Farmhouse Friday: Empty Plates & Full Hearts

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
— Matthew 4:4 NLT

I have an absolute plate fetish! I love plates! My family always tells me to use disposable plates for gatherings because they are easier to clean up, but I would rather wash dishes and enjoy a pretty tablescape!

The truth is, I'm probably the only one who notices how pretty the table looks, but that's enough reason for me! However, in January, our table looks a little different. 

From Thanksgiving through Christmas, it's like one big party in our house. We visit with family; we eat; we visit with friends; we eat; we enjoy holiday festivities; we eat! So, when January's time of prayer and fasting rolls around, we are all ready!

Each January our family (and our church) start the year off with 21 days of prayer and fasting (Click here to read more about Fasting and Prayer). It's a practice that I've come to look forward to. 

The motto in our house is work hard, play hard, so after a month of lots of play time, January is a time of focus! My husband and I do a full juice fast, and the small kids fast sugar or will eat only fruits and veggies. This is something they choose to do; they see us fasting and want to be a part of it! Teach your kids spiritual disciplines early on; you're setting a foundation they will draw from for years!

There are so many benefits to fasting--see link above for more info--but fasting at the beginning of the year puts you in a position for God's best in the year to come! As you push back your plate and spend time in prayer and the Word, God pours out vision and purpose for your life! His purpose for you is SIGNIFICANT, and it is GREAT!

Each year, most commit to having the best year ever, and then, when something happens, they realize it can be hard to not settle for what is normal and easy. Having the best intentions will not produce greatness this year; intentions won't get you to great. Intentions transformed into actions cultivates greatness! Taking time to fast and pray is turning your intentions into action!

There will always be the temptation to settle. The comfort of life can overtake conviction and lead to settling for less than God's best for you!  All throughout 2017, you will have the opportunity to settle for good. Good will be just that--good. But there is a GREAT waiting for you. The question is how much do you want it?

Genesis 25:29-34 " He (Esau) said to Jacob, 'Quick give me some of that stew! I'm famished! Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.' 'Look, I'm about to die,' Esau said.'What good is the birthright to me?' But Jacob said, ' swear to me first.' So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob."

Esau sold God's best for a bowl of soup: " I will die soon, anyway"--this sounds like my kids who think they will starve if they don't have three full meals sprinkled with snacks in between.

Esau sold his birthright,the blessing of God, for a bowl of soup. His flesh ruled the path his life would take. For Esau, that was a very costly bowl of stew. On the other hand, Jacob not only tricked his brother, but then he had a wrestling match with God (Gen 32:22). He was desperate for God's best!

Don't sell out God's best this year for what is comfortable or convenient! You are destined for GREAT, but it will require something from you. Go for great this year; that is what you're destined for! 

God has destined 2017 to be great for you; push back the plate and take some time to pray and fast. Don't settle for easy or mediocre in 2017! 

Accept nothing less than God's best for you! Choose a heart full of expectation and vision for your life over a full belly and see what God has in store! 

~ lots of love from the farmhouse! xoxo