About a week ago I shared a blog post of how Kyle and I approach planning and preparing for a new year. And one of the most key components to that preparation is choosing a theme for the year.

Selecting a theme is not something I take lightly. I spend weeks praying leading up to the end of December asking God to show me what He has for me in the next year. Some times the word or phrase makes perfect sense, and some times it doesn’t at the time.

My theme for 2019 does make perfect sense to me. It is a clear direction and command, that I can apply in many ways. And I wanted to share it with you because I think we can all improve in the area – and all the ways it can be applied in our lives.

My theme is simple – it is the word STEWARD.

I think when we hear the word “steward”, typically the first thing that comes to mind is being a steward of our finances – but I think it can mean so much more. Here are some of the areas I want to be a better steward in 2019:

Steward of my time.

Steward of my relationships.

Steward of my gifts and talents.

Steward of my finances.

Steward of my influence.

Steward of my resources.

Being a steward to me is about acknowledging the value of something, investing in that and making the best use of it – the way God would have you use it.

So in terms of time – I want to make sure I am being a steward of the time I am given. Am I using it in ways that glorifies the Lord, improves my life and the life of those around me? Watching another show on Netlix for example, isn’t necessarily the best use of my time. By listening to a Podcast while I drive or clean, instead of mindless music is a great use of my time.

As for being a steward of relationships – to me that is about recognizing the value and weight of my responsibility in each relationship (and each one looks differently)! For example, stewarding my relationship with my husband to me means not taking him for granted. Being a steward of my relationships with my daughters means being present and raising them in a way that glorifies the Lord. Whereas being a steward of my relationships with my close girlfriends, that means making sure they know how much I value them, and taking the time to listen and encourage them every chance I get. Even being a steward of the time I get and interactions I have with coworkers or a lady in the grocery store – being intentional to be kind and make someone feel seen, heard or loved.

Being a steward of talents and gifts may seem a little odd – and it’s particularly hard for me. But if God has given you an ability, it is selfish to keep that to yourself! For example, if He has given you the ability to play a musical instrument – share it with the world and use it to encourage others! He has given us all gifts and talents for a reason – we shouldn’t keep them to ourselves (even if it sounds really scary to do something with them – 2019 is your year)!

Stewarding our finances kind of goes without saying. Spending wisely and using our abundance to help and bless others is important!

Next is being a steward of our influence. Your influence may be your kids because you’re a stay at home mom, or it could be the team of people at work you lead. Where ever your influence is, and whatever it looks like – my encouragement to you is to just not take it for granted. Steward your influence – use it as an opportunity to encourage others, go above and beyond, and leave a legacy.

Last, being a steward of our resources. We have all been given so much. Whether your home is huge and looks like a pinterest page or small and lacking in the “worlds standard of trendy” – it’s important to be a steward of it! To use it to bless others – either with a meal, a place to stay or even just a cup of coffee. Similarly with all the clothes in your closet you never wear – those same clothes might make someone less fortunate feel so special and beautiful. Use your resources to bless others and be stewards of them!

As you can probably tell if you made it all the way to the end of this post – I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the idea of being a “steward”, and I have a long way to go! But I am focused and determined that by the end of this year, I will have improved in these areas. Even if “steward” isn’t your theme for 2019 – I’m hoping you can apply this to your own life in some way. Thanks for reading all of this – and Happy New Year!

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