Friday, January 3, 2014


The week between Christmas and New Years is the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and look toward the future. Personally, 2013 was good to us. It got off to a slow start, but ended with a BANG! when we found out that we are expecting baby #2. Needless to say, 2014 will be full of change for us, as we adapt to becoming a family of four.

Usually I'm a fan of making resolutions, but last year I did something different and joined the "One Word" bandwagon and deemed 2013 the year of "Grace" {see this post and this post}. It was a year-long lesson in reminding myself that I don't have to strive for perfection, rather I simply have to rely on Jesus, do my best, and then allow Him to fill in the gaps with His grace. I still haven't completely learned this - and probably never truly will {after all, who can ever fully grasp the grace of God?} - but this year, I hope to take what I have learned one step further by making more of an effort to shower others out of the overflow of grace that I've been given.

This year, I decided to forgo traditional resolutions once again in favor of choosing another word to serve as the theme of 2014. This year's word:

I took this word from John 15:1-11, where Christ calls Himself the True Vine and reminds us that genuine believers will abide in Him and by doing so, we will bear much fruit {a.k.a. our lives become the evidence of our faith}. He also promises that when we abide in Him, He'll also abide in us and put His joy within us, thus making our joy full.

The word abide means to "remain, continue, or stay". My desire for 2014 is that I would stay close to Christ; closer than I ever have before. I want to read through the Bible in a year and I want to spend a lot of time this year digging deeper into scripture and getting to know Jesus more.

Where is this coming from {apart from a general desire to grow deeper in my faith}? You see, I've been a Christian since I was a kid and God has been so good to grow my faith more and more with each year. But, I have not always been as faithful to read the Word as I'd like {when I obviously have enough time} or consistently spend time in prayer, being broken over my sin and the repercussions of a fallen world.

In other words, I want to spend time cultivating some of the spiritual disciplines found in scripture; not in the name of doing good works for the sake of doing good works, but for the simple joy of growing closer to God.

What about you? How was your 2013 and what are your hopes for 2014?

God Bless,


  1. I think "abide" is such a great continuation of "grace," Alana! Perfect.

  2. So good! I started a new New Year "tradition," I guess, of having a few key focus verses for the year. I have a few, but one of my key ones is 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, which says "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Sometimes, it's so easy for me to forget that knowledge puffs up but love builds up, and that there are so many non-eternal doctrinal issues that could be discussed or debated, but none of them matter. I want to focus on always bringing the conversation back to Jesus. It's simple, but I need simple. :)

  3. What a great word to think upon throughout the year!!
    My word is joy. To find my joy in Jesus when life is overwhelming, mundane and amazing