(c) RAW Photrography
(c) RAW Photography

“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

– Ephesians 5:14b

2012 was a year of setting priorities. It was a year of making decisions to be the kind of person I wanted to be in the world. That is to say, when 2012 rolled around I found myself spread too thin, giving all of my energies to too many people in too many places, and ultimately not living in a way that reflected what’s most important. So, in 2012 I shifted my focus and made different choices.

I stopped serving out of obligation and guilt, and only said “yes” to the activities and ministries that I could give myself to with a cheerful heart. I challenged myself to soften, and said “yes” to every chance to hang out with my friends and their kids. I disconnected from relationships that ceased to honor God, even when that meant leaving people and a church I’d known for two decades. I wrote with more honesty and vulnerability, and I connected to a group of people who love writing and Jesus and who understand how the two are intimately related. And, ultimately, I prioritized friendships with people who are real, who embrace the grittiness of life without losing God or hope or grace.

I don’t want to stop this in 2013. In fact, I want to do it better. I want to wake up every day paying attention to my life and the people in it. And that’s why my word for 2013 is PRESENCE.

While 2012 was a year of priority-setting for me, 2013 is going to be the year where all the priority-setting plays out. And I want to be present to what the year has to offer, in all the ways I already know it will and in all the ways that it will totally surprise me.

I want to be present to my friends and my family, and to what they’re telling me about who God is through the way that they love me.

I want to be present to my writing, and to the ways that God is weaving Himself in and out of the story I’m telling with my life.

I want to be present to every church I attend as I look for a new place to call home, and to open my eyes to the way God moves in different communities who are gathered in His name.

I want to be present to the moment, and to what God is teaching me about love and grace and mercy and redemption as I walk my days surrendered to His lead.

I want to wake up and attend to the ways that Christ is present with us.

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