Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
When the Lord saw her, he felt compassion for her. He told her, "You can stop crying.” Luke 7:13
Happy 2021! I hope your new year of off to a lovely start. Mine sure is! Here at the Wohlfert house we have our first grand baby coming and a wedding coming and all of us are healthy and happy and content. We have jobs we love, and kids that are happy, healthy and settled. We have everything we want and everything we need. We are thankful and that seems like the best way I could imagine to begin a new year. It wasn’t a New Years Eve of wishes and resolutions but rather one of gratitude and prayers for those who aren’t in the same comfortable boat as we are. I suppose when life is good, its the best time to reach out, pray for and offer help to those who are struggling. It’s a great time to remember that life is a long series of peaks and valleys…it isn’t always easy and it isn’t always hard. One sustains you through the other and helps you keep your balance and is a constant reminder to lend a hand to those in the valley and be assured of the help and prayers of those on the peaks.
Every New Year I write a post about my “word of the year”. This year I just couldn’t come up with one. I prayed all of December and didn’t really get a sense about anything so I began to wonder if it was a “thing” that had run it’s season then late last week I kept getting the word STOP. I thought, there…that’s it, I’m supposed to stop all of this and move on. But after I had resigned myself to that idea I kept reading, hearing and seeing that word STOP. I was a little befuddled and actually got sassy enough to say, “OK God, I got it…I’ll hang up the word of the year thing.” But the word kept coming…then I got it…my word is STOP. Got it…but what kind of word is that? It seemed so opposite…isn’t this whole thing supposed to be about a word that inspires action? Isn’t it supposed to be about doing something to grow in holiness? Isn’t it supposed to be a verb that draws you closer to heaven? I thought that’s what I’d been doing with my word each year! So STOP was just weird to me!
After a little thinking and praying, I discovered that the word STOP appears in Scripture more than 300 times. Sometimes the references are about us stopping something and sometimes it all about God stopping something. We are encouraged to stop being fearful, stop being lazy, stop ignoring commands and stop worrying. God stops storms and trials and enemies and destruction again and again when his children look to him with love and trust. After a little more thought I came up with a whole list of STOPS that would help me grow closer to the Father. I need to stop comparing and stop looking ahead and stop thinking of ways to “fix everything”. I need to stop thinking about how things look and stop fussing about how many places I fall short. I really need to stop chasing the myth of perfection because the measuring stick for that was not created or endorsed by the Father and I absolutely need to stop thinking there will ever be a day when my good deeds will earn me bonus points in the eyes of God. If I do only one thing with this word, it would be to stop listing to the world! That would be a great year. So here’s to a wonderful new year of stopping!
A Seed To Plant: Do you have a word or a Scripture or a thought for the year?
Happy New Year and Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com