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Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Do you ever feel like your pilot light has gone out? Like the spark that once fueled your passion, clarity, and energy has been dimmed under the mental load of motherhood? Perhaps it’s the need to make 1 million decisions a day (so many decisions!) that causes you to never really feel confident you’re doing it right. Maybe you are in a season where you feel you are not showing up well for yourself or others; just going through the motions, trying to get to the end of the week. That is about to change because we’re declaring this the year of new things. A new season needs a new strategy, and we choose wild, contagious hope. Hope is not a passive exercise in wishing; it’s an active approach to living life engaged. Hope is generative. In Proverbs 13:12 we read, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Hope provides clarity, vision and vitality. Looking at the adversity and division that seems to be seeping into the fabric of our culture, hope offers another option – the opportunity to see new paths and ways of living that we might not have considered before. It reminds us that we can make a positive difference in our families and communities and that tough times will not paralyze us. Hope requires courage and trust because to see the new thing God is doing likely means going into the wilds – paths that take us through uncomfortable places and challenges that nourish our deepest longing. God is doing something new, and we can get our hopes up. It’s time for Wild Hope.

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BE OPEN TO RECEIVE

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

Mark 10:51

Moms are notoriously brilliant at caring for others, but when we get tapped out, we often try to dig our own wells instead of drinking from the stream God has provided. But this is going to be a year where we practice receiving. It means drinking from the stream in the desert, eating the manna provided, accepting help when needed, saying yes to Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and trusting in God’s power. This is the year of letting go of the belief that we must manage every detail and over-analyze every decision. Instead, we will be open to trusting that God will provide at the moment we most need it. 

Jesus frequently asked people, “What do you want me to do for you?” . It’s a complicated question, right? When was the last time you thought about what you REALLY want deep in your soul? When you don’t have clarity, it’s easy to live untethered – to have a life ordered and prioritized by others telling you what you should want. Is it possible that with all the choices available to us, we have lost focus and are chasing a thousand different ways of doing life because we have no idea what we really want and need? Does your life align with your values? This year, we will get clear about what we want for our families and make room to receive the new rhythms, habits, and opportunities God offers. This is the year of trusting God to guide our decisions, calm our anxious searching and free us from believing it’s all up to us.

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BUILD ENDURANCE

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5

Endurance helps us discover the secret of contentment, which is the ability to find hope in any situation. It is tempting to outsource the growth process, to take the easiest route, but the advancement never lasts. Stop waiting for enough confidence or motivation to take action, motivation comes from action. We must do the uncomfortable work by showing up and putting in the reps, building the habits and developing discipline. This is how we are reminded that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we are doing it wrong. Instead, it’s an opportunity to endure, build character and rediscover hope.

In order to build endurance, we are going to: Get outside __________.

our house.

our routine.

our fears.

our head.

our circumstances.

our control.

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LIVE PASSIONATELY

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Choosing passion means living fully committed. We are all asked to do more than we can do. Every hero and heroine of the Bible does more than they thought was possible – Peter walked on water, Sarah had a baby even though it was biologically impossible, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survived a fiery furnace and Moses stood in the middle of a sea trusting God to part the water. The story of God is filled with passionate and flawed people who God used to do impossible things. What if this is the year you pursue risky obedience and passionately go all-in with God?

Living passionately also means accepting the new thing God asks you to step into while simultaneously enjoying what you’ve already been given. It’s about living your normal everyday life beautifully and audaciously. What do you want your kids to remember about their childhood? Do more of that. What would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Today is the day to start. Why not let loose your inner hugging person, even if you’ve tamped her down in social settings before? Why not wear the pants you didn’t think you could pull off? Enjoy your work and view it as a blessing – do it with all your might. Don’t just make it through the day; add a little romance. Why not go for it? Your life has been given to you as a gift from God; it doesn’t always have to be serious and high-stakes – go and enjoy it.

Are you ready for the wild and passionate life God has for you? Are you excited to discover new things about yourself? To loosen your grip on control so you can be open to receive? It’s time to face your limits in the wilds and come out on the other side with stories to tell.

 

Let's go! It’s time for Wild Hope!

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