One Word

"God’s riches are so great! The things He knows and His wisdom are so deep! No one can understand His thoughts. No one can understand His ways."
Romans 11:33 (NLV)


     Three days ago I still did not have a "word" for 2014. I had a verse (right at the top of my blog), but the "word" eluded me. Perhaps this year I would not receive one, I mean a verse is plenty, if you downright think about it and God is pretty busy, therefore He may not have had time to send one down from the Heavens above.

     I stood in the backyard and looked up at the sky, trying to see through the clouds that the "Polar Vortex" had blanketed most of the US with. Everyone I know is sick with some sort of flu/cold. I felt lucky (as if!) that I had already been sick (3 times to be exact) and (praying fiercely) that this time I would not be touched with whatever was going around.

{That prayer must not have made it to Heaven because I am sitting here with a horrible sore throat and a stuffed up head.}

It came as a whisper on the back of a bitter gust of wind, softly, but boldly spoken.


My first reaction was "no." I do not have any spare time to dig.

Then I tossed up the reasons as to why I did not have the time...

Parenting, school, studying, preaching, ministering, looking for a job, teaching Bible study, teaching Sunday School, Board meetings etc...

As if that was not enough, I then went on to list what I already do for Him and how I felt I needed a break...

"I want more than a performance, My child" was the answer I received.

Well said, Father.

     Almost instantaneously a light-bulb went off over my head, taking me back to the post I wrote a few days ago, about feeling a need to always "be on." Somewhere in the past 4 years, my mind has tricked me into thinking that performance was the key to having Him on my side. Basically a "to-do" list of things I made sure to check off before I went to sleep at night.

     Everything I did, had to be better each additional time it was done. I took criticism to heart and changed the way I stand, speak, and preach. Each time I received a copy of a sermon I had preached, I would sit and watch it over and over again, picking out each miniscule error... "Look at your hands, stop talking with them and put them somewhere. You stumbled on that line. Look up and make eye-contact more. You are moving around too much, stand still." And the self-inflicted beating goes on and on.

     Same goes for Bible study. There is another female minister and we share the Women's Bible Study, taking turns each month picking out a woman from the Bible, writing our own Bible study, and then bringing it to whoever shows up. We have been doing this for almost 2 years and I never leave without questioning something I wrote.

     For days I would do this, compare myself to the other 2 preachers in our Church and find myself failing (in my eyes) miserably. Sadly, I know better. I preach against this same mentality of a performance based relationship with the Father, yet here I found myself entangled in the snare of the enemy.

     Living a performance-based life is normal within the world we live. From almost the moment we draw breath, the gauntlet is cast, challenging each of us to not only succeed, but to triumph in all that we do. Then somewhere along that path, we start to believe that our performance is a way to measure the value in ourselves. However, there will be tremendous discouragement if our value is only based on what we do, because someone will eventually come along and be better at it.

     The moment I stopped to take a self-inventory of my walk, the spotlight shone on "performing" too much, therefore if I am always "on," I cannot be resting in Him. The Word tells us; "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30. The Books of Genesis, Exodus, and Hebrews, remind us that the Lord rested... Why do we think we are any different?

     Deeper is a comparative adjective of the word deep, meaning; "very intense or extreme; extending far inward from an outer surface, to a great depth."

     Inward is where I receive my identity; a daughter loved by Him, outward is living out the love that He has given to me.

     My prayer for the year 2014 is this, that I may grow deeper in love with my Savior, that I learn to see past the surface of those He places in my path, & that I put aside the notion that my walk is based purely on my performance, and rest in Him.

     He loves me for who I am at this very moment in time; deeply loves me & He deeply loves each one of you.     

What is your word for 2014? Tell me in the comments or better yet, link up with Bonnie over at Faith Barista and share with the community.

Many blessings!

 "Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders
Let Me Walk Upon The Waters
Wherever You Would Call Me
Take Me Deeper Than My Feet Could Ever Wander
And My Faith Will Be Made Stronger
In The Presence Of My Savior

Hillsong United

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