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New Year, New Word

I used to choose a word of the year. Way back in 2010, I chose the word dance. In 2011, I chose the word be. In 2012, I chose delight based on Psalm 37:4. In 2013, I was a rebel and chose a few words: wait and see. Each year, I would blog about what I thought those words might foretell, what I hoped they’d point me toward. As life unfolded, the words inevitably took on different meanings and rang true for reasons I could never have seen on December 31.

Life got busy for a few years and I sort of forgot about the whole word thing. In 2017 though, the Lord used the word abide to cause my ears to perk up again. I had gotten too busy to sit with my Father like I should and that meant I was too busy. Abide has been my theme and my song for two years now because I need that reminder. My rebel heart keeps me wandering when all I need to do is abide in my Father's love. Abide is a word I will never let go of; it is a word that will never let go of me.

 In 2018, abiding became more than a word. What began as one tiny step of obedience led to the opportunity to answer to a call long ignored and the Lord Himself this girl out of the classroom and into full-time ministry. With the beautiful fruit of that decision has come fiery arrows from the enemy. Abiding in Christ has been my saving grace. Until I take my last breath, I am determined to abide in my Father, believing with all I have that He will abide with me. I'll go and do and say anything He calls me to do if it means even one more soul can find the joy and peace He has given me.

To be able to endure the storms I've seen in my crazy life and proclaim with absolute confidence to anyone anywhere that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS?


He came to set us FREE.

That's a miracle and it's one I'm honored to shout from the highest mountains.

So, what now? What about 2019? What brand new word might fit this brand new year?

Well. Go big or go home, baby. I am an all or none kind of girl and I want to see the Lord do BIG things. Fear had me chained for too long and my Father has broken those chains. Trials come - and man they come in some scary looking, unexpected packages - and I am tempted so often to shrink back. Jesus told us something else though.

Therefore, Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."- John 10:7-10

Jesus knew we'd doubt. He made a point to remind us that he was speaking truth. He acknowledged that thieves and robbers had ravaged before. He made a way for us. He told us up front that the enemy was going to come and steal and kill and destroy. He was. He does. He will. Nothing about that changes who our Shepherd is or how very able He is to save us. He laid down His life for us that we might have life - and have it to the full.

 Y'all. I want that kind of life.

I don't want the "maybe later" or "I'll try" or "I'm doing the best I can" kind of life. No, sir. I want the kind of life that has me springing out of bed in the morning (if you know me - you know that would have to be God Himself to make that happen) looking for God in every new day like a kid looking for Santa's loot on Christmas morning. I want to be expectant again. I'm not just asking for a good life, I'm believing Christ alone for a full life.

 My word for 2019 is not full though. We had a full life with a full schedule and full days and full minds last year. I want more - abundantly more.

 Other translations say that Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. That's what I'm after: abundance. What does that truly mean though?

[uh-buhn-duhns] noun 

1. an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply:an abundance of grain. 
2. overflowing fullness:abundance of the heart. 
3. affluence; wealth:the enjoyment of abundance 

Synonyms for abundance 1. copiousness, plenteousness. See plenty. 2. generosity. 

Antonyms for abundance 1. scarcity. 

Yes, Lord. Abundance. Immeasurably more.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21

 Whatever may come in 2019, we know your abundant grace will be overly sufficient.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Lord, we ask for more, but we only want more of YOU. Fill our hearts with your love. Overflow our lives with your grace. Out of the fullness of your grace alone, Father, may we receive blessing.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16 

Lord, let us not settle for what the world has to offer. Bind fear and break chains. Let us walk free. Give us courage to walk on - to go where you lead. Remind us who we are. Remind us our lives our but vapors and this world is absolutely not our home. Be strong, O God, in our weakness. Dwell richly in our humble circumstances. Let us step fully into our rightful place as coheirs with Christ. As we do, we will not swell up. Instead, we will be bow down. We will kneel and we will serve as you served. We will see you lifted high.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  
- Romans 8:15-17 

Because of the cross, we live in a lavish love. Abundance is ours for the taking. Scarcity is a lie when our hope is in the Lord.

You are all I need, Father. Give me more of you, O God.

Give me an abundance of YOU.


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