Nudges from God and My Word for 2019

Sometimes I feel God talking to me when I’m reading. Sometimes it happens when I’m having a conversation with a close friend. Sometimes I sense His Presence when I’m doing normal, everyday things.

Like last week.

December 26th.

I hadn’t found my word for 2019.

I decided to go wordless and began taking down Christmas decorations. I’d considered Praise, Home, and Abide–all great words–but none of them curled up in my heart and settled down.

After I took the wreath off the front door, I stood on the porch, studying the blank door. I didn’t like the way it looked–it reminded me of how I felt–but it was too soon for my spring wreath. Probably too soon for my Valentine’s wreath, but I hung it anyway.

Sounds odd, but the red heart seemed to smile at me.


Okay, maybe this works~~

Now, if I can just find my word. 

This past November my mother gave me a stack of old paperbacks. I almost tossed them. They were from the 1970’s!

A couple of weeks later, I began reading the one on top, The Highroad to Surrender, by Frances J. Roberts.

Frances drew me in on the first page.

On December 27th, I read a devotional from his book called, “A Heart Fixed on Me.”

I highlighted these sentences:

From page 104~~

“As I have told you so often, KEEP YOUR HEART FIXED ON ME.” Frances’s caps, not mine. 🙂

Lord, are You talking to me?

That afternoon, I added more hearts around the house.


For some reason, decorating with hearts felt right.

They satisfied me~~

Surprised me with joy.

Decorating for Valentine’s Day in December, I prayed,

“Lord, please reveal my word for 2019–if You want to give me one.” 

On December 28th, I highlighted another quote by Frances J. Roberts:

“Only prayer furnishes the soul with nourishment, but prayer must be born of singleness of heart.” (page 106)

The next paragraph:

“There is no peace in the heart of the transgressor and no joy in his spirit.” (page 107)

A few sentences down:

“Search your heart in the light of My word. Let the Holy Spirit give insight.” from John 16:13-15 (page 107)

Lord, I’m listening. You want my whole heart. Every day. All of me. My thoughts. My mind. My word for 2019 is HEART. Help me. I can’t do this without You.

When it seems God has nothing to say, listen to His gentle nudges inside your heart. click to tweet 

~~Two questions for you, my blog friends~~

  1. If you’ve chosen a word, a verse, or a theme–even if you just want to–please share!
  2. Does God speak to your heart in unique ways like while you’re doing everyday things? Tell us!

P.S. If you’d like to read about my words for the past few years, click the links below.

2018 Give 

2017 Love

2016 Dance

2015 Simple

2014 Enough

2013 Follow

2012 Surrender

The book I’m quoting, On the Highroad of Surrender, by Frances J. Roberts, was published by King’s Farspan, Inc, copyright 1973.

Written from my heart,

Julie

 

 

My Four-Letter Word for 2017

When the idea for my word first came to me in November, I shoved it aside. I didn’t think it would be much of a challenge. Nothing like my words from the past:

2016 DANCE 

2015 SIMPLE  

2014 ENOUGH

2013 FOLLOW 

2012 SURRENDER  

I thought I’d aced this particular word a long time ago. But it kept popping up. Everywhere. It’s behind my laptop on an ideas board I made back in August.

It’s on the cover of this Angels on Earth magazine on my desk.

I started reading a book on my Kindle by Sheila Walsh, The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God. (Great book!)

The word is in the verse at the very beginning of the book, the command from God:

LOVE each other. John 15:17

I do love people. I’m not mean. 

I got a little nervous when I read the title of my BFF’s blog post, Love is Costly. Robin opens with this picture below and says,

“Love was costly for Jesus. Love was costly for God. Of course, love is costly for us too.”

(photo credit All Things Heart and Home.)

I felt an uncomfortable sensation churning inside. An uneasiness. 

God had a grip on my heart. I didn’t want to give in.

This was getting deep, and I wasn’t sure what LOVE might cost.

Taking the Christmas decorations down, I noticed the burlap ribbon on the tree in the kitchen. Leftover from Valentine’s Day. Covered with red hearts.

I’m not craftsy, but I wondered if I could use the ribbon on the front porch–where my Christmas decorations were.

For Valentine’s Day.

Not for LOVE. 

I wrapped it around a grapevine wreath and tied a bow at the bottom.

I brought my old pitcher outside–the one with hearts on it–still arguing with God about the word.

Okay. This looks nice, but it doesn’t mean I have to pick LOVE for my word.

I get it. 

We’re supposed to love people. 

And I do.

Then the word showed up at the bottom of my prayer journal.

Boom.

An arrow.

Straight to my heart.

The verse nailed me.

Love one another as I have loved you. 

AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

I don’t do this very often, Lord. I don’t love people unconditionally. Sometimes it’s for show. Or for personal gain. Or because it’s expected.

But to love expecting nothing in return…

This scares me.

Because I don’t know how. 

And I can’t do it without You. 

With trembling fingers, I handed God my heart and said, “Will You teach me how to love others?” Click to tweet

I have no idea what’s next, and yes–I’m still a little bit afraid of my word.

Have you chosen a word for 2017? A theme? A goal? Are you a tiny bit scared too?

Love,

Julie (there’s my word again!)

 

 

 

 

 

My 2016 Word–The Flip Side of Surrender

A couple of weeks ago, one word from a Scripture verse danced off the page, begging for my attention. Can you guess what it was?

“And David danced before the Lord with all his might…” 2 Samuel 6:14 (KJV)

As a child, I loved to dance.

I started taking ballet lessons when I was three. I came alive in the ballet studio–a wide open room with shiny wooden floors and mirrored walls.

But eight years later when I got my first pair of toe shoes, a fearful thought took root.

You’re never going to learn how to dance in these pointy shoes. 

So I quit dancing.

My mother spray-painted my toe shoes red. They hung in my bedroom for years.

Untouched but never forgotten.  

Yesterday while I thought about 2016 word possibilities, my husband dragged the Christmas tree outside and moved my pie safe back into place.

After days of rain the sun came out, and my wedding dishes sparkled. So pretty. Closing the doors to protect my china, I noticed my oldest child’s handprint.

She’s 34 now.

My hands used to be this small–

When I was a tiny ballerina–

Who stopped dancing because of fear.

Can I actually choose a fun word for 2016? Like  Dance

I always pick stoic words like Enough, Simple, Follow, and Surrender

What if the flip side of Surrender is Dance? 

Maybe when we let go of control, we’re free to dance. 

I bet when David danced before the Lord he didn’t say, “Don’t watch me. I’m a terrible dancer.” He probably danced with his heart and soul–with everything inside him. 

That’s when my word came to me with absolute assurance. 

My 2016 word for the year is DANCE.  

I danced to the pie safe, flung open the doors, and grabbed some dishes. 

Breaking all sorts of decorating rules, I mixed wedding china with my grandmother’s depression glass and set up a coffee station.

I filled an antique container with Sour Patch Kids. I love Sour Patch Kids! 🙂

I even lit a pink candle in the middle of the day.

In 2016, I’m going to:

* Use my wedding china.

* Light more candles.

* Bathe with decorative soap.

* Love people with my whole heart. 

* Most of all, I’m going to dance–not just with my feet, but with everything I do. 

When we surrender and live fearlessly, others are set free! Click to Tweet

Do you have a 2016 word? Do tell! 

Are you gonna dance next year?

For the full experience, watch this video below. If you can’t see it, click here.  She’s even redheaded!

** Let’s remember to pray for those in Texas and the Midwest who’ve been affected by the storms. My heart is with them right now.

P.S. Ballet pics from Pixaby. 

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

Our Mysterious Destination (and My 2015 Word)

I’d been considering a certain word for 2015. I didn’t have much in common with it, but I loved it. It’s tiny and tender compared to my last three heavyweights–surrender follow, and enough.

Something unexpected happened Christmas night, and I knew the word was mine.

Six p.m.

“Go get your coat,” my husband said.

“Why? Is everything okay? Where’re we going? Do I need my purse? Let me get my phone.”

“Nope. Just your coat.”

(We re-enacted  for pictures. On Christmas night there were no cars.)

Even though I felt uneasy leaving everything behind, I followed his simple instructions and grabbed my coat. While he drove to our mysterious destination, I asked a million more questions.

He just smiled.

Patted my knee.

Approximately eight minutes later, we parked at the town square.

“Ohhhhh, we’re walking around the square, right?”

He winked.

It’d been a couple of years since we’d walked around the square together. And never on Christmas night. “Wow. Everything’s all lit up.” I hurried toward the first shop to peek in the window.

“Slow down. We’re not exercising.”

Oh.

I felt a tug at my heart.

Something’s happening. Pay attention.

“Look at the Christmas tree lights!” I said. “They’re the big old-fashioned kind, like when we were little.”

“Oh, look at Buckles Hardware all decorated.”

“We might even see Barney Fife!

“Yep,” he said.

photo credit Bisse’s Photostream Flickr link

How had I missed the beauty of small town simplicity?

The beauty of simple things? 

We stopped at a window box full of pansies.

Spotting one simple candle glowing in the window, I finally said yes to my word. One-hundred percent yes.

“Guess what my word is for 2015? It’s the exact opposite of me.”

“Risk-taker?”

“No. It’s Simple. My new word is Simple. Like, ‘K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple, Sweetheart.’‘”

He looked at me and I knew exactly what he was thinking.

But you’re not simple. You’re complicated. You never stop thinking. Or planning.

“With God’s help, I’m going to think simple thoughts. I am–I’m going to simplify and focus on what matters most.”

Maybe simple faith is all we really need.

Do you have a word for 2015? Please share it with our group!

**Reminder** Facebook is changing in January. Be sure to sign up for my blog through my website.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

God and Me … and My Husband’s Screwdrivers

Friday, I’d worked myself into a jam–literally. Early that morning, I gathered my courage and decided to replace my veneer office desk with an old oak table. I woke up thinking, today’s the day. With God’s help, I can re-do my office without asking Mr. Fix-It (my husband) to help me. But the desk had lots of screws, and I’m not mechanically inclined.

The week before, I couldn’t unscrew the kitchen soap dispenser to refill it. Mr. Fix-It had to do it.

“Does everything unscrew in the same direction?”

“Yep. Righty-tight-y, lefty-loose-y. Unless you’re working on the driver’s side wheels of an old MOPAR.

So Friday morning, I scrounged up three screwdrivers, knelt beside my desk, and whispered, “Righty-tight-y, lefty-loose-y.”

But none of the screwdrivers fit. Mr. Fix-It has plenty of power tools, but I don’t know how to use them.

Maybe I can bounce the desk down 13 steps.

But it got wedged in the hallway.

Great. Now look what I’ve done.

Pray.

About a stuck desk?

God, You made the whole world. Will You help me out of this mess?

Logical thoughts came.

Move it an inch to the right. Flip it on its side. Try the t-shaped screwdriver again.

Miraculously, a few screws came loose.

I slid the desk in the spare bedroom and tried to drag the oak table toward my office. Same thing happened.

I’m going to be stuck here all day. Or fall down the stairs.

Pray.

Lord, I need You again. Help me.

More ideas came.

For someone who’s never used a screwdriver (well, maybe once or twice) this is quite a feat! 🙂

Then I celebrated with a tall glass of sweet tea and got organized.

Ta-day!

I have this feeling God’s leading me into more adventures with Him. My word for 2013 is FOLLOW.

Is He calling you into something new?

The first step always seems impossible.

Take it anyway.

Say, “Help me, God.”

Then be still and listen.

Love,

Julie

The Wonderful Wisdom of Baby Chicks

Saturday, the Julie-I’m-Becoming had an idea. I wanted to be on the lookout for new ways to praise God. As I poured another cup of coffee, my 21-year-old son came inside from feeding the chickens. “Mom, I think I heard baby chicks.” Thomas’s announcement made me smile. After he grew up, he stopped saying things like, “Look, Mom, come here. You gotta see this!”

If Thomas was right, it would be the first chicks born in our coop.

He went back outside and sure enough–he heard them again. We let Mama and the babies get settled in on Saturday, but Sunday morning, I couldn’t wait any longer. We walked down the path through the woods.

Here she is, doing her job, keeping her chicks warm.

 Guess what happened when we tossed in some breakfast?

While Mama ate, her babies scurried along after her. Wherever she went, her chicks followed. They didn’t leave her. Not for a second.

These mixed BANTAM chicks were born knowing Mama is…

Their comforter.

Their protector.

Their provider.

They trust her. She’s everything to them.

They just look so grateful, don’t they?

After seeing God’s newborn creations right in my own backyard, I added three more entries to my GRATITUDE JOURNAL. 🙂

April 21, 2013

#1402. Thomas telling me the news.

# 1403. Two chicks born!

# 1404. The wonderful wisdom of baby chicks.

Lord, I pray “my soul follows hard after You” just like these baby chicks. Psalms 63.8

Have you discovered something new to praise Him for lately?

P.S. My word this year is “FOLLOW.”

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Shoes, New Word, New Thoughts!

My word for the year, FOLLOW, keeps following me around. Several weeks ago, I fell off the treadmill at the YMCA. Bending over to tie my shoe, I forgot the ground was moving. Probably looked like a total idiot. Landed face down. Bumped my chin. Scrapped my knees and elbows. People rushed over. So embarrassing! Promised myself I’d never let that happen again.

One night last week, my husband Rick and I were going to the “Y.”  I have an old pair of worn-out tennis shoes and a brand new pair.

Here’s the bottom of my new shoes. Safe. Study. Great for treadmill walking.

Bottom of my old ones. Slippery. No arch support. Good for tromping through the woods with the dog.  

I was in a hurry that night. Not paying attention. Guess which ones I wore?

Stepping onto the treadmill, my feet flopped around like I was wearing house shoes. And then my right shoe came untied.

Oh, no. Not again.

Stubborn me–not wanting to lose precious work-out time, I didn’t pause the machine.

I balanced myself with my arms, jumped to the sides, and tied my shoe.

Just like before.

When I jumped back on, the treadmill was going full-speed ahead. Had to run like The Road Runner not to fall off.

 “You did this to be funny, didn’t you?” I said to Rick, who was laughing. “You made it go faster when I wasn’t looking.”

“No, silly. You were in such a hurry, you hit the high-speed switch when you jumped off.”

On the way home, I sensed God talking to me. Again.

Remember your word is follow.

Don’t live in such a hurry. That’s how you fall.

Slow down.

Follow Me.

Trust My timing. I’m never late.

Any more Road Runners out there?

Love,

Julie