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My “One Word” and Scriptures for 2016

Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t work anyway; 1/3 of resolutions don’t make it past January because of no commitment.

Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning. Life Hacks’ article on resolutions by Steve Erry says that:

“What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you. What you need is something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you. That’s the only way to get behind it, have confidence in it and keep the motivation and commitment going.”
That is why before the beginning of each year, I pray to God for the coming year, for His wisdom, guidance, protection, and blessing over me, my family, our loved ones, the U.S. and Israel.

Several years ago I heard about asking God for a theme or a “one word” for the year. I also pray to ask God for a meaningful Scripture and a song that will carry me through the year.

In December 2015, I attended iBloom‘s Planning Virtual Retreat. It was a wonderful conference that filled me up, encouraged and refreshed me. During team member/speaker Betsy Ringer‘s session on getting a new “theme” for the year, she allowed time for everyone attending to pray to get quiet before God and ask Him for the theme.

While praying, I had a vision from the Lord  A vision is not some woo-woo, out-there-in-left-field, New Agey thing (although they can be if you’re not a true Christian and it doesn’t line up with God’s word). A vision is part of the gift of prophecy, which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can learn more about these gifts in Lester Sumrall’s book at Amazon, Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit.

I describe visions as like a running picture (like a movie) in your head. Your eyes are open physically but you see it with your spirit.

deer on mountain

deer on mountain

In my mind as I prayed, I saw a picture of a female deer in a grassy field in the woods by a creek. The waters were graceful and peaceful, flowing gently. 

The doe was eating the green grass, and lifted her head. She looked around her alertly,watchful, and listening, with her large, gentle brown eyes. That was it.

I immediately felt impressed that my “one word” for 2016 was “DEER.”

Then I believe God gave me an acronym for it:

D- Do what God says.

E – Each morning God has new mercies, new things for me. (Isaiah 43:19)

E – Enter the land.

R – Rinse and Repeat; Renew. 

When I shared about the picture I received during the prayer time in the chat room, Betsy immediate typed that before iBloom’s virtual retreat began, God had given her a Scripture:

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as sure-footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19, NLT)

I believe this is my Scripture for 2016, as well as Psalm 23, specifically verses 2 and 3:

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Hinds' Feet on High Places

I felt led to re-read Hannah Hurnard’s book, a gift given to me by my friend Wendi and which I read years ago, Hinds’ Feet on High Places. At that time I was bound by many fears, and related much to the main character Much-Afraid.

I confess I still struggle with fear about various things (don’t we all), but God doesn’t want you or me to be afraid–just to TRUST HIM.

With this vision and Scriptures, I feel led to study the deer to learn more about them, specifically the hind that is the character in Hinds’ Feet On High Places. The hind is known today as the red deer.

I’m going to continue blogging as I study Scriptures on the deer (as many as 26 verses are on the deer in the Bible). 

I felt like God led me to this song about the deer, too (As The Deer by Eddie James), and am searching for other meaningful ones for 2016, as part of my 2016 “theme.”

Do you make New Year’s resolutions and goals, choose a theme or a “one word,” or ask God for a Scripture at the beginning of the year? Please share in the comments below.

And my prayer is that you’ll experience a wonderful year filled with God’s wisdom, guidance, protection, blessings, and goodness–your best year yet!

If you’re like me, 2015 was a HARD year and I’m so glad it’s over. Each new year provides a “clean slate,” a fresh, new start for you and me. God has good things planned for us!








Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

Just enough light

snowwoman speaker

snowwoman speaker

At the end of each year, I take time to reflect on the past year and to pray about the upcoming year for God’s protection, direction, and blessings on me and my family. Today when Ray asked what my plans were for the day as we ate the yummy Reuben sandwiches I cooked for lunch, I told him, “To pray about 2015.” He and Leah both just looked at me and asked, “That’s it?” I answered, “Yes, and you should, too.” 🙂 We all need God’s guidance for the coming year.   

As I prayed and journaled in our front entry room, I had what I believe was a “breakthrough aha moment.” Lately, I’ve felt very frustrated, discouraged, and upset that God hasn’t been “speaking clearly” to me about what I’m supposed to do lately and in 2015:

  • Do I continue my speaking/writing business and ministry in 2015?
  • Do I get a J-O-B outside the home to bring in more consistent, regular income? (A question many entrepreneurs ask themselves)
  • Do I do both? Get a J-O-B outside the home, while still working on my online biz, as many women do?
  • Do I continue staying still and praying for God’s wisdom and direction?

Today I believe God told me to just trust and obey Him. That might not seem like a lightning-bolt moment to you, but it was an epiphany for me!

As I was reflecting, God reminded me of how the last several years, He had opened doors for me to speak and go new places or do different things – “surprises” I hadn’t even expected, such as:

As I prayed, I realized again that God had opened every door for me to speak, given me the words to write each book, provided money for every trip I took, protected me and my family, and provided for every need our family had.

God was in control. So why was I trying to figure out everything? He had already gone ahead of me to 2015!

He will open the doors He wants (and close the ones He doesn’t want for me). He will protect me and my family. He will provide and bless as I (and my family) walk in obedience to Him.

As I prayed and journaled, I wrote down these few goals. I’m sure God has much more in store for me – more surprises I’m not even expecting!

  • I’m still in a season of rest. Keep praying for wisdom and direction.
  • Continue marketing my speaking and writing online business. Take marketing and sales classes.
  • Keep teaching our youngest daughter Leah how to cook and other life skills to prepare her for adulthood and “flying the nest.”
  • Spend time with God and family. Love God and others. At the end of the day, it’s about loving as God loves.
  • Try new things. Travel new places.
  • Send Ray to Bora Bora (his dream place).
  • Coach my clients with excellence.
  • Take a pottery wheel class. When I finish, do my pottery webinar, that I planned to do two years ago!
  • Enroll Leah in some type of art class(es).
  • Save as much money as possible (Ray and I aren’t very good at this!).
  • Eat healthy and take care of me.
  • Use my spiritual gifts and encourage others to use their gifts.
  • Learn something new every day.
  • Continue marketing myself as a speaker/author, as well as applying for a part-time job outside the home. God will open the doors He desires. 

 What about you? What are your goals, resolutions, dreams, and plans for 2015?

Remember God is already there! Leave your comments below.

“My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” – Exodus 33:14

Planner 2013
Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

The Intention to Make Money

Planner 2013

My New Planner 2013

“I believe the power to make money is a gift from God.” – John D. Rockefeller

Over the last several months, God has been speaking one word to my heart, prosperity, a word that inspires some women and makes others cringe, because they’ve heard out-of-balance, Biblically-erroneous teachings on it. But God wants His children to prosper in every area of their lives – spiritually, emotionally, health-wise, in their families, in relationships, in personal finances, in business, and in career or ministry.

Money is not bad or wrong. Jesus taught more about money and wealth than any other topic in the Bible, so it’s obviously important to Him. Many of God’s faithful servants were very wealthy. They would be comparable to today’s successful 7-figure-a-year online gurus such as Zig Ziglar (recently passed away), Carrie Wilkerson, and Sandi Krakowski.

God wants you to be so prosperous and successful that you can become a blessing to others. It’s not about buying more toys, but about advancing the gospel and God’s Kingdom! I share about this in my newest book, That You Would Prosper As Your Soul Prospers: Affirmations of God’s Blessings for Christian Women Entrepreneurs. (Details coming soon!)

Success starts with intention. The beginning of a new year is a great time to make not just new year resolutions, but to dream, to plan, to make intentional decisions and choices. From Secrets of 6-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny (pp. 87-88), we read:

“”Was it your goal to make a lot of money?” I asked Ruth, a highly paid computer expert. This was always one of my first questions to interviewees, and I was beginning to notice a pattern in the responses I was getting.

“No, I have to admit, it wasn’t,” she replied. “It was the recognition that motivated me. But somewhere in there was the intention to make good money.”

“You had the intention to make more money?” I asked, belaboring the word that had jumped out at me.

“That’s true,” she replied. “I was thirty years old, a poverty-stricken professional dancer. I was tired of being poor. So I made a decision. I said, “OK Ruth, it’s time to actually make money.”

There it was. The declaration of intention. I’d heard it in virtually every interview I’d done, although cloaked in different words. Each woman would describe that point in her life when she said to herself, “It’s time to make money.” And, in an almost uncanny way, the instant she made that explicit declaration to make money her life took a definite turn.”

What about you? Is it your time? Your turn? Start dreaming, start planning, start making an intention today.

Join me and special guest Cheryl Pullins in the chat room here at 2 pm Central Time on Dec. 28 as Cheryl shares about women entrepreneurs and success God’s way.