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My personality lives for New Year’s resolutions. Nothing better than making a list of things and tackling them one by one. I’ve made one every year for as long as I can remember.

Except this year.  I’m just not feeling a list of things to strive for or work on for a whole year.

The catalyst for my decision to not make a list comes from running too hard and too fast for too long over the past 4 months, since the kids all went to school.  I had no idea how hard the transition was for all of us until the flu bug bit us over Christmas.  You know you haven’t had enough margin when you’re thankful for the flu.  It knocked us off our feet, and we were almost giddy about it after we cried over not being able to see my family.

I had a lot of time during the break to think and ponder what I’m really wanting in this new year, and to be honest, it’s so much more than drinking more water, eating cleaner, exercising more, inviting people into our home more consistently, and sticking to my meal plan every week.

All those things are good, and I’m sure I’ll be ticking away on and off all year to be better at all of them, but this past year God revealed to me more than ever that I’m independent in all the worst ways. I rely on myself too often.

Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Friendship is hard. Family dynamics are hard. Loving my neighbor is hard.

Actually, it’s all impossible without God.

I know this in the core of my being, yet I continue hour after hour and day after day trying to do life in my own strength.

Yes. What I’m really wanting in 2014 is more reliance on God.  The “one word people” say you’re suppose to choose a word and invite it into your life…live with it, let it speak to you. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m asking Jesus to use this word and all that it means in my life this year.

I looked up some synonyms for rely, and this is what I found::

be sure of.
lean on.
Count on.

My counselor says my head is like Fort Knox. I’m inwardly always thinking, planning, projecting, arranging, managing, analyzing, strategizing. I’ve been doing it my whole life. She says I’m pretty much an expert at disaster/trauma planning.

I don’t think it was meant to be a compliment.

I’m tired. I don’t want to plan for chaos or disaster in my head anymore. Doing all of that thinking and planning and projecting and analyzing and strategizing keeps me from relying on God and his sovereignty. He is good. All his ways are good. He can be trusted, even in the midst of tragedy and trauma. He uses everything and wastes nothing. He loves me. He is always with me and always at work on my behalf.

The last few years have been packed full. God has been uncovering the layers of my story that tempted me to be self-reliant and independent in the first place. He’s so good like that. I’m excited about this new year and these new layers he’s peeling away.

Keisha - Hello my friend, Isn’t it funny that some of us have to work to quiet our minds.. I have been working at this for a while. I pray for peace daily and most days my mind quiets enough to hear Gods voice and I am so thankful that he is doing a work in me. Some days I’m not so good at it.. :) I definitely have learned that if I fill my days with the busyness of this world then I can not hear my Maker whispering to me. So I have learned not to schedule to many things, we don’t do well as a family when we are to busy to just enjoy each other everyday. Much love and blessings to you and your family in the New Year. Love you Keisha Cadenhead

paige - maybe my favorite post of yours. ever.
you are a wise woman tara
love you

Jackie - What a great word, Tara.
I can so relate to everything you just wrote. I’ve been very self-reliant my whole life, too, until 5 months ago. Cancer brought me to my knees, both literally and figuratively. Through it I’ve learned more about trust and letting go than I ever thought would be possible. It is so freeing to let go.
Love you, friend. Looking forward to breakfast. :)

Lori H - Wow, Tara, could I ever relate to this post. My thoughts are essentially one long stream of worst-case scenarios and plans to handle them if they happen. I think I don’t want to be surprised by bad things, so if I think of them first, I won’t be surprised – how weird is that?? As a result I am not a good sleeper, either! So my efforts over the last year have been to ward off fear, doubt, and too much self-reliance. I am going to print this post out and read it along with my Jesus Calling in the morning for a few days to get it into my head. I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

This post also brought to mind something a visiting pastor said at church a couple years ago that stuck with me – “if the devil can’t make you bad, he can make you busy”…so true as our list-making personalities feel good when we are busy!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh good word. I didn’t choose one this year. Didn’t make any resolutions or any of that stuff. I have one opportunity that I want to give a try to and it’s going to require battling fear… and I’ve got one personal goal that was already in the works before the new year hit so I’m just plugging away at that. Kinda seemed like that was the season I was in. Just doing today. I am pretty excited to see what 2014 will bring. I could really use a year with that excitement. Gonna be good!! :)

Melissa K. - Good word, Tara. We’ve kind of experienced the same slowing down over the last couple of months (morning sickness = all day sickness for me). It’s been really hard to not be able to get done all of the things I feel like I need to do in any given day. At the same time, it’s been nice to simplify and just trust God that he will give me what I need when I need it. I feel too yucky and exhausted to even think about making any resolutions. I know I won’t keep them. :)

MaKaela - I call it ‘catastrophizing”. And I am all to prone to doing it far to often! Thank you for the reminder to rely.

Aimee Weaver - Tara – I love this! I tend to be fiercely independent and, while it can be a good thing, I’ve been learning that His ways are always so much better than our plans and goals. No resolutions for me this year either – my goal is to cling to Jesus and see where He takes me! xo

lissa - When Neal and I went into counseling 5 years ago I remember the counselor telling me that my problem was that I didn’t trust God and it made me so mad~ (I always get mad when I’m told I’m wrong at first, then I usually cool off and realize they might have something I need to hear) Anyway, I am just like you; thinker, planner, analyzer… and so it was like exercise to learn to trust. Like I had to take about ten thousand thoughts captive every. single. day. Not trusting has ruined many things in my life. Anyways, long comment longer, God told me to trust in the lord with all my heart and not to lean on my own (analytical, skeptical) understanding but to (instead) trust him with ALL my heart that he would work out all the details in my life the way he wanted them specifically for me. Now I find that verse like a total breath of fresh air. Like it totally makes me exhale. I am sure that is what the word rely will accomplish in you.

Kathy - I love your word, rely. Even more, I am grateful for your honesty and openness. I can wholeheartedly relate to this post. I get it. Boy, do I get it. I am learning to let go and trust. This is such a good post. You are amazing.

Nikki - There are scenarios in which a disaster/trauma planning expert is really helpful. A zombie apocalypse comes to mind.

Ok, I love what you shared. Rely. Oooooh. That’s a good one. Tara thanks for being vulnerable, real…wise. Girl, you got the goods. I look forward to another year of glimpses into your world.

Susan - Can I just say, “Amen!” You have nailed it, sweet girl. Looking forward to what God will do in all of our lives if we rely on Him. Stay warm!!

giosmama2626 - Amen! The mind that NEVER sleeps, I totally get it. -sigh-
Love this post. It’a great reminder to just sit down and STOP thinking so much, stop planning, be happy, LIVE in the moment, LET GO and LET GOD. It’s always a struggle to find peace even when the most happy. We all know it’s there, but the battle of the mind always seems to win. NOT ANYMORE! We all got this one in 2014. I feel it.
What a great word to live on for this year. Great comments, too. This made me for a very happy read this morning.

carissa - i am so similar to you! so much of what you said is rolling around my brain and my heart. thank you for sharing the layers.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - He’s SO good like that!!
Really thankful for the truth you tell here. XO

Gina - Great word! For some reason when I first pulled up your post, I read rely as rell-ee. I was stumped. I thought maybe you were using the Greek version of a word. Then I started reading and realized that I was a bit brainless. :) Rely sounds so freeing. God bless as He works this out in you!

LLH Designs - I think you know where my heart stands on all this (I ditched list making and goal setting years ago), but I just want to say this: I am REALLY loving you right now. Love your word. Love your heart’s desire. Love the Jesus that you’re relying on for your new year. Xo.

Glenda Childers - Much joy and peace to you, along with wonderful surprises from the Lord as you learn more and more to rely. A beautiful word for the year.

My word is … consider.


ps. I finally made it to your new site.

Barbara - Yes, its hard not to have control over everything we mean it to be a good thing but sometimes it takes over us the perfection bug. You’ll do it you will you are an awesome person fro your words and he so get’s you.

bethanie - I love this Tara…It’s so true. I’m a little like Ft. Knox as well– I love this list of synonyms. I think I’m going to put them on my chalkboard as a reminder. I pray you all are feeling better and have a blessed year. We still need to do a coffee date! xoxo

Lisa Ferrin - Beautiful words of truth. You have a gift with words. Our world moves at such an alarmingly quick rate. I believe that is one of the adversaries biggest tools of distraction. I think I have ADD sometimes…. Although never diagnosed. I have such a hard time being context and being still and quieting my mind. I also decided this year to not make a list. I want to focus on seeing the good in myself, in others and in every situation and just being grateful. I LOVE that word. It is all about Him. Thank you for sharing His words. xoxo

When the Evening Comes… » Between You & Me - […] think I mentioned to you in another post that my counselor refers to this as “expert disaster planning.” I think it’s safe to say I’d make a fabulous trauma planner. Except I don’t want […]

Donna - Love this post and needed to read these things today. Thank you.

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