I LOVE the beginning of a new year!!! Doesn’t matter if it’s a school year (with all those shiny, new notebooks and pencils) or the beginning of a new calendar year (with a brand new desk blotter – BE STILL MY SOUL – or a fresh, blank, spiral notebook calendar to flip through)!
Good Golly Miss Molly, the possibilities seem ridiculously and beautifully attainable, don’t they?!
And while I’ve never been one for making serious resolutions of all the things I aim to conquer in a year, I AM one for sort picking a theme for my new year.
And, this year, I’m aiming for something I’m calling “authentic integrity’.
(I know. Perhaps placing “authentic” in front of “integrity” seems a bit redundant. But I like the sound of it…!)
It means our actions match our beliefs – regardless of circumstances, situations, people we’re with, even when we’re alone. Integrity basically means that we live a life that shows we ARE who we say we ARE.
Here’s what Merriam Webster has to say about integrity:
Integrity: The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
I like it.
But HERE’S what Jesus has to say about integrity:
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. Matthew 5:8, MSG
I LOVE it. As in TOTALLY LOVE IT.
And so, for me, it’s all about INTEGRITY for 2015.
To help my outside match the inside. To authentically be the person God created me to be, in all situations, all circumstances, and with all people. And to experience God on the inside AND the out.
Why? Well, so that Jesus would see me and say, “She’s the real deal; she’s My girl through and through.”
So that I would be the kind of person other people see and be drawn where that peace, joy, and love truly comes from.
So that I would immerse myself in what He teaches and seriously BE those hands and feet I’m always spouting off about in the places and spaces in which He intends for me.
So that I keep the boundaries God helps me to set through prayerful conversations with Him, and to avoid giving in when the world (or my fickle flesh) tells me I “need” to bend a little for fame, attention, glory, or even to avoid the dreaded “guilt of saying NO”…
I know you hear me, you people pleasers out there.
And YOU, you folks who are convinced that “perfection” is THE way to happiness. You know I’m striking a chord with you, too.
And YOU, who are afraid to fail at something because you fear the shame of not living up to what you said you could/would do. Your ears are perking up right about now, amen?
And YOU. The one who forgets that saying “no” is just as wonderful as saying “yes” when God has actually intended that “yes” to go to someone else.
Yeah. This Year of Integrity is for YOU. And for ME. Because I struggle with ALL that stuff up there and more. I honestly do.
Our overriding theme is simple, authentic, Godly integrity. We’ll be learning simple, scripture-based ways of balancing the demands of our days with the desires of our souls. Calibrating what we can handle to what God has called us to do. Developing an integrity about ourselves we’ve been craving but, until now, have unable to name or even put our finger on.
So what are we going to do about it?! I’m so glad you asked!
Here’s what’s on tap for the first half of 2015:
January 31-February 1, 2015: I have the privilege and honor to be leading the Revive 2015 Women’s Retreat in Itasca, Illinois! We’ll be delving into the “how’s” of stepping into the unforced rhythms of grace promised to us by Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30! Click here for registration information – but hurry because the registration deadline is January 5th and only a few spots remain!
February 2015-May 2015: Stringing Pearls Bible Studies here in Suburban Chicago (we’re calling it GracePace!) Stay tuned for more information on this 10 week study using fresh material from Stringing Pearls with Wendie AND a new book by Lysa TerKeurst called The Best Yes! Here’s a sneak peak of our logo and theme for winter/spring:
Lent 2015 (mid-February-end of March 2015): GracePace online video series! I am SO excited about sharing with you a “first” for me and Stringing Pearls Bible Study Ministry! We will be jumping online to do a 7-week, video-based, Lenten Bible Study in conjunction with the wonderful Mayslake Ministries! More information will be available here soon, along with the video links throughout Lent!
“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” ~ Chuck Swindoll
YES!!!! That’s what I’m going for. How about you?
(How could you NOT love a quote about “crack jack clean living”?! COME ON.)
Happy 2015, sweet friends! BRING. IT. ON.
With all the love and integrity of He who lives in me,