Love begins a new habit…and gives the year a perilous name…

by Craig on January 5, 2012

I can see hearts in the waves. ツ I found 7 - I heart this picture!!

source

I believe there was a prophet…Samuel…
shopping for a new King for Israel a few thousand years ago…
and not even considering the scrawniest son of Jesse.

I believe that Our Lord told him…
“God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart.” (1SAM 16:7)

What if I were to spend a whole year…
not seeing the appearance…
but seeing the heart?

What if I were crazy enough to see everything as Jesus apparently saw things…
life’s trials and opposition as refining fire to make me more like Him…
or as supernatural roadblocks designed to slow down my progress toward the kingdom of God?

What if I saw angels doing good…
and demons up to no good?
Would that be crazy?

What if I saw a spiritual war taking place…
one in which we are the battleground?

source

What if I decided to see leaves falling from a tree as a miracle…

and the chirping of birds as a song written by God?

source

…and the helium ball at the center of our solar system as one too?

What if I decided to see everything with better eyes?

Could I stay consistent?

I named this last year “connect”…
and I connected like never before…
and it brought new joys, and deep heartaches.

Could I commit to a year of “seeing” with better eyes…spiritual eyes?

And could I ask you to hold me accountable?

If I started to see things, or write things in such a way that showed that I wasn’t seeing enough of the eternal in the material world, could I count on you to call me out on it?

Because by now…
after a year of reading you…
and being read by you…

I trust you.

So why not?

source

The year where I see everything as God sees it…
black and white…
no shades of gray…
material and temporal…
touched by the spiritual and eternal?

It would be the year where I lived as if my life were part of eternity – not some separate thing from it.
It’d be a year I’d choose to believe in a primitive way – and be just fine with that.

That means that this more than decade long inability I have to sleep? I’ll pray about it more.

It’ll mean seeing discouragement, doubt, unsubstantiated fear…
as weapons of the Enemy determined to see me, to see us, downtrodden and defeated.

To see spiritual lessons displayed in everything from electricity, to storms, volcanoes, wars, famine, failure, spaghetti, determination, inconsistency, and all of the non-glorious stuff of this earthly life as both the material and glorious spiritual that it is.

It would be the year of seeing everything with better eyes…
the year of seeing everything as God sees it.

It’s a risky proposition…
it means that sometimes I’ll look like quite the hypocrite…
seeing only with earthly eyes.

But love involves risk.
That was my very first post.

So I’m going to take the bold and very public risk…
and it’ll either be a year destined for glory but ending in failure…


…or a year prone to failure…

but destined for glory.

This post was written for last week’s link with Ann – but there was no…

…last week.

And this year that I’ve named.

I was right…

it has been risky.

It has already seen immense darkness…

the other side of the spiritual…

the side with only hatred, fury, and a bitter cold chill…here and here

but it’s also seen the power of prayer to overcome darkness…

and now learning the lessons God intended me to find in that bleak place…

a new year baptized in fire, a new habit forming…

the year has more than just a name…

but it does have a name…

and the new name of this new year…

it’s so seemingly simple…but…

ferociously dangerous…

the new name is…


“see”

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina January 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

I love the name you’ve chosen for this year. Mine is “quiet.” I need to quiet my heart. Great post and I will encourage you along the way:)

Reply

Craig January 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

I may take you up on that encouragement Christina, this one will be in easy one to NOT practice. It’s so easy to see what’s in front of us, the circumstances, the trials, the joys, the tears, to see both THAT and beyond – as I said – it’s risky. Thank you Christina – Godspeed with your year of quieting your heart.

Reply

Stacy January 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

I like this. I will be watching to see how it goes. My word for the year is “gentleness.”

Reply

Craig January 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

gentleness – that’s a good name – I think gentle – and one of the first things I think of is our Lord – and a mama is with her newborn baby – gentle is awesome – but it’s also strong. Godspeed in your year of gentle. And God bless you and all of yours Stacy.

Reply

Hillcrest Cottage January 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

wow. i prayed just this morning that : God would give me “fresh” eyes to see my life in a new way.. to look for all the experiences in which God has preordained for me to walk (Eph. 2: 10)… and … then … your blog appears with the same message… hmmm.
2Cor. 5:7 : We walk by faith, not by sight.”
My year motto is: Finish Strong (Heb. 12;1,2)
i ***love*** year mottos and year verses. i encourage everyone to choose one and repeat it every day of the entire year.

Reply

Craig January 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

one of the things that last year – the one I named “connect” – showed me was how when we’re together, bound together by faith, and intentionally connecting, how God weaves timing together. This timing made me smile. Thank you. Godspeed with “finishing strong”. And I think you’re right – we should repeat our year’s name –or theme – to ourselves every day. I might just do that. Thank you Bev, and God bless you!

Reply

Lisa notes January 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Yes. “See” is a beautiful name for a year. And knowing you, Craig, you will show US some amazing things that you see. I look forward to it!

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 5:40 am

Lisa, I kind of already miss my year named “connect” and it was full of fire and ice – a couple of days into naming this year and I’m a little wary of it – but the thing about committing publicly like this – is that you follow through. Anyway, thank you, and God blessing.

Reply

Rae January 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Craig, when you wrote that for you, 2012 would be “The year where I see everything as God sees it…” your words reminded me of a song I love by Brandon Heath, called “Give me Your Eyes.” Have you heard it? The chorus is really powerful:

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

I pray that God would give you His eyes as you begin this new year viewing the world from God’s perspective. God Bless :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mhpLjPslbM

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 5:52 am

I read it your post – I heart it – I’m really glad you shared it with me. I haven’t heard that song – I’m smiling because you shared with me. But between you and me – only a couple of days into this – and I’m realizing that to commit to seeing things as God sees – means gaining the attention of non-God — you know what I mean? This is going to be a challenge – but, I’m hoping – a blessing too.God bless!!

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 6:08 am

ooooops – I went back and read the post of Lisa Maria – and then came back and commented to you – as if you were her – by mistake – so I didn’t read your post – BUT – I’m off to read you right this very second ツ God bless you – and forgive the little miscommunication please.

Reply

Martha Orlando January 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

“Life’s trials and opposition as refining fire to make me more like Him…”
At Passion 2012, Louis Giglio spoke of our brokenness, our “not being good enough fears”, as an opportunity for God to draw back the bow and shoot us toward the realm of healing. And, in that, help us share the Gospel fearlessly, knowing we are redeemed in spite of our shortcomings, that we can reach out to others who hurt just as we have.
Through the refiner’s fire, we ARE transformed, made more like Him. And, we learn, we are not alone in our brokenness. So many others need to hear of His transforming love. We can, especially if we have been broken, share this with so much heart and feeling and love for those who need to hear “the primitive” – the voice in our souls we know, even if Satan tells us to deny, is that of God.
No apologies for the Gospel. Let’s preach it, teach it, show it, fearlessly!
We are primitive. We are broken. We are saved . . . .
God’s blessings, my friend!

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 5:58 am

“We are primitive. We are broken. We are saved” (((heart this))). I missed you – I’m really glad you were getting filled up as you did at this conference. it’s one thing to say on the religious words – to say there is spiritual behind the material – but to really live it – it’s a little scary. And already, after just a couple of days, I’m feeling the chill of the other side. Not everything spiritual is good. But our Lord has his hands on me – on us. God bless you Martha.

Reply

Mari January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Wow! This is especially good stuff you have shared today! I’ve realized that I rarely think about the spiritual warfare that is going on all around me even though the Bible is clear that it is happening. Your words reminded me, like another commentor, of the Brandon Heath song. It should be your theme song! Craig, I am exited to read how this year of “seeing” plays out for you. Blessings…

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 6:02 am

Mari, it really is so clear in the Bible – but something stops us from not only seeing it, but admitting it publicly. We can do it if we’re among people who believe the same thing – but there’s almost a shame that comes if we start showing the world that we believe so simply. At least there is with me. Nobody likes to be looked upon as weird – and seeing Everything the way, God sees and – in THIS world – that’s weird. And I have to tell you – that surprisingly – although it shouldn’t have been – so far this year of seeing – it’s been awfully, awfully, dark and heavy. I better stay in close contact with Our Lord. God bless you Mari, and thank you.

Reply

Katie January 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Oh Craig “SEE” is a wonderful word. It is one that God can take in so many directions, but to see with God’s eyes, well that is even more, well, like love. Which does not surprise me in the least. I am continuing with the word “REST” from last years theme.

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 6:04 am

Katie, I really wanted to continue my year of “connect” – especially after it ended with such a massive “disconnection” – but I’m reminded that just because the year is over – doesn’t mean I should stop growing in that way. Good for you though – I know you need this “rest” – you deserve it – rest in him my friend! Thank you Katie. God bless you – and Godspeed in your year of “rest”.

Reply

Lisa Maria January 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

What a lovely theme for the new year Craig! Last year I did get a little inspiration to ‘look through His eyes’ in…of all places.. a dentist’s chair! I wrote about that here: http://shinebrightlyforjesus.blogspot.com/2011/08/look-through-his-eyes.html so this resonates with me.
I haven’t yet had sufficient quiet time to see where the Lord wants to take me this year but I will once school opens next week.

Good luck with this Craig…I’m sure God has amazing things to show you and you’ll share them with us.

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 6:09 am

I read your post – I heart it – I’m really glad you shared it with me. I haven’t heard that song – I’m smiling because you shared with me. But between you and me – only a couple of days into this – and I’m realizing that to commit to seeing things as God sees – means gaining the attention of non-God — you know what I mean? This is going to be a challenge – but, I’m hoping – a blessing too.God bless!!

Reply

Kristin January 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I can’t wait to read what you see this new year! And I know it will be glorious because you are choosing to see with His eyes.
My word is discipline. Here it is only the 6th and I wished I had picked another word. But that just goes to show I need this word.
Blessings to you in this wonderful new year!

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

so far – and what shouldn’t have surprised me but did – I’ve seen a whole lot of darkness – until I took that darkness to HIM. Why does it surprise me after all these years of knowing our Lord? So I’m with you Kristin, only a few days in – and this new word – it’s awfully challenging – and maybe it does show why you need a year named “discipline” and I need mine of “see”. God bless you Kristin!

Reply

Debbie January 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

This is going to be good, Craig. For you and for us. Not easy, but good! God bless you and all you see with new eyes this year!

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

I know last year’s year of “connect” was both fire and ice – I’ve already felt the ice from this one – and a little bit of fire – darkness and light – I do know this, I had better stay close to our Lord or my eyes will be opened only to darkness. God bless you Debbie!

Reply

Mama Zen January 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

This is the most amazing, incredible, uplifting idea! I love this. I really do.

Reply

Craig January 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

Kelli, well I wish I could take credit for it – it is an amazing idea. Resolutions come and then fly right out the window. I do know that last year I named “connect” and I connected like no other year before. All whole year – a reminder every day to work on this year of “see” – and it’s not too late Kelli, come up with a name for yours – it IS kind of an amazing thing. Eye-opening. God bless you and all of yours my friend!

Reply

Debra January 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Give us eyes to see Your glory…
In the good times and the bad
In the ups and downs, highs and lows
In each other
In words and deeds
In storms and fair weather
In work and play
Everyday, give us eyes to see You!
Not to worry Craig, I will hold you accountable, and I expect you to do the same 😉 I’d like that word also, but I want ears to hear too.
Give us ears to hear, Your voice oh so clear, give us eyes to see Your glory.
And I want to stay on fire. I don’t want to grow dim and the flame in my heart dwindle down to a smoking ember. I want FIRE! Passion for Him like never before. So if you see me lukewarm, ever, please call me on it. Tell me I need to add more firewood.
What a WONDERFUL message!!!

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

First, sorry I’m so late in responding, it’s been a tough, tough week since naming this year – a very unexpected start. “Seeing” in a whole different way than I thought. I’m not sure if you named your year “fire” – but that would certainly be a good name, wouldn’t it? I hesitate to hold you accountable – but since you gave permission I will. God bless you Debra.

Reply

Victoria January 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

This is good. Who knows the up and down adventures you will have this year, but I’m looking forward to keeping up with them. I once asked God to let me see lost souls like He sees and it was truly overwhelming. It got me to praying for people as the Spirit led that I would arbitrarily see…especially the ones walking by my house, of which there are many downtrodden.

I don’t know if I should tell you…but I’m pretty sure it was Samuel the prophet looking for a king.

God bless you this year Craig. I’m glad you know that connect is on-going rather than ending as I’d hate to see you disconnect. By the way…did you ever get a chance to talk to your step Dad?
Sorry for the 3 elipseseseses :)

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Sorry I’m so late in responding Victoria – this year of “see” has been off to an eventful beginning. challenging. I’ve fallen behind on responding to comments – and have been doing so for hours today – so, sorry. For a while my year of “connect” overwhelmed me – until I learned enough to handle it – and I still have more to learn – as i learned at the end of the year. And thank you about telling me about Samuel – I corrected it – good catch – really – thank you! And about my stepdad – the door is open – we have talked – even a little bit spiritual – it’s hurtful – I don’t want to do it – but God allowed the door to remain open – and so I will continue to walk through it. Pray for him if you have a chance – there is no one I know who needs to know our God more – and who has less of a chance of finding him where he’s at. God bless you Victoria.

Reply

Erin January 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I would like to “see” this year as well. Great post Craig.

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Erin. first of all – I’m sorry to be so late responding to your comment. This year that I named “see” has started in utter darkness – a very unexpected beginning – seeing things I never intended to. And so I’ve gotten behind on my replies – I always – ALWAYS reply to people like you who are kind enough to leave your thoughts. So, I’m sorry. Thank you for reading. God bless and keep you and all of yours!

Reply

Layla Payton January 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Craig, I have a necklace that says, “SEE.” Perhaps you’d like to hear the story behind it? If so: http://www.amazon.com/Choosing-SEE-Journey-Struggle-Hope/dp/0800719913

Anyway, I love the word and vision that you have chosen for this year. Another friend of mine chose, “Intentional,” which I think is very similar. Both will be life-changing. Just be ready for battle, as the enemy will see this as a challenge, but God is faithful and will open your eyes to the tinest of details. Every drop of dew, wisp of wind, or note played will seem sweeter. :)

P.S. If you don’t want to read the above book here it is in a nutshell:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgbnjE20vs0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Just. Amazing.

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

That battle you mentioned – it started – and oh – dark – deep – hurtful – not at all what I expected. I should’ve known – especially after asking to learn humility this Christmas – and learning it the way I did – that God would take this year of “see” and work it in his way – not mine. I’d say more – but I’m way behind on responding to my comments – this year of “see” has floored me a little – and I’m behind. I’ve been responding to comments for hours today. So no more here – I’ll just shoot over – via your link – and read – it’s the only post I’ve had a chance to read today – just one – I’m glad it’s yours! God bless you Layla.

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

PS, I thought that link was to a post by you – I have no time to read a book – maybe I’ll just go read a post from you anyway – I know it’ll make me smile. see you there in a few minutes my friend.

Reply

Layla Payton January 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Aw, Craig… you are way too kind. :)

Reply

Craig January 15, 2012 at 5:24 am

Reply

Michelle January 9, 2012 at 3:51 am

Has it really been a year since ‘Connect’? Wow, has that gone fast.

‘See’ – that is something we pray at work, that ‘we may see as God sees, and hear as He hears.’ It makes for some great opportunities. :-) I look forward to hearing what He is doing.

Reply

Craig January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

A fast year – a ton of connecting – lessons learned – and a huge disconnection at the end – so much more to learn. The year was fire and ice – and this one – it’s beginning with fire. God bless you Michelle!

Reply

Tereasa January 11, 2012 at 8:21 am

See – a simple word, yet so rich and full. I love it! I pray it takes you deep into the heart of God. My word for this year is, “Abide.” I am so excited to see where God takes me through this small word.

Reply

Craig January 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Tereasa, a simple word, but already a bearer of a little too much adventure for my small faith. but, just as last year (connect) thinking that our Lord has things to teach me, teaching isn’t always – well – the way I’d like to be taught. God speed your year of “abide” and God bless and keep you!

Reply

BrandeeShafer January 11, 2012 at 8:32 am

Praying for you. Pray for me. I’m struggling.

Reply

Craig January 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Brandee, prayer is done and done. Our Lord and I had a good talk about your struggle – he knows every detail, and I trust him. God bless you my friend.

Reply

Deborah January 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Okay…how did you know I needed those verses and had been thinking of them driving into work this morning?! My focus is “joy” this year, and it entails looking at things and really seeing them. Thank you for this.

Reply

Craig January 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Deborah, in this year of blogging, as my world has enlarged, I’ve noticed how God works his timing across time zones – across continents. I’m really glad he did it again. And your name for your year “joy” – Godspeed on that – be ready for challenges – naming a year tends to bring them I think. I’ve only named two now – and both have brought trial and triumph. I hope yours brings more triumph than trial. God bless you Deborah – and thank you.

Reply

Biscuit January 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Wow – I’m really glad I read this right before my devotional. It prompted me to really start thinking about what I want to get out of this year. 2012 has already shown so much promise, with many blessings just around the corner. For me, I think this year is about Life – about living life to the full, as God intended :)

Thanks for sharing this!

Reply

Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

first,I apologize for being so late in replying to your comment – your word has interrupted my flow ツ life ツ anyway – no excuses – I’m sorry. Secondly – to have a life with blessings around the corner – I heart that! Godspeed in your year of “live” and God bless and keep you and you and every one of yours – and I’m looking forward to reading more of you – I just had a quick glance at your post – I’ll read more later. Thank you Bekky.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 22 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: