fierce Women group last night that I’m not certain, but I think God is taking me on a journey of gratitude this year, because I’ve seen very clearly in my own heart, the connection between ingratitude and temptation… Also I think being a content wife is a great gift for a husband who’s striving and breaking his back to provide, every day. Hope I come out of the fire at least a little shinier 🙂

  • Pauline Butler

    Kim, I’ve been thinking a lot about distractions. What are those things that are distracting me from “seeking Him with my whole heart” and loving Him and others more? Recently, while I was reading in 1 Corinthians, I came upon these words at the end of verse 7:35: “and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction”. That instantly grabbed my attention, and I found myself rereading the whole passage to think upon all that Paul was communicating. I continue to ask the Lord to reveal to me those things that distract me from Him. Initially, I was only thinking of the busyness in my life, the outward things, the things I “have” to do. But as time goes on, the Lord has been opening my eyes to a more serious distraction…the thoughts that invade my mind, that can become all-consuming. Thoughts that easily become sinful because they are borne out of my insecurities, pride, or self-pity. I can be the biggest distraction in my life. Self dies hard. But He has given me a desire to love Him and others. In order to do that well, He needs to purge me of my self love. So, for me, I think this will be my focus for 2015. I am so thankful that He loves me enough to not leave me to myself, and that He will perform His good work in me. Through your posts, I have come to think of you as a mentor in my life and I thank God for you.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Wow, Pauline, that is such a good focus for 2015!

    Thanks for letting me know what God has been doing and how He is leading you, that is exciting! A book instantly came to mind that I thought might be helpful for you in this journey: “The Freedom of Self-forgetfulness” by Tim Keller.

    Also, one thing that is helpful in moving our focus away from self is Scripture memorization. As we focus intently on reshaping our thought life, it will aid us in recognizing when our thoughts drift back into self-centered patterns.

    Pauline, thank you for your kind words, I count it a deep honor that you would view the ministry here as a mentoring tool in your life. You have no idea how encouraging those words are today as we’ve had real technical difficulties on the blog this week. Thank you for your comment and encouragement.

    Thanking God for you today, friend ~