CHOOSE A WORD FOR YOUR YEAR TO REMIND YOU OF GOD
It’s become common for many Christians to start the year by seeking a word or phrase that will define their year, an intentional area of growth or focus. Peace. Letting go. Nourish. I have friends who have actively prayed for a revelation of these intentional words.
I, on the other hand, have actively avoided defining the year by one word. Much like New Year’s resolutions and weekend diet promises, I figured that this goal of living out one word all year would quickly be lost amid my hectic schedule and scattered brain. It seemed like just one more way I could fail. And who among us needs a reminder of our shortcomings? So I was intentional about not selecting a word for 2014.
But God had other plans. It started back in October when one of my short stories was included in a collection with the subtitle Tales of Joy and Wonder for the Holidays, and I had to ask myself where my wonder had gone.
At Thanksgiving I got away to a cabin by a lake near my home in Middle Tennessee. Every morning there I delighted in the crunching leaves and crisp breeze during my walk. Every night I sat on the porch in absolute awe of the sunsets. Christmas brought time with my sweet family and a reminder of the joy in the hearts of children as I spent the week with my precious nieces and nephews.
Shortly after the New Year, I went to dinner with my best friend, who shared her word of intention for the year with me and asked if I had one. I opened my mouth to tell her no but stopped short. Over the previous three months, God had been highlighting—in little ways—one word. Wonder.
This year I’ve intentionally looked for sweet reminders of who God is.
In the laughter of a child. In the sublime colors painting an evening sky. In the whisper of fall leaves. In deep breaths. In unexpected gifts. In kept promises. In God’s Word.
They’re not always adorned in bright lights, but they remind me that God deserves my wonder, that I should stand in awe of Him.
And the funny thing is, the more I set my heart on just how incredible God is, the less I focus on my own shortcomings. I don’t know if I’ll have another intentional word for next year, but I think I could spend the rest of my life marveling at who He is.
STOLEN MEMORIES BY LIZ JOHNSON
IF ONLY SHE COULD REMEMBER…
Attacked and left for dead, "Julie Thomas" has amnesia, and doesn't know why anyone would want to hurt her. But when surveillance video of that night shows Julie holding a baby—a baby nowhere to be found—she panics. Is the child hers? Where is she now? With no answers and no place to go, Julie accepts Detective Zach Jones's offer to help her solve both mysteries. The handsome, loyal cop makes her feel safe. But someone is trying very hard to make sure her memories stay buried forever.
ABOUT LIZ JOHNSON
By day Liz Johnson is a nonfiction marketing manager for a Christian publisher. She finds time to write fiction late at night and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring local music, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.