Every year, I pray for a word. Instead of a resolution, just one word that I can strive for in the year. It doesn't always come. But as I drove home on the last day of 2015, I knew what my word was for 2016.
It started as a game with my kids. My husband and I would both latch hold of them, and we'd play a mock tug-of-war game amidst their giggles. "Mine!" I would say, tugging on them. "Mine!" David would argue, pulling them close for a hug. The kids both thought this was hilarious fun.
In the mornings, my son still calls to me three days out of five. He can obviously get up on his own, and he does, often. But some days he sticks to the old tradition of calling out, "Mama!" And I go in, and I gather him up, and I hold him close. "Mine," I often whisper into his ear. "My boy. I love you." When I go in to wake his sister an hour later, I sit down on her bed, run a hand over her hair, and say, "There's my girl. Time to get up, sweetie pie."
It's a part of our family language, this claiming of the ones we love. This Mine.
Yet it touched something deep inside me when my little boy started putting his arms around me, pressing close, and saying, "Mine." It's his way of saying I love you. It's his way of saying, We're a family.
Yesterday, when I asked God what He wanted me to dwell on this year, I imagined arms bigger than Rowyn's, bigger than David's, bigger than the world coming around me. And a voice far deeper whispering in my ear, "Mine."
For they are my people, and I will be their God.
The question of what it means to be His is one that has fueled contemplation and discourse for millennia. I could write a long, long post on my thoughts on the matter here and now.
I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to think about what I know about it already. I'm just going to ask.
What does it mean to belong to God?
How will my daily actions change if, before I do anything, I remember that I am His and He is mine?
My every action, my every reaction should start from that one central point.
I am His.
My speech. My writing. My everything should reflect it.
I am His.
My relationships, my family, my commitments should be kept in their proper places.
I am His.
May 2016 be a year filled with joy and blessing. May its hardships and trials pale in comparison to the love we feel in our Father's arms. May we find peace amidst the turmoil that has its claws in the world, and may we know the path He would have us tread. May He open our eyes to the truths of His Word, of His Spirit. May we understand what He calls us to do.
And may our every act, our every thought be rooted in that most basic truth--that God has wrapped us in His arms and whispered that claim into our ears.