Surrender 2018: Retirement Adventure #6

Surrender the New Year

The new year sits like an unwrapped gift. 365 days waiting to be opened, each one filled with possibility. I look at the calendar sitting open on my desk, already a checkerboard of appointments and events scattered among the blank, white squares. What retirement adventures await in 2018?

Always a planner, I look forward to what 2018 holds. The new things God has for me. This year, the first full year of retirement fills me with excitement. And just a little trepidation.

We’re pretty well settled now, three months after moving into our brand new house. I don’t have to open several drawers in the kitchen to find the right utensil or mixing bowl. When I see a neighbor, I remember their name and can greet people at church. I can even ask about their kids and grandkids, how they feel after knee surgery, or rejoice over a prayer request answered.

This year, more of the calendar squares lie empty, and I don’t want to waste the gift.

Since 2013, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I chose one word to use as a lens to focus how I view the world. Measure what I do and say, how I react and respond. Always with the goal of making Jesus the center of everything.

As I listed words, prayed over each one, and looked at the new calendar, I realized I needed to surrender 2018 to God. To surrender my have-a-plan-and-be-in-control personality. I didn’t want to make the mistakes of the past, depending on myself and coasting on what I know (or think I know). I want to be open to God’s voice. To be still and let Him lead. To seek Him every day.

My retirement adventures of 2018 will come in surrendering to God.

Four Ways to Surrender to God in 2018

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you (Colossians 3:16).

1.Spend time reading and studying, meditating and praying His Word. When we study God’s Word, it lives in our hearts and minds, drawing us near to Him, so we respond to His leading throughout the day. Study on your own, join a Bible study through your church, and/or online.

This year, I commit to memorizing the book of Colossians. Will you join me? If it seems a little overwhelming, Ann Voskamp has a plan with handy index-sized cards you can download here. Just two verses a week.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

2.Rejoice always. No matter what, I can rejoice. God never leaves me or forsakes me. I have the hope of heaven. It is well with my soul. I surrender when, even in the middle of the things that I don’t like, I rejoice in the Truth of Who God is and who I am because of Christ.

3.Pray continually. I can’t surrender only on January 1. That means before every decision, no matter how big or small, I must pray. Pray before I answer a question or respond to someone else. If I need to surrender 31,556,926 times a day, I do it. And it starts with prayer.

4.Give thanks in all circumstances. No matter how difficult the circumstances, I surrender by giving thanks. Jesus is Lord! God’s plan is for good. He is merciful and kind and loving.

How will you unwrap the gift of 2018? Do you have one word that God placed in your heart for this year? Share in the comments what your word is and how you hope it will focus you on Christ in 2018.

This is my sixth #oneword.  To read the previous words I’ve chosen, click here.

I may share with:

Inspire Me Monday, Blessed (but Stressed), Moments of Hope, Glimpses of Beauty, LLML Link-up, Trekking Thru, #tellhisstory, Tea and Word Tuesday, Ra-Ra Link-up, Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Dream Together, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and Light, Quietly Through Thursday, Thankful and Grateful Thursday, Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Fresh Market Friday, Counting My Blessings, Sunday Thoughts, Spiritual Sundays, Sunday Scripture Blessing.


Author: Debbie Putman

I am a child of God, seeking to trust Him in every joy and sorrow. Sharing my walk is my husband, Van. God blessed me with two beautiful daughters and three delightful grandchildren. I teach seventh grade English and History, love to read and bake cookies, watch the birds in my backyard, and the ocean.

34 thoughts on “Surrender 2018: Retirement Adventure #6”

  1. I simply love how many of us are simply focusing on our relationship with the Lord, this year. Your word, surrender, is perfect! I love it! Trusting His will and following where He leads – living a surrendered life. I’m in! Blessings!

  2. My word this year is “yield”. I think we are on similar paths of simply wanting God to have His way in us.

    1. Yes, Elizabeth, yield and surrender-wanting God to have His way in us. Praying God blesses you as you yield to Him in 2018.

  3. My first thought was that I agree with others – surrender sounds like a scary word. On second thought, however, surrender to God shouldn’t be scary. He is not the enemy! His will should be our freedom!

  4. I am so excited for this new adventure for you! And your plan of action to stay in the word, rejoice, pray always and give thanks is one I want to adopt for myself, because l know that is the only way to stay centered and calm whether my plan goes my way or not!

  5. “Surrender” is such a great word, Debbie— scary perhaps, but powerful and full of promise! Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for your first full year of retirement 🙂 Blessings to you! Stopping by from #saltandlight

    1. Laura, thanks for stopping by. Surrender does hold great promise, really seeing God work instead of trying to rely on me. Blessings to you in 2018.

  6. That’s quiet a word Debbie. I understand surrender so well because when I did it was because God told me to go. Little did I know I would only have one more year with my Mom.

    Oh those calendars fill up when we retire. I am busier than I ever was.


    1. Debbie, My sympathies in the loss of your mom; my mom passed away 11 months ago. So far, retirement is delightful. And yes, it is busy-filled with ministry and extra time with my husband. I don’t know how I ever had time to work! Blessings to you in 2018.

  7. I was drawn right in when I saw your word, Debbie, and I’ve been encouraged by your post. My word for the year is ‘still’, and it all began with surrender. I’ve been through some rough patches recently, and I sensed God whispering to me to be ‘still’… to stop striving so much… to let Him be the good Father that He is and to remember that no matter what I’m going through… He is ‘still’ on His throne. As I surrender my plans and hopes to Him, I’m learning more and more that I can trust Him fully. Blessings on your retirement and your journey of surrender.

    1. Carlie Still was on my list of words to consider. I have a plaque that says Be still and know that I am God (Isaiah 46:10) and keep it in sight all the time. Praying God’s love, faithfulness, and goodness fill your heart and mind with His peace as you are still and let Him work for you.

  8. Great word, Debbie. I love hearing all these words everyone’s sharing. I’m still praying on mine…think I have it, but just taking a little more time to make sure. 🙂 — Glad to hear the retirement move is going well and you’re settling in. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Brenda. I wanted to take more time with my word too, thought I had it, and then God put an entirely different word at the top of the list. Surrender. I look forward to reading your one word.

    1. I didn’t really choose the word surrender; God chose it for me. Surrender wasn’t on my original list of words for 2018. But when I prayed about those words, God whispered surrender. That’s the only way to do any of the things you want to do and to be the person I want you to be. I can’t wait to see where He takes me as I surrender to Him.

  9. What a great word and great advice on how to achieve surrender! May your journey to surrendering all your plans to God be filled with beauty, learning, and a deeper relationship with him!

  10. Debbie, you have so much good going on in your heart.
    I love your word choice, and admire your goal of memorizing Colossians. i hope that’s a project in my future, too. (I’ve seen Ann’s cards . . .)
    Blessings to you as you live, free and obedient, in all those beautiful calendar squares.

    1. Thank you, Michele. I love that-free and obedient. Freedom comes with surrender. I’m using Ann’s cards and the Scripture typer app to help me with Colossians. When I’m in line at the store or have a few minutes, I meditate on God’s Word. Happy New Year!

  11. This is great, Debbie! For years, I had the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 painted on my kitchen wall! What a beautiful way to surrender!

      1. I so enjoy your heart’s desire to always seek “Surrender” to His heart for you! Your journey of doing just that has been long in the making. You are nothing but consistent with your fierceness to grow in His Grace and share this wealth! My one word has been very clearly given, “contain”. To embrace all that i have received already, harvest it with compassion to share. Being His Grace, daily, come what may.

        1. Sylvia, thank you for your encouragement, for always seeing the best in me. Praying you do all God has planned for you in 2018 as you contain His love and care and gift it to others with grace.

  12. Happy New Year, Debbie! I’m excited by your choice of the word surrender as that was my word for 2016 and it was an amazing journey! It was the first time I had a word for the year and it was not a word I wanted at all, but I grew to love it by the end of the year and God really used it and taught me a lot through it. I look forward to following your journey. My word for 2018 is focus.

    1. Lesley, Like you, I didn’t intend to choose surrender, but as I prayed over the words I had on my list, God seemed to say the best way to do all the things I thought about was to surrender to Him. Not just say it once in preparation for the new year, but to surrender daily, moment by moment. I know this won’t be easy!

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.