Resolve to live in love…{New Year’s BREAKOUT series, Part 1}

ICE Copyright 2013 Sheila KimballSHIMMER Copyright 2013 Sheila KimballSHED IN SNOW Copyright 2013 Sheila KimballThe New Year 2013 has dawned bright and cold, and as I glance out the French doors I see a carpet of white spread shimmering and crusty across the expanse of yard all the way to the edge of the woods.

And I put some ice on my achy shoulder, wrap a down throw around me and shudder because try as I might I really don’t like winter very much at all. Seems to be harder each year on my 50-something muscles.

But for as much as I dislike the Ole Man, I do love January.

Not only is it a quiet time after the hubbub of the holidays, but the first month of the year is all shiny bright newness, with nothing to look back on that hurts or disappoints. Full of hope and possibilities and dreams waiting to wake up.

It’s too early for mistakes that somehow always turn into life lessons.

Too early for regrets over resolutions not kept.

Too early for any lingering sadness over another year gone, but perhaps not truly lived.

So, I forgive winter it’s biting cold temperatures, pour some steaming Irish Breakfast into my tea mug, and turn to Him who can warm the coldest of hearts. And sometimes my heart is chilly. Like the other night.

But today the sun is shining and the Son is rightly on His throne and my thinking turns to how I can please Him more in this New Year. For living a life that pleases the Lord is my most significant resolution.

Yes, I think of other things too, like committing to those yoga stretches daily which can help me avoid these awful muscle spasms, and finishing Aurora.

But my resolve stands firmly first on becoming more like Jesus, that precious, perfect God-man who died to take away my sins and set me free. And to become more loving.

God’s Word tells me that those whom the Son has set free are free indeed.

So why do I sometimes feel imprisoned? Could it be my own lack of love?

I don’t have all the answers to those questions and you may have your own unanswered ones, but I am convinced that when we feel as if we are behind bars that there comes a moment of reckoning when we can’t stand it any longer and we are ready to BREAKOUT.

And that is our word for the year at Longings End in 2013.

BREAKOUT.

I have asked the Lord that this will be the year we BREAKOUT of everything that holds us back: the past, old hurts, doubts, fear and negativity; and that our writing here at Longings End {and even our business writing site} — which points to Him — will BREAKOUT into the world, helping others BREAKOUT of the chains that bind by touching hearts with healing and hope through His perfect love.

His. Perfect. Love.

Oh Lord, help me to love the way You love. And help me love you more so that I may serve you better.

Because no matter what I do in life and no matter how well I may carry it out, if I do not have love, I amount to nothing at all and I achieve precisely nothing.

And when we are unloving, we wind up the most empty come December 31.

So it makes sense to me to take stock of how well I love by turning to the words of His love letter expressed in 66 books where 393 scriptures mention, or contain, the word love.

Live your lives in love—the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us in sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2

I need to give myself up more, especially in those moments when exhaustion strikes or sleeplessness threatens my sanity. I give myself up by lifting Him up, and keeping Him there.

By asking Him to show that avenue of escape which always exists no matter what temptations I face. And by asking Him to give me the will to follow Him out of it.

And I purpose to remember the verses in 1 Corinthians 13: Love is slow to lose patience, no matter how quickly I might get irritated. Love has good manners, even when I feel grouchy.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Love can outlast anything. Even a long, cold sleepless night! Even worries over paying bills. And difficult people. Or health concerns. All those pesky arrows hurled our way which try us and test us, yet ultimately help us to grow.

And this lifetime on earth is one long lesson in learning to love well. I re-read words written by John.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
John 15:9-14

Everything hinges on loving God and loving others well, no matter what I may accomplish in my multi-faceted life. So long as I keep improving in this great task of loving well then I shall be successful when 12 months have come and gone.

Lord, let me resolve to abide in the greatest of these, love…

~sheila

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9 thoughts on “Resolve to live in love…{New Year’s BREAKOUT series, Part 1}

  1. Love your word for the year, I’ll be praying God helps you to BREAK OUT in all area’s needed.

    He gave me the word DEPENDENCE for 2013. Please keep me in your prayers as I learn to depend more on Him each day. God bless.

    • “No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on
      everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As
      long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment
      awaits us. Feelings may change, and will change with our changing
      circumstances; doctrines and dogmas may be upset; Christian work may
      come to naught; prayers may seem to lose their fervency; promises may
      seem to fail; everything that we have believed in or depended upon may
      seem to be swept away, and only God is left, just God, the bare God, if I
      may be allowed the expression; simply and only God.” ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

      Thanks TC. I’m praying for you, too.