Instead of resolutions, this year I've picked one phrase to serve as a reminder of why I have chosen to walk the paths I'm walking. To bring me back, as often as necessary, to the simple truth that it's not about me:
Soli Deo Gloria.
It's an ancient Latin phrase meaning "glory to God alone ."
I won a giveaway at a beautiful blog called Bliss last summer. As a general rule I never ever win anything, so needless to say I was thrilled. I was additionally pleased to learn that I'd won a gift certificate for some lovely jewelry created by Lisa Leonard. (Just needed to give a little credit where credit is due to both of those ladies!)
Anyway, the point is this: I used my gift certificate to order a piece of jewelry that I would never otherwise have bought, and in a moment of genius had it inscribed "soli deo gloria."
My hope is that each time I put it on, I'll be reminded that everything in my life--particularly this year as I return to West Africa to serve as a nurse--is meant to bring glory to God alone.
So far, the necklace is serving its purpose. As I packed up all my belongings and said goodbyes to dear friends in Minnesota, the soft clink of the pendant around my neck whispered it is worth it--all the work, all the pain, all the uprooting. It is worth it. Go where God calls.
As I shed silent, bitter tears at the reality of the losses I'm experiencing (and causing to those dear to me, which is even worse), God spoke to my heart, saying I am worth it. I am with you. You are not alone.
One of my hopes for this year is that God would teach me that He is enough, and that I would learn more and more to live a life that brings glory to Him. Sounds grand, I know, but God has whispered this idea to my heart and I want to listen to His promptings.
Will you walk with me in this? I'll need your gentle reminders from time to time... this is such a learning process.
And if you would like to share, I would love to know your hopes for the new year--maybe you have chosen one word to hold on to, a phrase to live by, or resolutions to strive for.