Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 Word for the Year: Live

For the past several years around New Years I have often heard people talk about having a word to use as their focus for the year. It kind of reminds me of the little "gifts" we would get at church at the Christmas Eve service when I was a kid. We would always get a little ornament or something with a little piece of paper with a word, it's definition, and a verse on it. I found one in my mom's Bible. They looked like this:
 We always looked forward to finding out what our word was and would run around to all of our friends asking what word they got and talk about them as a family on our way home. If someone got a word like "patience" they would often joke around wondering what the year would hold that they needed extra patience for. The words and verses were often very appropriate for the year to come and were usually mentioned by someone at the Thanksgiving Eve testimony service at church the following year. Mom kept a record of several of the years in the back of her Bible:
 The last gift that she was able to pick was "appreciative (I Thess.5:18 ["in everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"])." As I saw that today it made me wonder how that played out for her personally. 2001 was a difficult year for me to be appreciative. She was so sick that year and not able to teach and then, after May 23, she wasn't really able to do much of anything. What role did the word "appreciative" play in her life that year? I really don't know. Looking back I am appreciative, not necessarily for the circumstances of 2001 but for what God has in my life through them. I had "courageous" that year. Deuteronomy 31:6 says "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." I am so thankful that my faithful God was with me and did not fail me or forsake me during that difficult year.

{sigh} I wasn't really going to go into all of that. I am really grateful for the words that God gave me over the years at Seneca Community. I haven't had the privilege of going to a Christmas Eve service there in over a decade so I am not sure if they still do the word thing or not.

The last few years God has laid a word on my heart that He has challenged me to live out for the new year. In 2011 it was present. The word for 2012 was open. They have both had an impact on my life during those years. Being open this past year has enriched my life in ways that I would never have imagined if I had stayed "safely" closed as is my preference. I may blog more about it later.

This year though, I didn't think that I was going to be given a word. As I thought and prayed about it though God impressed me with the word "live." So much of my life the focus of my life has been "survive." With our upcoming "mystery months" that has been my focus - "How are we going to survive?" with a focus on food and shelter. God gracefully reminded me of this:
 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34
 The other day, after playing out in the snow with the kids, Glenn and I were discussing how we really felt alive when we were playing with them out there. This year, with all the unknown that it will contain, I would like to truly live.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." I have allowed "the thief" to steal my joy, kill my passions, and destroy my peace for far too long. 

This year, with God's help, I long to live the life that God desires me to live and to live it to the full. 

What word has God called you to this year?

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