Word for 2023: Strength

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

The New Year is already underway. Time just goes by faster and faster as you get older. I for one am ready to plunge into 2023 and leave 2022 behind. Not that the past year was bad…actually as I reflect on it, 2022 was a good year. I helped several books get published (see a few of the latest below!) and worked with a lot of wonderful students and clients. I had my fifth contemporary suspense novel, The Wise Man, based on the story of Solomon, published right before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a subject in the book, which was endorsed by actor Kirk Cameron (who has found himself in the news a lot lately!) I celebrated my new book launch, the engagement of my daughter to a nice young man, my 12th wedding anniversary and so much more.

And 2023 looks to be a good year…if I accept life on life’s terms and choose to be content and delight in each day as it comes. My third grandchild is due to arrive on Valentine’s Day; (fingers crossed) a trip cancelled due to Covid to the Holy Land and Egypt with my husband looks like it’s going to happen, and my new Master Class already full of amazing writers starts next week!

But I realize there will also be storms…some I can’t see beyond the horizon, others I can. My dad’s health is fading fast…but if I look at the bright side, he has fought the good fight against cancer for seven years that we never expected to have him around. I’m sure there will be more storms, big and small. But if I can remember to pray to do God’s will, to ask Jesus for his strength through the Holy Spirit, I can get through anything good and bad.

I have found myself often using the words above St. Paul gave to the Philippians when he was actually getting ready to say goodbye to his beloved friends, so I thus I decided to make it my go-to Bible passage and to make strength my word for this year (courage was last year, and it helped!). I I love the rest of the chapter to the Philippians too…St. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It all seems to tie together in God’s perfect world…joy, humility, prayer, hope, gratitude, peace, and yes, strength.

I pray everyone can remember to tap into God’s strength when needed this coming year, Amen.