Sunday, January 6, 2013

One Word

Shelley has been my friend for over two decades. She was a friend when I deeply needed a true friend. She was a friend before I was a good friend to have. She has always had a way of giving thoughtful, perfect-timing-kind of gifts. So when I received a card from her not long ago I wasn't surprised to find a gift tucked inside that was the exact thing that would speak to my heart at that moment. 

It is a beautiful bookmark with seven letters pressed into a metal medallion to form the one big word, courage.

I love that word.

The 'root' of that word "cor" is latin and means "heart". Since one of my gifts is to impart courage (encourage) to others it is a word that has deep meaning to me. In fact, I love that word so much in 2010, I chose it as my "one word" to live by for that year. 

I had heard about this choosing of one word for the year on K-Love radio station. It resonated in my soul since I'm a woman of too many words and too many lists and so very many scattered thoughts.

In the radio interview, they talked about how words have the power to help us shape goals, dreams, emotions, and ideas. And in this case, one word can help narrow the focus in my walk with God for the year and replace the long lists and weak resolutions.

In January of 2010, I happened to be reading the Bible, in the book of Joshua and the Lord is telling Joshua over and over to be strong and courageous. After doing a word study on it, I decided that courage was a great choice for my one  word that year. How could I have known that in February of that year I would be diagnosed with breast cancer? And that I would suddenly find myself rubbing shoulders with people in a battle for their lives and living out courage in so many ways. My heart and my courage were enlarged and lived out. That one word became part of the very fiber of my soul even after the year passed.

In 2011, the one word I claimed was "change". I had some ideas about what that might look like and changes I wanted to make. Little did I know there would be a mountain of change. None of them my choice. The sudden death of my mom that year changed a huge part of everything I had known to be secure and certain. The dynamics of my family completely changed with her passing. Everything from who to call for advice on how to make coleslaw to how the holidays are spent. Change was my big one word and it marked a year of pressing into an unchanging God. 

January of 2012, I approached my one word with a little hesitation. =] What I saw in my journals and felt pressed on my heart was the one word.. "new". I even shared with some friends how I felt I was entering a new season of ministry ...even though I had no idea what that would look like. As 2012 comes to a close I have reflected on the impact of my one word. Jim and I entered a new season of life with our youngest moving out, a new grandson, and yes. A new season in ministry on so many levels. I stand in awe of what I have had the honor of being part of, all while serving the One who 'makes all things new.'

So. It's now the first week in January and I've been praying about my one word for 2013. I've had some ideas rolling around for weeks. One words like "wholehearted", "trust", "available", "move", "enough" and "thanks-living" {maybe next  year}....?  There is a story behind each of those one words.

But this morning as I again asked the Lord to give me the one word to tighten the lens of my life on for 2013, this is the word that seems to linger.


That seems like a lot. 


All as in wholly, completely, the entire quantity. 

Not as in "I want it all" the world says.

All... as in, I want all that the Lord has for me. If it's not from His hand I don't want it, but if He has it for me I want all of it. 

The plans He has for me. -I want them all to be a reality in my life.

All as in ..."All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." ....all scripture.

All as in my life verse which I hand painted on my whole office wall years ago.
Yes, I want to love Him with all my heart, soul, strength and mind. I want to spend 2013 learning a little about the 4660 references to 'all' in my Bible.

I want to embrace the All-mighty God who can handle all of me and meets me right where I am, all while lifting me to where He desires I follow.

This brand new year when my Christmas cards are still being mailed out. {does that mean they are no longer "Christmas" cards}? When my office has a narrow path that I crawl through to get to my desk where there are clipboards each full of projects and stuff  I need to develop and do and papers to be filed. This fresh new year that has begun before I have even packed up last year.

My One Word is 'all'. 

I'm ALL-in for Jesus.

Wherever that takes me in 2013.

Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen
How about you? What is your one word for 2013?

* Thanks, Amy and A Moment Photography for taking the book marker photo. And to Shelley Moser for the gift and inspiration! Love you both.

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