a braver new year


Brave was the word I chose to lead me in 2013.

I wrote about it here and I was a teeny bit concerned.

Before I opened that little Moleskine journal today, I shook my head because I knew I had

not made an entry in some time.

I was surprised that there were pages of what I termed brave bullet points, many items I

didn’t remember until I whispered the words.

Each dot made me smile because I knew that there were quite a number of brave moments

which escaped documentation, but they exist.

My hand grabbed for a pen and I inked a page more of brave bits and pieces.

I am not sure I have ever held God’s hand tighter or felt His strength infuse me with

a word imprinted on my year more than I did this past year.

Perhaps because the word brave begs for action and belief even against all reason.

I loved the word brave.

2013 was the year when I released all preconceived notions that I wasn’t brave

and embraced the reality that I am brave.

Perhaps I always was.

I just refused to call myself by that name.

I love when we are brave, it creates an overflow of momentum towards

others flexing their bravery muscles.

I think we are brave everyday.

I don’t think we need to make a list to prove it.

But sometimes,

just sometimes,

it is nice to be reminded.

Did you have a 2013 word?

Do you have a word for 2014?

Early in December, I begin to think and pray about what word

the new year would bring.

It can be difficult in December to have a moment of stillness to

hear anything much less a little word.

Those are the times when it is important to pay attention to what moves

your soul even against the constant pulse of activity.

There were two quotes and two verses which found their way to my hearing

this past holiday season.

Hopefully this won’t be one of those,

“Oh, you had to be there” moments.

If so, just nod and we can move on.

I read Blue Like Jazz.

Okay the book has been around for 10 years.

It has been on my shelf until last month.

Books find you at the right time and I read it over the course of 2 days.

One paragraph hit me to the core.

It is like in that movie About a Boy where Nick Hornby’s chief character,
played by Hugh Grant, believes that life is a play about himself, that all
other characters are only acting minor roles in a story that centers around him.
My life felt like that. Life was a story about me because I was in every scene. In fact,
I was the only one in every scene. I was everywhere I went. If somebody walked into my
scene, it would frustrate me because they were disrupting the general theme of the play,
namely my comfort and glory.

A week before I read Blue Like Jazz, I attended for a second time a writers group and the

guest speaker was Tony Kriz, better known as Tony the Beat Poet from Blue Like Jazz.

Near the end of his talk, he said these words:

(Well first he said that all writers are insecure.

Heavy sigh, yes.)

It is easy for writers to tell stories where they are the hero in
every story.
But they are not.
Jesus is the hero of every story.

The year of brave, can easily be about me.

When I know in the deepest places of my heart that it has been

all about God clasping my weakness with His mighty abundant power.

It was only then the merging of the two brought me to the home of the brave,

the land of the free.

One morning I read these verses during a quiet time and looked them up in the Amplified


As this post is growing longer by the syllable, I will send you on a field trip here.

I prayed about what my life would look like to be forgetful of myself, my interests?

What would the world look like?

For several weeks, I thought forget would be my word.

But somehow it seemed to take on a less than positive tone.

On New Years Day, I was fiddling around with my Bible apps on my phone.

I was checking out new plans on YouVersion.

I watched a 2 minute video and as Brian Houston started to recite a scripture I have known,

I closed my eyes and listened and by the end of the evening, I had my word.


There is no escaping the fact that I am in every scene of my life.

But I don’t have to live like every scene is about me alone.

This year my word is relinquish.

I want to take each day and relinquish the hours to Him.

I would love to know your words of the year.

If you are feeling brave, leave me a comment.

If there are technical issues with video go here.

The verse read is here.

About these ads

5 thoughts on “a braver new year

  1. Hi! Helen thanks for encouraging me to ponder about my word for 2014. LOVE is my word. I read a tweet that said ” Loving someone is giving them the power to destroy you but trusting them not too” So that’s the risk I’m willing to take to have a braver 2014. To open myself to receiving love and giving my love unconditionally. Infused with God’s love, I shall love more.

    Like this

  2. I anticipate you will have a tremendous year pursuing giving and receiving love. You are being brave in the best possible way. Thanks for encouraging me right back!

    Like this

  3. Jill says:

    I am seeking the idea of abundant life when following God’s will for me. I do not mean prosperity, but full and with purpose as I deal with changes since my husband died.

    Like this

  4. Jill,
    I am praying for you to find abundance in everyway that your heart desires and needs. May God hold you especially close as you continue to walk through these tender days since Pete’s passing. xoxo

    Like this

Go ahead and make my day! Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s