Friday, 1 February 2013

Slow but sure

If I tried to describe myself as an animal then I'd probably say I was more of a tortoise than a hare, though my mind has definite leaping, easily distracted hare-like tendencies.

My life is, of necessity, lived in the Slow Lane and plodding on through the dense foliage ahead of me, barely able to discern the way ahead, is my current way of being.

But it does allow for breath to pause, ponder and enjoy the glints of the extraordinary, ordinary graces shining in the dust and detritus.

When life slows down we cannot fail to notice everyday miracles and be thankful for them.

So here we are, already February, and I am about to reveal my One Word for 2013

Over the last four years I have been unexpectedly blessed by a specific 'word' that God has impressed upon my heart and mind early in the year. It is only as the months have gone by that I've seen the significance of this word and its application to my life.

I haven't assumed a new one would come each year. They didn't pop up with a 'Eureka' firework moment of illumination on January 1st either. Rather, it has been a gradual realisation, a dawning of awareness that this was the one to pay attention to.

Long before I was on social media or started blogging, this has been the pattern for me. I see it as part of God's grace and understanding of my individual needs. Once I saw the OneWord2013 initiative and read about the choices people were making, I realised I shouldn't leap onto the bandwagon or try to pre-empt what God might have to share with me. 

So I prayed, waited and it came.

His 'word' for me in 2013 is - 'COME'

Like a child jumping into a Father's arms 

There are many inviting and encouraging verses in the Bible with the word 'Come'. These are personal favourites:

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, 
come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without cost" ~ Isaiah 55:1

This speaks to me of spiritual thirst and hunger. Our soul's longings are fully satisfied and met by being in relationship with God
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" ~ Matthew 11:28
Here, Jesus is offering spiritual, mental and physical rest that comes from trusting Him to carry our burdens instead of allowing them to weigh heavy.

I am already beginning to see some implications from 'Come' - my word for 2013 - This is how it strikes me so far:

Invitation:to join God on the journey. Let Him lead. Take His hand and trust the outcome to Him because He will keep me safe.

Welcome:into His Presence - the place of rest, joy and peace. Practise being with Him mindfully throughout the day. 

Leave:something behind that is dragging me down. Be ready to escape Egypt (past events holding me captive) and enter the Promised Land (future) of His choosing.

Embrace:In order to move forward I need to be willing to embrace the new things He has planned and not try to run away from what looks scary to my eyes. 

Let go:of old habits, ways of doing and behaving. Requires obedience and willingness.

Be prepared:for disruption. Change can feel uncomfortable for a while, like squeezing our feet into shoes that don't fit right. Not looking forward to this part!

Challenge:Despite my tortoise-like ways I am being encouraged to move forward and let Him set both pace and agenda.

Committing:to the calling on my life by reading His word, praying, listening for His voice and discerning His will.

I want to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit calling out across the sands of time, His whisper in the breeze blowing through the reeds of reality; and I want to say "yes" to going wherever He leads me
One small word can change a life

One small step can alter a destiny

We are always seeking signs of Your activity 
and awareness of Your Presence in our lives.
Our hearts can only truly find their home in You
and be at peace as we follow Your ways
instead of our own.
Help us as we reflect on 
resolutions broken
hopes deferred
and dreams unfulfilled
to spend time asking
what You would have us do.
How we can wisely spend
 the gift of years
the talents you have given 
the calling 
and purpose 
of our lives
to bless others 
and be obedient to You

What is God asking of you this year?

Do you have a 'word' for 2013?

I would love you to share it here

More of my journey will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

In this post I am linking up with Missional Women Faith-filled Friday

You can also connect with me on Facebook or follow on Twitter


  1. Mine is 'Focus' Joy. Scuba diving rather than snorkelling. A square meal rather than lots of plates from the buffet. I'll let you know how that develops

    1. Thanks very much for sharing here, Marion. Focus can cover so many things. I'd be interested to know more about your word and how it develops over the year. Blessings :)

  2. What a lovely post Joy. I did enjoy reading it. Firstly how you describe 'come' is what happened to me as I finally allowed God to set me free from food addiction. It was coming to Him as Father that enabled me to let go of the addiction and to move forward into freedom.

    Secondly, I do have a word but didn't see it as that until now. We had prayer ministry training in our church last week. One part of it was to get into pairs. One to be prayed for and the other to be the one praying. The one praying didn't know who they had standing in front of them. They had to pray quietly and ask God to speak to them something for the person in front of them. The person praying for me just said "Release" then went on to say "You are not holding it back" Release is my word for 2013!

    Thank you again for your wonderful post!

    1. Praise God for 'releasing' His word to you in such a lovely way! I've found that when God wants us to focus on an aspect of learning or growth that is personal for us, then it is often repeated in various ways until we 'get it'as such. I had a similar thing happen many years ago and the same Bible verse keeps cropping up time and time again. So pleased to hear you have a 'word' for 2013. Thanks very much for sharing it, Lynda. May you walk in the release of His glorious freedom in the year ahead. Bless you:)

  3. Thank you for this great blog! You have a wonderful writing style, even after the translation to Dutch it's nice! You compare you with a tortoise? I myself with a chameleon :-)

    My word for this year is: Hope. He is my Hope and I want to live
    closer to Him. And your word ... o yes, I need also to come every dau to Him. Thanks

    1. Hi Jedidja. Thanks very much for the great encouragement. I think I'm a bit of a chameleon too! Hope is a wonderful word to have and to live by. May the God of all hope fill you with hope and confidence and give you courage as you trust in Him. Blessings in abundance :)xx

  4. I love the way your mind and heart are working in and around the word 'Come'. I love your imagery too - Father God crouched on one knee with His arm wide open, smile on His face, welcoming His little girl into his embrace. 'Come' is a lovely dynamic, multi-layered word; I bet your imagination is on fire! I have no doubt that He will surprise you with the things He will do through your focus on One Word.
    My word is 'Heal'. Like you, it sort of sneaked up on me; for weeks I thought my word would be 'patience'. I could intellectualise many ways in which I need patience. It all seemed very worthwhile. But then I realised that He was speaking to me on a deeper level. It's all so untidy in my head that I haven't managed to write about my word yet, but there are so many areas of my life that He might touch and heal, because there are so many areas that are in a mess.
    I'm looking forward to the year. Over to Him. Safe hands.
    Thank you for this wonderful post, Joy.

    1. Thanks very much, Helen, for this lovely comment. In previous years and with previous words I have never before been given insight into what the word might convey until many months had passed. So this time it is especially precious to me. As you say, we could easily have many words to pay attention to. Perhaps the healing work God wants to do in your life requires patience? Over to Him indeed. Whatever healing or restoration work is required, we are in Safe Hands! Bless you :) xx

  5. What a great word! It's true that the Father always wants us to come to Him, for he is our peace and comfort! (PS don't feel bad, I just got my resolutions up last week!)

    Thanks for linking up to FFF!

    1. Yes, the word 'Come' is rich with invitation and meaning. I am quite excited at all that it might reveal this year. It's a pleasure and a privilege to link up with you all at FFF! May you know the blessings of His great peace and comfort as you seek to heed His words to you this year too :)

  6. Another beautiful post my friend. I love how He blesses you with the right words and images that help bridge the gap for those of us who struggle with our identity in Christ. We only ever need come to Him.
    My word is restore... Joel 2:25

    1. Thank you so much for this kind word of encouragement, Mandy. What a wonderful word 'Restore' is. It speaks of grace, hope, fulfilment and a deep healing work in your life. May His word always be a source of restoration, renewal and peace for you. Blessings :)xx

  7. Great word! My word for the year is "fruitilicous." Asking God to help me stay connected to Him and be a blessing to others.

    1. Hi, a warm welcome to you. Thanks very much for joining in the conversation! I love your word for 2013. It is one that promises bounty of the Holy Spirit to be seen in your life and as you spread His fruit it reaches into the lives of others too. Lovely :)