What’s In A Word?

Words

Today in my quiet time, I was thinking and praying about my word for this year…watchful.  I went to the dictionary and here are a few things it had to say about watchful:

Observe, close observation, keeping guard, time on duty, vigil, watchman, keep awake, be cautious, and contemplate.

Wow!  That is a mouthful of the same word!  But when I started going through the list, it is a lesson onto itself!  So let’s look at these words because they apply to your life daily, and to mine.

Let’s start with observe and close observation.  To observe is to sit back and watch over all that which is going on.  Something may catch your eye, or you see a behavior, a mannerism, something you like or dislike, and you are pretty relaxed as you sit and observe what is going on around you.  Now close observation, that means you are zeroing in on something.  You look for movement, changes, expressions, things that tell you more about what you are observing.  You are taking a specific interest in something or someone.  What if we really did that every day?  What would we notice and “move on” if we thought about this more as we went about our day?

What about Vigil?  We think of prayer vigils, but that word means that we are on it; maybe even 24/7 for a period of time.  We don’t leave until our appointed time.  We observe closely what is going on while we are there.  For me, vigils will always include prayer.  I want to see what I am supposed to be seeing and pray for what God wants to give me.  It is my responsibility to open up to God so that He can place within my heart, that which He desires for me to see and be a part of.  It is constant.  I’m on alert.

Keeping guard is like the watchman.  I have talked before about being a watchman on the wall.  But, again, we have to learn what we are watching for.  We have to ask God to show us what we are watching for.  Why do we watch?  So we can discern the enemy or The Messenger and know which is which.

Keeping awake is something some of us would rather not do.  I have had weeks since myIMG_5249 surgery of not sleeping at night.  I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than wanting to sleep and can’t!  But in this case, we are to “keep awake”.  Why?  We don’t want anything sneaking up on us.  We are to keep awake and pray.  We want to stay awake with God.  Give Him our fears and concerns and worries.  It may involve a period of waiting.

Cautious is another definition.  Cautious is once again knowing what is for me and what is against me.  How do I know THAT?  We can ask God for discernment and He will give it to us.  When we have a close relationship with Him, we more easily recognize God at work, when God speaks, and what He would have us to do.  But we need to be cautious of many things such as, what we watch, how we speak, our example to others, and what we listen too and what or who we spend time with.  It’s easy to get off track.  It may sound good, tickles your fancy a bit, and its easy, but it may not be biblically correct.  Be cautious.

Contemplate is one that closely resembles your quiet time.  It’s a time when you are quiet and you listen.  it’s hard for us to be quiet sometimes but that is a good skill to improve upon.  When we are quiet or reading God’s Word, we contemplate its meaning to us, and what would God have us to do with what we learn?  Use it in our everyday lives of course.  Take time to contemplate where you are and where you are going.  Think and review.  How does it apply?  What truth is in it for me?  Remember when your parents got on you about something you might have done wrong?  They would tell you to go to your room and think about it?  Sounded dumb to me when I was young because I could go to my room and do anything I wanted then.  But did I?  I might have done some things, but usually in the middle of the “things” I was thinking about what they said.  We are to be contemplative.

Lastly is time on duty.  Now this is where the rubber meets the road!  How much time do I give to being watchful, or observing, or using my awake time?  It’s how much time we give God.  Do we live out our daily lives as God would live?  I don’t think this means “duty”.  It means how much time I give in my day to things of the Lord.  Each of us has something we are to do here on earth.  Spend time on duty seeking what He has for you to do.

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So here we are in a new year and I would challenge you to think through these words that mean watch/watchful.  I know it’s MY word for the year, but I think we can all benefit from having these thoughts in the forefront of our thinking.  Don’t get over whelmed, just ask God to give you the watchful eye to see what He sees and to act on what He wants for you to act on.

I’m excited to see what it brings into my life.  I know when God moves to help others, it ends up blessing me more!  You will begin to see what you haven’t noticed before and it the process, your life will also be changed.  Want a good book on this subject of noticing?  Read The Noticer by Andy Andrews.  You will never be the same!  I hope this chat time will give you the boost you need to start!

Walking the journey with you…

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Watchful

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With 2013 coming to an end, it causes me to reflect on the many things that have happened this year.  What a ride it has been!  We have seen many of our goals accomplished, we gave more in financial and other ways, I survived a big surgery and still recovering, loved on more people, enjoyed studying a lot, and I have walked closer with the Lord than last year.  So all in all, I have had a good year and I find God, as ever, faithful!  This year brings a new tradition on our household.  So, on New Year’s Eve, my man will enjoy some quiet time at home, a few snacks, a toast, and then, I will open my Gratitude Jar and we will read through each heart that has been dropped in that jar all this year!  I love remembering how God has provided or connected for/with me in my daily life.  I will carry this tradition in to 2014.

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So what is up for this coming year of 2014?  I’m not sure but I walk into it expectantly and watchful!  “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Colossians 4:2.  Yep!  That is the word that God gave to me for this next year.  I am to be watchful for what God wants me to notice.  I am excited to see how God works this word out in my life next year.  I know that prayer is very important in the life of a believer and it can be the difference between me seeing things with my physical eyes or seeing things with my spiritual eyes.  I have the feeling God is going to use both in me next year.  He wants to me to watch for various things that He wants me to see.  Mark Batterson talks in one of his books about the Holy Spirit being like a sixth sense and that there are some things that can only be perceived through the Holy Spirit.  I am inclined to agree with that.  But we must seek Him daily in our lives so that we are in tune enough with Him, that the Holy Spirit can clearly speak to us.  The more time we spend with Him, the deeper our relationship goes and we can recognize when it is Him working in us.

I am going to be diligent in my pursuance of God, and ask again for things in my life with bold faith.  Some of my goals are what others may consider as crazy goals!  But for me, I have seen God answer so many of them, that I am looking forward and watching for what goals He will answer through this next year.  I am thankful that He has been working in my life, excavating in me enough that I DESIRE to set lofty goals, and make more changes in myself.  In fact, I WANT to change!  What about you?  Will you be more bold this next year in prayer?  Will you seek Him more in quiet time?  Want to live a life you have never lived before?  Walk closer than you have ever walked with God before?  Are you bold enough to ASK Him to change the things that need changing?  We do have to step into the water before God will part it.  I’m all in… and jumping in!    Now is the time.  He is calling us all to lean in closer.  Be watchful of what God is doing in and around you.  He wants you to pray, believe, and then let Him do it, and then thank Him.  I hope you have a wonderful New Year and remember a prayer of thanks for all He HAS done, then thank Him for what He already has in store for you!

Please share in the comments any special gratitudes that you have from this last year.  Thanks for being a faithful reader of this blog!  I hope you share it and enjoy it even more this next year!  For those who were encouraged by my post about my jar, to make one of your own, I hope you will share how it was for you as you read through the year in the life of…YOU!

Walking the journey with you…with a jump here and there!

Are You Watching The Road Signs?

Do you ever go through a period of time that has been hard, and when you look back you wonder why it happened or even how you made it through? I know this has been true for me. As I was out on a photo shoot the other day by the railroad tracks, a thought came to me, “What if you didn’t HAVE to go through it like you did? What if you were watching the road signs I put out there for you? I gave you the signs.”

As I walked along the water, I thought about that. How many times has God given me road signs to warn me and I haven’t paid attention. I went ahead on my own steam FEELING like I was doing the right thing or going the right way. I can even talk myself into believing that God told me to go that direction. Well, maybe He did. But maybe He didn’t. God gives us warnings in our spirit when things aren’t quite right. It may be that still small voice that says, “You shouldn’t be here” or “You know this isn’t right”. Or maybe you are where you are and doing what you are doing because you don’t want to hurt someone. God has been tapping on your shoulder to tell you, it still isn’t where you should be, or what you should be doing. Can you relate?

So what can you do to be more in tune with His direction? God gave me a lesson on road signs when I went to a Beth Moore conference. I have adapted what I learned into my life and here is what I have learned. Watch for the STOP in your life where God wants you to STOP doing what you are doing, acting the way you are acting, or sliding in under the radar with things you shouldn’t be a part of. The things you need to STOP are the very things that can really get in the way of a deep relationship with Him.

Maybe you need to YIELD in areas of your life in order for you to hear where God WANTS to take you. It could be warning signs like the case of the railroad tracks where I was that day. He wants to tell you to be careful before you just set off. There could be danger there!

It could also be the GREEN LIGHT that tells you to go! I have given you what you need and now you just need to move forward with Me. Go where I have told you to go and do what I have told you to do. Be bold. Step out. If you listen, you will know the signs.

So ask God today where He wants you to STOP. Where do you need to YIELD? Ask Him to help you listen to the warnings that protect you. Lastly, ask Him for the boldness to GO where He would have you go, even if it might not FEEL like you want to. He says He will never leave us, and so we need to walk with Him and be in tune with His road signs.

I hope that as you journey through these days, that you will realize that you have something to share with someone else that they need to hear. So listen intently to His voice and let Him guide you with His road signs. You will never have to be concerned about a wrong turn; His ways are perfect! But should you miss a sign like I have, He is there to lovingly bring you back to the station! God bless you as you GO!