Category Archives: Word for the Year

It’s Been Four Years


It was 2011. I had been praying about my word for the year. Just as the calendar turned to January 1, God gave me my word: ROOTED.

A usual, I didn't know what God would choose to teach me through it over the year, but I knew the context. Immediately, this verse came to mind:

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude." — Colossians 2:6,7

At the time, I so wanted to be built up in Christ. I had deep longings for service, for opportunities, for His direction. Although I didn't understand it then, He was telling me, "You must be rooted first."

It's helpful to think deeply for a moment on the purpose and function of roots. An agricultural society would understand the significance more readily than our culture that scarcely knows how to grow anything other than mold in the fridge (myself included!)

Roots serve multiple functions:

1) Roots anchor the tree. Without the roots, without the deep penetration into the soil, the tree could not survive. What we see when we look at a beautiful tree is only half the reality. The other half lies beneath, doing the work that allows the beauty to be exposed.

2) Roots take up minerals and water from the soil, transforming into life-giving sustenance for the tree.

3) Roots store food for use in later growth — in the trunk, branches, and leaves.

Over the course of the year, God showed me what it meant to be rooted. He taught me that the reason I so often felt beaten down was that my roots were shallow. I would let them grow for a while and then pull them up when waiting caused me to lose interest. He taught me that without being rooted, I could not be nourished. Yes, of course, I would survive temporarily, but wilting and dying was inevitable. He taught me that the more I rooted, the more I could store for when the heat and drought came.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream. and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield." — Jeremiah 17:7-9

About halfway through 2011, my roots began to take hold. Beginning when I was twelve years old, God's word fascinated me. I remember my spirit being quickened the first time and in the thousands of instances that followed, I had no trouble believing that God's Word was truly living and active. However, wanting to read God's Word and actually doing it are two very different things.

I've shared my story before, the most important resolution you can make,  and what my Bible time looks like on a regular basis.

But today, I am reflecting on what regular and systematic reading of God's Word over the course of four years has done. Never has the benefit been more clear to me than over the last six months.

As I mentioned before, I didn't expect the wave. And after feeling better for a few weeks, I certainly didn't expect another wave to come crashing down. And yet, it did. Already weary from before, I scarcely had breath to keep going.

"If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction." — Psalm 119:92

I read that verse a few days ago and it was all very clear to me: had I not found my delight in God's Word and intentionally rooted myself in it, I would have perished. Whether that death would have been physical, spiritual, or emotional...I don't know. I don't want to know. What I do know is that God's Word has sustained me. Is sustaining me. It is my life. My strength. My song. My deliverance.

That is because Jesus sustains me. He is my Life. My Strength. My Song. My Deliverance.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God...In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." John 1:1-5

As the wave recedes, I am thankful once again that I have rooted myself in the Word. I am standing strong with joy in my heart, even as I tend to my emotional and mental injuries. This is only possible because I have been well-nourished and well-supplied for the future.

Is it any wonder we have given ourselves to the cause of the Bibleless people? If I know the One Thing that can truly save and satisfy, how could I be loving to do anything but work to ensure everyone has it? And how could I be loving to not encourage those of you who already have it to saturate yourself in it? There is no alternative to growth, to survival. The 180,000 million people who wait for their very first word of Scripture in a language they can clearly understand need it just as much as you who have to blow the dust off your cover every Sunday.

Why not start today? Why not open those pages and let the living word of Christ penetrate your heart and spirit. Become rooted. There is nothing more beneficial you could do with your time, both for now and for eternity.

Watch & Wait

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts." Proverbs 8:33-35


"But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me."

Micah 7:6-8


In late 2007, the pastor of the church we attended encouraged us to choose a word for the year 2008.  This word could really be anything we wanted it to be.  It could be a goal we were aiming for. A prayer request.  A habit we wanted to break.  He told us to choose a word and spend the year meditating on it.  I prayed about it for a few weeks and finally settled on the word change. Little did I know that the change that was in store was a move from Orlando, Florida to Bandung, Indonesia.  Everything in our life changed that year.

In 2009 I prayed and decided on the word home.  Again, I wasn't sure what I was really hoping for, but I felt deep in my heart that my focus was to be home.  And just a few months into the year, God laid it on my heart to homeschool. Home was definitely the focus!

In 2010 I was still scrambling to choose a word.  And then on January 1, I read in my Daily Light, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Hebrews 12:1-2.  And I knew that my word for 2010 was run.  That year, I started running.  Not with my feet in tennis shoes but rather, in my heart.  My heart started racing—away from what the world expects of me and to what God expects of me.  It was an amazing year and I am still feeling the effects of things that God turned in my heart and mind.

The year 2011 brought a new word: rooted.  The word came from the verses listed above.  I wanted so much—longed for, ached for—to be rooted in God's word.  Tomorrow I will share more about my year focusing on being rooted. It was an amazing year!

In November, I started praying about my word for 2012.  I had a few ideas but none of them felt like it was exactly what the Lord was telling me.  So I waited, prayed, and was confident that in His time, God would share my word with me.

"Watch and Wait."

The words were in my heart but they didn't make a lot of sense. But they kept coming to me. "Watch and wait." I resisted.  I didn't have a vision for it or a way to focus on it.  I didn't know what the Lord was trying to tell me.  And yet it continued, "Watch and wait." I figured I would at least think about it.  And then something happened and I had no choice.  I had to watch and wait.  I didn't know what was going to happen.  I could do nothing to control it.  I was spending weeks in the unknown and any time I started to fret, my heart heard, "Watch and wait."  And so, a few days before the new year began, I said "Okay, in 2012  I will "Watch and Wait."

Since then, it has started to make more sense.  This year is going to be one of great transition and change for our family.  We will moving back to the States in June and we have no idea what the future holds.  We might be in the States for a year.  It might be longer.  I suppose it could even be shorter.  We don't know.  We don't know where Jason will work.  We don't know what we will drive.  We don't know where we will attend church, who our friends will be, or what it will be like to bring our children to a country they haven't seen in four years.  But we do know that the Lord is with us, that He has led us in this direction, and the year 2012 will be one for watching and waiting.  We will watch what the Lord is going to do in our lives and through our lives.  We are going to wait patiently for the answers we so desperately want to hear.  We will watch and wait, remaining rooted in Him and His Word.  2012 is going to be an amazing year!