One Little Word 2021

Every year God seems to place “one little word” on my heart to focus on for the year. Last year my word was ‘bold’–as in ‘be bold and fear less’. The perfect word for a pandemic year. It always pushed me to keep going because God has it all taken care of. No need to fear.

Every year I secretly hope it will be a year where we can just skip the whole ‘one little word’ thing all together. hahaha No matter what the word lands up being, it always, always challenges me to grow, helps guide me and become a better version of myself as God refines me and shapes me to become more and more the person He desires me to be.

For 2021 the word ‘restore’ kept coming to mind and the more I tried to put it out of my mind…because truthfully it’s a BIG word…the more it stuck and the more it became evident that God’s word for me is ‘restore’. At first I looked at this word negatively because restoration is a lot of work and it is not easy work–believe me, we’ve been restoring our house for almost 3 years and there are many more years to go. I have been beyond exhausted for at least seven years and the idea of adding more restoration projects into my life makes me want to go for a 7 year nap. Then I got to thinking, yes, it takes a lot work and is hard, but the end result in any restoration project we have done is always so worth it, so if God is calling me to a year of personal restoration, it may be exhausting and hard work, but the end result will be 100% worth it.

During the month of December, God kept bringing me back to Psalm 51 through the old Keith Green song we sang years ago. It has been stuck in my mind for weeks:

Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from your presence, O Lord
And take not your Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me, the joy of your salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

As I was thinking about why God would place the word restore on my heart, I reflected on the challenges the past few years have been. How choosing joy has becoming increasingly difficult. Psalms 51:12 talks about the restoration of joy and the changing of a reluctant spirit to one that is willing. My joy? It’s been gone. My spirit? It’s been unwilling. I love the TPT version which says:

Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Hold me close to you with a willing spirit that obeys whatever you say.

When I think of the word ‘restore’ and think beyond the hard work and the heartache that can come with it, there are also positive associations: restore a house, restore a classic car, restore a painting, restore a relationship, restore peace, restore joy, restore hope…the end results are always worth it.

When I think of each of our lives, there is so much that can be restored in each of our lives: inner restoration, marriage restoration, health restoration, career restoration, financial restoration, and the list goes on. The more I think about it, the more exciting a year of restoration can be.

So, here’s to 2021: the year of restoration, of breakthrough, and reclaiming abundant life that God has already given, but I often forget to receive.

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