Embracing the New: Practicing Presence in 2015

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This morning, I read Sarah Bessey's new year post about holding fast in 2015, and it reminded me of how faithful God is to speak particular words into particular lives at particular times. What a mercy!

Yesterday I shared on Facebook what my 2014 intentions were:

  • Live loved.
  • Be open to new beginnings.
  • What would I do if I was not afraid?

I have moved past the place where I make resolutions per se, because resolutions make me tired, and I have figured out by now that often what I want and go after is not what I get. I want a more graceful way of being, a more faith-filled way of moving through my days, less demands on my life and more trusting and rootedness. 

I did so very many things afraid in 2015; I kept doing them over and over again. The Reclaiming Eve book was such a challenge to navigate gracefully; saying the hard thing when you know some will disagree often is. Yet it brought life in every place the message was spoken or shared—even in the radio interview that I fell into that was more like a debate, even on the public radio forum where the interviewer may have believed that Christians are crazy, even when those close to me didn't agree with the book. I believe through each interaction, no matter how difficult, something beautiful was being born.

Underneath every conversation or interaction was the reminder: You are the Beloved of God, the one that he loves, the one that he delights in. Everyone else you meet is also Beloved. I returned to his love over and over again. I asked him to open my heart, and wide. I closed my eyes, threw my head back and said, "Jesus has set his daughters free!" I said it so many different ways, with homeless women and successful businesswomen, with female leaders and mature women, with young women trying to find their way, with groups of men and women whose responses I cherish still.

Often I felt like I wasn't doing enough, but of this I'm becoming convinced: showing up to faithfully do what is in front of you is always enough. How many people really show up, fully present, to faithfully do the thing they are engaged in?

So this year, I'm choosing "Presence" as my word.

How can I fully inhabit the moments I am given? (For each moment is a gift.) How can I show up, adding grace, love, and joy to my world? How can I bear witness to the Kingdom of God, the beautiful, messy reality that his Kingdom is advancing, no matter what evidence to the contrary?

Here are my three intentions for 2015:

  • Live loved. (Continuously return to my heavenly Father's view of me as The Beloved.)
  • Practice presence. (How am I present in the right now moment I've been given? Less Facebook, more face time.)
  • Choose to embrace hope and joy. (This must be decided on daily.)

Admittedly, I will also still be "doing things afraid" in 2015. In just nine days, I'll enter occupational laser therapy at the University of Michigan for three weeks. This is an amazing answer to a 15-year prayer to receive further healing for the lymphedema I was born with in my legs. I hope you'll come back for weekly updates on my healing journey. And don't miss this: in January, I'll also be featuring a three-part video interview series with Natalie Wilson Eastman, the author of Women, Leadership and the Bible.

Your turn: What are your intentions in 2015? How will you practice presence in the one life you've been given?

On #ReclaimingEve: “I recommend this resource for every daughter of Eve!”
— Nancy Beach, leadership coach, speaker; author, Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church
Reclaiming Eve Small Group DVD sample here. Includes print Bible study piece. Order here.