I'm sure you've heard of people assigning one word to a new year (like one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp). I like the focus that naming the year gives. It drives every goal I make. So, I'm joining in.
I know it's cliche, but 2012 had a lot of unexpected surprises. I had no idea what God had in store, how he was going to work in our lives. How he was going to rattle us and bring us to a place we didn't expect or even want to go. I had no idea what one book was going to do for my entire family.
But that's how God works, isn't it? His grace is so much more than we can imagine. He knows what we need even before we need it and he is already working to provide for us. He is faithful when we are not. And so our lives were turned upside down.
We learned what it meant to focus on God. Really focus. And not be concerned about getting more stuff. Or worried about if others think we're "radicals." We learned what joy comes from living simply.
Not that we've mastered it. No, we are still working on it daily. Every day we discover another way that we are depending on ourselves and not God. Or how we've started accumulating things of no real value again. It's a regular struggle, something we are learning every day.
So I've decided to name this year simple.
Simple. Because I want to be reminded of how we should live simply. Because I want to remember to keep things simple. How much more joy my boys get from the simple things in life. I want to remember how much more we enjoy time spent on the couch just the two of us to time spent at the movie theater. Because regular old banana cupcakes with vanilla frosting will always beat out any kind of specialty cupcake.
Simple. A reminder to simply stay focused on God and his plans. He will be faithful to us. We don't need to worry or try to work for his grace. We just need to give back. And the way we give back is simple. We love. So, this year my focus is to live simply.