Word of the Year 2012 (part one)

Part One:  Getting It (Part Two is “Living it” coming next week)

It was 11:59 pm on December 31st and while most were anticipating the ball dropping  in Times Square, I was pondering my word for 2012.  Trivial for some, but to those who know me, that word is pretty important. Normally I’ve pondered or run across a scripture that guides me to my “word for the year” before the current year runs out.  But alas the the ball was dropping and the word well was dry – as dry as my blog which hadn’t been updated in about 2 months.

The “word of the year” is a focus of how you will approach life during the coming year or an attribute you’d like to project for the year.  My past words have included dream, act, refresh, complete, hope…

As I gazed into the future of 2012 I saw many life changes. One child off to college, a book that hopefully will be published, education changes for the remaining kiddos and … who knows what else.  Many of these changes I looked forward to with teary eyes. (not to mention, wrinkles, weight gain and hot flashes)  I wondered if my word would be Kleenex, Chocolate, Zoloft or perhaps rapture?

The ball dropped, the sauerkraut was eaten, the confetti vaccuumed, and I was still wordless for 2012.  I shared my dilemma with some writer friends who pray.  I did my share of communicating with the Master of all words, the giver of my gifts and the only one who knew what my 2012 would look like. 

While I was asking God why all my friends had words and I didn’t, I was also “de-Christmasing”.  I came across a gift bag in my office that I didn’t recognize.  Upon opening it, I realized it was a speaker gift I had received back in December when I spoke at a Christmas Brunch in Baltimore. The chaos of coming home and multiple people unpacking the car resulted in this misplaced package. 

When I opened the box, I found a Willow Tree Angel! 

 

Her tag said Celebrate – with Joyful Anticipation.  At first I laughed and thought,  Really funny God…have you seen my calendar? 

But then I felt his gentle nudge.  His plan for me was to look forward to all of these changes with Joyful Anticipation.  Not to be robbed of joy by the paths that life would take in 2012; but to joyfully anticipate them and yes CELEBRATE them.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Phillipians 4:4

Each change, while presenting challenges, also presents the possibility for blessing for me and my family.  I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and yes, my eyes filled with tears.  My heavenly Father used an angel to send me a message.  The message: “Celebrate with joyful anticipation”.  There will most likely still be tears, but instead of spending the year in apprehension, I will spend it in Celebration!

(Stay Tuned for Part Two of this update:  Celebrate … Seriously? 3 funerals later, the death of a horse and numerous friends with sick kids, dying family members and some in comas…Celebrate Really?)

Point to Ponder:  Do you have a word?  If you had to pick a word that would sum up your 2011 what would it be? Would you choose a different word for 2012?  What word would you like to live out, or live up to in 2012?

A is for Advocate

One can hardly read a news story without seeing the word advocate. In our area the natural gas companies are pushing to drill through the copious deposits of Marcellus Shale. The process of “fracking” is thought to contaminate ground water thus threatening our environment.

There are advocates for a myriad of causes. Nature advocates lobby for practices to protect the ecosystem. Rachel Carson of “Silent Spring” fame one of the most famous in our area.

My mother and her husband are advocates for the Monarch Butterfly.  They retreive the eggs before the Milkweed is sprayed with chemicals and hatch them and set them free.  Any given season they protect and launch between 300 and 600 Monarchs a year.

Photo courtesy of Linda Jackman Photography

Last month in the Emergency Room the nurses were not listening or just not hearing that my husband was losing consciousness. His warning that the room was spinning, he could no longer hear and things were getting dark were not heeded. I had to step in and in one motion elbow nurse out of way, lower the bed with my foot and catch him on the way down before he pitched headlong onto the floor. I was his patient advocate. When his pain reached critical levels I was the one that tore the nurses from their dialog to increase his meds interceding on his behalf.

Several years ago I was in a courthouse lobby with a bible praying for a mom who faced lawyers and judges as they decided the fate of her children during a brutal custody battle. I became a court appointed advocate to accompany the children on their paternal visits.

Everyone needs an advocate. The word ADVOCATE has been on my heart so I began to research it.

Initially I looked to the Bible for my definition and learned that in Greek , the word translated as ‘advocate’ in some versions such as KJV – parakletos – is also translated as ‘comforter’ in verses : John 14 : 16, John 15 : 26, and John 16 : 7.

This word advocate often refers to the Holy Spirit.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26 (NIV)

Looking at the dictionary the definition says Advocate: a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor

Equally impressive are the synonyms listed:  Synonyms: champion, proponent, backer, counselor, counsel

The purpose of all this “advocate” pondering became real this morning.

I found myself this morning with a word on my heart. “May you have peace joy and hope! God has a plan.” And while I thanked God for the peace this gave me I was still stirred in my spirit that maybe it wasn’t just for me. I shared it with some of my friends by going through my twitter follower list and when I felt the nudge, I shared the words with them. I was not prepared for the response and the opportunity it afforded me to pray or intercede for those who received the word for them.

We all need an advocate and we are often called to be one. I posted the query, “what is an advocate” and  the responses all spoke of ‘standing in the gap’ for someone.

http://www.lindajackmanphotography.com/

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” – Proverbs 31:8

And sometimes that means praying for someone when they can no longer find words.

Those who know me well, know that if they ask me for prayer, that I “stop, drop and pray” Followers on twitter or Facebook see actual prayers in response to a plea for prayer, not just a “sure I’ll keep you in my prayers”. How often do we say “prayin’ for ya” but get caught up in our stuff and forget? How many of us have forwarded an email or retweeted a prayer request and that’s as close as we got to actually praying?

Taking on the role of an advocate can yield a bounty of blessings for both parties. When our Advocate calls us to be one for someone else, we need to act. If you have put it off, today is a new day.  Step into your role of Advocte, a title with responsibility – you are in good company.

Point to Ponder: Who can you be an advocate for today? How is our “Advocate” encouraging you to move?

FYI  My Blogs are being changed over next week to http://www.kissedbythecreator.com/ so you might want to update your RSS Feeds

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