What We Really Need In The New Year

Hello 2016. Here we are, ready or not!

How are you feeling about a new year, Bravehearted Beauties? Are you fired up and ready for a reset? Are you clearing out Christmas and reorganizing your home? Are you off and running with a new exercise or eating plan? Or are you more like me…still trying to recover from 2015 and entering into 2016 slowly?

I’m more of a “not ready” girl when it comes to the new year. If ever I’m excited and ready for a new year, it feels like a minor miracle! That’s what I called it in January 2013. I guess the massive change of moving from my hometown of Houston to a small farm in Franklin made me feel like I could tackle anything. {Little did I know that my first winter depression was right around the corner. Humbling to say the least.}


Here’s what I sense we need to know today: whatever your heart feels as you enter this new year, it’s okay. Whatever you’re feeling in this very moment, ready or not ready, is worth noting and honoring. There’s no right or wrong way to enter into 2016. Social media, magazines, motivational speakers and plenty of other writers will tell you there’s a right way to make 2016 your best year yet. But the truth is…there isn’t. There is no one right way.


But there is a way that’s best for you…the wildly wonderful, brave and beautiful, one-of-a-kind you.

So how do we determine what that way is? I don’t think it’s by making resolutions. At least not right off the bat. There’s something powerful we need before we make resolutions. Something we need more than resolutions.

We need revelation.

We need to hear from the One who made us. How, you ask? Does God even speak anymore? Some bright-minded theologians will argue He doesn’t. I believed them for years. Until I just couldn’t reconcile this one thing intellectually, spiritually or emotionally: what kind of God desires intimate relationship but refuses to speak to you? What kind of intimacy is that? And what about all that God says in His very own Word about hearing his voice?

I decided to give God a chance to speak. To give listening a try. And let me tell you: God still speaks. Through His word, creation, quiet whispers, friends, beauty, music, movies…He’s insanely creative. And He’s definitely still in the revelation business!

So before we race into the new year making resolutions we can’t keep, why not ask God what He wants to reveal? What does He have for you? What is His best for you? What word or words does He want to speak over your year? What purpose? What priorities? What calling?

There’s no pressure here. You don’t have a limited time slot or a now-or-never chance with God. He’s wide open and waiting. And He’ll generally speak anytime you’re willing and ready to listen. Sometimes what He has to say comes like a flood…sometimes it comes in bits and pieces over time. Sometimes you hear Him loud and clear…sometimes you need confirmation through the God’s Word and others…sometimes you feel like a total failure in the listening department.


Listening for God’s voice over my own internal chatter and head knowledge was hard for me. It took faith and practice. And still does. I can get rusty and lean more heavily on my head knowledge or others’ opinions…forgetting I can ask God. If this is all new to you, here’s the first step: dare to believe He speaks and dare to believe He speaks to you. Hearing from God isn’t just for some people.

I’m just getting started on the process of asking God what He wants to reveal to me for 2016. I want to be open to hearing each day, but here’s what I’m sensing now and am asking Him more about:

  • HOPE…especially when things look hopeless
  • be a truth teller {still battling some fear here}
  • write my story {feels overwhelming, but he insists this will be healing}
  • invest in people {a repeat from past years}
  • offer inner healing prayer {no clue how to go about that}
  • guard against isolation {it feeds depression}
  • care for my body {a broken ankle and the unrelated trauma it unearthed took a toll}

This may look like a list of resolutions, but it all starts with revelation. Not my list of self-imposed improvements, but God’s revelation about what is most healing, helpful and central to my purpose and calling this year. It’s all about what will bring me the most life and God the most glory. To know more about what each of these things will look like throughout the year, I need a regular check-in with God. One thing I love about listening prayer is that it keeps me going back to God day after day, which feels like real relationship vs. intellectual pursuit or going through the religious motions. It’s been life changing for me.

I’d love to hear what words, themes and revelations you’re hearing over your year. Leave a comment below or send me an email anytime. And if you’re not hearing anything, just keep setting aside time to listen. It will come.

Blessings to you in 2016, brave and beautiful ones!

Linsey signature 100pix



P.S. Hearing God by Dallas Willard is a great resource for those who want to explore hearing God’s voice. And a resource that has been especially helpful to me: Ransomed Heart Ministries. The free weekly podcasts are great. John’s newest book, Moving Mountains, is amazing! You can pre-order here.


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  • Becky Mullowney - Linsey, thank you for this wonderful post. I am so in “that” place…ready to run in the new year, but still in the starting gate waiting for it to open. I can’t run any direction w/o clear direction from our Lord. And, so I wait…trusting the revelation will come in His perfect timing.
    Blessings to you and yours in this new year, Becky M.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - While I can’t relate to the “ready to run” feeling in the new year, I’ve definitely done that so often in life. I just take off without pausing to ask God if He’s in it…or what the best next step would be. SO much better when I sit with Him first…and stay with Him as I move forward. Blessings on your new year!ReplyCancel

  • Gracia @ Gracious Offering - Linsey, what wise words. I tend to feel a little pressure to come up with new goals/resolutions at the start of each new year. I love your idea of praying, listening, seeking what God would have us aspire to in the New Year. And yes, so totally agree that a God still speaks to us individually in a myriad of ways. I have to remind myself that He often whispers, not shouts. Will check out the resources you mentioned. Thank you for your faithfulness to write and tell your story. Warmly, GraciaReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Your comment reminds me of a story I love in 1 Kings: “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”ReplyCancel

  • Kelly George - I just love how God uses you and you allow God to use you!
    I believe my word from him to me for 2016 is
    I’ve been here in franklin tn for 6 months and just not “feeling” it. Love the people love the beauty but ya know it’s not “home”
    So I find myself trying to keep changing things… And it was like God said “Kelly you need to be content with where I have you!”
    Seriously! Couldn’t he have given me something easier;)
    So on this journey I go to be content and “try” to make Tn my home and try and get out there to make friends.
    Thanks again for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Oh, Kelly, being the new girl was SO hard for me. Sometimes I still feel new. Here’s my new girl post on the old blog in case you want to read it: http://www.llhdesignsblog.com/2012/09/the-new-girl.html

      I haven’t found my groove here yet…even after 3 1/2 years, but I know this is where we’re called to be and that makes me feel peace deep down. That’s what makes it feel like home. And I love the beauty here! That helps for sure! Some people make new friends easily and quickly. I’m not one of those people. We have to give ourselves time and grace. And be VERY BRAVE. You already are just for coming here and for reaching out!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Vines - Your blog has been such a blessing to me since discovering it and I look forward to every new post. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. And I absolutely agree that God’s voice is alive and clear for those of us that seek it. Last Summer I asked God to speak a word over me for this current season of life and He said “rest”. At the time I almost laughed thinking how can He possibly expect me to rest as a homeschooling mom with young children and a business. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant and became sicker than I’ve ever been in my life. I spent about 4 months almost entirely on bed rest and while I struggled physically I felt mentally capable to handle it b/c I knew God was with me through it all wanting me to rest in Him.
    p.s. I was your neighbor at the city farmhouse barnshow. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Hi Melissa! So appreciate your encouraging words. Amazing how God spoke REST over you right before that forced season of rest. WOW. I love how He does that. I’ve heard others say they thought the word God spoke was crazy or that they were hearing wrong…only to learn later in the year like you did that it was EXACTLY what was needed. Amazing! I want to hear God more…to listen and ask Him more. It’s the BEST!

      So glad you’re reading along. Thanks for leaving a comment today. And for reminding me that we were neighbors at that first City Farmhouse show. That was a one-time gig for me. Way out of my comfort zone!ReplyCancel

  • Bravely Believing and Desiring MORE » Bravehearted Beauty - […] forward to turning 40. And finally, I don’t know that I shared this on the blog, but the words I heard God speak over me last year were joy and […]ReplyCancel