Faithfulness— I chose this as my word for 2021.
Dictionary.com defines faithful as:
strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
reliable, trusted, or believed.
adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.
But, what does faithfulness mean to me?
It’s the model I see from God Himself. Therefore, I want to apply it to all the areas of my life (in this order):
*In my relationship with God
*In my marriage
*In my mothering
*In my health (physical, emotional and mental: we call this, “self-care”)
*In my calling
*In my relationships
So why did I choose faithfulness for this year?
As 2020 came to a close (BYE FELICIA) I was growing restless. I sensed that it was time to spread my wings beyond what I had been doing and “do more” with my gifts and my story. But I was scared.
I was also a newlywed—finally. Happily—blissfully, actually. I didn’t want to mess it up by making a change!
Linc was finally showing some real growth, largely due to the security that came from our marriage and his new daddy moving in and being with him even more consistently.
I was searching for answers to get some of my body-image struggles in check (for good, but was that a thing!?).
I wanted to make sure my friendships and family ties remained secure as I joined my life to D. My widowhood season was so sweet for these relationships and I feared how this new change would affect them. I was also now framily to more people I loved dearly and wanted to have room for.
The thoughts of doing all of this “well” with great hopes and expectations of the new year left my head spinning. And I’m pretty sure I was sweating.
And then, the still small voice spoke the peace my heart needed:
How does faithfulness matter in the every day?
The answer was never to “do more” but to be faithful in the doing of the things I knew God had called me to.
My relationship with God has always been the anchor that kept me steady despite the current of my life. How would I pursue Him in fresh ways this year? What practices would I put (or keep) in place to put the first things first? (More on reading the bible, here).
He called me to become D’s wife. What a high privilege. I wanted to be faithful to show him love, attention, affection and grace daily. [Hear more about him, from him, in His Side of Our Story With Donny Bender – 002]
He made me Lincoln’s mama. He’d carried us through such hard days and now we were in a new thriving season. How could I champion him in this era?
I was anxious and ready to launch The Julie Bender brand, but there was so.much.to.do. I could be frozen in the overwhelm, or, I could list out the things I knew He put on my heart and strive to check them off, one at a time, even if one item took days or even weeks to accomplish. Forward movement mattered, not perfection.
If I was going to be a faithful follower of Jesus, wife to D, #boymom to Linc, a healthy woman, a focused writer + podcaster and a present friend I needed to pursue faithfulness, not perfection.
The answer is never to “do more” but to be faithful in doing the things God has called you to.Julie Bender
Intentionality over speed.
The motivation matters more than the method. Or the final output.
Faithfulness is in the doing, not about the doing.
I don’t have to have all the answers. I have to make the right next move, whether it’s making my husband a sandwich, reading a book with Lincoln, taking a walk to clear my mind, or sharing boldly about my story.
For some reason looking at it this way—as a journey of a collection of faithful steps instead of arriving at what’s considered successful (in any area) takes the pressure off.
Want to hear more about me? Check out my podcast!
So, this year (and always) may I be counted as faithful. ♥️
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. …fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” [from Rom 12:1-2 MSG]
I’ll be sharing more about how I intend to practice this in each of these six areas.
What was your word or verse for 2021? Is there another area you’d like me to consider faithfulness for and write about? Comment below or email me!!
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