For more posts from Women Bringing Heaven about One Words and Starting The Year Off Right, go here: http://raisingstickyhands.com/category/starting-the-year-off-right/
Along with my One Word for each year, I choose a focus verse. This year my verse jumped out at me like a fountain in the scorching hot desert.
And you better believe I dove in headfirst.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” –John 14:12
This verse hits me with conviction like a bag of bricks.
WHY am I not walking in this? Listen, folks, we have no excuses. God has called us to greater and I am determined to walk in what He has called me to. I cannot let anything hold me back any longer. Lives and souls are hanging in the balance while I sit around twiddling my thumbs cause I’m just little old me.
Yes, it’s easy to read the accounts of the ministry of Jesus and become intimidated. Especially when trying to comprehend the possibility that He Himself said we are capable of doing greater. But y’all, it’s right there in red and white. His Word is faithful and true. We must realize it’s not about us. It’s about Him!
Are you aware of the works that Jesus did? If not, you can see a very select few here on a previous post: http://raisingstickyhands.com/2012/04/26/psst-guess-what/
We are 4 months in to 2017 and my One Word for this year has been more persistent than any of my other One Words chosen in years past.
I actually began to pray about my #oneword2017 at the close of 2016 and thought I had the perfect one. Then one day around the last week of December, God said, “Hungry. This is your word.” Like I said before, this One Word has not left me alone.
This kind of hungry isn’t the kind where I run through McDonald’s and grab a cheeseburger. This kind of hungry isn’t the kind where I can pop a TV dinner in the microwave and wait a few minutes. This isn’t even the kind of hungry where I can slave over a home cooked meal and eat with my family and be full.
No. This kind of hungry is a spiritual hunger that only God can satisfy. But no, I will never truly be satisfied. Cause when God fills this hunger, I only become hungrier for Him to fill it some more, and more, and more. And again, I am so okay with that.
True hunger = desperate!
When you are sincerely hungry you do whatever it takes to eat. Just ask the homeless man who digs through trash or dumpster dives. It’s the same spiritually…when you are hungry, you are willing to do whatever it takes.
I always chuckle when I scroll through my Facebook news feed and see the meme that says something along the lines of, “I hate it when I go to the kitchen and there’s no food– only ingredients.” I can totally relate to that. Listen when I say this girl loves food and loves it to be available 24/7.
But when you are truly hungry, really reallllly hungry, you grab those ingredients and get to cooking! It’s either that or starve.
Many times in the natural we gorge ourselves and live like gluttons. Why is it that we live the complete opposite spiritually and we tend to let our spirit man starve? It makes no sense, yet this is true for most Christians. It’s so easy on Sundays because we run into our church services and someone else has done all the work. The meal has already been prepared, we sit down, eat, and leave. What about Monday through Saturday? We’re too lazy to feed ourselves so we starve the spirit. We don’t want to dig in to the word or seek God in prayer and because of our complacency we are leaving ourselves to be spiritually dead.
Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Luke 6:21 says, “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.” (emphasis my own)
Psalm 107:9 says, “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
God wants us to be hungry because He longs to fill that hunger.
There has never been a time that my husband has went to his mama’s house hungry and left hungry. Why? Because when she sees that he’s hungry, she says, “What do you want? Let me fix it for you.” And then she begins the process of making sure her child gets filled. She’s more than happy to feed him. When my babies are hungry I don’t make them stay that way. I’m glad to feed them and watch them grow. So it is with God! He’s more than happy to feed and fill His children any time they show up hungry.
I have been in the presence of the Lord. I have tasted of His goodness. And because of that, I have decided that it’s up to me to stay hungry enough that I’m willing to do whatever it takes so He can fill me over and over. Like a drug addict constantly chasing that next high, I will allow my hunger to fuel my chase of a fulfilling God.
Just like a baby starts with milk, then moves on to milk with cereal, then moves on to baby food, then one day Mama gives that baby a little taste of mashed potatoes… There’s no turning back when baby has had a taste of the good stuff.
When you’ve had the good stuff you’ll never be satisfied with anything else.
What about you? Did you pick a word for 2017? If so, tell us how it’s going!
We are human. As humans we have a tendency to fail. We fail each other, we fail ourselves, and we fail God. Is this our plan? Do we fail on purpose? No. We don’t set out to fail. Most people don’t wake up one day and choose to fail. BUT we are human and it happens.
Because of that tendency to fail, we also have a tendency not to trust. We don’t trust our family, our spouse, our children, our friends, our coworkers, etc. Many times our distrust is not unfounded. And many times this distrust filters into our relationship with God, the One we can most definitely count on at all times.
The Bible is filled with scripture after scripture letting us know how important it is to trust God. Psalm 118:8 tells us “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Then over in Proverbs 3:5 it says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” See, sometimes we can’t even trust ourselves. God, however, we can trust wholeheartedly. He is the only One who will never fail us.
Life is filled with ups and downs, twists and curves, situations and circumstances beyond our control. Fully trusting God can be hard, but I am choosing to trust in 2016. I’m determined that no matter what it looks like/sounds like/feels like, I will continue to trust in the name of the Lord my God! He is my faithful Father, my All in All, my Alpha and Omega, and my Everything in between. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He is my very present help in time of need. In Him will I trust!
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Too many times in 2014 I felt like I was on the verge of losing my mind. Too many times in 2014 I felt like I didn’t have an ounce of strength left to give. This year, I am over it! I refuse to let the devil have my mind and I know that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. And there are a ton of times that I’m reminded of just how weak I am. This year, I choose to rejoice in those weaknesses so that His strength can shine!
I’m gonna trust that God is more than enough and try to maintain a closer relationship with the Lord. I couldn’t make it without prayer and God’s Word. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times— prayer and the Word are the only things that allow me to keep my sanity and allow me to stay saved and sanctified!
I really needed my One Verse 2014 (Philippians 4:11) about being content and I am still clinging to that verse. That’s another reason I love and chose this year’s One Verse. How can I be content? How do I overcome envy or longing or anything? By knowing that GOD is sufficient! He is enough for me. He is all I need.
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Besides, in Matthew 6:33, it says we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added. Anything else is an added bonus because without Him, it’s worthless. He is sufficient. My Pawpaw Bill always said, “If you’ve missed heaven, you’ve missed it all.” I refuse to miss heaven for this world. When I cling to Him and only Him, the troubles of this world fade away and I know I can make it. He’ll see me through. Why? Because His grace is sufficient for me!
My One Word 2014 was “Fruit”. What I love about having a One Word for the year is that it doesn’t go away when that year is over. Once you’ve spent a year focusing on that word and why you picked it, it’s bound to stay with you. It just allows you to soak that word into your spirit in a deeper way so that it sticks with you for the rest of your life, causing you to grow. That’s what is intended, right? You may not think on it every day, but it shows up when you need it. Makes me wish I had started having One Words sooner in life.
Having “Fruit” was a reminder for me to pay attention to what I’m putting out there (on a daily basis and in my overall life). Am I producing Godly and beneficial fruit? Or is the fruit I’m producing so rotten it stinks? That One Word had me focusing on my fruit and despite my New Year and new word, it’s a reminder that I’ll always need and appreciate. Sort of like my own accountability partner.
That being said, I want to be sure I am walking in the Spirit at all times, therefore producing fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (NKJV)
I don’t even come close to perfectly exhibiting any of these, and I am striving to do better with them all. However, I have a particularly rough time with SELF-CONTROL, my One Word 2015. I believe this is listed as a fruit of the Spirit because it is somewhat of an ugly word to our flesh.
Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (KJV) This describes me to a T (whatever that means…)! my Spirit is oh-so-willing, but my flesh is the weakest of the weak, screaming, “LET ME HAVE MY WAY!”
It’s like John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (3:30 KJV) To deny/crucify my flesh so that the spirit is in control…that’s the only way self-control works…when there is MORE of Him and LESS of me. As long as I’m in the way, nothing will work out right. It is high time for me to take spiritual authority and force my flesh to submit. Will it be easy? Probably not. But if I want to produce Godly fruit, if I want His will over mine, then I have got to be obedient to the Father, NOT the flesh.
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions very much. For me, they usually end in failure. Then I compare myself to my Facebook and Twitter friends who seem to be rocking theirs, and I feel even worse. I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with my resolutions: they all focus on less.
In the past, my resolutions have been something like this:
Instead of all the focus on what I shouldn’t be doing, what if I decided to make resolutions that focused on more?
When I look at those two lists, I definitely prefer the second one. Who doesn’t want more instead of less? But what’s even more important than how we phrase our resolutions or goals, or choose one word for the year, is that we spend time with God, reading His Word, praying, and asking Him what His plans are for us for 2015. If we fail to do this first, then all of our plans for the new year are bound to fail.
Despite feeling like we have to do so much on our own, we’re really not in this mothering thing alone. God is with us every step of the way, and He has great plans for us and for our children. We just need to stay close to Him, seeking Him every step of the way and letting Him help us through each day of 2015, and every day after that.
My one word in January 2014 was JOY! How I tried to find the JOY in each day. I did this for about a month. I had every intention of finding the JOY in everyday.
Honestly I did.
Then Emma got sick. Emma, our last beautiful gift from God, has Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Basically her immune system attacks itself, it attacks her joints. The joints affected start at her jaw and really goes to her toes. It’s in her spine, hands, wrists, hips, tailbone, knees, ankles & toes. When Emma gets “the common cold” or any other illness her body cannot fight it.
In January she got influenza A. We were away when she got sick. I still found the JOY. She didn’t have to be admitted to the hospital. Medicines seemed to be helping. She was doing ok. Emma didn’t really recover from the flu & got strep. Then an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then another ear infection, then another sinus infection, then she got C-Diff. Emma was sick for 6 months.
At the end of May Emma started to feel better. Being sick for so long took its toll on her as well. She was sad. Couldn’t understand why this was happening to her. Her awaking happened about the same time as mine. She went to arthritis camp & had a blast, she was flared up badly and spent quite a bit of time with the nurse.
In July my Dad & Step-mom blessed us with funds to come visit everyone in New Hampshire. It was truly a blessing to go there. I had been really homesick and needed to hug my Mom, Dad, step-mom,sisters & nieces. I just needed my family. We had some great adventures out there both, with family & alone. We went zip lining and by we I mean Sophia & Emma. I sat at a coffee shop having an iced cuppa. We went to the White Mountains and just soaked in God’s beautiful creation. We went to the ocean and again was mystified at its beauty. We saw a wild black bear at my Dad’s house which was amazing! We sat out by the campfire watching the shooting stars & just having amazing conversation. If it makes any sense, I have faith, I love Jesus and believe in Him with all my heart, but at the same time I was lost. I didn’t pray. I didn’t read my Bible. I wasn’t depending on my Creator to heal my child.
I realized in October my JOY was forgotten. All I needed, all I wanted was for my beautiful child to be healthy. I forgot about God. I didn’t pray, I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t really go to church. People, family, friends would ask how are you? I’d lie and say everything is wonderful. Friends would invite us over or out and we would decline. Emma can’t be around anyone with a runny nose or cough. While all this was going on I withdrew.
I stopped relying on my friends. Depression set in for me. My friends reached out, on more than one occasion. I had shut down. Some of my friends aren’t really my friends anymore. That makes me sad. Sad that they just don’t understand. Emma looks fine, she even acts fine. What no one sees is when we get home she is tired, her body hurts. She will never complain. I’ve learned her cues. I know when something is bothering her.
Emma is sick. Emma. Is. Sick. I claimed that. I didn’t claim Emma is healed by what Christ has already done for her! For 10 months I claimed the wrong thing.
In September Emma started a new medicine. It requires us to go to the hospital 3 hours away once a month. After the 1st 2 treatments Emma was starting to come out of this chronic flare she had been in for 9 months. I realized, JOY! I also realized, as much as I believe in God, as much faith as I have in Jesus I realized I hadn’t fallen at the feet of Jesus. I hadn’t prayed. I hadn’t read my Bible once this year. I was present, but I wasn’t. About 6 weeks ago Emma got sick. Strep. Sinus infection. Bronchitis, belly virus. Trips to the doctor. Trips to Iowa City to see the specialists.
I realized today a few weeks ago at church that I still am not relying of God. Why am I not? At church today a man shared his testimony about the day his daughter was born. She was born by emergency C-section. She was born lifeless and grey. The doctors took her to work on her. He was praying with his wife and clearly heard the Spirit say go lay hands on your daughter and pray with her. He told his wife and she said go, go like he should have been gone 5 minutes ago. He went to the NICU and told the 15 nurses and doctors working on his daughter he needed to pray with his daughter. His prayer? LIFE! In Jesus name LIFE! In that moment his daughter started breathing. Her heart was beating on its own. Her color went from grey to pink. She opened her eyes turned her head and looked at her Dad & smiled. LIFE!
I realized today I can rely on my Christian friends. I can ask my family/friends to pray for my children. I can ask God for anything. He’s been telling me for months- FALL ON ME! I’ve already healed her. You just need to believe and have faith. Go to your church elders and have them lay hands on Emma. Danielle SHE IS HEALED.
I claim this. She. Is. Healed. JOY in everything. Joy in everything. Jesus is my JOY. So for the coming year my word is joy.
*You can see my original post about why I picked this word here.
Although I thought I was crazy at first, I definitely did not hear wrong when choosing my one word for 2014. ‘Fruit’ is a word that I believe I probably should’ve been more aware of long before now. I am not perfect, by any means, nor do I claim to be. However, I have already grasped the importance of why I chose this word and that has helped me in a great way. I try to be on constant Fruit Alert, but as a human, it does tend to slip my fleshly mind at times. There have been several occasions and conversations throughout this year that I have thankfully heard the Holy Spirit quietly whisper to me my #oneword.
Now, when you hear the Holy Spirit whisper gently, “Remember….fruit,” it truly puts things in perspective. I decide to stay silent instead of unnecessarily putting in my 2 cents worth. I decide to put on a smile and show love even when I don’t feel like being in a good mood. I decide that when I’m angry over the change in my husband’s work schedule, it’s better to pray about it instead of writing a Facebook rant status.
I hear that faint whisper, “Fruit…..” and train my focus to remember, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23
Don’t let your attitude/actions/reactions determine your fruit. Let your fruit determine your attitude/actions/reactions.
This is what I’ve learned so far from my #oneword #2014.
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*You can see my original post about why I picked this verse here.
Oh, boy. This one has been tough for me. Not so tough that I began to let discontentment overwhelm me and wallow in self-pity, but enough that I have felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to remember my one verse for 2014 oodles and gobs of times this year!
As I stated in my original post, I believe discontentment is one of satan’s greatest lies. It’s the lie that whispers unhappiness to women around the world. I know I’m not the only one with this struggle. I know this because I have seen the effects of this lie in the lives of many of the women I’m acquainted with, as well as my own life.
It’s not an easy struggle. But it is a struggle I can take control over. That’s why I chose this verse. I was so tired of comparison and other lies making me feel like my life wasn’t good enough, like I wasn’t good enough. As I said, it’s still a bit of a struggle, but this verse has helped me many times to get over it quickly. I don’t get stuck anymore because I remember that in whatsoever state I am, I can be content because I am right where God has placed me.
And His word definitely trumps satan’s lies at all times!