In February 2018, I enjoyed a vision board night with a group of ladies that I love dearly. We listened to inspiring music while creating our vision boards. If you’re not familiar, a vision board is a collage of images put together and displayed to help organize one’s personal life goals. It is a way to create a visual to make goals more tangible than abstract. It’s a great idea and a great tool to place your goals in front of you daily so that you may maintain your focus. We were encouraged to keep the vision boards posted somewhere as a reminder of where they would like to go. I created a vision board, framed it and hung it. The vision board turned out to be a great instrument for me personally because it was hung where I could see it every morning and night. I found myself looking at it each night and thinking about how I spent my day. What did I do today to achieve what is on my vision board? I did each night what most of us do at the end of each year. I cannot express enough how much this helped me gain perspective.
Each night I look at my 2018 vision board, and I think not only on my day, but also about the year. I think about the good and the bad. I think about all that is on the vision board that I have achieved. I praise the Lord for I know that my accomplishments are only because of His empowering spirit in me. Thinking back on this year, of course, I also see where I failed and what I did not accomplish on my board. This year is different when I think on these things because I do not feel like a failure. Instead this year, I praise the Lord for the things that seemingly didn’t work out too because I know that it was all in the Lord’s plan and according to His timing. I truly believe that the vision board encouraged not only trust in the Lord, but it offered a renewed hope daily. It served as a reminder.
When a year comes to a close, I think we generally look back on our successes and our failures. Many times a year ending brings on soul searching and great emotion, good and bad. Hopefully, we can look back and see the blessings in both. As you may know, I have taken the last few months off from blogging and social media. I felt the Lord leading me into a time of being still and quiet. By nature, I am not that person. I move non-stop and have a lot to say. However, when the verse from Exodus 14 kept showing up in my life, I decided I needed to be obedient. Since I am someone that never stops moving and always has something to say, my quietness and stillness may be misinterpreted by some. However, I trust the Lord in the obedience of stillness and I have peace about it. Exodus verse 14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I feel this verse so deeply in my spirit during this season of my life. I have been experiencing an illness since the beginning of August. It is clear to me that between the “be still” verse and the health issues, the Lord wishes for me to slow my roll. I have no idea why I need to be still. Okay, well, maybe I do know, but just cannot accept the correction of my too much/too fast life pace. I do not know what battle the Lord is fighting for my family. I just know that He is working something out for us that we cannot see. I could spend this season wondering what is happening, but that would not be a beneficial use of this down time. Of course, I wondered at first, but I quickly moved past that to accepting and being open to God’s purpose for this season. It’s like a jump start on the year-end review that we all do.
This year-end review has brought me back to really looking at my 2018 vision board. The center of my vision board included two items that I think are key in this season, my focus verse and my focus word for 2018. My focus verse is Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew a right spirit within me.” My focus word is confidence. As I exist in the “be still” season, these have come back to the forefront. My dear Jesus has created, made something new out of the old heart, and He has repaired my spirit. This year has been about a bathing and renewal that comes only from demolition and rebuilding. A remodel would not do the job that needed to be done in me. Through this a confidence was built. Not a confidence in myself, but in the Lord that can make something completely new from something that has been demolished. This last portion of this journey, the time of quietness is about finishing the work (Philippians 1:6) that my Lord started in the beginning of the year.
One translation of Exodus 14:14 says, “hold your peace”. So in the midst of everything, I am holding my peace by being quiet, and I am holding my peace by holding onto Jesus and His promises. This is a season of spending time with the Lord, leaning in for His word, for everything He has to say to me. It has also been a time of finding myself, really finding my identity. My experience is that when we get caught up in the daily demands of life, we not only lose sight of the most important relationship, the relationship with Jesus, but we also lose ourselves. It took the Lord’s demolition and rebuilding process throughout this year to help me find Him and my identity in Him.
As I finish out the year in stillness, I encourage you each to take some time during this Advent season to also be still and be quiet. As one translation of Exodus 14:14 says, stay calm and hold your peace. Step outside the noise and fray of a busy holiday season, to stay calm and do not lose your peace. Take the time to think not only about your accomplishments and failures, but think on how Jesus showed up in each of these. May you experience an immense boost in gratitude and a time of praise as you be still!
I look forward to a new year and sharing a new vision board as well as all that I have learned during this season.
Look for an “official” blog re-launch From the Ash Heap in 2019!
Merry Christmas to you all! May you be blessed beyond measure!
©2018 Amanda BordnerFollow my blog with Bloglovin