For the last few years, God started the year with a word and a Bible verse for the year.
2017 was Anticipation, and the verse was Hosea 12:6: “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.” To me this meant to keep going on the road God put before me even if I wasn’t clear on the directions. It was about faithfulness.  God answered my prayers, and, as it usually happens, in ways that I could not grasp at the beginning of the year.  The year ain’t been all peachy.  Just more peaceful.  We made a big leap of faith by changing schools for my younger two children.  Their first semesters ended last week, and they are where they need to be.  There is much evidence of growth.  My oldest continued to bloom where landed last academic year.  It wasn’t easy year for her or for us as parents but we see tender shoots pushing their way through the dense ground.
Today as I was driving around on my last minute Christmas shopping, I got my word, well phrase, and verse for the year. The words God spoke to me are “No Regrets.”  Now the secular terms it means Life is Short, Buy the Shoes. In God’s terminology it means something else.    It means living to the fullest potential that God gives you daily.  We are not to spend our life in worry or regret.
As I looked up verses that would go with this phrase, this one struck me as my 2018 verse: Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue. (Or Sisterly Love)
Other versions are:
Let love continue among you.
Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love.
I’ve spent a lot of 2017 reading material on boundaries: what they are, how to have them and how to maintain them. I do well in some areas and not so much in others. To me this verse is not an endorsement for being a doormat. It is a command to love people in spite of themselves. It also is a command to love ourselves as God loved us.  To be fully with Him and with His people. To be fully with the people that He wants to be His people. 
I’ve spent a lot of time in discernment for the last several months. It was time to let go of some things that were not healthy. Some material and some mental. The purging in my life has felt great. God has renewed my spirit in ways that I could not imagine.
2018 will be a banner year for me: 50th birthday and 20th anniversary. Such celebrations! I cannot wait to share the journey with you.
Merry Christmas! May God find you and keep you this season.

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