Our church has a motto verse each year and it's a really helpful thing to go back to over the course of the year - just to help guide, and remind, and renew and inspire afresh.
It's such a privilege to have some time off at the end of a year to take the chance to reflect on what the last twelve months have been and look ahead to the next 12.
God has been kind beyond measure, faithful as only he can be, and has provided and sustained more than we could even have imagined we needed. I think 2015 is going to be so much bigger and better and harder and more challenging than any other year so far and I really feel like I need something, something I've written down, something others can remind me of, something to turn to through wherever this next part of the journey takes us, as a family. A motto, if you will.
In a word I want to spend 2015 being thirsty. I want God to keep me thirsty when I feel quenched and I want so much for the Holy spirit to quench that thirst when I feel parched.
I've been meditating on Psalm 143 and the psalmist says in verse 4 'So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.'
And then in v.6 - I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. And he asks in v.10 - 'Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit, lead me on level ground.'
And I pray that would be my story this next year.
So that, when we, God-willing meet our new baby boy, and feel overwhelmed with joy, we would still be thirsty for God. And if that doesn't turn out how we are expecting that our thirst will not die.
That when cancer treatments turn out as they will, we would still be thirsty for God.
That when I need to finish work and feel unsure about my identity changing and giving up the source of so much of my (wrongly sourced) self worth, I would still thirst for God more than that.
That when marriage feels hard and we don't have the time to do whatever we want, when we want, and I am selfish in how I love Steve, that I would thirst for the holy spirit to change all that in my life.
That when the sleepless nights and constant crying and tiredness and hard work feel like it might tip me over the edge - I would ask desperately in those moments to be filled at the well that never runs dry.
That when the future seems uncertain - where we might live, what jobs we might do, how our finances will or won't stretch - that we would thirst for the Holy Spirit more than answers to our questions.
That when the ache of being away from my family hurts deep and bad, and I just wish my mum and dad were around, that I would thirst to know the Father's love more than to be with them.
That in the delights and joys and celebrations as well as the tears and suffering of next year we wouldn't ever be too full of good stuff to stop thirsting for the better stuff.
That when I'm so full of myself and my pride, that there is no room to thirst, that I would thirst then more desperately than at any other time. This one should be right at the top hey?!
This sounds very idealistic, I know - but that's why it's here - so I can remind myself and you can remind me - when I'm failing before I even start.
Help me thirst, that I may know the gush of life and hope and fulfillment that can only come from You.