As the year was drawing to a close, I was putting much consideration into my word for 2016. For over a month, I contemplated a continuing thought about living the gospel, demonstrating practical Christianity in light of a hurting world and helping the girls (especially the girls, Tree is still young for these concepts) to understand that gospel-living is of utmost priority. (Or, at the very least, I need to be making it priority.) But I was stuck. They were great ideas, but the were not a concise word. And, I need a word--something simple to keep in front of my scattered mind.
I've thrown around several words, all lacking on some level:
diligent--it did not seem to be teen-friendly, and as I said I want my girls to also relate
intent--this word was overdone in these lists a few years ago, by myself and others, and has lost some of its intent
gospel--just put out there that this year was about good news. This was the strongest contender but it wasn't inspiring me to live a certain way or change anything
Then, in a recent sermon, just as He does each year, God drew my attention to my word. The speaker said something about the Magi took the search for the new King seriously, packing gifts and traveling long distances to honour him. He then asked, "Do we take our pursuit of Jesus seriously?"
There was it was! My word. I cannot begin to tell you how many dozens of times a day I hear my teen ask (sarcastically, of course), 'seriously?' Everything about her questions whether we are serious about what we say. It is a teen-friendly word to challenge diligence and gospel-living. It is my challenge for 2016. What will it look like? Here are few things that I hope will take root:
* I want to take my pursuit of God's heart through Bible Study seriously.
* I want to seriously memorize Scripture.
* I want to seriously consider what it means to be the temple of God--and to take serious care of that temple physically, mentally and emotionally.
* I want to open my eyes and heart to the plight of the weak and poor, and seriously pursue doing things that make a difference.
* I want to have serious discussions with my children--about Scripture, about life, about living for Christ in a broken world, about their hopes & dreams.
* I want to take opportunities to have serious discussions with friends and strangers alike.
* I want to live with an intentionality that allows others to see that I take Jesus seriously.
We live in a world of a lot of competing ideologies. I need to be intentional about what my motivations are. My kids will hear ideas and recommendations that sound like edicts from all types of people who take their beliefs seriously. I hope that when my kids look back they can say the same about what they learned at home through both word and deed. This year, I'm taking that mandate SERIOUSLY.