Have you chosen your word for this year? I’m a bit late but I’ve finally decided on mine. I’ll tell you all about it but first, let me open the door so you can peek into my life for the past month.
My husband is off adventuring with his brother and will be gone for twenty-seven days. It is highly unusual for us to be apart for so long! So to make sure I would not be too lonely, I invited people over. Some came for tea/ coffee and conversation. Others arrived in groups for meetings. In fact I just counted them up and I am amazed! During his absence, I will have opened the door of our house to fifty-four people! Granted, thirty-five of them came in response to my invitation to a women’s brunch. But still that is a lot of people!
In looking at these numbers, I am confirmed that the word I picked for 2019 is the very best one for me. In fact, it is the same as last year because I loved it so much and I feel it has more for me in the coming year. On one hand it refers to opening myself to people. On the other it refers to my relationship with God.
My word/phrase open the door.
Revelation 3:20 is a verse that has come to mean much to me. In it, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (NIV)
Closing my eyes I realize Christ is right here with me and I sit silently leaning in and resting in His presence. He is the bread. I take Him in realizing His great love. He offers me His truth as I open His Word and listen for what He wants me to know. The time is sweet and I realize that I need no other nod, no other approval, no other yes. He has already given me everything I need to feel loved, accepted, and cherished. In turn I have love for others and especially for Him.
A few weeks ago, I came across an Instagram post from @gracelaced where she wrote about how her husband gets up early to spend time with God. As he is quietly reading his Bible and praying, one of their boys comes downstairs to join him. As her husband stands and fully embraces his son, @gracelaced realized that what he was doing is a picture of what it is to meet with the Lord each day.
She writes: “We meet with Him, go to the Word, linger in its pages, pour out our hearts to Him in praise and pleading…not to merely be more knowledgable…but to enter into our Father’s embrace of intimacy, freedom, trust, dependency - all of which we can’t know apart from KNOWING HIM and spending time with Him. Relationship will always be a greater motivator than ritual... God’s Word is a love letter and a hearty meal at your Father’s table…”
My early morning verse this year will be from Matthew 22. When asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is a commandment but I hear it as an invitation to the heart of God. He lets me love Him. He allows me to have something to give others. He has opened my eyes to how much He loves me and how I can love me too.
I believe my WORD, open the door, encompasses all three reminding me to open the door to love Jesus, other people, and myself. I plan to come to the table in His presence ready for talk-that-matters and to build relationships with others that are rich in conversation, honest and full of life.
I have friends and family who have told me their 2019 WORD, and I often pray for them using their word. Joel picked “rooted”, Hannah chose “freedom”, Kerstin is embracing “give” and my friend, Beth, wants to be “unhindered”. I love each of these words because I know the people and I love their desire to have a focus and to be free to follow Christ in the way in which He is calling them.
Do you have a WORD? What are you doing to keep it in front of you? Have you added a verse to help bind it to your daily practice? Here in mid-February, is your WORD already opening you up to more of what God has for you?
I’d love for you to type your WORD in the comments because, as you know, I’ll pray for you using that word, if you like.