There. That three letter word up there captures 2010 for me. During debriefing in November, God showed me this was the word.  Weeks ago, I added a little button on the side of my blog that says: Choose Joy.  I love words.  I love capturing them in my heart and letting them resonate there until they reverberate in my words and actions.

The beginning of 2010 started in another state without much internet time and much time soaking up Him.  So, when the buzz filled the blog world about everyone’s “word” for the year, I downloaded and read. Then I hesitated, I held back, I debated in my head about my word.  Why? I wanted something with more movement, more boldness, more strength, more uniqueness, more oomph, more drive, more goal orientated, more specific.  I wanted a rare, special word only for me. I didn’t want my word used!

But in the running around, I’ve found joy being talked all over in new, fresh, unique ways that spoke to my heart.  I saw it everywhere. God kept pricking my heart and reminding me that He didn’t just pick any word. Oh no. He choose a word just for me. Just for this season. Because He delights in me. This is part of a bigger plan. A God-filled vision. A joyful me. He wants me to journey with joy this year. To choose joy.  To take this little three lettered word and stamp it on my heart so that everyone can see.  To let my words and actions be oozing with joy in an irresistible and contagious way that everyone can’t help but wonder and ask who is behind it all…because He is.

So, here I am…stepping out onto the water and flinging myself fully into the water so that I’m covered completely by Him.

“When my life is like a storm, rising waters all I want is the shore. You say I’ll be okay and make it through the rain. You are my shelter from the storm. And everything rides on hope now. Everything rides on faith somehow. When the world has broken me down, your love sets me free.”

“I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart.”

Saying No to say Yes

Truth is…I don’t like saying no to people…

I don’t like not being able to do certain things…

I don’t like knowing that because I struggle…because my flesh likes to take over…

that to walk as He calls me to… I must say no in order to say YES to God

Because, for me, the bigger truth is…I want to say YES to God way more than I want to say yes to people.

I don’t want to let a seemingly “little” yes get in the way…

That’s how it starts…the little yes to the flesh leading to a bigger yes leading to finding myself in a hole…

But, see, I am OUT of that hole.  And I am staying OUT.

The old is GONE. FOREVER.

Oh, but I won’t be naive in knowing that I can choose to crawl right back into that hole so instead I fix my eyes on Jesus and hear…

God saying, “What are you talking about?” because my SIN, my UGLY, is forgiven…is as far as the east is from the west and…

He made me a new creation…with a new heart…

A heart that is saying a big resounding YES to God

A heart that is being guarded from that hole by my Protector, my Provider

and Oh, I must have more of Him

So, I press on to know Him.

To know His voice and to follow Him…

To His immeasurably more than all that I can ask or imagine.

And, yeah…it might probably will look different than my little head imagines

Yeah…that might hurt…that might ache…that might cause some tears to fall…

But I know that He’s working ALL my things together for good.

I believe and stand on the promise that He will come through.

That He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Because you know what, He lets me know, “My delight is in you

So, I’ve laid down my UGLY at the altar.

He’s calling for a living sacrifice.

A sacrifice…that costs but reminds me…

Jesus is better.

Yeah. I confess…I desire to be married.

Yeah, I confess that that desire in my own hands instead of His lead me to my hole…

to my sin, to my UGLY

So, He’s called me to lay that desire down on the altar as a living sacrifice

and for this next season I will heed His call and stay single by saying no

So, I stand still and w…a…i…t… to see what He will do

Because the attention I get from Almighty Jesus is better and I’m going to…

run to Him.

run to Him.

run to Him.

And keep saying no…so that I can say YES to Him.