Sunday, January 19, 2014

My word

Renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
When the latest round of New Year’s resolutions took the shape of just one word, I scoffed.
One word to sum up all I wanted to accomplish in 2014?

Huh-uh. I struggle to keep within the word limit for my column. In fact, many weeks I delete more than a hundred words from the first draft. When I have a speaking engagement, I watch the clock carefully. If there’s none in sight (and many times there isn’t) and my husband is in the audience, he sits in the back and waves his cell phone to signal it’s time to start wrapping up. Long-winded – that’s me, all right.
One word.
Then, out of the blue, it came to me, my one word for 2014:

Where did that come from? I wondered. I wasn’t even thinking about it, and I certainly didn’t plan to jump on the “one word for the year” bandwagon.
But there it was. In all its naked truth.

I knew the second it planted itself in my mind, heart and spirit that it is my word.
I looked it up online. “Fixed in direction; firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment; unwavering; firmly established; firmly fixed in place or position,” I read at
I looked up Scripture that used the word. I noted the words the Amplified Version uses in Psalm 51:10: “Renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”
Then I looked back at 2013. While I persevered at a few things, I hadn’t completed others – things I could have and should have finished, that were within my power to do so. But I didn’t.
I need steadfast.
First, I need to be steadfast in spending time with God. I tend to start out the year reading the Bible and praying with gusto. Then eventually I peter out. I didn’t even start this year with any zeal. Twice, and it’s not even three weeks into January, I’ve blocked a chunk of time to get caught up on my Bible reading. Now that I’m caught up, I need to be steadfast and stay caught up.
And I need to be steadfast in sitting still and just listening. Too many times I don’t hear what God is trying to tell me because my mind is flitting about like a hummingbird. I need to remember Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast” (stayed or fixed on God).
Second, I need to be steadfast with my ER-ER (Eat Right-Exercise Regularly) program and make it a lifestyle. Two years ago I lost 25 pounds, then went back to feeding my addiction for bread and pasta, and gained it all back. I felt tired and lethargic. Now that I’m back on track, I have more energy and feel so much better. But I must remain firm in my purpose of obtaining and maintaining good health through ER-ER.
Third, I need to be steadfast in my work – professionally and personally. Finish that novel, then rewrite and edit it. Review student writing lessons in a timely manner. Personally, keep ahead of the clutter.
Yep, it’s a good word for me.
What about you – what is your word for 2014?
Renew a steadfast spirit within me, O Lord – daily, hourly, minute by minute. Amen.

Special-Tea:  Read 1 Corinthians 15:58


  1. Thanks for your words, Michelle. My word for this year is INTENTIONAL.
    It's about making intentional choices about my health, diet, exercise, time with God, ministry, etc.

  2. Good word, Jeanne! And so very true. We must be intentional about the things we want to do (and change) in our lives. May God give you the wisdom to know the right choices, the strength to follow through, and His grace when it's difficult.

  3. My word for the year is TRUST! I like yours too. STEADFAST and TRUST seem to go together. Let us support one another as we venture into 2014 and see what God has for us this year.

  4. Yes, trust is a good one, Karen. Sometimes we trust only ourselves. Trust is sometimes a leap of faith, sometimes a baby step. I think of Peter in the boat during the storm when Jesus was walking on the water to the disciples, and Peter said, "If that's you, Lord, bid me come to you." Jesus responded, "Come." How much trust/faith did it take for Peter to walk on the stormy waves to Jesus? Just enough to fling his leg over the side of the boat.