Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Year of Consecration

This is my year of consecration. I feel funny saying that though, because it's like I am trying it out for a year, and if it doesn't work then I'll call it quits. No, that's not what I am trying to say. I want this year and ALL the years to follow to focus on one simple goal:
Consecrating my life to God.
I think people might think I'm over the top for this. A little too religious. And if they think that, that's okay. I think I probably would have thought that of myself a few years ago. In fact, I remember meeting someone with the desire to be completely devoted to God and thinking "Okay, you're a little weird." So if you're reading this and thinking that, I totally understand. But this focus is where I feel Heavenly Father is pointing me towards, and I've felt that for awhile, starting on my mission. It faded for a couple of years, but now the desire to be poured out for Christ is back.
My goal in life is to give my life to My King, and serve Him in whatever way He wants. It is a surrendering of my agency. It is placing my heart on the alter for Him to take. It is trusting Him and having faith rather than fear. It's becoming a " living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1).
I am sure I will find happiness and joy in this way of living, yet, that cannot be my motive. If I am serving God because it makes me happy, that is good, but not the best. I must serve Him not for the reward but out of the love and gratitude I feel for Him as I come to know Him and His Son better each day. As I come to understand the sacrifice of Our Heavenly Father and His Son, I will feel a greater and greater desire to give my all.
Why? Because I don't deserve anything. I came to that realization along time ago. I was angry that an ex-boyfriend of mine had rebounded quickly and found love again and I was still suffering. I felt that I had been the good one, and made the right choices, and I didn't understand why I wasn't being blessed like he was. If he deserved love, I definitely did, I thought. Right as I had that thought I tuned in to the words of the song that was playing on my computer: 

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar (Hear the song here)

At that point I saw the picture of Christ in Gethsemane on my desk and like a ton of bricks the ridiculousness of my anger and entitlement hit me. I don't deserve anything. I make mistakes everyday, and I've made some pretty horrible ones. But He, our ever merciful Savior gave everything so I could be washed clean. He took my sins. He took my brokenness and paid the price for it and healed me. He made me white as snow, through His blood, through His suffering. How could I ever feel I deserved anything? I am undeserving. He is deserving. He is deserving of my devoted life. He is deserving of my complete and utter consecration! I cannot offer any less.

How will I start?
1. Consecrate my morning: Seek Him early (Psalms 63:1), Rise, pray, exercise, study the scriptures, journal time. 
2. Consecrate my day: 2 Nephi 32:9 Talk to Him all day. No matter what "busy" things I do I can keep my thoughts elevated and consecrate all I do to Him. 
  • Keep a scripture in my mind. I want to memorize one from my scriptures study each day. I want to do this in those down moments where I am waiting or while I am cleaning or doing something else that doesn't need my mind so much.
  • I want to listen to conference or other uplifting books and talks during the day.
  • I want to minimize my time on social networks or watching TV or anything that might distract me from hearing His voice and His will for me. 
3. Consecrate my night: I want to be sure I pray before I go to sleep and as I drift off to sleep I want to have my mind on Him and His word.
4. Consecrate my heart: What do I love? Do I love what he loves? I want to eliminate things from my life that God does not love. Any kind of inappropriate media or anything that makes me feel the absences of the spirit I want to get rid of in my life. I want my heart to be His.
5. Consecrate my LIFE
    • To my family: Pray and look for ways I can serve my family daily, especially my husband and baby girl.
    • To all in my circle: I want to pray to know how to lift and show love to all those who are around me. I want to take Elder Ballard's advice from last conference and pray and actively look for one service opportunity a day...but hopefully I will find many more than just one. I want to "suppress not a kind thought"...or deed.
    • To the world: I want to do monthly service projects that include those in my circle of influence to help those who are seemingly out of my circle of influence. 
 So this is it. This is my one new year's resolution. To devote my life to the one who has given all for me, the one who has washed my sins clean and made me white as snow. To be a living sacrifice for my King.

White as Snow, By Greg Olsen