2017 | Word of the Year.

Well over a decade ago
I was introduced
to the concept of picking
a "Word of the Year"
by my dear friend and sweet mentor,
Pat Duckhorn.

She shared how each December/January
she would ask God for a word that
He wanted her to focus on for the upcoming year.
Perhaps an area of growth in her life.
Or an area where she needed to make some changes.
Attitude adjustments.
Or something that the Lord was asking her to do.
You get the drift.
And through her prayers, asking for His direction,
she always came up with a clear word
that she felt God was giving her for the year.

I thought it was a brilliant idea and
decided to do the same thing.
So over the years I've had words like self-control,
joy, intentional living, obedience and on and on.
And you know,
as I've prayerfully picked these words,
it has been amazing to me to watch how
- throughout the entire year -
God continues to bring that word up,
teaching me new things through that word.

If you're interested in reading past "Word of the Year" posts,
you can find some of them here:
2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.
For some crazy reason,
I didn't pick a word last year.
I had a few in the running,
and then life happened,
and I didn't focus.
And voila.
Wordless was I.
Of course
life went on without it,
but looking back,
I have to say I really missed it.

Since September I've been mulling over
several word options for this year.

These topped the list:

Listen.
Deeply Rooted.
Sing a new song.
Abundance.
Steadfast love.

And believe you me,
each of these words kept coming up at random times
and in random places.
Over and over again.
For the record, I'm not sure it was 'random.'
But that's a post for another day.
And so,
since it's my game and I get to make the rules,
here's what I'm going to do.
I'm going to keep a close eye and ear on all these words,
and see what God has to say to me through them.
For various reasons, they've all proven precious to me
over the past few months,
so I'm not ready to just toss them out the window.
But in the end,
if I have to pick just one word,
my 2017 word is going to be
ABUNDANCE.

Because I really do think God wants
to show me the fullness of His abundance.
And, in conjunction with that,
I do believe He wants me
to live an abundant life.
So it's sort of a,
"He and Me" thing.
God's going to show me His abundance this year,
in varied and surprising ways.
I just know it.
And in turn, he wants me to
have abundant life through Him,
resulting in a life that shares 
His abundance with others.
Back story, you ask?
Certainly.

(First off, here's the dictionary definition of abundance:
"An extremely plentiful or over-sufficient quantity or supply."
Keep that in mind when you read below.)

December 8th was the day I got the call that my dad had cancer
and shortly after the call, I went to Psalm 66 and read it in full.

One of the verses said this:
"...You laid a crushing burden on our backs;
we went through fire and water,
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance."

(You can read the full post on receiving the call here.)
I've read Psalm 66 countless times over the decades,
and yet this time,
that phrase stuck.
I couldn't shake it.
It was God's gift to me in the early grief.

I think God wants to shower us with His abundance,
the abundance He feels we need in any given moment.
And so in that moment,
I needed to feel abundant peace.
And He gave it.
And I can't explain it.
It might seem a bit whack-a-doo to some.

Yet it was real.
And extravagant.
And, well,
abundant.

Hmmmmm.
And then, a few days later,
I was *randomly* reading in Psalm 31,
and came across verse 19:
"Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear (respect) you.

And then, on another day,
up popped this verse:
"But, I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house."

And then,
the clincher.

On yet another day,
I turned to 2 Corinthians 1,
and there it was again.
When we suffer,
we receive abundant comfort.

Are you kidding me?
I can't make this stuff up.

Do you think I needed abundant comfort
in the midst of this cancer diagnosis?
Ummmm. Yes.
Have I felt abundant comfort these past few weeks?
Without a doubt.
And while we're at it,
never you mind that I didn't even get to the
Big Daddy Official abundant life verse in John 10:10.

And so, I felt like God was saying,
"Alysa, I want to show you My Abundance this year.
I want you to sit in it,
and walk with it,
and share it,
and tell others about it,
and live it out in your life.
I want you to feel it and know it.

I want you to know ME through my abundance.

Live in my abundance this year.
And so,
while I'm not really sure what this year,
- and in particular
what Dad's cancer journey holds -
this much I know:

God IS a God of abundance.

He just is.

He wants to shower me
- and you -
with His abundance.
"How abundant is your goodness."
Psalm 31:19

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