As I sat in my chair praying over what was to come in the new year, my thoughts running here and there like wild horses at the fresh, new opportunities, I corralled them in and found myself praying, “Lord, this year, I just want to learn how to be a better pray-er.” Off went my wild thoughts again, conjuring up all the things I could possibly DO to get better at this thing called prayer. Somehow, in the midst of all the crazy, God got my attention with this thought:
You think that to be become good at praying, you need to do specific, great things, but my people who pray well are those who are simply faithful and willing to pray consistently. They do not provide the greatness. I do. They simply get up every day with a willing heart and are faithful to press in to Me.
My thoughts skidded to a halt as something I’d recently read collided with these. Dots were beginning to connect.
“As several of us were setting out food for the grief-stricken family, a young woman we dearly love wept tenderly for the wife left behind. She said, ‘I know she (our widowed friend) can make it. She is strong.’ We all nodded because she is. As long as I live, I’ll never forget how, Carol, a long-time friend, responded: ‘No, she’s not just strong. She’s faithful.’ Carol was exactly right.” ~Beth Moore, Children of the Day, p 187
When I originally read those thoughts, it resonated with me as I reflected back on different seasons of my life in which people have labeled me as strong. When a 3” brain tumor was found in my young daughter, that road we never planned on, had people asking me daily how I could do it. My response was always that the Lord stood with me and gave me strength. (2 Timothy 4:17) There really was no other answer because I didn’t do anything special. I simply was faithful to get up every day and press in to Him.
Could this faithful stuff be related to the things I aspire to be? Strong, great, brave, good mom, great wife, etc?
I do believe so. You see, the thing is, I am nothing great, but He is. I’ve come to the conclusion that He isn’t asking me to be the best or to do great things. He just wants me to get up every day with a willing and faithful heart. He will make the greatness happen.
Wouldn’t you know that as all these thoughts came together, I was in the midst of choosing a focus word for the year. I was already leaning toward “intentional” because as my kids get older, I realize that my time with them in my home is bearing down quickly and I need to be way more intentional in what I want to pour into them before they launch. I need to be intentional in my marriage to make it last a lifetime. I need to be intentional to cultivate my real life friendships. I need to be intentional about my writing, the way I work on Little E’s behaviors, praying for my kids, keeping the dog trained, being patient with Daughter of Purpose when it’s like raising Dory from Finding Nemo, listening to anyone who is talking to me instead of multi-tasking on my phone, eating less food and exercising more…the list could go on.
Time for being realistic with myself. I’m not Superwoman. I can’t be intentional in all of those things because I just don’t have the ability to do it all. BUT, what I can do is be faithful and willing with each thing on my list. Intentional is in my strength and energy of which is severely lacking, but in contrast, being faithful requires me to rely on Him to produce the end result. I will choose to be faithful.