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Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Word 2017 - Light

Last year I focused on "Truth." I felt like I was set free from many of my self-made prisons of shame, guilt, and insecurities.

This year, my one little word focus is "Light."

I want to thoroughly explore two sides of the word "Light."

For several months now, I am drawn to the creation story in the Bible, and fascinated by how God separates light from darkness - twice - during creation alone. We have this puzzle for our kids, and I have spent many moments feeling like God is trying to show me something big in the wooden numbers and the way the 1 and the 4 both show God's strong desire to bring light into the world - physically.

I have spent a few years now knee deep in Romans and walking through the book of Romans with some discipleship groups I learn from and lead. This year, I want to dig hard into the book of John and learn more about the character and life of Jesus himself, and I was struck at how that book begins:

John 1:1- 13
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is creation, and the beginning, and Jesus, and light. In HIM was life - and the life was the LIGHT of men. Verse 4 alone trips me up. Jesus brought life - Jesus was and is life - and His life brings and is light. This makes me feel confused, and curious, happy, and excited, like I'm about to stumble on a big secret I never fully understood before.

The word "Light" also implies and means - "not heavy." The Erykah Badu song "Bag Lady" plays through my head when I think about this and I hear her voice saying, "Bag gone hurt yo back...Pack light...pack light..."

I want to get better at not being weighed down by mental/emotional/spiritual burdens that are not mine. Too often I carry in my head and heart shame that is not mine, worries that are not mine, and burdens that are not my responsibility or my ability to control. I also want to focus on ridding myself of the weight of the over-accumulation of stuff - clothes, papers, furniture, all the junk that we "clean up," but don't really even need. I want to live a life where I only carry what is mine to carry - and I can happily lay the rest down at the feet of Jesus. I want to live a life of minimalism, and clear out the junk that clutters my home and my mind. I want to leave 2017 with LESS stuff than I have begun the year owning - less stuff, and more LIGHT in all the dark spaces of my life.

Matthew 11: 28- 30
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

His goal for me is not that I am weighed down by heaviness constantly - but that I would be able to rest in Him, so that I take on His yoke, with a light burden.

I want to do a word study on "light" and dig into the verses that explain it. These are just a few:

I am seeking light this year. Light that shines in the darkness - and the darkness has not overcome it. I find this "one little word" to be so much better for me than resolutions. This word becomes a thought process I can pick up and lay down. I can research it and apply it to multiple areas of life. Do you have a one word focus this year? I'd love to hear about it! 

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