I can hardly believe 2013 is coming to a close. It’s been a good year, most especially punctuated by the birth of our third child in January. After a quick labor and an all-natural waterbirth (I share just a bit about the experience here, if you’re interested), she joined our family with great joy. She has been such a welcome addition and has added light and life to all of us with her sweet demeanor. It has been an incredible blessing to watch her grow this year, and we look forward to celebrating her first birthday shortly!
And now I’m looking ahead to 2014 with excitement (placing an order for a new planner ASAP) and a bit of sadness. Sadness that the baby’s first year is coming to a close, that another year is winding down, that the hands of time never slow their onward march, and yet excitement for a fresh start and all that the coming year holds. There are new habits I’d like to instill, new things I’d like to learn, books I’m aiming to devour, skills I want to hone. I have aspirations for my husband, goals for my children, and wild hope for the new home we’re building. But more than that, there is a word that’s been echoing in my mind. It’s the banner over all my other plans for this new year.
I’ve been meditating a bit on the word serve, and this morning, as I opened Philippians and read through the first two chapters the words of chapter 2:1-11 jumped off the page.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (4) not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (5) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
(6) Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
(7) rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
(9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
(11) and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
And so I’ve chosen serve as my banner for this new year. I want to cultivate an attitude of service done in love toward my husband and my children. I want to be open to the ways I can serve the needs of others. I want to do less out of selfish ambition and more out of humility; and I want to do it all with an attitude of joy, void of grumbling or complaining.
As any mother knows, the very role of motherhood is defined by servanthood, and yet if I’m honest with myself, I frequently serve the needs of my family with a begrudging spirit. That’s certainly not the atmosphere I want to foster in my home, thus the crux of this matter needs to take root in my heart. As Proverbs 14:1 says: “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
So here’s to 2014 and all that it holds, dear friends! I look forward to sharing more of this new year with you right here on this little space, and I hope that 2014 holds promise and growth for each of you.
Have a word for the new year? Share your word or a few specific resolutions in the comments. I’d love to celebrate the coming new year and all that it promises with you!