Looking Forward to a New Year

Every year, many people I know pick a Word of the Year to define the upcoming year. I’ve only started this in the past few years, and have noticed my Word of the Year doesn’t really follow the calendar year.

Two years ago, I chose Trust as my Word. I struggled with trusting God for all that life was throwing at me, and it seemed like a good first Word. When 2016 came around, I was praying about a new Word, and felt like I needed to keep Trust. So I did not change it.Wall of Trust

I have the word Trust on my wall, along with some other words that point me to trust. As 2015 and 2016 progressed, I wrote Bible verses and quotes from authors and friends which spoke of trusting in God and pinned them to my wall, forming a Wall of Trust.

A few months ago, I go the inkling that my Word was changing. It started with a verse:060716_mg_4278

This is at the end of the Valley of Dry Bones and I have always loved these verses.

This verse started a shift in my heart, and I knew my Word would be changing soon. And not waiting for 2017 to blow in like a frozen blizzard! A land has been promised me – a refuge, a home, a place to hide away and to invite others into peace. In this land I will be firmly planted by the Lord and there I will flourish.Firmly Planted

So my Word (more like a phrase!) is Firmly Planted and Flourishing. Living in this tension of the now and not yet has been interesting so far, but I am learning well that Jesus can be trusted, He has a plan filled with hope and a good future for me, He has not left me behind even when it fells like so many others have, I am a daughter of the Most High King of kings and He has lavished me with so many amazing gifts it will make my head spin as I start accepting them and opening them to share with those in my life.Flourish

Given my circumstances, my own land seems like a folly to hope for. But I know and trust that God has a plan for my life, and what He has promised me, He will fulfill. Just as Abraham received a seemingly impossible promise from God and kept hoping, so shall I.Keep Hoping

I am looking forward to 2017 with great expectation in my Lord. I can’t wait to see what He is working out in me! I am going to look for joy instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I carry this reminder with me everywhere I drive, thanks to the creativity and expertise of Revka at Fabled Treasures!Firmy Planted and Flourishing

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Trust

I have been working on a 2014 summary post. As I started sifting through my memories of the year, the good memories piled up so high I became overwhelmed with what I thought the post would look like. As I decide what all and how I will share from last year, I thought it would be a good idea to record my Word of the Year, and why I chose it.

Trust GodTrust. I want to work on trusting God, myself, and others. I have this picture on my desktop to remind me that I do not need to worry or stress out about life things or figure out everything on my own. God is patiently waiting for me to call on Him and trust Him with the details.

GOD
God has made many promises in the Bible, promises that apply to each person who will claim them. While I believe those promises for others, sometimes I have a hard time trusting those same promises for me. This year I will be intentional about trusting God in the big and the small.

MYSELF
I don’t always trust my decisions. I second guess and worry that I made the wrong choice. It is time to start trusting myself to make the best decision I can with the information I have. This would also come under trusting God, because I believe He will guide me if I listen.

OTHERS
I always dissect what people say to me about myself. I will be working this year to trust that my friends are speaking truth to me and accept their compliments.


Today, I read two quotes that blessed me today. The first one help remind me to trust God that He loves me and will keep His promises to me.

“May we learn to accept that there isn’t always a why, a how, or a lesson. But there is always Jesus. And there is always love.” – Emily P. Freeman

“You have not been abandoned or forgotten. God is working, and when you least expect it, in a way that you may hardly even recognize at first, He’s going to fulfill all He promised.” – Holley Gerth on (in)courage

 

{Advent} The Young Hero and the Horrible Giant

“God’s people had some scary enemies, but the Philistines were the scariest of them all. The Philistines had a secret weapon, called ‘Goliath.'”

David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

_MG_46431 Samuel 17

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.

{Advent} The Warrior Leader

“Then God made his people a promise. ‘I will always be with you. And I will never, ever leave you. If you do what I say, your lives in the new land will be happy and everything will go well.’… So it was that God’s people entered their new home. And they didn’t have to fight to get in – they only had to walk.”

After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul.”

They told Joshua, “Yes! God has given the whole country to us. Everybody there is in a state of panic because of us.”

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Joshua 3, 6

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.

{Advent} God Makes a Way

First of all, ‘Happy birthday, Jeanette!’

Sometimes it seems that no matter which way we turn, bad things will happen (or are). I like how Moses put it to the people when they cried out about Pharaoh coming after them at the Red Sea in The Jesus Storybook Bible: ‘Don’t be afraid! God knows you can’t do anything! God will do it for you. Trust him. And watch! … God will make a way.” I like the song of praise the Israelites sing after their rescue that it is included after the picture.

“What were God’s people going to do? In front of them was a big sea. It was so big there as no way around it. But there was no way through it – it was too deep. They didn’t have any boats so they couldn’t sail across. And they couldn’t swim across because it was too far and they would drown. And they couldn’t turn back because Pharaoh was chasing them. … So they did the only thing there was left to do – PANIC!”

God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness has closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.” And that’s what happened.

God made Pharaoh king of Egypt stubborn, determined to chase the Israelites as they walked out on him without even looking back. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them! They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. …

Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.

God will fight the battle for you.
And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”

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Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God, giving voice together,
I’m singing my heart out to God—what a victory!
He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song,
and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have
and I’m telling the world!
This is the God of my father—
I’m spreading the news far and wide!
God is a fighter,
pure God, through and through.
Pharaoh’s chariots and army
he dumped in the sea,
The elite of his officers
he drowned in the Red Sea.
Wild ocean waters poured over them;
they sank like a rock in the deep blue sea.
Your strong right hand, God, shimmers with power;
your strong right hand shatters the enemy.
In your mighty majesty
you smash your upstart enemies,
You let loose your hot anger
and burn them to a crisp.
At a blast from your nostrils
the waters piled up;
Tumbling streams dammed up,
wild oceans curdled into a swamp.
The enemy spoke,
“I’ll pursue, I’ll hunt them down,
I’ll divide up the plunder,
I’ll glut myself on them;
I’ll pull out my sword,
my fist will send them reeling.”
You blew with all your might
and the sea covered them.
They sank like a lead weight
in the majestic waters.
Who compares with you
among gods, O God?
Who compares with you in power,
in holy majesty,
In awesome praises,
wonder-working God?
You stretched out your right hand
and the Earth swallowed them up.
But the people you redeemed,
you led in merciful love;
You guided them under your protection
to your holy pasture.
When people heard, they were scared;
Philistines writhed and trembled;
Yes, even the head men in Edom were shaken,
and the big bosses in Moab.
Everybody in Canaan
panicked and fell faint.
Dread and terror
sent them reeling.
Before your brandished right arm
they were struck dumb like a stone,
Until your people crossed over and entered, O God,
until the people you made crossed over and entered.
You brought them and planted them
on the mountain of your heritage,
The place where you live,
the place you made,
Your sanctuary, Master,
that you established with your own hands.
Let God rule
forever, for eternity!

Exodus 14-15

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.

{Advent} The Forgiving Prince

Joseph had some pretty rotten stuff happen to him, not only from strangers but from his own family! But yet he trusted God to have good things planned. I sometimes wonder if he was ever impatient or if he ever complained to God about what was going on? In The Message, it says he was 17 when his brothers sold him into slavery, and things didn’t start getting better until he was 30! Even with all the hurt and trouble Joseph had, he was able to forgive those who wronged him. Unconditionally. The way God forgives us. Unconditionally.

That’s the end of the dreamer! the brothers thought. But they were wrong. God had a magnificent dream for Joseph’s life and even when it looked like everything had gone wrong, God would use it all to help make the dream come true. God would use everything that was happening to Joseph to do something good.”

Joseph couldn’t hold himself in any longer, keeping up a front before all his attendants. He cried out, “Leave! Clear out—everyone leave!” So there was no one with Joseph when he identified himself to his brothers. But his sobbing was so violent that the Egyptians couldn’t help but hear him. The news was soon reported to Pharaoh’s palace.

_MG_4329Genesis 37-46

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.