Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Verse for the New Year

This post may be a little late for the "contemplating the New Year" kind, but I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and put these thoughts into writing until now, so today it is.

I've read and enjoyed so many of your New Year's posts sharing your intentions and resolutions, plans and goals, and just plain old hopes and dreams. Especially you younger gals with big things happening in your lives. Blogging has given many of you some amazing opportunities this year;  from recognition in magazines, photography, television, and the book world, to actually "living your dreams". Honestly, I couldn't be happier for you...really...truly! 

I have to warn you though, as you get older the concept of making resolutions fades a bit and the turning of the calender page takes on a little less significance. Life experience and circumstances have a bad habit of wearing a person down a little. I know what it's like to have "resolutions" wind up in the ditch by the end of January, or to have something thrown in my path unexpectedly like a family crisis or health setback. "Life" has a way of derailing the best of intentions.  I guess the blessings of youth are optimism and the promise of the future. I'm not on a "downer" here, just contemplating life a little, I guess. And how we view what is ahead of us. 

Many of you have talked about how you have a "word" for the New Year. A word that some of you will use as a roadmap for the journey into 2012. To other's it's a definition of what you desire the atmosphere around you to be; a goal, an attitude, and a viewpoint. Hopefully our words are God given and spoken. I know that God likes using dates, times, and seasons to express Himself in our hearts. When we're prayerfully contemplating our lives and the prospect for change, He's is more than happy to speak to our open hearts and minds. He's an "encourager", and He desires to bring us into a place of possibilities and optimism. He's been working on me in that area...

OK, back to the "word" idea for the New Year. So I asked God if there was a specific word for me to contemplate and keep in my spirit for this year. It didn't come immediately, but as I was doing a short post for New Year's Day, a scripture verse came to mind. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the adorable vintage postcard with kittens, but it had to be included. 

Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

It seemed a little out of place and incongruous with that postcard post, but I've learned to go with it, if it's something from the Lord.  This verse has been rattling around in my head for a few days and the more I've thought about it the more I've realized God has been speaking to me concerning this thought for quite a while now.

Let me share just a little of what I think He may be trying to say. 

First of all for this verse to be truly accurate we need to be a child of God. Believers can have a firm faith that if we really love the Lord and seek Him that He will ultimately be in charge of our lives and destinations. If we never seek Him for help and guidance then it's easy to get off track in our thinking and plans. This in turn can send us down the wrong path. Staying in touch with the Father on a daily basis and letting the Holy Spirit lead us may not mean that our lives will be easy or perfect, but they will be "determined". The Oxford dictionary says this about the word "determine, -ed" fixed, precise, distinct, settled, persistent, unwavering.

Another word that stands out for me in this verse is "course". Here is the definition: onward movement or progression, path, way, route, or track, a lesson, a part of a meal, a series of hurdles, a horizontal layer of bricks" a length of water.

And then this word, which really means a lot to me at this time. "Step". a unit of movement, a manner of walking, a degree in the scale of promotion or advancement, making progress, pace, stride, taking action, being in agreement.

At this stage in my life I'm more "contemplative" about the future. I've learned the hard way not to run off on my own and in my own thinking to do a certain thing. I don't want to get into something that's just not part of God's plan for me. There have been a few things that I've been "measuring" in my mind and considering so I've turned them over to God for timing and specifics. He's determining them for me and I'm allowing Him to plot the course, not only of this New Year, but of my future. He can do all that for me, but if I don't lift up my foot one day at a time and exert some effort to take the "step" nothing will happen. 

I had a sprained ankle last week, and now that I think of it, it may have been a little teaching tool that the Lord allowed. The thought of not being able to walk for a few days had me reeling. The concept of taking a "step" has a little more significance than it did before.

I'd love to hear in the comments if God has spoken a "word" or verse to you for the year. 

Love you all, thanks for listening, and sharing my life. You're a huge blessing to me!

In Jesus,


  1. Beautifully spoken Debra. One more example of wise words that seem to be leading me this first part of the new year. My word is begin. The journey He leads us on cannot be undertaken without our help. We need to begin the journey with open arms for whatever is in store. No control just accept and embrace and roll with it. What we are meant to be will be revealed when we know we are not the ones in charge. Thanks for this post, Pam

  2. I agree with you about aging giving us a changing perspective on resolutions; I picked a word for the year of "Listen", and my current post on my blog has lots of comments where folks share their word for 2012.

  3. Debra, I always ask the Lord for a word that is specifically for the upcoming year. My word for 2012 is AUTHENTIC. I am seeking His grace to abandon fears and insecurities that keep me from being the woman that He designed me to be. Each day, I am pondering and evaluating if my behavior is motivated by authenticity over imposed fears, doubt or control. Thanks you for sharing your insights and I pray your year is truly blessed.

  4. Only you will understand when I say my choice this year was "one" and the impact this post has on it.
    One step, one project, one day at a time...that's the path I'm on right now.
    Isn't He amazing?!?

  5. Debra, this is great wisdom. Thanks for sharing your heart with us and what God speaks to you. I too always want to know what God has planned for me in the year and I sat quietly on the 1st seeking his guidance on this. You're just amazing, hope you know that, T

  6. Wow! I SO needed this ... I often feel frustrated about "but what does God WANT me to do?" It's tricky to wait and trust ourselves enough to make a decision, even after tons of prayer. This verse is so an explanation of how it works. I have been struggling a lot, over the last two or three years specifically with what to do, what to do, what to do .... when to do, how to do, where to do? This brought such peace to me. I feel like God is leading me. I'm going to make something beautiful with this verse on it, I think! Great post!!!!!!!

  7. Boy howdy are you right about that resolutions business. I have commented on many blogs that I just do not measure time very much, in days, or weeks, much less in years. Nor do I think about a word for the year, call me a nonconformist. I am just moving along as usual, blessed and blogging in my regular irregular way. God has taught me to slow down too and I have slowed down a lot and really enjoy this pace better by far. loveya♥t

  8. I was reading one of Dr. Charles Stanley's devotions just before the end of the year and that very scripture jumped out at me. So much so that I added it to my art journal and posted in on my artsy blog. Right after that, I came to your blog and learn that this verse has been speaking to you too. Very cool! I just discovered your blog recently and have been enjoying your posts.

  9. Trust!"You will show me the path of life;in Your presence is fullness of joy;at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."Ps.16:11 NKJV

  10. Hello Debra... I love your words for the new year and this post is so inspiring... I guess mine is more of a phrase than just one word... just before my older sister Jo passed away several years ago, she gave me a book called "Simple Abundance"... I have read and re~read it so many times... it is a powerful book and my sister was (is) the strongest bravest lady I have ever known... even as she knew her life was ending, she thanked God each day for the abundance in her life... I want to be just like her... xoxo Julie Marie

  11. such a beautiful, thoughtful post, debra:) thanks so much for sharing and i wish you a wonderful 2012:) my word this year is change!

  12. You're a blessing as well Debra. Quite often I close my eyes in prayer, and open my bible to the first verse that draws me in. I did that today, and this is what I saw. "My heart is inditing a good matter: I will speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Psalms 45:1

  13. truly an awesome post! so glad to find you here. for me, the Scripture Mark 5:25-34 was shown to me, the word harmony/peace and the song it is well with my soul for 2012. :)

  14. I started thinking about what my "One Little Word" should be for 2012 about a week ago....and it's been difficult to make a decision. But I did and I'm sure it's the very best word for me to focus on for 2012. Quotes I read on other blogs and the New Year's Day message at my church confirmed that for me.

    The main scripture verse on Sunday was:
    See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time,
    because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
    Ephesians 5:13-17

    Then I read this quote on Ann Voscamp's blog:
    "I don’t really want more time;
    I just want enough time.
    Time to breathe deep, time to see real & time to laugh long,
    time to give You glory & rest deep & sing joy…
    I just want time to do my one life well."

    I just new the Lord was speaking to me about TIME. I know He'll be teaching me some marvelous about time this year!

  15. I love this post! I am so glad I stopped over for a visit. I think my word would have to be blessed. My husband said his word is focused!

  16. Happy New Year! Thank you for visiting...it meant a lot to me. I loved your post. Always so profound and makes me stop and think. My word this year is insight. On many levels. But mainly, insight - wisdom.

    I hope 2012 is all that you want, need, and hope for.

    Big hug
    Elizabeth :-)

  17. Thought provoking post:) I am determined to stay on course, one step at a time! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

  18. My word for this year is 'restore'. My previous years have been PEACE, HOPE, and GRATITUDE. I never seem to have trouble finding my word. I let my word find me. In my case, it has been a long journey to the word RESTORE. And I am thankful.

  19. Wow, what an incredible post Debbie. The word I am getting is 'navigating'. I have found that the storms come and go with rough waters...and when I pray God helps me navigate through...he doesn't seem to ever take the storm away, but makes it possible to get through them. So I'm praying for wisdom to navigate successfully the storms we are in...and not give up.
    Good word you had to the younger girls...very appropriate.

  20. Hi lovely,

    I really enjoy coming over to your other blog. So restful and calm. Thank you for having me!


  21. Debra, I follow you on Common Ground, but I am one of those bloggers who talked about a word. Actually 3: change, adapt, create. I know there will be change so adapting & creating have to come. But, my verse is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you." declares the Lord "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The emphasis is that HE has plans for us, otherwise, my words might have been scared, worried and terrified!

  22. I picked a word last year. It was Finish, but I picked it because I wanted to finish all the projects that I had waiting for me. I did not finish many that have been sitting around only new ones that I started and not all of those. Cannot say that word was very helpful. As I was reading this post I was thinking of the verse I printed off of another blog that is being used for a stitchery. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." My oldest daughter called last night telling me she had a job interview. She desperately needs a new job. I preceded to call friends and family and ask for prayer for this daughter. When I called my mom in love she mentioned this same verse that I had printed out just the evening before. So she, I and another friend have been praying this verse over my daughter. Now the more I repeat it the more I have been thinking this verse may be my verse for the year. I have been working at a job for the last 3 years that I really just do not like. It took me almost a year to find the job after moving from the city and I have been afraid to leave it that I may need another one and be unable to find one. I just scrolled up to read some of the other comments, thinking mine was getting to long and saw that Lois has chosen the same verse. The plans that God has laid for us....I think I need to set some of mine aside and follow the course.

  23. i'm new here...i just started my 2nd blog 'simple gifts' just before Christmas...the 3 Wise Men on their journey to present their gifts to the Baby Jesus... after reading about the choosing of a 2012 'word' to follow throughout the year, i think mine would be 'simple gifts'! i have always had 'simple'/
    'simplicity' as my philosophy...esp after having x-stitched an Amish picture of the hymn verse
    'Simple Gifts'...'tis the Gift to be Simple...i
    have a 200lb statue of St.Francis of Assisi in my flowerbed~the simple life he led, protector of animals...i visited Italy several times,(w/my husband) absolutely adoring Assisi, Rome, Siena, Florence & Venice!! i have decorated my home w/touch of Italy, having a picture of Pope JohnPaul and 'i am the Vine and you are the branches...John 15:5' tapestry hanging on my wall...so i feel close to God everyday in my home with memories of my favorite place on earth close to me...i pray spontaneously daily...my husband started attending daily Mass, which i should do, but haven't yet...i should read the Bible & study it, but haven't yet...i should lose a few lbs, but haven't yet...i need to work on my 'haven't yets'!!!

  24. Oh I enjoyed this so much! Blessed beyond measure today.

  25. Inspirational, Debra.

    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~

  26. Thoughtful words. My word for 2012 is "free". Free to worship, free to praise, free to love sacrificially, free to say no, free to say yes.
    Most of all, free in Christ and all that He offers me. That He is enough.


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