i've spent the first month of the year getting quiet. prayerfully processing the lessons of 2017, and preparing myself for what awaits me in 2018. to be completely honest, 2017 threw me for all kinds of loops. it seemed like for every win, there was a challenge right around the corner. while i'm grateful to have come through it, i had to really sit with the resonating emotions in order to get the lessons. as i thought about this new year, i didn't pull out a planner or make a vision board. i honestly didn't know where to start with visioning or planning. i booked a ticket to Italy for a solo trip, and for seven days, i gave myself over to wonder and food-and-wine-induced pleasure.
i moved from rome to naples to florence, and then back to rome. eating delicious meals without repentance, and drinking wine and espresso with gusto and abandon. taking the train from city to city, relying on the kindness and directions of strangers when i got lost. making friends over food and drink. admiring the views of beautiful Italian men. shopping. lighting candles and sprinkling my forehead with holy water inside of old churches. praying on the banks of the Mediterrenean. walking to sites, some of which i visited more than once, just to have my breath taken again and again.
so, instead of planning and crafting a vision board, i started my year off with a personal ode to the strength that is mine. i talked to God all day because i didn't have to entertain anyone else. and in those moments of moving and stillness, i asked God for a different kind of year. and in 27 days, God is already moving.
and i wrote this blessing down. to speak over myself. and i pass it on to you now. use it. speak it over yourself. declare it in the name of all that is holy.
and may your 2018 be your best year. ever.
a blessing for 2018.
may this be the year that changes everything.
may you rise to the call of your purpose and take your seat at the gate of your post. may the Spirit anoint you. completely. and may you walk in that oil, to the blessing of the People and the demolition of every oppressive power and principality.
may you cut loose your stammering and silent tongue. may the powers know the sound of your voice and the poignance of your truth. may you not shrink from your call to proclaim what God has placed in you to proclaim to the nations. may your steps be ordered. may your days and your time be maximized. may your work be blessed.
may you slay every giant. may you allow the Lord to fight the battles that are beyond your strength and ability. be still and know that God is God and you are not, and God WILL perform signs and wonders.
may your desecrated sites be restored. may your tears be transformed into dancing. may you be utterly filled with joy, and may your joy emanate to the orphan, the widow and the one who has no hope.
may you find and take rest. may your body be healed. may your heart be liberated to love. may the love you desire be made manifest in you. may you recognize that it is a sacred pearl, never to be thrown before swine. may you give it only to those most deserving. may you love the ones you’re called to lead.
may your enemies flee.
may your family be harmonious and healthy.
may you know pleasure. may your body be pleased. your belly full. your mouth full of laughter. may you go places you’ve not been, and see things you’ve not seen. your hope deep, and your vision piercingly clear. may you serve where pleasure and sufficiency are lacking.
this time next year, may you look back and rejoice for the beautiful journey. with hands raised, may you know that you’ve come this far by faith, for the fame of the name of Jesus.