Did you set New Year resolutions for 2016? I promised myself to eat less sugar, to keep up with exercising, to be more "present" in daily life with the kids, to continue my daily Bible readings, to always say kind words to my husband... all the good things that most of us try to make a priority on a daily basis. But outside of the standard resolutions, I challenged myself with a word of the year. My theme for the year, if you will. Not quite as cool as a theme song (mine is "Gangsta's Paradise" if you were wondering), but a word that (you hope) truly defines the upcoming year for you.
For me, in 2016, that word is plant. Literally, figuratively, this is the year that I'm ready to plant myself into the ground and set some roots.
On one level, this is the year that David and I will finally set roots for our little family. After moving from our first house almost four years ago, we weren't sure where we would settle down. We bounced around metro Atlanta and rented in a couple of different cities. Even once we moved to our current area, we weren't sure we'd stay. So we didn't really invest in the community as much as we truly wanted- we didn't want to set roots and then have to leave. But now, we've bought land, we're building a house and we're ready to set roots. I believe that we'll be in this town for the rest of our lives and we are so excited to plant ourselves down and get settled in. Join a church, participate in local charities, all that good kind of stuff that makes the city you live in your home. We're ready this year!
On another level, this will also be a year of literally planting for us. Now that we're the proud owner of over 17 acres, my hippie farm life homesteader dream will start to become a reality as we grow ourselves a little farm. We're planning a huge garden, which I. am. so. excited. about. We'll start phase one of the garden this spring (and share here on the blog, of course!) and eventually our goal is to be pretty self-reliant on our own land. A full veggie garden, fruit trees and bushes and maybe even some small animals like goats and chickens for milk and eggs. And it all starts this spring with a little gardening. David and I are such dorks- most nights, you can find us curled up with gardening 101 books or Georgia horticultural books or my gardening Pinterest board. We are so excited about this new adventure!
On a third level, I just finished the book of Matthew and the Parable of the Sower really struck me. In Chapter 13, Jesus tells his followers about a time when a farmer went to sow some seeds. Some fell on rocky soil and, while the plant grew quickly, the roots didn't set and the plant quickly died. Other seeds fell among thorns and were quickly choked and taken over. Other seeds fell on good soil and those plants thrived. The seeds on the rocky soil are like someone who hears God's word and is overjoyed, but, without a solid root, their joy and walk with God only lasts for a short while. The seeds that fell on thorns are like someone who receives God's word, but lets other worldly things get in the way, making their journey unfruitful. Finally, the seeds falling on good soil represent someone who hears His word and understands it. As Jesus says, one who hears God's word and understands it produces a crop, yielding a hundred times what was sown. I think that is such a good metaphor not only for people and their walk with God, but for any task you take on in life. Let's see if I can explain myself here. I think this parable explains that it's important for you to take things on in your life wholly, while fully understanding, hearing and committing to them. Give whatever you set your sights to good roots, make sure you don't let thorns take it over. Plant your faith and your dreams in good soil and you'll go far. That's what I take from Chapter 13 and Jesus' parable. And this year, I really want to live that.
So, there it is: PLANT. I'm really excited for 2016 and to see what it has in store for us.