A Year of Revival

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Do you choose a word each year?

I love the idea of having a word to define and direct each year. I see it as a way to filter out all of the good that comes our way, so that we can focus on the best – on those things that match the one word God has given us.

As 2017 started to draw to a close, I asked myself, “Have my past one words really affected my life?”

In 2018 I am seeking God for a year of revival in every area of my heart. Here's why, and here's how I plan to invite revival into my heart and home.

I went back and looked at what they were:

  • 2015 – Present (learning to be present in each moment)
  • 2016 – Position (positioning my heart to receive all that God has for me, and learning my position in Him)
  • 2017 – Balance (learning balance in each area of my life, so that areas of my life aren’t being neglected)

And I found an amazing thing!

I really have grown in each of these areas. And the growth in these areas continues even today. I have opened my heart to the Holy Spirit to help me grow and mature, and that growth continues to build each year.

2017 was a hard year.

Early this year my best friend and 2/3 of her family went home to be with Jesus. My aunt and my husband’s aunt also passed away, as did a number of my friends.

It seems that each month I’ve said goodbye to a friend or loved one.

Also, our home experienced a sudden change to which we’re still struggling to adjust.

Our oldest began 1st grade and our youngest entered kindergarten. They are both late talkers and have expressive and receptive language delay partly due to their personalities and partly due to being bilingual.

This has required me to restructure my day so that we can focus more on learning and speaking.

Most of our daytime surrounds school: when they’re not in school (and about 90% of the time one of them is home, because of the odd school hours), we are doing homeschool or speech therapy.

This also means that my online business is run in the evening hours once they’ve gone to bed. It also means for a season I am burning the candle at both ends.

And suddenly I see all my words for the past 3 years have converged:

  • Learning to be intentional and present even when I’m worn out and lacking sleep.
  • Learning to position myself first thing in the morning to walk in the joy of the Lord, which gives me strength for the day.
  • Learning to balance everything well so that the most important tasks get done first and I’m not falling into my “black holes” – my escapes, when I’m avoiding doing what needs to be done.

As I prayed and asked God to give me a specific word for 2018, one word kept coming back to my heart over and over…a word that I knew was so vital for me after a difficult 2017:

I need a year of revival.

I need revival in every area: marriage, family, homemaking, ministry, my health, and my spiritual walk with Jesus.

Not that these areas are necessarily suffering, but some of them have been coasting while I’ve scrambled to find my footing in the midst of all the crazy and messy that was 2017.

I’ve learning something very important this December:

I can spend my time wishing life could go back to simpler days when my kids were young and we didn’t have all the homework, and carpools, and last-minute trips to the store for a craft material someone needs for tomorrow; or I can spend my time making our new normal work for our home and creating an atmosphere of joy and peace that will sustain us and keep us in the middle of the crazy and messy that is our life right now.

And the only way I can help create an atmosphere of joy and peace is if I have joy and peace reigning in my own heart.

I can’t say that is a reality right now.

The reality is that my heart right now is full of stress, questions of whether or not I can do this, and panic when it all goes off the rails.

Sort of wondering when all of this will just blow to kingdom come.

But I know this:

  • Stress is a denial of God’s sovereignty and an unconscious decision to make ourselves sovereign.
  • can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. And He has strengthened my arms for this task!
  • When life goes off the rails, its just another opportunity to learn a deeper level of faith.
  • And all of this will only blow to kingdom come if I fail to allow Jesus to calm the storm in my heart.

So, I’ve sat down and created a rough strategy for opening my heart to allow God to bring revival into each area of my life.

I’ve also challenged myself to blogging through these areas in the month of January, as a way of challenging myself to examining ways to revive my marriage, parenting, homemaking, ministry, spiritual life, and health.

I’m really excited about sharing these with you!

One of the things I like to do each year is give myself the task to read books that will help me grow in the one word I’ve chosen for that year.

I didn’t do this last year, and I don’t know why. But I think God, by His grace, knew that this year I would barely have time to catch my breath, much less read through a library of books.

I never expect that I will actually get through all of them. This year I’m going to be getting some of these as audio books to listen to as I work and clean.

My list of books is a goal, not an expectation.

Here is a list of books I’d like to read this year (and probably into next year).

The Resolution for Women, by Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Stephen Kendrick

The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson

Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp

Spiritual Authority, by Watchman Nee

The Release of the Spirit, by Watchman Nee

The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges

When I Don’t Desire Joy, by John Piper

Mighty Prevailing Prayer, Wesley Duewel

Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore with Eric Westman

The Maker’s Diet, by Jordan Rubin

Here are 10 books I've chosen to read in 2018 for a year of revival!

What is your one word for 2018?

Do you have a strategy to carry it out?

Let us know in the comments below or in the discussion on my Facebook page or on my personal profile!

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  1. Thank you for your post. You are so real with your life, it makes me stop and pomder mine. My children are grown, so we have different struggles, but I can relate to your thoughts about prayer and relying on God. Keep writing, knowing that you are inspiring others with your words.

  2. I love this post – thank you for sharing and being willing to be vulnerable with your readers. It really encourages me!
    One suggestion – if you don’t have time for all of the books on your list, do be sure to read Mission of Motherhood. I guarantee that that it will bless and refresh you in this season with your children.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!! I read Mission of Motherhood about 5 years ago, but I really felt this year it would be good to read it from a new perspective now that my kids are older.

  3. Thank you for sharing your idea about having a word for the year….I’ve never really thought about that before and it really resonates with me. I had one word jump out at me right away. That word is “intentional”.

    I’m newly semi retired as an educator with our children and 7 grand children living within 10 minutes of us. Since the school year began, I was able to walk with my mom through the final stage of her life, be very involved with our church’s holiday food and toy ministry, and became introduced to serving refuge families in our area. I believe God is calling me to help give voice to those in our world who do not have one. I want to live each day with intentionality, serving my family and those not heard by our society.

    Now to start planning!

    1. I love your word intentional. I think so many things taken on greater meaning when we approach them with intentionality. I think, too, it serves as a filter for those things that are potentially good, but not best.

  4. Hi Rosilind,

    My name is Jenny and I can relate to 2017 having been a struggle as i and my family have had a full year os uncertainty and more downs than up’s. However in the mist of it all and when I felt that I was at my wits end and felt like I was sinking into an abis I found God and although the words couldn’t come out because I was drowning in cries he heard me. I am new to all this ( a week before Thanksgiving). I found your post and it really helped me, which is why I look forward to your emails and encouragement, we as a family have started to go to church, my husband and I have accepted Christ and we have spoken to the pastor about Baptism. I have a lot of work ahead of me and although I have always been great at balancing life and work I am currently having a hard time with it all. My husband’s work is not paying enough to cover the bills and I ho eschool our son who is special needs and when he was in a traditional school did not excel, which brings me to the crossroads of going back to work or continue as we are currently. I have placed it in The Lord’s hands and I know that what ever we do it is as he wishes because he will open the right doors and closes the wrong ones.

    If I were to pick a word for 2018 it would have to be Balance, because that is what I need most at this time. I want to put my prayer and quiet time before everything else but there always seems to be something that can’t be put off, but I am going to wake up earlier if that’s what it takes because I need to do this in the morning, which makes me feel better and gives me an internal peace like nothing else I have ever experienced.

    Word of the BALANCE

    Reading List for 2018

    The Armor of God

    God is Able

    Discerning the voice of god: how to recognize when god is speaking by Priscilla Shirer

    A Jewel in His Crown by Priscilla Shirer

    The Battle Plan for Prayer by the Kendrick Brothers

    Awaken by Priscilla Shirer

    FerVent by Priscilla Shirer

    The Resolution for Women, by Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Stephen Kendrick

    My Personal Goals

    Develop a balance to ensure that I am meeting all goals

    First make time for bible study and quiet time / Grow in my faith
    Danny school
    My school
    Time with Jesus
    Weekly Family time / doing something as a family
    House work

    I want to once again say thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us and helping me find my footing when I feel utterly lost.

    1. There are some comments that just take your breath away – and yours is one of those. First of all, welcome to the family of God!! It blessed me so much to read about your passion and desire to grow in your faith and to put Jesus first!! This week I’ll be sharing some posts about quiet times, be sure to check out the links below the post because there will be some great resources there for you about how to do quiet times as a busy mom. I know God will give you divine direction for how to balance all you have to do as a wife and mom. If you ever have any questions, feel free to email! God bless you!!

  5. Hi Rosilind,

    My word of the year is SERVE. Serve the Lord, my family, my friends, and my business. Thank you for your blog and teaching the truth.
    I also picked a verse of the year: Col. 1:10–That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

    Keep the Faith,

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