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

 

 

Bone Broth for Blessings

For the past few weeks, I’ve taken dinner to my mother and stepfather on Wednesday afternoons. It’s not a big deal for me. They only live twenty minutes away. I love to cook and my mother doesn’t. She’s happy with smearing peanut butter on a banana and eating a bowl of ice cream.

But my stepfather Gene likes to eat–real food

To be honest, I used food as an excuse to talk to him. Nourishment for my soul.

As a retired minister and sociology professor, Gene knows people. And he’s lived long enough to know what’s important in life. He’s 85.

I trust him.

He’s never given me advice unless I’ve asked for it. This time, I had a lot of questions. 

I walked into their kitchen with a crock pot full of bone broth soup, warm cornbread, fresh fruit, and a plate of spice cake. And, of course, Hershey bars for Mother.

(Here’s a recipe for how to make bone broth from Wellness Mama.)

Mother hopped up on the counter and popped a grape into her mouth.

“So, Gene,” I said, trying to sound casual. “What’s life all about? I mean, what matters most? What’s my real purpose? Why am I here?”

He smiled, even though I’d asked a long line of heavy questions that he couldn’t be possibly answer in an afternoon visit.

“What you’re feeling is perfectly normal,” he said. “I wrote a little bit about it.” Opening a drawer, he pulled out a thick stack of papers. “It’s my doctrinal dissertation from June of 1967.”

My gaze landed on the word MEANING in the title. Which is what I’d been searching for. Meaning and purpose. What matters most.

“This is amazing,” I said.

Everything I wanted to know, I could find in Gene’s study.

“Do you mind if I borrow it? I’ll take good care of it. I promise.”

“Sure.”

Before he left to run errands, we talked some more, and I followed him outside.

What happened next was one of those sparkly moments–the kind you know you’ll never forget. 

Standing by his truck, I flipped through his research, hoping to make sense of all his facts and figures.

“You really want to know what’s important in life?” he said.

I moved inside his open door. “More than anything.”

He looked up toward heaven. “Love well.”

“Love well? That’s it? Two words. How can life be that simple?”

“That’s it.”

His hazel eyes met mine, and I remembered how he’d been there for me over the years. Always compassionate. Never judging.

~~How he prayed with me during my two bouts of clinical depression in 1994 and 2012.

~~How he read Scripture at our infant son Robbie’s graveside and at our daughter Katie’s first wedding.

Gene was right.

The answer settled my soul. 

Love well.

Love God and love others. What else matters? Click to tweet. 

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27 NIV

What does LOVE WELL mean to you?

Do you have someone a little older and wiser to talk to?

Love,

Julie