Friday, January 20, 2017


Like many people, every year I pick a word for the year.  A word that can set me up for the coming year. To realign my heart to where it needs to be.  It's not that I believe that there is something magical about the moment that the clock strikes midnight, but I do believe that the new year is a great time for self reflection. A time to reassess our hearts, our lives, and our relationship to God.  Last year, my word was Abide.  This year I chose the word retreat.

Last year, it seemed so clear to me what I wanted my word of the year to be, I mean, Abide seems like a pretty great thing to pursue and it's a word that I always felt a connection to.  This year though, I had no idea what word to choose, so I prayed about it.  It was then that the word retreat popped into my head, seemingly out of nowhere.  With this came instant confusion, certainly God was not calling me to focus on a word that implies quitting, or getting away.  I felt like I was trying to pursue the opposite of these things, so why would He give me that word.  So like anyone would, I googled, and I mean I googled hard.  Going deep into the word, searching it's meanings,  It was only then that it dawned on me that retreat was actually the perfect word that God had given to me.

  1. 1.
    (of an army) withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat.

    "the French retreated in disarray"

    synonyms:withdrawretire, draw back, pull back/out, fall back, give way, give ground, beat a retreat, beat a hasty retreat
    "the army retreated"
  1. 1.
    an act of moving back or withdrawing.

    "a speedy retreat"

    synonyms:withdrawal, pulling back
    "the retreat of the army"
  2. 2.
    a signal for a military force to withdraw.

    "the bugle sounded a retreat"

What struck me was the "act of moving back or withdrawing".  One of my goals for the year had been to move away from things that were unhealthy for me, and to move towards things that were good for me.  To make healthy choices for myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I wanted to retreat into God, and away from things that were pulling me down, keeping me from my best and most healthy self.  

After talking to a friend about my word for the year, He also pointed out the fact that when an army withdraws, it is not quitting, it is simply pulling back.  Pulling back to look at the problems, rest, and gather what they will need to go back into battle, I think we all could use a little of that in our lives don't you think.  To step back after a defeat, rest in God, and gather up the things we will need to go back into the battle.  If you look at the definition,  it is a withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat.  When the evil of this world gets to be too much, rest in God.  When this world beats you down, and you face a defeat, rest in God.  It is such a beautiful attitude to have looking into this new year.  A withdraw isn't giving up, a withdraw is recognizing that if I keep going like this, I am going to lose.  Without Him, I will lose.  In life, doing this is an act of total surrender.  To look at the strength of the enemy and recognize your weakness, your 'not-enoughness'. We can rest in this weakness, because where we are weak He is strong, and there is nothing more comforting or energizing than that.   

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prone To Wander

Prone To Wander...that is such a beautiful way to recognize the wandering hearts and minds of humanity isn't it.  When I hear those words, I don't just recognize my own wandering heart, it stirs an ache inside of me, knowing just how true those words are in my own life.

prone to wander
Lord I feel it
prone to leave
the God I love

This is why I chose to title the blog Prone To Wander, because it is true for me, it is true for us.  I want so many things for my life, and this phrase is a reminder how easily I can wander from God's will for my life.  It is a reminder of the fact that I am not enough.  A reminder of my need for Him.

I don't know for sure yet what I want this blog to be,  other than I want it to be a place where I can record my thoughts.  I have had a blog for many years, since I was in college, but that space didn't feel like me anymore.  So much change has occurred in my life since that time, I felt that I wanted a space to reflect that.  I love being able to have a space where I can look back and see what I was thinking years ago, it reminds me of who I was and how I can learn from that to become better.  It is also a way to record memories, I can look back and not only see memories from an event, but also my thoughts and feelings on it at the time.  I love that.  So I knew I wanted to continue doing that in some way.

I guess since this is a new space I should introduce myself, on the possibility that someone out there reading this doesn't know who I am. My name is Kayla Heffner.  I am 26 and I live in a small town in Ohio near Huntington, WV.  I work with a nonprofit, and I also have my own business.  I teach craft classes to women from the community and help them to make things, then I help them sell them, providing income to women who can rarely get jobs, and also building community.  Most of my time is spent at the nonprofit, spending time with my family there.

Right off the bat, I want to say as well that this blog is not the thoughts of some perfect Christian.  I am a pretty broken human being.  I have done things I regret, and there are so many times that I find myself wandering from who I am called to be...but I am learning.  This blog is the space of a believer who is in transit, who has yet to arrive.  I suppose we are all believers in transit,  everyone walking through life doing the best they can until we are called home.  I want to surround myself with people who are striving to make this life the best it can be.  Who are loving God, and loving the people around them.  This space will never be anything other than that.  I invite you to walk through this life with me.  Hopefully we all can learn something along the way, and together, we can all walk closer to Christ.

I look forward to walking this road with you.  Thanks for stopping by my friends.