It All Starts With Jesus

jesus-more

Hi Everyone. I hope you had a hope-filled Christmas, even if you’re in the midst of grief, loneliness, or confusion. Perhaps even burdened with shame or fear. Life isn’t always easy, is it? I have been thinking of you all, whether I know you in person, online, or not at all. I hope each of you may find this place a safe haven and a harbor of hope. Know you are always welcome here. I continue to pray for you, knowing God knows each one of you and not one of you is out of His reach. May 2017 be a year filled with the unconditional love and the sufficient grace of Jesus for each of you!

For three years now, I have chosen a “One Word” and tried to focus on it throughout the year. To trust God more fully. To follow Him more devotedly. To open the broken places in my heart to His healing love and grace. Each action is not confined to a single year but is a continual learning process in life’s journey.

Now it is the beginning of another year, and I prayed about what word I should choose. So many words fought for my attention. As I struggled as to which one God wanted me to choose, questions pummeled at me. Why do I always pick words that involve something “I” need to “do?” Yes, we are called to be active, not passive, in seeking for God, but… Why don’t I concentrate more on just resting in God’s arms of love and grace? Why don’t I focus more on Jesus who is the only source of grace that enables me to do anything at all?

“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.”
(Casting Crowns in “Who Am I?”)

So I decided not to pick one word this year. I just want to focus on my life being more about Jesus and His grace. Not about what “I” need to “do” for Him, but about what He has done for me. With John the Baptist, my desire is:

“He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.”
John 3:30

Jesus is the Source of all hope, healing, and freedom. He offers us a bottomless pool of His love and grace. When our hearts are filled with His living water, hope replaces despair. Our wounds are soothed and the ointment of His grace heals our hurts. The chains of shame and insecurity that hold us captive must fall away to the freedom to fly in Jesus.

As I looked back over this past year, I found the most visited post for 2016 was God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness. We so easily see ourselves as cracked pots that are good for nothing, but we need to remember that more light can shine through a cracked pot than a whole one.

So as we head into 2017, let’s remember God uses the broken. And it all starts with Jesus.

Perhaps you are entering this new year with a heavy heart. So many troubles that overwhelm your soul. Hurting? Rejected? Alone? Does it feel like your hopes are crushed and your prayers go unanswered?

God’s heart aches for you even though He may seem so silent and so far away. He has promised to be with you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but He is faithful to His promises.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
hand-of-god
Courtesy of Darrell Creswell

A Child's Trust

Who Am I?
by Casting Crowns

signature3

53 thoughts on “It All Starts With Jesus

  1. Happy New Year, Trudy! As always I love the encouragement here. It is so easy to make it all about what we do so I like your focus on resting in God’s love and grace. Isaiah 41:10 is one of my favourite verses- it’s so reassuring to know that God is right beside whatever we face this year- and I love the Casting Crowns song too. I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lesley. I always love the encouragement at your site as well. I feel like you really understand me. 🙂 Isaiah 41:10 is one of my favorite verses, too! God has encouraged me many a time in my life with it. I hope you have a wonderful 2017, too! May we daily remember God is right beside us through whatever we go through!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Trudy, one thing that you reiterated, God used brokenness in our lives to give us a greater understanding of Him, a purpose. I do know this. The Christian life is not promised to be painless, but even more so, the struggles we do encounter, do, in His timing and our willingness, bring us into something greater than ourselves. In that, we can find our healing and look towards eternity. Happy New Year my writing/blogging friend. May God’s blessings abound.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Coleene. May God’s blessings abound in the new year for you as well. How true that the struggles bring us into something greater than ourselves. Amen. God is always out for our good even when it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. But He will never abandon us. May we find ever deeper healing in Jesus!

        Like

  2. The new year is here! And I do love those questions you asked yourself, Trudy. Powerful and spot on for sure. I’m not a One Word person myself, but I am interested in how people make their choice.

    Thanks for taking us on the adventure …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an encouraging word, my friend. You speak so compassionately and touch many souls with the Truths of His word. I almost didn’t pick a word this year either. I just want more of Him. More consistently and more constantly. Prayer seems to me the only way to fulfill that need. God bless you ,Trudy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First, I love your new banner Trudy! Very pretty, and shows the butterfly entering the heart. It’s like you, entering and resting in Jesus, rather than trying to gain His heart. We don’t have to earn His heart by actions, but trust that He just wants us as is. Thank you for this reminder today. It is what I am learning too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you see in the banner really touches my heart, Lynn. Tears pooled in my eyes. Entering and resting in Jesus, rather than trying to gain His heart. Now it will mean even more to me. 🙂 I thought of it as us being set free to fly because of Jesus’ love, but I love your beautiful insight! It’s a hard lesson to learn that we don’t have to earn His heart by our actions, isn’t it? May we learn this ever deeper! May we rest in His unconditional love no matter what happens!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Trudy, I love these thoughts, and the song that you shared! And, how amazing, to me, that the post you mentioned as your most viewed, started off with that quote by our friend, Joy Lenton. I have been so blessed by the encouraging words that you both have shared over the past year. And I think it is because you have looked so much to what God wants you to find in HIM, and then you so freely share those vulnerable words with all of us. I want to learn more deeply of this, that “He offers us a bottomless pool of His love and grace. When our hearts are filled with His living water, hope replaces despair.” Thank you for bringing encouragement here. Hugs and Blessings my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bettie. I’m glad you were encouraged. I have been blessed by your encouraging words as well! And you understand all the emotions one goes through while dealing with chronic illness. I think for both of us, God has used it to draw us closer to His heart, right? I’m so grateful I “met” you. May we enter this year together and learn ever more deeply of God’s bottomless pool of love and grace!

      Like

  6. “So as we head into 2017, let’s remember God uses the broken. And it all starts with Jesus.” Amen to this, Trudy! My one word last year was “open” but this year I keep seeing the word “wait” everywhere. I think God wants me to learn to wait on Him more and not rush ahead in my own strength. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #MomentsofHope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting that we had the same word last year, Gayl. Great word for this year. Something I certainly need to learn more. I’m so quick to rush ahead in my own strength, too. May we learn to wait with patience and surrender to His plans for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for these beautiful thoughts and for not choosing a word but choosing Jesus as your focus. The reminder that God uses the broken is always one I need to hear. Jesus chooses each one of us to shine His light to others and no special qualifications are needed. Happy New Year and I look forward to where this new year takes us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these encouraging thoughts, Mary. Yes, He needs no special qualifications in us. I needed that reminder. And it’s such a comfort to know He uses the broken, isn’t it? May His love and light fill us and shine forth from the cracks in our brokenness to others!

      Like

  8. Happy New Year, Trudy! I love that you chose a Scripture verse to guide you through the year, and this is an absolutely perfect one. Shouldn’t this, after all, be the goal for each and every one of us?
    God’s blessings to you in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Martha! So true that this should be a goal for every one of us. Jesus more. Me less. I was thinking, too, when I wrote this how John the Baptist always pointed away from Himself and towards Jesus, the Lamb of God. I want my life to be like that. May we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our words and actions pointed towards Him!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Trudy, such a beautiful post. It is interesting how we humans can turn even a simple thing like choosing one word into a “doing” thing. I’m taking your exhortation to heart. As I meditate on my word for the year, I want to make sure it doesn’t become a performance-based thing. Thank you for your transparency as you work through brokenness. And thank you for sharing your wise insights.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I hope I don’t sound like a one word for everyone becomes a “doing” thing. I still struggle sometimes with approval addiction, and I’m afraid it sometimes carries into my relationship with Jesus. I’m trying to just “be” who He wants me to be rather than “do” more so He will love me more or approve of me more. I am on a continuing journey. Sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps back. But I’m still going forward into His unconditional love and free grace. 🙂 May this year be filled with “intentional” steps towards Jesus, not away from Him!

      Like

  10. Hi Trudy,
    First, I LOVE the tweaks you’ve made to your blog header and template — so lovely! And your words are so beautiful too, to rest and appreciate what God has already done for us in our lives. I think to consider him more is the most important thing we can do to start a new year. Happy 2017 to you, dear friend! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Valerie. We so need to rest in Him, don’t we? We have a painting in our bedroom of Jesus walking in the midst of a flock of sheep. He is carrying a lamb, and the lamb is looking at Him so trustingly and devotedly. I want to be like that. It’s hard sometimes though, isn’t it? May we rest in Jesus and His plan for us, no matter how difficult it may be!

      Like

  11. If I have to pick a word, mine would be REST. it’s so easy to strive to try to figure things out or do our own thing… but when we stop and REST in Him, then we can better see His handiwork and know that He is in control. thanks for your post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how true, Karen. To REST in Him is so needed in our lives “to better see His handiwork and know that He is in control.” Thank you for these thoughts. May we learn to rest in Jesus more and more!

      Like

  12. I loved the verse you shared John 3:30.” He must become greater and I must become less and less.” Blessings to you this New Year–visiting from Coffee from your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, theresnoplacelikehome. I’m sorry, but I can’t find your actual name. Do you have a blog? Yes, it’s a great verse. So necessary in our lives. May Jesus become greater in our hearts and lives this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Trudy 🙂 I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and a happy new year too! I love your blog- It looks so pretty!! So good to read your post and connect with you here. I love your thoughts and feel like God is showing me something similar. Though I think my word is Joy this year. I have thought and pondered how joy come only in Him. Like you have written – It is all about Him when I make it so much more and get myself all wrapped up and confused by things. Anyway Thanks for this! I hope to get back to blogging soon. (things here still crazy with dr visits relatives from Japan and kids home from school) sending love and hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susie. It’s great to hear from you. I’ve been wondering how you are and missing your posts. It sounds like you’re awfully busy. Sorry about all the doctor visits, too. You said the kids are home from school. Are you no longer homeschooling? I hope things settle down for you soon.

      I know what you mean about getting ourselves all wrapped up and confused by things. I am always over-analyzing and over-thinking. I get myself in such a frenzy sometimes. It’s mind-boggling that Jesus’ love and grace are so free, isn’t it? I love your word for the year. I, too, want to find more joy this year. And like you said, it comes only in Him! May we together seek for joy in Jesus! Sending love and hugs back to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Trudy! 🙂 I am still homeschooling- I meant our college kids are still here. Yes a few unexpected dr visits for me and then some the kids. Wisdom teeth coming out for one tomorrow since she is home from college! The dr visits get kind of crazy as you go to one and then you have to do a bunch of tests which lead to another dr visit somewhere else and more tests! (and all the while I get behind on my everyday life!) praying God gives me words and time soon. Thanks for the prayers and love! xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s right. I forgot you have college kids. 🙂 I’m so sorry you have to go through so many tests, Susie. I pray God gives you relief and healing! And words and time! 🙂 May God hold you in His loving arms of peace!

          Liked by 1 person

  14. He really is all we need, isn’t He. Your focus is perfect for this year. I have been broken in more ways than I care to admit over this last year, but so thankful to be reminded that God still uses me in my brokenness. It’s really all about Him. Happy New Year Trudy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barbie. I’m sorry you have been broken in so many ways this last year. But yes, God truly does use you in your brokenness. The proof is in your hope-filled posts. They have often blessed me. May we cling to Jesus who has all hope and power in His hands!

      Like

  15. Beautiful thoughts, Trudy. I love how you’ve decided to take the focus of something you need to do this year and place it on Jesus and what HE has done for you (and IS doing for you). Kinda takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? 🙂 It’s interesting that your most-read post from last year is about brokenness … I think mine was too. I totally agree: God absolutely uses us in–and often because of–our brokenness! I’m so thankful for that, and for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lois. Yes, it’s time for me to dwell more on what He has done and is doing for us rather than telling myself I need to “do” more. Yes, it does take the pressure off when I can see it that way. 🙂 It’s interesting that your most-read post was also about brokenness. It shows there are many broken people out there. It boggles my mind how God sometimes uses us more because of our brokenness. I’m so thankful for you, too! 🙂 May God use us in this coming year to His glory and to point broken souls to the hope in Jesus!

      Like

  16. Hi Trudy, Happy New Year to you! My spirits lifted at the sight of your beautiful new banner and background. They add a lively, fresh feel to what is already a really welcoming place to be. I always enjoy the helpful, understanding and encouraging words you share. It can be hard knowing what our focus needs to be for a new year, can’t it? So I am delighted to hear how you’ve found yours—such a beautiful thought to centre first and foremost on what Jesus has done for you! It really is the most important thing.
    I’ve thought and prayed (and agonised a bit), over which word God might suggest I pay attention to this year, and then felt a bit dismayed as I absorbed what it seemed to be. Thankfully, He soon pointed out the positives wrapped up like hidden golden nuggets within it! It’s good to see you writing here again, my friend. Blessings and hugs! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joy. I’m so glad your spirit was lifted and you feel welcome here.🙂 I love your one word for the year. Yes, golden nuggets within it! May we become more and more rooted and established in the love and grace of Christ Jesus!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Trudy! I think choosing what is most meaningful for you is the best thing, and you certainly can’t go wrong with Scripture. Letting Jesus become front and center in your life is a wonderful way to focus on your personal holiness! I think God always wants to lead us, to be the partner we need in our lives. I think he’s pretty excited about your 2017 to come. May he send you every heavenly blessing to accomplish your goal of letting him be ‘more and more’ in your life.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful post, I can definitely relate as I have set my mind on pursing God for 2017. No matter what we may all have faced in 2016, a new year of blessings, promises, and new adventures await us.

    I am very excited for this New Year because it is our year!

    God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Melissa. God bless you, too! I just visited your site. Your painful journey brings tears to my eyes. The devil fights so hard to keep us silent, doesn’t He? I’m so glad God loosed you and gives you a voice to speak out for Him. Yes, no matter what we have faced in 2016, a new year of blessings, promises, and adventures await us! May we cling to Jesus and His unconditional love and boundless grace in this new year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen! I am humbled by your words and I thank you for taking the time to read my story. It has been a painful road to healing, but God has been ever faithful. He shows me glimpses of every single day and I am thankful for the hardships because it is in the most trying times that we are transformed in Him! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!

        I stand with you my sister to claim, declare and decree all that God has for us in this New Year!

        God Bless you!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How true that it is in the trying times that we are more transformed into Him, Melissa. The deeper the valleys we go through, the deeper we learn of His love. He has said we will have troubles in this world, but He will bring us through them and will never abandon us. Yes, let’s stand together for Him! Keep using your voice!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that’s one of your favorite verses, Wendy. It’s so important that He becomes more and more in our lives, isn’t it? I did pop on over to your site and left a comment on your last post. 🙂 May we lean more and more into Jesus as our only Source of hope and grace!

      Liked by 1 person

Your Thoughts Matter!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s