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a Word, a Saint and a Verse (and possibly a new puppy): my guide to being holy prepared for 2020

I have said it before and I will say it again. You can't hope for a better past.

So with a new year ahead, what do you say we press on, push forward, learn from mistakes, give thanks for the beauty and mess, remove and tear down all of the things that are in the way of our loving God and each other, get out of ourselves and choose to partner with God.

Are ya good with this?

Thanks to the merry SICKmas I have been celebrating, the last couple of weeks have involved a whole lot of being curled up in a bathrobe with a hot cup of tea, in deep, silent, meditation...I call it my "Beth Davis prayer moments"...(If you don't know Beth Davis, make that a priority in 2020, please) and here is what I believe the Lord has pressed upon my heart ...

2019 was the year the Lord said, "Go ahead, now. Cry it out. Catch your breath."

And 2020?

This is the year the Lord is saying, "Now then, wipe those tears and let's get to work."

This is it, folks. The time is now. 2020, the year of digging deeper.

On more than one occasion, which began as a vision in Adoration, I have seen the arms of Jesus reach out to me, and I have felt Him pull me in. Closer. And I heard Him say in my heart, "I've got you. You are not in this alone. Stay close. Right here."

Because 2019? You were quite. the. year.

You broke me.

You literally turned everything upside down.

And the enemy wanted so badly for me to feel and believe that I was utterly and completely alone.

But God is bigger and His arms longer and stronger and there is no one and no place He can not reach.

This was not the first time I saw His arm rescue me.

So many times since, when I shut my eyes tight, this is what I see. Two arms. Reaching out. Pulling in.

And in these moments I have, just me and Jesus and nothing but the quiet...a select group of witnesses have come along and sat beside me. Saints that were with me in 2019. Saints that were helping, guiding, protecting, shielding, encouraging, consoling, leading me. Although I barely recognized their presence then, they are clear to me now. They are my friends. This week in prayer, their faces became visible, as they got cozy on my couch. And I am confident that this crew of holy men and women were chosen by God, for me. My own Team. My own 2020 crew. They have been selected to teach me what I so badly need to know and live out. And we are going to dig deep together. This, for the record, is very exciting to me.

And along with my word and my crew, there is a verse. Scripture. One single verse to meditate on, keep in my back pocket, carry with me through out the year. A verse to keep me on track when I feel the urge to wander, which is every five minutes, in case you are wondering...I must be part beagle. Again? Super excited about every bit of this.

My word of the year?


I can even pump that up to the next level and call it profound silence.

How I got to this word, you can read here...

My Saints?

Saint Joseph. To help me be silent and obedient.

Saint Therese of Lisieux. To help me fall in love with Jesus. Really love Him.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta. To help me grow in humility and poverty.

These are the Saints I want to dig deep with. Get to know better. And these are the virtues I have been called to grow in. Obedience, love, humility....And I can not grow or dig or do any of this unless there is silence.

My verse?

"But Jesus was silent." Mt 26:63

Yeah. Sit with that for a day or two. So powerful.

And I could add to this you know, because of course, there is more...the books, and prayers the Lord has chosen for me to accompany me in this journey....but I don't want this to get too must have a party to get to ...or a couch, depending on what partying for you looks like. For me? It is most definitely a bathrobe kind of New Years Eve and I would have it no other way.

I am looking forward to a New Year. I know, every day is a new day and His mercies are new every morning. Totally. But ...there is something about the year changing. It is the year my first born turns 21 and I turn 50. GULP. It is the year I am determined to write that second book. It is the year of exercising my soul, and dreaming big, and taking leaps of faith because what other kind of leap is there? It is the year of change- real, healthy, soul-care kind of change. Because I am longing for change. Not an external change, although I will be honest, thinner thighs and straighter teeth would be awesome. But an interior change. A transformation. A renewal. A rebirth. For my faith, my marriage, my children, my ministry, my habits, my community, my calling, my everything...I feel a physical yearning for a transformation and renewal of the mind.

Because sweet friend. That is where it all starts. A thought. In our minds. Ever think about what you think about? If not, make this the year you do. Because our minds are powerful, you know. And not to get off on a tangent here (because I'd never do that, would I?) about what we are to think about (that could be the second book, just sayin'....) but...

This year I want to think differently.

I want to shut off the negative self talk.

I want to pull the lies up at the root.

I want holy roots that grow holy branches.

I want to live out Philippians 4:8 like nobody's business.

I want to talk less and listen more.

I want to re-order my days and put my priorities back in order. (Yes. Your spouse comes after God and before your children.)

I want to love better.

I want to give more.

I want to detach from all that is not of God.

I want to adopt a Newfoundland puppy. I know. Don't ask. Just keep reading.

I want to do all of this so that I can better discern God's will for me.

And then?

I want to follow Him.

Good grief, I know...this list of resolutions is way harder than my daughter's New Years resolution of "get super tan this summer." True story, folks. True. Story.

Yes. It's a tall order, 2020...but I am prayerfully prepared. I may be small, but I am scrappy, and I am ready for the challenge. I know and believe...I am not alone.

And whenever I start to think that I am, all I need to do is shut my eyes, get quiet, and see His arms reaching and pulling me in.

I've got a word, some Saints, and a simple verse to guide me. So let's drop that ball and get this New Year going.

How about you?

What's your word?

Who are your Saints?

What's your verse?

Happy New Year and God bless!!

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