Theme Word 2019: Depend

*FYI, I won’t be posting next week but will see you back here on Jan. 22. Blessings to all!

I love the practice of choosing a theme word for each new year. Having an over-arching word—a quality, an attitude, or an action—can give me direction throughout the year and also helps me refocus on the word—this thing God has directed me to do.

I usually start thinking and praying about what my word for the upcoming year should be sometime in November or December. This year three or four words came to mind, but as I prayed and asked God to direct me to his word for me for the upcoming year, one word resonated with me more than the rest.

The word that resonated the most with me for 2019? Depend. That may sound like an odd word to choose, but with the changes, situations, and tasks that 2019 may hold for me (or for my husband and me), I need to depend on God each step of the way. I can easily start to worry if I don’t remember to trust God and rely on him and his guidance and strength for whatever the future may bring. So depend it is.

Of course, as in other years, the word depend may end up with applications I haven’t even thought about yet. We’ll see. However the year plays out, I want to be found depending on my faithful and able God. My loving heavenly Father. My strength.

“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17 NIV

*Have you chosen a theme word or an anchor verse for 2019?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by  Khánh Hmoong, Creative Commons License

Theme Word 2018: Listen

Any other theme word junkies like me out there? Yes, I am indeed hooked on the practice of choosing a theme word for each new year. For a goal-oriented gal like me it seems only natural to have an over-arching word—a quality, an attitude, or an action—that I can focus on and that can give me direction throughout the year. 

In November and/or December I start thinking and praying about what my word for the upcoming year should be. Some years I think I know what it will be and then the Lord brings another word to mind or to my attention through multiple avenues. When that happens I know God is at work directing me to the word he has for me in the upcoming year. I so appreciate his guidance. After all, he knows the future and he knows what I need to help guide me through it.

This year the Lord has directed me to the word listen. As usual at this early stage, I don’t know all the ways God will use this particular theme word in my life over the next twelve months. I just know it’s a word I’ve been noticing and that has been resonating in my spirit. And so, I want to listen to those inner nudges and begin to focus more on listening this year.

So here’s hoping by the end of 2018 I will have grown in my listening skills. Listening more often and more attentively to God, to my loved ones, to others, to the natural world, and even to myself—to what my body or spirit may be trying to tell me.

And as ever, it will interesting to see what God has in store this year and how he will use listen in my life. He has a way of surprising us, doesn’t he? So I say, “Lord, help me keep my ears and my spirit wide open so I don’t miss a thing!” 

“. . . Everyone should be quick to listen . . . ” James 1:19

*Have you chosen a theme word or anchor verse for 2018? If not, feel free to adopt mine!

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by mpeterke, Creative Commons License

2017 Theme Word: Trust

15004178998_fdf4bb1e5c_zThe launch of a new year means different things to different people, but for me it means it’s time to focus on a new theme word for the year. I’ve never been big into New Year’s resolutions, but the past several years, I’ve chosen a theme word to help guide me through the year. It’s a practice I highly recommend. I can honestly say it has benefited me time and again.

This year the word the Lord kept bringing to my attention in the waning weeks of 2016 was trust. It wasn’t a word that was on my theme-word radar so to speak. Initially the words balance and simplify came to mind, but as I asked God to guide my choice, the word trust kept popping up, first in one place and then another. Isn’t it great how God gives us direction as we seek his guidance?

I’ve got to admit when I sensed God directing me to the word trust, fear tried to sneak in. Why was God leading me to the word trust? Is something bad going to happen? Is God trying to prepare me to trust in him? Of course, I immediately realized I would have to trust him even with this. I shouldn’t run from the word trust. I needed to follow his lead and yes, trust him come what may.

So, I don’t know how the word trust will play out in my life this year, but it will be interesting to see how it offers me direction, comfort, peace, and yes, perhaps even challenge as the year goes on.

Right now when I think of trust, I think of believing, resting, or staying faithful, and I know it will be good to grow in all of these areas. But who knows, God may have something in mind that hasn’t even occurred to me. After all, he works like that quite often, doesn’t he?

One thing is certain, though—God is trustworthy. So with trust as my word for the year, I’ll go forward fully trusting in him and the good work he will do in my life. Join me?

“LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12 NIV

*Have you chosen a theme word or an anchor verse for 2017?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of my book to use personally, to give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by SFB579 Namaste, Creative Commons License

Theme Word for 2016: Adventure!

DSC05436Do you mark the beginning of a new year by selecting a theme word for the year? Some people refer to it as an anchor word and others even choose an anchor verse from the Bible. I jumped on the theme word bandwagon back in 2012, and I’m so glad I did.

I love how a theme word keeps me focused on a particular quality or action throughout the year. I don’t think of my chosen theme word every day, but I do think of it periodically. It helps keep me on track or gives me guidance. It does indeed feel like an anchor, especially during times of decision both large and small.

The word I’ve chosen for 2016 is adventure. Exciting, right? Yes, but in my mind, also a little scary. What will the year hold? Will I embrace the adventures about to unfold? Will I be up for the challenges?

One reason I chose adventure as my theme word is because of the huge adventure that awaits me with the publication of my mother of the bride book. As you may know, this is my first time around the book publishing block so it will all be one huge adventure for me—not only working with the BroadStreet Publishing team to get the book ready, but also marketing the book once it’s released. And since I will do some traveling in order to market this niche book to mothers of the bride, I anticipate plenty of new things and adventure along the way.

Another adventure that will keep me plenty busy—and traveling as well—will be my ongoing adventure of grandparenting twin baby boys. Isaiah and James turned one year old yesterday, and they are on the move. Their mama and daddy can benefit from an extra pair of hands and a little relief from time to time, and I am more than happy to provide that when I can. They live nearly six hours away so I’m not able to help as often as I’d like, but I do my best to make the trek every month or two.

I’m not sure of all the other adventures (which many times present themselves as challenges!) that the Lord has in store for me this year, but one thing I’m sure of—he will be with me every step of the way and carry me if need be. And even though nerves may try to get the best of me at times, I really have no reason to fear. I am not alone on this adventure we call life. The Lord will be my strong support and guide. And he is always up for a challenge!

“‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?’” Isaiah 43:19a

*What adventures await you this year? Any you would like to initiate yourself?

*My photo

Rest: Theme Word for 2015

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Has the new year found you deciding on a theme word or anchor verse for 2015? I’m a theme word kind of girl. I love how adopting a theme word for the year can help guide me throughout the year as situations arise or decisions large or small need to be made. The words I’ve focused on thus far have been focus, finish, and guard. Each one has proven to be helpful either personally, professionally, or both.

This year I’ve decided on rest as my theme word. Last month as I prayed about and considered what my word for this year should be, the word rest kept popping up—in my mind and in things I’d read, etc. I definitely felt God’s guidance towards this particular theme word. Maybe he knew I’d really need rest this year since I closed out 2014 and started 2015 in a period of increased demand after my husband’s accident.

Don’t worry, I’m not planning on giving up writing or quitting all of my other activities to rest for the entire year (though at times that sounds appealing, huh?!), but I am going to be alert to ways that I can allow myself moments or periods of rest more often. Those who know me well know that I can be quite goal and task oriented—so rest can get the short end of my stick more times than not.

It will be interesting to see how God uses the word rest in my life this year. I anticipate not only physical and work-related applications of rest to come into play but also spiritual and emotional ones as well. For example, the Lord may lead me to say no to certain things, but he also may teach me more about resting in his grace and love. Who knows what he’s got up his divine sleeve this year, right?! :)

I’m thankful to have a heavenly Father who knows what I need and guides me to it. He truly is our Shepherd, isn’t he?

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3a

*What would be a good theme word or anchor verse for you this year?

*Flickr photo by bjimmy934, Creative Commons License