Do you know the first word you ever spoke? Perhaps “da-da” or maybe “ma-ma?” I don’t recall whether my mother ever told me mine, but I know for certain what our oldest daughter initially uttered.
Danielle was 8.5 months old and crawling after my parents’ Siamese cat when my mother and I heard her say “kitty.” We both thought perhaps we were imagining, but she clearly kept repeating it and has impressed us with her vocabulary ever since!
(BTW our very articulate and youngest daughter Lindsey, born on Danielle’s 4th birthday, also spoke the same first word, also at 8.5 months, also while crawling after my parents’ cat!)
I love words.
I love word games.
And I especially love the people who are willing to play word games with me (both of you)!
I know many of you select a personal word for the new year–something to inspire, encourage, challenge, or focus you. I was contemplating why I never have embraced this great idea and concluded it’s because I love words so much, I don’t want to stop at one!
Instead I’ve chosen three sentences on which to meditate as I walk with the Lord in 2023. I plan to say at least one of them each morning even before my feet hit the floor and perhaps even before I open up my eyes.
The first is: “God is God and I’m not.”
I don’t know who gets credit for this simple statement, but I’m certain that basically all my worries, fears and anxiety are centered on me wanting to be in control instead of me trusting that the Creator of the universe can handle it all. My health, my family, my finances, my future are all safe in the hands of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. I don’t have to plan it or even understand it. Instead I can respond as our Father commands:
The second is: “God says, ‘I loved you first and I love you best’,” (spoken by pastor/author Albert Tate https://alberttate.com )
If I truly believe this in the deepest part of my being, I can quit trying to earn God’s favor because He’s the one who began this whole love relationship. He loves me more than my dearest friends. More than my beautiful family. More than my wonderful husband of nearly half-a-century. And whenever I feel lonely, disappointed or unappreciated, I can find comfort in God’s declaration:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
The third sentence is: “How shall I use my inheritance today?” (penned by my favorite devotional writer, Chris Tiegreen https://christiegreen.com )
“And since we are His children, we are His heirs.”
What do heirs get? An inheritance! The Apostle Peter describes our inheritance as “priceless”–and while some of it is still to come in Heaven–much is already available now, including the power of the Holy Spirit, participation in the Kingdom of God, and authority over the Enemy!
Tiegreen suggests you “ask God if there’s any aspect of His authority, His Kingdom, His purposes, His resources that He wants to entrust you with today” and then “watch for opportunities (because) they will come.
“The owner of all that exists…has promised everything to His Son and the Son’s siblings.”
So as you face the new year, pick one word, or like me pick a bunch of words.
But whatever trials come your way, never doubt that God is God and you’re not.
That He loved you first and always loves you best.
And that from Him you have an incredible, infallible, and inexhaustible inheritance.
P.S. (If you’re curious about middle daughter Bethany’s first word, it was “ball” and foretold the great athlete she would become.)
Please enjoy the music video “This My Inheritance” by All Sons & Daughters