Wednesday, January 2, 2013

it's still the new year: low

photo credit:
I like to do laundry. Mmhmm...weird. Yes. That's been established. When times are busy, as they have been, I end up with mountains of clothes that eat my room. When I finally get around to washing, I blow through those piles as fast as I can. But when I have my way, I do it once a week. It's not just laundry. It's reliving the seven days behind and letting go so I'm ready for the seven days ahead. It's not just washing clothes, it's a cleansing of sorts. The water starts running. Bubbles form. I throw the clothes in, shut the door, Jesus and I talk during the spin cycle. Every little, insignificant thing I held onto for seven days...down the drain.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are some of my absolute favorite days. Don't read too much into that. I know there's nothing inherently spiritual about December 31 or January 1. My reasons for loving New Year's are much like my reasons for loving laundry. I love to process. I like sitting in pajamas, curled up with a puppy in my lap, thinking back on the good days, best days, hard days, and miserable days of the year behind. In the very next moment, I have no glimmer of an idea what is coming. It's cozy and adventurous. It's comfortable and risky.

It's safe; and yet, it's not safe at all.

Last year, the verse the Lord kept taking me to was Isaiah 61:3b

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of His splendor.

Believe me. When I say He took me to it, I mean He would not let me leave it. It was in my new favorite songs. It was the theme verse of our church kiddos' summer week of choir musical. It was in books I read. It was the loudest whisper I heard from Him. It was the tune that lulled me into rest for a whole year. 

Inspired by Katie's One Little Word post, this year I asked God for a word. Just one little word. 

He answered. The word is tiny. The word is packed. The word is...


I want to lower my spending. 
Being a "grown up" has a reputation for being no fun. For anyone. I have a problem with that. I like to have fun. I don't like to be stressed. Lower spending, extravagant giving, and a little bit of margin will, in my opinion, make things a lot more fun. I might even stop hating "bills" day. 

I want to go to sleep when the sun gets low. 
I have nothing against being a grandma--no problem with it whatsoever. I want to live days well. I want to live days with a lot of energy and full attention. Plus, I really like sleep. So I'll go to bed early. Two birds. One little, low stone. 

I want to see a lower number on the scale.
When is this not part of the list? Honestly. But Memorial Park is around the corner. And the gym is literally right down the stairs from work. And I have no excuses. And I'm ready.

I want to lower my voice. 
I'm a quiet personal in general, and I haven't gotten any louder, audibly. I can feel, though, that my personality has gotten louder than I like. I've been pushing to be heard. I've been straining to be favored. I've been speaking my mind before I'm certain it's actually...well, my mind. Lower my voice, Lord, the heard and the unheard.

I want to lower my view of self.
There is no more uncomfortable moment than when someone brags about how humble you are. For one, that's an oxymoron to oblivion. No humble person wants to be bragged about. But it's most uncomfortable when you know it's just not true. Pride has so many dangerous forms: insecurity, demanding attention, jealousy, belittling. None of them are good. All of them are hurtful. Healing needs to come. 

"God sets Himself against the proud and haughty,
but gives grace [continually] to the lowly
(those who are humble enough to receive it)." 
James 4:6 (AMP) 

Please, Father. Give me grace.

"But with the humble (those who are lowly,
who have been pruned or chiseled by trial [...])
are skillful and godly wisdom and soundness."
Proverbs 11:2 (AMP)

Yes, Jesus. Bring wisdom and soundness.

"He gives His undeserved favor to the low,
the humble, and the afflicted."
Proverbs 3:34 (AMP)

You are generous. I am undeserving.

"For God sets Himself against the proud
(the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)--
[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them],
but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation]
under the mighty hand of God, 
that in due time He may exalt you."
1 Peter 5:5-6

I want to be made low

Happy New Year's to you and yours. Happier laundering. 

Any new resolutions, goals, or "one little words" to share? I'd love to hear them!


Brittany Fletcher said...

Wow Hannah! What a blessing it was to read this. You are a gift. I love you and look forward to hearing more of your heart on Saturday. :)

The Millers said...

Loved this Hannah! You are great with your words my dear...truly. To God be all glory. ;)

Regan said...

I love this. After watching Beth Moore's session at Passion yesterday I just can't let go of the word "glad." It's being impressed on my heart so much that I may actually take my blog out of hibernation for it. We'll see!

Colleen said...

Well written, Sweet Sister.

My word is rhema, which means word.

Punny, I know.

Posted my explanation on my blog this afternoon.