Monday, January 13, 2014

My "One Word" for 2014

"Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it?
 I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19

I haven't mentioned much in the way of New Year's Resolutions during these first days of the New Year.
But, I have made a few.
I wanted to share some of them here.
First off, I decided to read the Bible through this year.
I've done it before, but never by following a specific plan 
that enables you to finish in exactly one year.

I went online to research different plans, 
and the one I like most and chose to use is found here.
I love this website!
It provides five different plans to read the Bible through in one year
and several versions and even languages.
Under STEP 1, I chose King James Version, then Old/New.
This way I am reading every day in both the Old and New Testaments,
so I am digging spiritual good from both wells!

Our printer is on the blink, so I have been going on and jotting down 
what I am supposed to read each day.
This isn't to say I may not read in other, additional places on some days, as the Holy Spirit leads,
but I am trying to make sure I read what is "required" at the very least.

I love this plan, and by God's grace plan to stick to it.
Announcing it here makes me feel more accountable.  :)

Secondly, it is my goal this year to try to address some of the health issues
I have been choosing to ignore, and just hoping they would go away.
Some are issues I've had for quite a while and are becoming more pronounced.
I've put them on the back burner for years...
always putting everything and everyone else ahead of dealing with them.
But, this year, I plan, by God's grace, to take some pro-active steps in becoming healthier
and doing what I need to do to improve my own well-being.
I truly believe that is why God has permitted this latest illness.
In the process of dealing with it, a door was opened for me to begin working on other issues.
God always has a plan, and He has shown me that I need to learn to take His cues
and, by steps of faith, walk through those open doors.
Some things are beyond my control, but I believe God wants me to do my part
and do all within my power to get better.
So, this is the beginning of a hopefully-healthier me...
and a healthier temple for Him to dwell within, speak through, and use!
I'm doing this for Him first.
Having that mindset makes it so much more important....and necessary.
He deserves the best we could ever offer Him.

Thirdly, I mentioned before that a few Christmases ago, 
Kevin bought me Ann Voskamp's book called "1,000 Gifts".

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I am so glad he did!
In it, Ann repeatedly uses the word, "eucharisteo", which basically means "to give thanks".
She was challenged by a friend to begin looking at life through the lens of eucharisteo
by recording one thousand things she was thankful for.
This suggestion completely transformed her life and way of viewing it.

I found this to be so intriguing.
A while back, I began my own list, but shortly thereafter, fell by the wayside 
and stopped doing it.

As the New Year dawned, and with it much communion and alone time with God,
it came back to me that I should make this a habit in 2014.
A beautiful, empty journal stared at me from the floor of our room,
each time I passed it....just lying there...collecting dust on my side of the bed.
My friend, Priscilla, bought it for me...I think it was for my last birthday.

Why not put it to good use and start my gift-journaling at the same time?

SO, I began my eucharisteo journal journey.
If you calculate it out, you would really only have to name three gifts/blessings per day
to reach 1,000 by the end of this new year.
But, I confess, that once I started writing, I couldn't stop.
Today, I am already over 260!
There is SO much for which to give thanks!
I have to pull myself away from it in order to stop.
I have a feeling I won't be anywhere near finished counting my blessings when I reach 1,000....
God's bountiful gifts are truly innumerable....and too great to count.

And lastly, I decided to start journaling about my weight.
It is a whole new approach.
I know...weight is such a touchy subject,
but, one that, for me at least, needs to be addressed, nonetheless.
I have made no loftily-aspired weight loss goals or resolutions for 2014.
None at all.
I am not committing to losing a certain number of pounds this year.
I hope to do that, and I always wish for it to happen.
But, honestly, I just can't take the pressure of such a commitment anymore.
I don't want to deal with the self-inflicted guilt.
I'm done with setting unrealistic goals,
only to fall short and into depression over not being able to attain them.

I was talking to my sister, Sandi, the other night on the phone,
and she gave me the idea of journaling my journey.
I was feeling so down that night.
The words just started pouring out of a flood gate had been opened.
My frustrations with the whole weight yo-yo experience,
my struggles with low self-esteem because of it....
on and on I droned.
I am so grateful for sisters and friends who listen,
never judge or condemn,
and truly empathize.
I count them among my most treasured my on-going list of 1,000.

As we talked, Sandi gave me some really great support and suggestions,
and among them was to start writing things down.

It came to my mind that I have another beautiful empty-paged journal...
a Footprints one...
given to me by my niece, Kristen several years ago.
I came across it recently while cleaning out a night stand drawer.
So, right there and then, I decided to use it as my weight journal.
Not so much to focus on the numbers.....
but to focus on my feelings about my weight.
To work through some of these inward, ongoing issues that may be contributing 
to the interception of my progress.

Everyone is coming up with one word for 2014.
I've seen some great ideas online.
I think if I had to sum one word....
the general sense of the direction I am discerning to be God's will for me this year....
it would be restoration.
The root word here is rest.
Setting some things aside, in order to be still, so that God can restore.
So, He can do what He is needing....and wanting to do in me.
Focusing on Who...and who is most important in my life.

It's been a rough couple of years.
I feel like I've been through the ringer,
turned upside down, and shaken empty.
My body, my soul, my mind, my nerves...
all of me....
screams for it.
Waits for it.
Needs it.

My life verse for the new year?
Joel 2:25
"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm..."

Oh, bless His name!
I love this verse!
It has been a source of great comfort to me so many times.
It is a direct promise that you....and I can cling to and hope for in this new year.

Locusts come into our lives in many different forms....
all of them brought about by the enemy of our souls
who possesses the sole intention of robbing us of everything good.

Jesus called him a thief and said he comes
"to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..."
John 10:10

Three different types of locusts are mentioned in Joel 2:25...
the canker worm, the caterpillar, and the palmer worm.
Among their descriptions in the original Hebrew, I found these words....
licking up,

That pretty much sums up the work of the devil, doesn't it?
He invades...he intrudes...he continually over-steps his bounds,
inserting and forcing evil elements into our lives.
Everything about him is destructive.
I hate giving him any credit, but through much personal experience,
I have found his attacks to be very well-organized.
They spring up quickly and increase at the speed of light.
He is creepy...sneaky....sly....crafty....under-handed and evil to the core.
He laps up anything good he can find in and around our lives.
He walks about, like a roaring lion, 24/7, seeking whom he may devour.
He strips away the shiny and beautiful and replaces it with the dull and ugly.
He is the ultimate ravager...
he pillages during destructive raids and takes away the good things as his spoil from the battle.
He gnaws away continually...constantly trying to erode Godliness and lofty aspirations.
He devastates anyone and everything in his path, leaving behind a ransacked, sickening aftermath.

He is a distributor of locusts....all manners and sorts of them....sent out to bring us down.

But, praise God, we are more than conquerors through Him Who loves us!
(Romans 8:37)

God has promised to restore everything satan has robbed from us.

Joel 2:25 is my promise for this year.
Restoration is my word.
I am looking for good things.
I am speaking blessings.
I am believing the God of my salvation to send and restore my health...
and I am believing Him for that more abundant life Jesus came to give us.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

How about you, my friend?
What is your life verse for this year?
Any special promises God has personalized....just for you?
Have you narrowed the Holy Spirit's leading in your life right one word?

Thinking of it....seeking God for a sense of clarity as we begin walking this
new, untested, unfamiliar 2014.

The year ahead is an unwalked path.

My prayer for you is that every day will find you walking it by faith,
clinging tight to His nail-scarred hand.
For truly, that is the only safe way to travel.


  1. Such a wonderful post Cheryl :-)
    Thanks for sharing :-)
    I am inviting you to visit me here

    1. Thank you so very much for stopping by here! Your kind words were such an encouragement! I will definitely check out your blog! God's peace and blessings to you, Cheryl

    2. Thanks for visiting me Cheryl :-)
      Blessings :-)

    3. You are so welcome! So glad to have "met" you!

  2. I am so blessed by your words, Cheryl. I would love to quote you on a post one day (the locusts). This contains much food to chew on.
    BTW, this is my New year's plan: I have given a lot of thought as to how I will use my time this year, and I find I need to be cutting back on visiting blogs. BUT, if you find a moment to visit and a comment, I will do my best to always return the favor. I desire to go deeper, not broader, and that is how I would follow along with YOU :)
    Blessings and a hug!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by today, Jacqueline. You are more than welcome to quote anything God has inspired here...they are His Words, not mine. :) I would love for you to stop by anytime. You are a blessing to me. Love to you and your family in this new year!

  3. My one word for 2014 is "stewardship."
    This word is often used in the church when tithing is addressed, but it's really applicable to all facets of our lives. My husband and I have found it pretty easy to tithe, but it is sometimes more difficult to be good stewards of other aspects of our lives: our time, our home, our bodies, our jobs, etc. We're focusing this year on being good stewards in all of these areas.

    1. So very true! What a wonderful word for the new year, and how responsible we truly are before God! Thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts!

  4. I began too writing a thank you journal and there are lot of thinngs to be thankful for everyday.
    Anyway, I don't have any specific word that I cling unto because I rely on from day to day words that God is giving me specifically. Mayb ebecause of my personality. God deals with us differently because of our different personalities.
    I don't think that I can read the whole bible in one year, because when I read a verse or chapter from God's words, I have to stick with the words and learn God's message for me on that day. I read to learn...and I am not a fast learner.
    I admire you for your reading habits and for really digging everyday from the word of God. It does really show in your writings.
    Really a blessing for us to read. The love between you and GOd no matter what the circumstances are.
    God bless you more and for your resolutions. Beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much, Joy! Oh, your words were like apples of gold in pictures of silver, as they always are to me. I am so glad you stopped by today. May the dear Lord's peace rest upon you continually. Love to you, Cheryl

  5. Thank you for stopping by and visiting me at my place's lovely to meet you. :) I have enjoyed keeping a journal of my thankfulness over the is a blessing to open up our eyes to see the things the Lord has done and is doing day by day! How Precious HE is!! What a blessing to see that you are digging into God's Word daily as well. How MUCH the Lord encourages our hearts when we read His Word...truly, it is food for the soul. May the LORD bless you greatly in this coming year. Many Blessings, Camille

    1. Camille, It was so nice of you stop by here. So lovely to meet you, too! I trust the Lord's richest blessings rest upon you this year, and that each new day brings healing to your grieving hearts. You are a very special family. God bless each one of you. Love, Cheryl

  6. This is beautiful! I love your OneWord (mine is Vision!) and the Scripture He gave you. I will be praying in agreement for you for breakthrough and healing. I see we are kindred in many things! I so appreciate your sweet comment on my blog! Glad you found me!

    1. Hi, Karrilee! I am so thankful you stopped by! Thank you for the sweet comments and for your prayers. I need and appreciate them so much! Yes, I felt that, too...that we are kindred spirits. :) So thankful to have found you and looking forward to many blessed visits together. Love, Cheryl

  7. Just loved this post. So much goodness, I know that I will be coming back it to it time and time again throughout the year. I hadn't even thought about it, but I believe restoration is exactly what I'm seeking during this time of rest. I, too, had started counting gifts after reading Ann Voskamp's book and let the habit fall by the wayside. I've started again! I know that seeing the world through the lens of eucharisteo will benefit my soul. Really, I connected with so many of your goals, dreams, and resolutions for 2014. I'm so glad to have this opportunity to follow ... no, JOIN in your journey as we link arms across the miles and seek God with all our hearts. Hugs to you, Cheryl.

    1. Thank you SO much for your dear, kind words!! Yes, I am surely seeking restoration, too. Sometimes, I wonder if I will ever be up to par again, but God is able! I loved your precious words, and it is a true blessing to link arms with you and walk this journey. May every day bring the renewal we both so desperately need. Love and hugs to you, my dear, new friend.