I am a woman who loves to find the ‘theme’ in things. If I am going to a conference, I want to know what the theme is going to be. If I am working on a presentation I stay true to my chosen theme. When I am preparing for a new homeschool year I choose a theme to work around and arrange all our learning off of that theme (this year our theme is Middle Ages). Similarly, when it is time for a new year, I want a theme. I want to know what Jesus intends to teach me and what the focus of my spiritual growth will be. Instead of choosing my own theme, like I do with most everything else, I have learned that Jesus likes pick my theme. Therefore, every year around December, I start to pray and ask Jesus to reveal to me what the theme of the year is that He has chosen.
I began this tradition 2 years ago. I was tired of making resolutions and then failing at them just a few weeks into the new year. I learned about praying to Jesus and asking for His theme from a friend and I decided to give it a shot. The first year I prayed for my theme, I listened carefully to His response. I heard “Restoring the Joy”. Let me tell you that that year was anything but joyful. It was a year fraught with loss, pain, grief and heartache. At the end of the year I asked Him to make it clear why in the world he would call this the year of “restoring the joy”? His reply was startling and not at all what I expected. You can read that story at my personal blog http://www.littlebirdflies.wordpress.com under December 2014.
Last year, I asked again for Jesus theme for my year and I heard “Celebration”. I was excited to find out how Jesus would teach me about celebration and boy did He ever! He started out by teaching me to celebrate small victories. Keeping my kitchen clean, getting my son enrolled with an OT, or reading my bible at some point everyday were all reasons for celebration. Over the year, I also had a lot of large things to celebrate. I met my future husband, my autistic son has improved socially and physically, my financial situation has improved immeasurably and at every turn I am able to celebrate Jesus love in deeper and more intimate ways.
This year I asked for my theme. Sometimes, I have to wait a while before I hear His voice but this year almost immediately I heard the word “Growing”. Oh WOW, He hit that one on the head! My family will be growing from 3 children to 8 when I join my life with my fiancé who has 5 kids. My skills will be growing as I complete my book. Our children will be growing both physically and emotionally as they adjust to our new normal. Our home will grow as we are looking for a place to live. My heart and my love will grow as we merge our lives together. I can only imagine at this point all the other ways in which growing will happen in 2016. I trust Him to show me, to grow me and to love me through it all. I find that having Jesus theme at the forefront of my thoughts all through the year helps me to grow closer to Jesus personally. I have also introduced our children to the idea and many of them are eagerly awaiting to hear their Jesus theme for the year too.
I encourage you to ask Jesus what His theme is for you this year. It is really quite simple. Just set aside some quiet time to pray and listen actively. Listen for his theme and then consecrate your coming year with Him. At the end of the year you can also ask Him to reveal any last words regarding the previous years theme that He wants to reveal. Keep a theme journal through the year that you can record how He comes through, Bible verses He gives you and what you learn.
When He tells you I’d love to hear about it!