They have power.

They can encourage. 

They can injure.

They can inspire.

They can destroy. 

The other morning, as my guys and I were sipping lovely cups of piping hot coffee while enjoying a rare meal all together, we talked about 2015. What was good and what was bad about this past year. Obviously there was the whole "we lost our daughter/sister" theme, but we also dug into the latter part of the year and ended up having a really awesome discussion. 

We then turned our attention to 2016 and what we wanted it to look like for us, as individuals and as a family. Since words have always carried such weight in our family, I challenged Jerry and Jonathan to choose a word that we could use to inspire each of us this year. 

This challenge led to an amazingly brutal and honest conversation between the three of us. We talked about our fears and what was holding us back. Jonathan was amazed that his parents had concerns and fears. He said "You both always appear so confident and fearless. Who knew you were shaking in your boots."

Who knew? Jerry knew. I knew. God knew. We have taken the phrase "Fake it until you make it" and made it our own personal mantras. It was a wonderful morning spent with our adult son discussing adult things and really going deep. It was a special breakfast that I will not soon forget. It reinforced the fact that the family table is truly the heart of the home. Wonderful things can happen there and beautiful memories made.  

Jerry and I decided later that we should each have a scripture verse to go with our word for 2016. That was an even bigger challenge but Jerry was confident we could find the right ones and we prayed about it before beginning our search. 

Each word was really given by the Holy Spirit. They were just so very clear for each of us. Jerry, as the spiritual head of our home, took finding the verses for each of us very seriously. I plan on making a little sign for each of us to hang in our bedroom or offices, whichever space works for us. 

Here is what we came up with. A basic plan for 2016. A word to guide us and a scripture to inspire us.  

Mary: my word is "stretch". My verse is: 

"Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary."
Isaiah 40:31

Jerry: His word is "advance". His verse is:

"Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored;
Renew our days as of old"
Lamentations 5:21

Jonathan: His word is "quantifiable". His verse is:

“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
Zephaniah 3:17

I promise to share more on the meaning behind the words next week. 

2016 is going to be a great year. God is good all the time. He has blessed us beyond measure and we are so very grateful for his mercy. 

Happy New Year Y'all. Share your word/verse in the comments. Let's keep each other in prayer shall we. 

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