Philippians 1:9-11

“And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent , and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

2012 came and went, and it was possibly the best year of my life. I began the New year on my honeymoon, moved to Fort Worth, bought a house, spent a lot of time with family and friends, worked on photography, started at SWBTS, basically began a small zoo, and ended the year celebrating our first year of marriage. It was a wonderful year.

This year has started off not so great. In fact its been pretty depressing. My husband had to go to work on the second, after spending 17 days together non-stop. That same day my big dog, Buck ran away and hasn’t been seen. So here I am sitting in my house, looking out the window, praying, thinking, and hoping this year gets better. This post is cathartic for me, it is helping me get out my feelings on 2013, and is allowing me to sort through things (especially my attitude).

Each year my mom’s New Years Resolution centers around one word. Some years it has been contentment, gratitude, joy, etc. While talking to her about this New Year, she mentioned my word is BUILDING. For the next few moments, I am going to explain to you this resolution in hopes that:

  1. It may inspire you.
  2. I can be held accountable.
  3. God will receive all praise and glory throughout this year.

2012 was a foundational year, and now that Jordan and I have established a foundation it is important for us to continue to BUILD on that foundation, to nurture it, and to experience growth.

The first way I plan on BUILDING this year is with my relationship with my Savior. Almost every Christian labels this as a resolution, but I believe it should be that way. We are never at a perfect place with Jesus Christ, there are many ways we fail, but having an attitude of humility, and choosing to place Christ as a priority allows for BUILDING to take place. My deepest desire for my walk this year is to BUILD on my knowledge of who God is. To grow in my fear and reverence for Him, to BUILD a deeper dependency on Him over those around me, and to seek His face in every situation. In order to BUILD on the relationship I have with Christ, I must spend time in prayer, reading His Word, making myself available for ministry opportunities, listen to the Spirit’s guiding, and live life knowing God has me where I am for a purpose. These are all really basic areas to grow in the Christian life. We’ve heard them time and time again, but when have we really put them into practice. I have mentioned this in blog posts before, and it still rings true, I do not want to be complacent in my walk with Jesus Christ. I do not want to be one among my generation that allows for the things of God to be mocked and taken for granted. The only way I can separate myself from such a lifestyle is by returning to the basics and BUILDING upon what I learn from that.

1 Thessalonians 4:1- “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.”

Colossians 2:6-8- “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

The second, is BUILDING on my relationship with Jordan. The first year is more difficult than you would imagine. You are learning how to live with someone else, who does things very different. Finances can be stressful, jobs/school take their toll, and everything else always piles on at the same time. It is a wonderful year, but it is work to continue a “honeymoon stage”. My desire for my marriage is to BUILD an environment that encourages a “honeymoon stage”. I want our love to be an inspiration to those around us, not for attention, but for people to know that when you follow God and have Him as the center of your marriage, you too can have a marriage like us. All too often girls tell me I’m spoiled, lucky, blessed, and that they hope to have what I have someday. While all those things are true, it is important for everyone to know that Jordan is my treasure from the Lord, it is only because of God that I am able to experience His blessing. Because Jordan is my treasure, I want to BUILD on the ways I let him know how special he is to me. I also want to make our home into our own little paradise, a refuge for us to laugh, sing, play, grow, and intimately treasure one another. This means that I must take the time to get my home organized in order that it may run efficiently. My desire is that we can go and do things, while it is just the two of us, whenever we want without having something to do at home first. To continue BUILDING on our marriage, I want to argue less and love more. In the past few months, Jordan and I have been apart of a marriage class. In the book we are reading, I am learning just how much I need to grow in order to become the wife God has called me to be. There are some areas in our marriage I truly need to BUILD up to be stronger. I need to talk less and listen more, speak with gentleness and love (even within an argument), seek to understand, and submit to him spiritually as the leader of our home. Jordan is my true love, best friend, and greatest support, as we go throughout the year, I want to BUILD him up in all things to be my treasured hero.

Proverbs 31:11-12- “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”

Next, BUILDING on my relationships with family and friends is vital. I am so blessed by all those who are apart of my life. I want this year to be a year where I intentionally let them know that. I also want us to BUILD up a community where we live, especially with our church friends. Growing up, my parents had close friends who had children our same age that we could play with. I am at that stage now where I could be having children along with my friends, and I am so excited for that. Having a community has always been important to me wherever I have gone before, but as a married woman in a new place it was harder to create such a community. Thankfully the foundation of our community has been laid through the church we attend, but it is our job to nurture those friendships. This means that I must make it a point to be involved with other couples, to go out, open up our home, and serve where I can. I am excited to continue old friendships, while creating lasting ones where I am now.

Proverbs 27:17- “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Romans 12:10- “Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”

Finally, my desire is to BUILD up a lasting body and a system of organization. This may seem a bit shallow of a desire, but God’s Word tells us to take care of our bodies and to be good stewards of what we have been given. After marriage, almost every woman puts on a few pounds. I have put on more than I ever needed to and I am beginning to feel a little self-conscious about it. If I am going to be so outspoken about being a Christ-follower, then I need to take the time to be the best I can be so people can see the difference a life with Jesus makes. This does not mean I need to look like a twig or have the body of a super-model, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I need to look the way I did in High School. What it means is that I take care of the body God has given me. It means, I don’t take for granted my ability to run and work to get the body I want. My feelings of self-consciousness have often effected how I react to my husband in times of intimacy. This has left him with the feeling that he doesn’t show me enough that he thinks I am beautiful no matter what. It makes him feel like what he does isn’t enough, when in fact it has been me reacting badly the whole time. Not being in better shape (especially when your husband is in great shape) shows him that I care more about satisfying a desire to eat what I want and act as lazy as I want. Jordan needs to know that I care for my body for him. In the area of organization, we both have taken the necessary steps to insure that our finances are in order so we are not caught off guard, and to get our house in order that we may go, do, and serve where needed. This has been no small feat, and there are areas we are still working on, which we have done many times before. What we both need to learn is to maintain once we have put in all our hard work. If we learn this principle now, then we will have a foundation for organizing and running a home efficiently for when our family begins to grow. Discipline, time-management, productivity, and hard work are the lessons to be found when BUILDING a system of organization, but they are worthwhile and admirable traits within the life of a Christian.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20- “Or, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Matthew 24:45-47- “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns.”

 While 2013 has not started off in the best way, I am determined to make it better. My prayer for the next year is that I may be able to accomplish these things with joy and humility. I pray in my year of BUILDING I will learn what it truly means to give thanks in all things, deny myself daily, and live in a way that is holy and pleasing unto the Lord. I choose to make 2013 a year in which my heart is so BUILT up from gratitude, joy, love, peace, and courage that it is overflowing. When all is said and done, this resolution is merely BUILDING on the basics, BUILDING up what needs to get stronger, and changing in order to become stronger. No matter what happens in the year ahead, my confidence lies in knowing my Creator is in control, I know that from His character and His Word. He alone is Faithful no matter what comes our way.

Proverbs 3:5-6- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

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