2014 Word of the Year

Up until earlier this week I was wordless. 
{Jack sure wishes I was wordless more often.}

I'm currently reading a great book called "Unglued", 
where once again I'm underlining and circling and writing in the margins, 
realizing this book was written for me, for this season. 

The premise of the book is that we often come 'unglued', 
where we just lose it for no apparent reason, over silly, ridiculous things, 
like towels not being where they should be. 
And then, how we need to get a handle on how we react in situations, 
changing our thought patterns, 
changing the labels we give ourselves and a whole lot of other great stuff. 
Read the book. 
I'm not doing it justice.

From one loving but very imperfect mother to another, 
this book is well worth the read, 
especially if you find yourself not being able to get a 
handle on your frustration with your kiddos. 
They drive me up a wall and around the bend faster than I can say carbohydrate. 
(You can tell what's on my mind.)

So in the midst of being lost in this book, 
I read the following paragraph, underlining the whole thing 
(Don't skim or skip, because my word for the year is in it.)

The author writes:
"I don't want to be locked in my hard places forever. I want to be free. I want to be all that You (God) have in mind for me to be. In that moment I recognized a truth I'd needed to see for a long, long time:  It is beautiful when the Master chisels. God doesn't allowed the unglued moments of our lives to happen so we'll label ourselves and stay stuck. He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done. So instead of condemning myself with statements like, "I'm such a mess, I could say, Let God chisel. Let Him work on my hard places so I can leave the dark places of being stuck and come into the light of who He designed me to be. God is calling us out -- out of darkness, out from those places we thought would never get better, out of being stuck."

And then I wrote the word unstuck in the margin. 
And then I wrote FREE.
And as I was writing it, I knew I had stumbled onto
my word for the year.

FREE

That word, my friends, is LOADED with possibility.
Too much possibility to contain in one short post,
so I'll elaborate in coming weeks on other ways that word
might be incorporated into twenty-fourteen.

As I wrote that word in the margin earlier this week,
 the visual image I had was of a little girl
chasing a butterfly,
 on a perfectly warm summer day.


This, to me, is the most beautiful picture of freedom.
One of my all-time favorite photos of my Maddie.
Running free at the Arboretum.
My heart was singing that day, as it always does when there,
especially with my Maddie Mae from the U.S.A.

Oh how I want to be FREE.
Free from unhealthy eating habits that have consumed 
and frustrated and defeated me for decades.

Free from unhealthy responses to frustrations with my kids.

FREE to live out who God designed me to be.

Free to be so much more and good enough all rolled into one.


FREE.

I've loved this quote for decades,
finding it in a book at Barnes and Noble on 
Diversey and Clark back in the early 90s,
so when I found it this fall, I had to snap it up.
Especially given that it's my favorite color on the planet.

It was simply meant to be.

I don't know about you, 
but this year 
-- 2014 --
I'm walking confidently in the direction of my dreams. 

I have lived one too many years being enslaved to food
and my heart wants to be set free.


My dream is to live a life of freedom.
And I'm abundantly grateful that I don't have to fight this battle on my own.
I'm free to choose to have Jesus by my side.
To include Him on THIS adventure, too.
Just as he ran every run with me last year, doing the seemingly impossible,
I think He's gonna enjoy my kitchen as we cook things we can't even pronounce. 
And I'd be most grateful if He could turn significant amounts of water into {red} wine,
because we all know I might need a heavy dose of the stuff to get me through this detox!
{I'm just kidding, peeps. 
I couldn't have a drop of wine on this detox if I wanted to -- 
it's off limits for the month, or so says Mr. Clean!}

Galatians 5:1
"Christ has set us free to live a free life
So take your stand! 
Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you."


And speaking of carbohydrates, I had my last one for the month just an hour or so ago.


And in true, Melissa fashion, 
I surrounded myself with a sweet little lovely whilst I ate.

Walk in freedom, friends.
BE FREE.


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