One Little Word 2017: Serve


You know that a year slipped and spiraled away from you when you sift through your posts to find your “One Little Word” for the previous year, only to realize you never wrote that post you were sure you did.

This will be my 5th year doing One Little Word. It’s been absolutely amazing to see how perfectly the words God has given me each year have been in describing how my life would stretch, grow, and change through those years. Since it’s something I pray about the words are not often ones I would choose, or that I want, but rather ones that God impresses upon my heart as I ponder the direction life will go with the coming year.

For 2016 my One Little Word was Trust

Like all my previous years, it proved to be poignant and so fitting over and over throughout the year, which was full of exciting, joyful, crazy, and suspenseful changes for our family.

A busy, bustling last semester of college for Bob and crazy regular life for us brought our lives in East Texas and living with Bob’s parents to a close as we said goodbye to commitments, friendships, and service. In typical God fashion we found out at the exactly right time and last moment what job Bob was supposed to take, through 2 job offers so perfectly timed and orchestrated so that it could have only been His hand showing us the way.

Next came the flurry of house hunting and the loan application process that lead us into a part of Texas we’d lived close to for four years, but never visited or heard of before that point. Just when I was sure we’d found *THE* home for us, I’d end up in a puddle of tears as the inspection came back horrific or we got the call that it had been bid out from under us by a buyer who paid cash for the entire amount.

I learned that Trust is so much harder than it seems, but that God is truly patient and forgiving. Each time I’d stamp my feet and cry my tears and sigh my sighs He lovingly re-directed me, my eyes, my thoughts, and my dreams to the path they were supposed to be on. It’s one thing to tell God, “I trust You. I only want for You to put us wherever You want us.” It’s quite another when He starts to guide and direct and you back peddle, “Are you sure about that one??? That’s not what I had in mind when I told you that.”

Though my year of Trust had it’s stumbles and trips, God’s hand lovingly upheld me through it all. He was faithful and answered prayer and already I can begin to see how He perfectly set everything into motion to get us exactly where we needed to be when we needed to be there. Like so often in my life, it’s the last thing I thought He had for us, but I’m wonderfully joyful and blessed right where He’s called us to be, as He knew I would be.

From Trust in 2016 to 2017

As I have for the past several years, as the year drew to a close, through all the holiday joy and crazy, my mind started to form and pray about my One Little Word for the upcoming year. Like my year with “Wait” this year’s word kept crowding into my mind, tugging at the corners, forcing itself to my attention.


Like with the year Wait, I wanted to push it aside. No, no Serve. I don’t want you. Let’s focus on a fresh, cozy, or happy word! One of those that the other people are throwing around. Even a word like Intentional would be fine. Not Serve, though.

But yes, my word for 2017 is Serve.

And this time I’m OK with admitting to you that I’m not even sure why it is Serve. I know that God has been hacking away at my selfish, prideful, and narcissistic sins for the past several years, and there’s no better way to cut to the quick of what I struggle with most than through loving Service. I know that I need to focus on my marriage, and on my parenting, and in my ministries, and I know there’s no better way to Grow, to Bless, and to Trust–than through a servant’s heart in these areas.

How, what, or who God will be calling me to Serve, or how it will look played out through the year, though, I have no specific callings or ideas.

I’m excited, though. I’m excited to push past my selfishness and embrace this year, this word. I’m excited for the riches and the growth it’s sure to bring.

I’m excited, to Serve.




4 thoughts on “One Little Word 2017: Serve”

  • I love this idea, and I love even more that you listen to God’s word for your year and surrender to whatever he wants to do in you

  • I love it! I feel like serve is the word of my life, but the last year or so had kind of taken a break. Our congregation has also chosen this year to focus our year on service, and we were encouraged to look, as a family, for at least 1 way to serve every month. I’m so excited for the renewal of service to others in my life.

    • That’s wonderful! I saw your church had the world wide day of service and that’s such a wonderful idea! I’ve been seeing a lot of the local churches here really reaching out and getting involved in the community and I love it so much! We are to be Jesus hand’s and feet!

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