My One Word: Speak

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I have been waiting for my word. Waiting longer than I wanted. I was ready back in December, when I had my 2019 calendar and new notebook waiting. I was ready to be lit on fire and filled with purpose. I wanted a word that had momentum, and light, and would put me on the path I wanted. I had a blog post ready, filled with all the words, ready to inspire others as we got ready to turn the page to 2019. I was ready.

But God said wait.

The word, or really two words, and Bible verse for our family came like a gift. It was so clear and fit our family and current situation perfectly. It spoke to our family’s truth and put us on a clear path forward and toward God. Not just for this year, but forever. There was purpose and action and love. I ordered a print of the words and put them on our wall. But they were our family’s words, and I knew God had something more for me.

And still, God said wait.

I took out my empty notebook and wrote down our family verse and words and three img_6893things I felt God calling our family to in this new year. I turned the page and wrote down “My One Word for 2019” and made a place for my word. Then I wrote down every word that came to me. I just dumped them onto the page. I wrote over 50 words. All of them good and fitting words, but none of them seemed right. I had about three words that struck me the first weeks of January. I would write them down on scratch paper to see how they looked. I worked ideas and plans around those words, but there was always something a little off. They worked if I looked at them in a certain light, but in the darkness, they didn’t hold true.

My notebook looked the same, until today.

“No go, I will help you speak and teach you what to say.”

Exodus 4:12

Speak.

In 2018 I became and in 2019 I will speak.

  • I will allow God to speak into my heart and every area of my life.
  • I will speak truth into dark place.
  • I will speak God’s truth into our children.
  • I will speak to crowds big and small. (I already have two speaking engagements on the books for March.)
  • I will speak less and listen more.
  • I will allow God to speak through me.
  • I will speak truth to lies and love to hate.
  • I will speak slowly when my words want to rush out in anger.
  • I will speak truth to anxiety and fear, for they are not of God.
  • I will say “Speak, God. I am your servant, ready to listen.” 1 Samuel 3:9

And this is only the beginning. The list goes on and on and as far as God will take me this year.

“My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.”

Isaiah 59:21

May I listen more than I speak, and may the words that I speak be a sweet balm to your soul.

Does Your Soul Know It Well?

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This week I have been working on a project. An assignment. A hard one! I’m enrolled in a 5-day course that will help me with my big dream. Each day has a lesson and one assignment. Seems simple enough. Except it took me to the very end of day 3 to be happy with my day 1 assignment.

I had been given great feedback and probing questions from the instructor. I sent my rough draft (I had maybe 6 or 7 rough drafts) to my mom, who is a writer. My husband looked it over and helped me dig through word choices and their meaning and theological significance. I felt like I was going nowhere. And here’s the kicker: I was only writing four sentences. Four!!! That’s it. It was so hard to me to get everything I wanted to say, to explain it so clearly, to be true and faithful to my calling and faith into four little sentences.

At the end of day two, I really started to question myself. Was this really what God is calling me to do? If I can’t write four little sentences, how am I going to complete my book or speak truth into others. Maybe I should stop now. No one would really miss what I bring to the table. There are so many others doing what I want to do. Really Lord? Me?

All lies!

You see, I do believe God created me for this. For many things, but especially for this. God has known this since the beginning, and if I really stop, breathe and thing about it, I know it too.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

I believe that you were created on purpose. No matter your circumstances. God knew you and created you on purpose and for a purpose. There is nothing in you; your desires, your faults, your challenges, your dreams; nothing is hidden from God. We are products of God’s handiwork. I believe there are God ordained dreams in our souls and as we walk our path, those dreams come into fruition. But that doesn’t mean there will be challenges or struggles or days when we want to give up.

My soul did not know it well. I forgot, even if just for a day. I made it about me and not about Him. I questioned, and wavered, and was ready to give up. But I didn’t.

When you find yourself in a place where your soul does not know it well, how can you bring yourself back? How can you remember? For me, I needed to go to bed and sleep. I needed to focus on gratitude and prayer. I needed to read from the Bible. And then I needed to stop second guessing myself and get back to work! God made me for this! What amazing, awesome, inspiring thing did God make you for?

A Small Patch of Sun

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Do you see that tiny patch of sunshine? That’s where I’m sitting. On the floor, with the warm sun on my back. Paw Patrol is on the television and I’m digging into Psalm 34.

It’s been a hard week. One of those “Really? All of this in one week?” kind of weeks. I’ve had to say hard, grown-up words to my children. Words they should be too young to hear, but society challenges me, no – forces me to speak them. To have conversations with them. To speak truth over them.

It’s also going to snow this weekend. The weather is very trivial compared to everything else this week, but I have been cold since October and I’m ready to be warm again. This is why I’m sitting on the floor in the sunshine. Maybe I can soak in enough to make it to next Wednesday, when the sun will reappear.

Psalm 34 says:

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” v.4-5

and

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help.” v.15

This is the simple truth that I need this week. God sees me. In those hard conversations and situations, where I feel completely lost, God sees me. He knows right where I am. He is always with me. This sweet, sweet promise is one I hold on to tight. Even more so in weeks likes this one.

Maybe you are in a hard season. Or a hard week. Or a hard moment. God sees you.

Maybe you’ve had to have hard conversations. With a spouse. With children. With a co-worker. With a friend. God sees you.

Maybe you are still stuck in winter and are praying for spring. God sees you.

Even with our situations seem dark, and make God harder to see, his sovereignty, his power, will hold you and sustain you. No matter how loud your day is. God hears you.

Look past the dark. Look through the noise. Walk toward His presence. His love. His promises.

Go and sit in that small, warm patch of sunshine, and soak it in!