Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A beginning and a word for 2014

Last year, do you remember what my word for the year was? Oh. My. Gosh. Can you just please go read my post I wrote on New Years Day of 2013 so I'm not the only one freaking out about it? It was so prophetic, became so real and so powerful along the way. In fact, because of that, on our trip to CA, on New Years Day of this year, I took my family back to the exact spot where I took the picture in that post through which God showed me the word. In my heart, it was a memorial visit, an anniversary I quietly celebrated with bowed-down gratitude in my heart for all that transpired this last year.

If there was ever a year God brought to life a single word, then 2013 was it. To think that He gave me this word before any of the year had unfolded, before we knew we were going to move to Montana, before any of the crazy and difficult things 2013 would think that He knew every moment in advance and promised me leaves me speechless. He said, "Leslie. Before 2013 begins, know in your heart of hearts that no matter what happens, we will be together."

It was as simple as that. And as those 365 days unfolded in entirely complex ways, His message remained simple. We're together in this. Every step. Wow. He knew exactly what I needed.

This year, I wondered if He would give me a word at all, or if He did, if it would lead me into an equally powerful year of Him proving day after day to be what I needed.

I prayed. And I got the sense that 'listen' was my answer. Not listen right this minute. But listen, in all the things. I got the sense that 'listen' was a diving board, a place from which to launch the whole year.

Right now, I feel pretty cluttered; I always feel like that after Christmas. The house is cluttered with new things, my head is cluttered with revitalized goals, my body is cluttered with the ridiculous number of cookies I ate during the holidays, and my heart feels a little lost, neglected. In fact, my Bible is actually, physically lost. Sort of symbolic, isn't it? Tonight I began to ask myself, "Where exactly do I start? How do I start improving my marriage this year? Where do I start teaching my kids new things about the Lord? When do I start moving forward on book writing and eating healthier? And where is my Bible??"

"That's where you start, my darling," He says. Tune in to your husband. Tune in to me for direction on time management. Tune in to the questions your children are asking about life and the world around them. Tune in; listen first.

I feel like I hear from God fairly regularly. I stop to really listen to Him speak to me maybe once or twice a month. We have a pretty good thing going, but on the other hand, I feel pretty lazy in my walk right now. Is it crazy that I want to change that and hear from Him every day? And is it crazy to imagine I could somehow supernaturally acquire the discipline and the time management to tune into Him daily, quiet and listening for His guidance on relationships and my jobs and my ministry? I don't think so, and I want it. I want to try living a year that isn't fueled by doing.

Listening is undoing. It's stopping. It's waiting.

It's self-control and submission and believing each minute that I am not in charge, nor do I know what is happening.

The more I think about it, the more I love this challenge because I suspect making a habit of listening will mean deconstructing many things about the way I work. I have no idea what needs to be rearranged in my heart; but God does, and if He sees fit to shake things up, then I know it's for my own good. I know He loves me too much to leave me the way I am.

Somehow the word 'listen' helps me clear the clutter from my path and see the road. 'Listen' is a road sign pointing me to the things the Lord knows I really want and need. He is telling me where to start.

I'm going to try to listen.

And because I have an 8-year old boy, I hear Yoda in my head: "Do....or do not. There is no try." Right. I will listen. Thanks for setting me straight, Yoda.

(See? I'm already listening.)



  1. "Listening is undoing. It's stopping. It's waiting." Yes. This. My word for the year is still, but it'll include a lot of listening and looks a lot like undoing, stopping, and waiting - all on the Lord, for His direction, focusing only on what He wants me to accomplish.

  2. Isn't God so good to prepare you for what was to come? And if He gave you the word listen, then He must be planning to speak to you! Get ready! 😊

  3. First, I felt the same way about my word last year. So spot on it was almost comical.

    Second, I love what you shared about your word this year. Definitely something I need as well!!

  4. I love this. Listening is maybe one of the most important things, but perhaps the last thing we stop to do. May your ears be tuned to him this year-I bet you'll marvel of how he reveals himself!

  5. And book writing!?! I'm struggling in that same area-how to fit it in, be consistent, etc. I'd love to hear more about what your writing, when it's time.

  6. Yoda is so wise.... great post; i´ll also try to listen more so i might get to be a better person in 2014.
    Kisses and God bless you.

  7. You're just so wise Leslie. "Listen" is good, so good.