Word of the Year

Layla at The (beautiful) Lettered Cottage has asked us what our Word of the Year is. I have never really chosen a word of the year. I’m more a word of the day type of person. Life seems to be one day at a time for me in so many senses that my word of the day is usually something like, “survive,” or “_____ more hours,” (pretend I can count and that is 1 word) or “_________” (yes, that would be No Word.) Sometimes when I’m having a really hard time with my kids and people’s chewing sounds are getting on my nerves and my sink is full of dishes and my hair needs to be cut and my shower is not draining properly my word of the day is “ARGH!”

But a Word of the Year does seem so much more proactive.  So much more goal-oriented.  It seems more like flapping than falling.  And really when I end up labeling my days as mentioned above, the overall sense is that of falling, not of flapping… and certainly not of soaring.

Two paragraphs ago I was planning on saying that my Word of the Year was going to be FOCUS.  I was going to put this lovely picture beneath it to illustrate it even.

Photo by Daniel Y. Go via Flickr

Creative Commons License

But writing changes me. It always does. As I write I discover things. Things about others, God and me. So I just had my Word of the Year changed to RISE.

Photo by Ian Redan via Flickr

Sort of seems like I was planning on stealing Layla’s UP idea. But I was actually planning on FOCUS. I’m thinking since I’m going from 365 Words of the Year I could at least be allowed 2, rather than 1.  But I’m still going to stick with RISE because that’s what happened as I wrote and I better let that be.

Why RISE?  Because I have been learning that to rest in the Lord and to cast my cares onto Him is to soar.  By laying it all down at His feet, laying down my fears, my failures, my hopes and dreams and expectations and all things that I would rather uphold or maintain the illusion of control over, I am able to “rise up on wings as eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)

This has struck me over and over again that to lay oneself down does not make one weak or unable to be effective but it is to in fact be lifted up.  When I am cast down before the Lord because of my sin, He is the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3) — taking my head in his hands and telling me to rise up out of my sin and leave it in the grave where He left it when He laid Himself down to death and was lifted up on the cross — the lowest point that elevated Him to the Highest point of all, that of savior to all who believe, worthy to be worshiped and glorified and praised. (Psalm 148:14) On the contrary, when I am holding all things up on my own power, it all seems to topple and fall and feel what it is — beyond my control — and I clutch and I grab and hope to do it all, this is when I must be brought low by Him. (James 4:6)

I will not rise of my own accord. I must receive everything humbly as a gift. I must make myself a servant. I must lower myself. I must place myself completely under Him and by so doing He will uplift me and empower me and give me all that I need to love and serve and obey and pursue new opportunities for His glory by the power of His resurrection alone.

So my Word of the Year is RISE.  It also happens to be one of my favorite songs right now. You can get Josh Garrels’ album, Love and War and the Sea in Between completely free still.  I consider it the best album of last year so obviously well worth the money that he could easily charge. Consider making a donation (look under “partnerships” in their store to donate) to this individual who ministers through the art of music.  (This is not a paid advertisement or sponsored.  This is just me sharing the good stuff.)

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