Monday, February 22, 2021


I got into a habit a few years ago. I’d have a dream, or get a prodding from the Holy Spirit, and I began to make a note of it on my phone. After my Dad passed away, and we found ourselves going through his things, I even thought to myself, “Man, people are going to think I’m nuts when they read the stuff on my phone!” Most of what I’ve recorded may not be a word from God. But some of it…some of it is undeniably spot on. 

I think it was the end of 2010 when I started following a blogger who spoke about choosing a word for the year. I thought it was a great idea, and as the years went by, I was always surprised how my words always did tie into the year I was having. Of course, some skeptics told me that I was just looking for the word once I had established it. That’s why it’s hard for me to be around skeptics! At the end of 2010, I started what would be a year-long journey of unemployment, and I really needed a word to stand on. He gave me “strength” and it helped get me through a year of not knowing what tomorrow would bring. 

As the years passed, I’d find friends and co-workers who did the same thing. We’d share our words at the beginning of the year. We’d even write them up on the dry erase board in our office. It was our way of putting a stake in the ground for the year. We’d celebrate together when God would reveal deeper levels of why the word was meant for us in the particular year.

I was curious as to what my word for 2021 would be. My word (that ended up being “words”) for 2020 were “abide” and “arise”. I remember being perplexed as to how they fit together, they seem so counter to one another. But as 2020 began to reveal itself, it was clear how you could do both at the same time. 

In the year that seemed to take so much away, I wondered how God would follow it up for me. I remember hearing the whisper on 10/29/2020, “Jubilee is coming.” I remember putting a note in my phone when I heard it. I wish I had written how it was confirmed on 11/2/2020, but all I know is that it was. And once it was confirmed, it started popping up in so many places.

At first, I tried to make sense of it in my own understanding. I am turning 49 this year…actually today. Yes, I am actually typing this up as I turn 49 and enter the year of jubilee counting up to my 50th birthday. 

Oh God…I’ll be 50 next year. 

How could THIS be jubilee? I am still unmarried, without children, living in a pandemic with no sign of any freedom, debts being cancelled or deals involving large portions of land. The “Jubilee Year” is supposed to be the year of release. Meanwhile, I’m stuck in a house until a pandemic ends. 

But just as God has done so many times before, He has taken me on a journey of redefining what the jubilee year looks like for me. I remember being in a staff meeting at the end of 2020 where everyone was sharing how they were “thriving” in 2020. Whether it was starting a family or relationship, getting healthy or succeeding at work…I sat in my zoom square trying not to reveal the tears that were welling up in my eyes. If thriving and success were going to be measured by those standards, then that ain’t me! I didn’t have anything to share except that I recognized that what I had with Jesus is special. 

I recognized that what I had with Jesus is special. 

I sat with God in that. I wrestled with Him a bit. I asked Him why I had found myself speaking into so many people’s lives and situations to see Him then move in those lives and situations…but yet I still stood here feeling like I hadn’t gotten my own “moment” yet. What about me?  And as I sat with Him in a very vulnerable place, exposing the “ish” that I felt about that, I felt like He asked me, “But what if that’s your way to thrive?” What if your “thing” is that you hear from Me and then speak it over people, and then get to see those things I share with you happen for them? What if that’s your thriving?”

Since I made that proclamation in my own heart, it seems that the years of not feeling special, seen and loved fell off. This entire time, God was preparing me for this year of jubilee: the year that I fully grasped the cancelled debt of insecurity and the freedom that comes with knowing He and I have something special together. 

Now, I won’t say that I still haven’t had my moments. There are still things I want so bad for Him to tell me about my own life and situations. But I believe as I continue to focus on my special relationship with Him, He will continue to redefine the person I see staring back at me in the mirror.

So here’s to the next 365 days around the sun. I’ll go ahead and get my shofar ready to blow. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

She's Single...Bless Her Heart (originally posted on 12/21/2016)

This past week at church, my Pastor gave a great message which included an example that made me chuckle. He explained that where he grew up in the south, you could turn any insult into something that sounded less like an insult by adding the phrase, “Bless his/her heart.” For example: “Man, she’s put on a lot of weight since high school…bless her heart.” Or, “He is dumb as a doorknob…bless his heart.”

You get the idea.

On the way home from meeting up with some friends, I started thinking about the fact that at my age it seems like an awful lot of people could describe me as, “She’s single…bless her heart.” Like being a woman at this stage of life and single is an insult. The reason I can say that with some certainty is that I remember my 25-year old self thinking the same thing about the older, single women in my life. And I can’t lie…sometimes it feels like an insult having to say out loud that I’m “still single.” Definitely painful during this time of the year. Or national holidays. Or that dreaded bouquet toss at weddings. Especially if they play “All the Single Ladies.” I mean you might as well “bless my heart” right then and there.

I can easily start down that slippery slope of “How did this happen?” The problem with coming to that question is there really is nowhere to turn for the answer but to blame myself. Something I did or didn’t do or somewhere I did or didn’t go.

But the upside of being this age and single is I’ve also been privy to seeing a lot of my friends and family manage the “being single,” “being married,” and sometimes “being divorced.”  None of these seasons are easy, and they can all feel like an insult at times. In fact, during all these seasons I’ve heard people say, “How did I get here?”

So where does that leave my blessed heart? Well, it leaves me today with embracing where I am and remaining hopeful for what’s to come. You see, I am certain that I will be married someday. God has put that desire in my heart, and I am made for it. I remind myself of the day that I heard Him say “I’m preserving you for someone.” And I know I hear His voice. (Because…hello, who else would use those words?!) I have to sometimes remind myself more of that on days like today where I wish I had a partner I could call and talk to about the breakthrough in physical therapy. Or about how afraid I am about my Dad’s upcoming heart procedure. Or about the cricket I hear chirping and am praying is not in my room. (I hate crickets…they’re like beige roaches that you can hear.)

But I digress. Being single is not an insult. It’s a season of preparation for what’s to come. I’d like to believe I’m like a really fine wine that is aging for just the right palate. Or a steak marinating for just the right barbecue. God’s working through me and in me for just the right man that will come at just the right time. If you’re reading this, and single, and feeling insulted by it…I pray you will take heart. In fact, take your blessed heart and get to praying for your future mate.

Today’s Forecast:  I’m still single.

Silver Lining: Bless my heart.