Word for 2018

 

Each year, as many of you know who follow the blog, I pray about a word for my New Year.  The last several months have been some difficult ones; or maybe very uncomfortable ones is maybe a better description.  But I find that when that happens, usually something else is going on.  God is working on something.  It may be something in my environment, something I need to change, something I need to do or not do, or just making it uncomfortable enough not to ignore, so that, I will move out of where I am into something else He wants me to work on.  In any case, I am a bit late this year writing my goals for 2018, as well as, praying over my word.  But yesterday as we got out-of-town, I really asked God what He wanted to teach me this year and what word would best represent that.  I DID get an answer and I heard it on the radio and saw it in three different places during that day…I know when God is whispering, I best listen.  I did listen.  My word?   Drum roll please……  “Deep”.  You might ask what that has to do with anything and what does it mean? You might think it’s a strange word for a focus word.  But when that word came up in my spirit, I knew exactly what it meant for me.  That’s when you know its right.  Let me share some thoughts about the word and how it has, and will have, MORE meaning to me throughout 2018.

First of all, a word for the year is something that helps you focus on what you need to work on for next year.  We all know that we need to have better focus in some areas of our lives.  We may need to

take more time in an area, be better about putting God first in our day, simplify our life and schedule, eat healthier, exercise, or whatever He speaks to you about.  Then ask Him to give you a word that will help you focus more towards making that a reality.  It’s a great thing!  I have reaped the benefits of doing this for the last 15 years at least.  I usually make a visual of my word with scrabble letters and keep it on my desk.

So…back to the word.  Many of you may be familiar with the Bible verse in Psalms 42:7 about deep calling unto deep.  I have thought about it and what I think it means, at least for me, is the deep things of God calling out to the deep things of me.  It’s kind of like the Spirit of God reaching deeply into the spirit in me.  In other wards, it is a direct line between what moves God deeply and it is imparted straight to me.  No detours.  So when things are the deepest hardship for me = God giving his deepest and greatest proof that He is faithful.  I might need to do some excavating of my heart to clear out some junk to make more room for His promises.

 

What is “deep” going to mean to my life next year?  Here are a few things I believe God gave me:

  • Go deep into God’s Word, so that, I have more understanding of His love, promises, and faithfulness.
  • Go deep with my personal studies to have a deep desire to know Him more personally.
  • Go deep in to prayer regarding my heart, and ask understanding of where my feelings are coming from.  Understanding is key to changing.
  • Go deep into understanding the motives of my heart; that my motives be pure and for the right purposes.
  • Go deep in my music this year; it brings me joy.  That means all learning all my instruments, as well as, my singing.
  • Go deep with my photography by devoting time to learn and read a few good books about it.  It always teaches me to live in gratitude and in the moment.
  • Go deep with my communication with others and hone my listening to the deep things of the hearts of others.
  • Go deep in my marriage; understanding, forgiveness when necessary, commitment to time together with my spouse, and his encourager.
  • Go deep in our goals, not just talking about them, but planning them, and doing/going.
  • Go deep in living in the moment.
  • Go deep in simplifying where ever I can.
  • Go deep with my time, in that, social media is less, and what I do is focused on what helps me with the above items.  I have backed out of many and will continue with a few more.
  • Go deep so that I am a person of character and not a shallow and surface reflection of what God would have me to be.

In my case, I also added “er” to the side of deep because some of the thoughts above, I dive pretty deep into already, but there is also deeper meaning that I can gain from go deepER…always.  I am committed to where God wants to take me.   We see so much busyness around us, we are losing the peace and joy we could have, for the chaos and stress of that crazy life style.  Going deeper always reminds me of going into deep water.  I actually have a fear of deep water after nearly drowning at a camp when I was a girl.  So as much as I love the water, it is always a fear that the boat I am on will sink, or that I will somehow not be able to save myself.  I have a hard time even trusting a life jacket!  So this word is a good visual of what it means to totally give it up and trust.  I have to trust God to hold me up, and not let go of my hand.  I don’t ever want to drown in a crazy lifestyle.  I want to trust my boat, my Captain, my faith, and the life jacket when I need it.  He is all that for me.

Many times we make all these resolutions and then are disappointed in ourselves because we don’t stick with them.  I don’t make resolutions, as much as I make goals each year.  The difference is, I let God decide which ones He wants to bring to fruition in my life, and which ones might go on to next year’s list.  I leave it in His hands and thank Him all the way!  Don’t try to make them happen on their own.  The success of those goals is really up to you to discipline yourself to them.  You may have to make some different choices for those changes to occur!  After all, we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results if we aren’t doing anything different.  If I want my faith to grow, my trust in Him to grow, my confidence in God to grow, then I must do something different from what I am doing now.  If I’m not feeling that kind of comfort and trust, then I need to work on moving the obstacles in my life out of my way.

He is calling me out into the deep this next year my friends…maybe into deepER areas I think I’m pretty good at.  But…am I really????  I am excited to see how this word will lead me in the direction He wants me to go next year.  Remember deep calling unto deep has the meaning that it is straight from Him to you…no detours.  You have a direct line!  I have never had Him lead me where his loving arms can’t reach me.  He tells us that in scripture, you know.  He will always extend His hand.  I need to surrender and be willing to take it.  AND… let HIM lead.  That’s key right there…let Him lead me into the deep.

If you choose to take part in a word for your New Year, please share with me in the comments below and I will be happy to pray over you and your word this next year!  Accountability is important too.  Blessings!

Until next time…

~JoAnn

P. S.  I want to thank each and every one of you who have been such faithful readers of this blog.  You bless me, and I want to wish you a very Happy New Year in 2018!

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