Sunday, 22 April 2012

2012 Inspiration (in April…)



I know, I know, you’re supposed to determine your inspiration for the year at the beginning of the year but, like many of you, not everything goes exactly according to plan in my life. So here I am writing about my one word inspiration for the year 4 months into it…


Many of you will know, I usually love using as many words as possible to get my point across but, for one of the busiest years of my life, I’ve decided I need to keep my inspiration down to one word!

I had several ideas about what this word might be…

I had wishful thinking with words like ‘delight’, or ‘sanctuary’ or maybe even ‘balance’… But who am I kidding? This year is not going to be any of those things it’s just not realistic. Hopefully there will be elements of each of those, like I really hope to look back on this year and say it was delightful, and I really hope I am able to find sanctuary when I need it and I really do need balance in my life but as if I’m going to get it this year!!!

Then I thought about words like ‘purpose’ or ‘dream’ but I don’t think I am really lacking in either of these. Happily I would say that I lead a fairly purpose-filled life with lots of opportunities to dream


And then there are the cliche’s like ‘peace’ or ‘family’ or ‘beauty’ or ‘love’. Not to say that those words aren’t GREAT words to have as a focus or an inspiration but none of them really seemed to sum up the intensity and depth of commitment I am making in my life this year… Obviously Simon and I are starting our own extension of our families and any bride will know that beauty and love is a big part of getting married but none of those words seemed enough…


So then I moved onto the word ‘matrimony’, that certainly sums up the biggest part of what I am entering into this year and it certainly has a depth of meaning. But really, do I want my entire year JUST to be about ‘the act or state of being married’?! It certainly conjures up images of commitment and it's certainly more about the future life between two people as opposed to just a wedding day but I think this year is about more than that…


This year I am entering into an agreement with Simon that I will love and cherish him in the good times and the bad times for ‘as long as we both shall live’. But I also believe that we are entering into a new spiritual commitment with each other and with God as well. We are planning on making a public statement about our love and our devotion to our friends and family and for the state, to be recognised as a legally binding family. But we are also committing our relationship to God. There is a word that sums this all up that requires careful (and prayerful) consideration over a long period of time (like a year) and requires spiritual preparation as well and that word is ‘covenant’.


Simon and I are entering into a covenant with God and with each other with our love for one another as the focus. We are asking that God will use us, take us to new horizons, as a couple, as a family. We take this very seriously and plan on committing to this covenant in November and we know that God will come through on his side of the covenant for ‘as long as we both shall live’.

This certainly isn’t the first covenant that I have gone into personally. Shortly after I was born I was Dedicated to God, that was a covenant that my parents entered into on my behalf. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 4 years old praying with my Dad and my big sister, although I probably wasn’t able to understand the enormity of the covenant I was entering into but I did it earnestly and with an honest open heart. Then later on me and my three siblings (older sister, younger brother and younger sister) were all baptised in the Lutheran Church, another type of covenant. A couple of years ago I entered into a covenant called ‘Soldiership’ in The Salvation Army. This is an agreement that I believe God was calling me into. An agreement that would allow Him to bless me further. From taking on that covenant (which is a little more involved than the others) I have not only been able to grow in spiritual maturity but I have been able to be used to bless others far more than I would have otherwise. It’s interesting the way that works… And in fact without the covenant of ‘soldiership’ I probably wouldn’t have moved to Bendigo to work for The Salvation Army and met Simon. And now we are entering into the covenant of ‘marriage’ together.


It’s weird going into a covenant with someone else other than me and God. I gotta give up some more of the control and allow Simon’s relationship with God to influence me (and vice versa) a bit as well. Simon and I are actually quite unique at this moment in history as he has taken on the further full-time ministry covenant of ‘Officership’ in The Salvation Army, a covenant that I don’t believe God has called me to yet. Up until quite recently (surprisingly recently!) Officers of The Salvation Army could not marry non-officers, weird huh?! So before they changed the rules our relationship would either have been 1. even more taboo than it already is (considering I was dating my supervisor), 2. not even been a consideration since I am very confident in my relationship with God and what he is and isn’t calling me to and the fact that Officership is not it right now or 3. Very strained with HUGE pressure (not that there isn’t already) to become an Officer. All three of those things seem completely ridonkulous to me so I’m really glad The Salvation Army in the Australia Southern Territory made the decision to revoke that rule. I do understand why it was in place and there are many places in the world (including most if not all of the United States) where the marrying Officers thing is still the rule but it puts so much unnecessary pressure on unmarried officers and anyone that enters into a relationship with them.

Anyway all that to say my word for the year is ‘covenant’ and I think it’s going to take all year to prepare!


Happy Day! Smile***

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