Word of the Year 2019 Part 1: ENJOY

How Did a Little Word Lead me on Such a Long Journey?

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Do you find yourself struggling to trust the Lord about something? Or struggling to put down your phone or laptop to just stop and smell the roses? Or struggling to forgive a certain someone? All of these struggles have something in common: you're not resting in something-or should I say, you're not resting in Someone.

Do you find yourself struggling to trust the Lord about something? Or struggling to put down your phone or laptop to just stop and smell the roses? Or struggling to forgive a certain someone? All of these struggles have something in common: you're not resting in something—or should I say, you're not resting in Someone for a particular thing.

It's really neat to see how the Lord has been bringing the idea of "rest" to me over and over. I just got home from church tonight a couple hours ago, and our entire class was on how important sleep is to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

Then I read this article by Jan Cox, Great Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep.

This reminded me of just after I had my first baby. He was sleeping through the night finally. But I wasn't. I battled insomnia for about three months. One night in prayer meeting, I finally asked the church to pray for me. I had people come up afterwards and tell me to see my doctor, but I knew he would just prescribe sleeping pills.

So I asked the Lord first. And He showed me that it was a spiritual battle. I hadn't been trusting in Him truly to take care of my son; I was trying to do it all and fearful of every little danger. I was trusting in locked doors and baby monitors and woke up at the slightest sound.

Once I realized this, I began stepping out in faith to really trust God. Once He got this through my thick skull, I slept much better. No sleeping pills required.

Fast forward thirteen years—yes, I'm now the parent of a teenager!--and I was trying to find my word for the year. I had been listening to the Holy Spirit bring five words to my mind over and over again.

  • Enjoy

  • Freedom

  • Light

  • Grace

  • Rest

As I mentioned a few different ones in different Facebook groups, I began to see how they were all interconnected into one big lesson of REST.

I was just going to mention each one in one blog post, but it kept getting longer and longer. :) So I decided to break it up over the next three weeks.

Do you find yourself struggling to trust the Lord about something? Or struggling to put down your phone or laptop to just stop and smell the roses? Or struggling to forgive a certain someone? All of these struggles have something in common: you're not resting in something—or should I say, you're not resting in Someone for a particular thing. You too can rest in the Lord, trusting Him for physical rest, mental rest, and spiritual rest.

Do you find yourself struggling to trust the Lord about something? Or struggling to put down your phone or laptop to just stop and smell the roses? Or struggling to forgive a certain someone? All of these struggles have something in common: you're not resting in something—or should I say, you're not resting in Someone for a particular thing. You too can rest in the Lord, trusting Him for physical rest, mental rest, and spiritual rest.

If you're struggling to trust the Lord or to enjoy the small moments of life or forgive someone or to be a good example, you too can rest in the Lord, trusting Him for physical rest, mental rest, and spiritual rest.

This week we'll talk about how focusing on the word ENJOY works to help us trust Him more, to REST in Him:

1. remind ourselves to ENJOY Again

Stop and Smell the Roses. Enjoy God’s gifts that make you smile. James 1:17. Word of the Year Bible verse.

Stop and Smell the Roses. Enjoy God’s gifts that make you smile. James 1:17. Word of the Year Bible verse.

It's funny. This is one thing I never thought I'd have trouble with, as my husband is always saying that I'm the one who taught him to just stop and smell the roses.

But the Bible says, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12, NLT). Because I'm also a goal setter, I can get a little too focused on checking off the boxes and working towards that goal.

But “smelling the roses” doesn't only mean taking breaks to enjoy nature, like I used to think. It just means tearing your eyes from a screen every 30-60 minutes and enjoying a snack, a stretch, a game with my kids, a favorite song, an extra minute cuddling with the dog.

It means more than just taking pleasure in something, too. I'm really bad about taking a moment to enjoy simple pleasures but then forgetting to turn my heart to the Lord in gratitude. I'm trying to remember that every pure, lovely thing that makes me smile is a gift from the Father of lights (James 1:17, ESV), and I am trying to remember to thank Him more often.

A song I heard on my YouTube playlist (Jason Gray's “It's Good to be Alive”) this morning puts it beautifully:

“If the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the Giver, then right here and right now, this is the song I'm singing out: I want to live like there's no tomorrow, love like I'm on borrowed time. It's good to be alive.”

2. What to Enjoy More

I've been learning to take more frequent, little breaks throughout the day to just enjoy what the Lord has given me in this season of my life:

  • Resting in enjoying the things I have

  • Resting in enjoying the people I love

  • Resting in enjoying the journey I'm walking, even the circumstances that seem less than ideal (as long as they're not consequences for sin)

3. Poem to Remind Us to ENJOY

I wrote a poem 14 years ago, in May of 2005. This was just before I became pregnant with my first child. I'm amazed that I still need this reminder:

Why must the world continue on

And leave us no time to think beyond

The cares and worries of each day

Until our lives have passed away?

Why must the world go on and on,

Faster and faster, while not a one

Stops to feel the ling'ring traces

Of the summer's warm sun on their faces?

Why must the world go on and on,

Faster and faster, while not a one

Stops to hear the gentle spring rain

Cleansing away the heartaches and pain?

Why must the world go on and on,

Faster and faster, while not a one

Stops to gaze at the star-filled sky?

Why must the world go flying by?

Why must the world go flying by,

Past a young baby whose plaintive cry

Pierces the heart and asks us to cease

All our arguing and also asks us for peace?

Why must the world go flying by,

Past that one special moment in time

When, wafted by the autumn breeze,

The music of love's laughter echoed through the trees?

Why must the time go slipping away

From that far off hour of the wintry day,

When God felt so close and near at hand

That it seemed by my side He always would stand?

When Heaven felt nearer than ever before,

And closed was no opportunity's door,

When the Holy Ghost moved and spoke to my heart,

For my life was shown every purpose and part.

Why must the world go slipping by,

Making me forget all the reasons why

The Lord in His wisdom placed me right here.

And how my God wants me by Him to stay near?

I must not let the world go on

Without standing time with God alone.

We must make time to thank our God

For our home in Heaven and this lovely sod.

Slow Down, Mama  by Patty H. Scott, MA: Intentional Living in a Hurried World.

Slow Down, Mama by Patty H. Scott, MA: Intentional Living in a Hurried World.

So even though I used to have no problem with enjoying the moment, I still needed to read this poem to remind myself again.

In addition to reading the Holy Hustle, I have also just started the book Slow Down, Mama by Patty H. Scott. The author gives advice for how to slow down and enjoy motherhood, “intentional living in a hurried world.” I'm sure this is yet another step on my journey to ENJOY.

Conclusion: So this is the first part of my journey to find a word for the year. We can all use a reminder to slow down and enjoy the little moments, take time to just be with our loved ones, spend extra time in our quiet time with the Lord, and to take short breaks.

Click here for the next part of the journey….