Were you one of the people who stayed up to see the old year out and the new one in? I sure was! Every year, my brothers, sisters and our families all gather together to celebrate our Christmas and New Year together all in one night. Every year as the old year draws to an end, we all gather around the TV to watch the ball drop and countdown with all those shivering people in Times Square in New York City. Whatever your New Year’s tradition is, I hope you enjoyed it and are ready to take on 2019.
As I reflected on 2018, I will cherish the memories, the people and the adventures that were a part of last year. Our family had some wonderful celebrations including the graduation of our oldest son, Tyler, from Messiah College. He also passed all four parts of the CPA exam, and he is happily working long hours at one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. We also celebrated our daughter, Lexi’s 21st birthday, and anyone who knows Lexi knows that she loves to celebrate and have fun. Then we welled up with tears as our youngest, Justin, walked out of the Central Bucks East Football Stadium with his high school diploma in hand.
As with any year and all families, we also had our share of sadness, grief and loss in more ways than I would like to remember. However, through all of our joys, celebrations and sorrows of 2018, our Heavenly Father was always there to carry me and give me strength (as were some of you–my dear friends and followers). I have kept that poem “Footprints in the Sand” in my mind at all times, as well as the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Now, a new year is here and, with any new year, we start out with hope, expectation and a few ideas about how we want the year to unfold. One of my favorite ways to start any New Year is with a word of the year, which sets the tone and becomes a theme for that year. In 2017, my word was fortified. In 2018, I had a phrase which was, bursting with fruit.
It is once again time to LIVE FORWARD and kick off 2019 with anticipation for the endless possibilities and opportunities and beautiful people that I get to share life with. I used the process I’ve been using for years to come up with my word. This year it took a bit longer, and I spent much more time reading God’s Word, praying, meditating and writing down over 50 words as I considered what my word for 2019 would be. (As a writer, words are my thing, so I love to find pretty, meaningful, philosophical, fancy, thoughtful words!) Not only did certain Bible passages keep appearing, but words and phrases from others and some hopes and plans for 2019 made it VERY APPARENT what my word for 2019 is!
Have you gone through this exercise yet of figuring out the direction you are heading in 2019?
If not, no worries and no pressure and absolutely, positively no judgment if you haven’t done this or it’s not your thing. There is no timeline for having your word or phrase of the year, however, if you are interested in having one, then my super simple strategy for finding the right word or phrase for you in 2019 is below:
- CHOOSE to make quiet time every day over the next seven days a priority.
- LISTEN for that still small voice of God.
- OBSERVE words, phrases and images that pop in front of you throughout the day.
- EVALUATE your goals and plans for the coming year.
- MEDITATE on Bible verses that keep appearing.
- PRAY that God will place it on your heart.
That’s not too hard of a way to figure out what word or phrase will be yours, is it? That’s my super simple process every year and it has worked. Half the time, I don’t even realize the process because it’s ingrained in my core. However, if this is all new to you, it may take a little getting used to. Don’t give up if a word or phrase doesn’t come to you–just continue the process until it does. And then–when it happens–PLEASE let me know what your word or phrase is! I LOVE hearing what God is doing in the lives of others!
Each year, I also find a Bible verse that I memorize and meditate on and for 2019, the verse that God kept putting in my mind and bringing to my attention is one that means more to me because of all that has been taking place in my world. It is:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Timothy 1:6-7
This verse is such a strong reminder of whose we are! We are children of God–heirs to his promises. He has given us so much in the form of giftedness, and this verse is a reminder that we are to boldly and fearlessly use those gifts with a spirit of love and humility. It is because of that verse and many others, that I realized that the old way of thinking and doing things and living weren’t exactly how God wanted me to think, act or do. With that in mind, it’s time I got to the punchline of this post and shared with you my word for 2019…
Really! NEW is my word for this year. When I ponder all the words I was considering, this one isn’t the prettiest or the fanciest, but it really captures what I feel God wants me to focus on more than anything.
What I believe God is moving me toward is:
a NEW vision for work; in life and with faith.
a NEW and powerful prayer life.
to see things with NEW lenses — clear, focused lenses (not blurry or rose-colored)
NEW at being understanding.
NEW at flourishing.
NEW at growing personally, professionally and spiritually.
turning old, tired thought processes into NEW and healthy ones.
NEW at awakening to truth and reality.
NEW at being fearless.
NEW at being unshakeable and unwavering.
NEW at advancing with purpose and prudence.
NEW at being wise and discerning.
NEW at being who God has called and equipped me to be.
NEW with God-confidence and clarity.
NEW learning opportunities.
NEW healthy choices.
NEW laughter and fun and outings with family and friends :)!
As the clock struck midnight on December 31, it really was time to let go of the old and embrace the NEW. God, in his abundant love and grace makes all things NEW, and I know this because I am living proof. He makes all things work together for HIS purposes and that is my hope as I draw closer to Him this year.
As you start this year, my prayer for you is that He will lead you along as you seek Him and that no matter what your word or phrase, or verse or hope for this year, that more than anything, you too will find that God restores and makes whole that which has been broken. He certainly does and can make all things NEW and that includes me and that includes you!
Wishing you a beautiful year at work; in life; with faith.
P.S. Don’t forget to let me know your word of the year in the comments sectio.