Poppa and I began discussing a 2017 Word of the Year at the beginning of December. (I started this tradition about 4 years ago, and lemme tell you–the way God’s used the words each year has been downright fascinating. So many stories to tell!)
Anyway, as I sat thinking about 2017, the word that floated to mind was “sparkle.”
My first reaction? “You’ve got to be kidding, Lord! What a silly word. I mean the last few years you’ve given me beautiful, big words to chew on like ‘believe’ and ‘sanctuary’ and ‘soar.’ But ‘sparkle?’ That reminds me of fairy dust, unicorns, and little girl dress-up shoes!”
His Reaction to My Reaction
He chuckled a little at my reaction and reassured me “sparkle” wasn’t so silly after all. That He’d already been etching this word on my heart. And that the meaning goes far deeper than twinkle lights and glitter.
After a couple more “Are you sure, Poppa?” conversations, He reminded me of a pair of verses in Psalm 34. See, He began to deepen these verses for me last August with some heart work about no fear. And to tell you the truth, it made me laugh out loud when during a recent “sparkle” conversation He pointed to the key word in verse five:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Know what “radiant” originally meant? Yeah, you guessed it: “to sparkle i.e. be cheerful” and “to shine, to give light.” (Thanks for the Hebrew help, Strong’s Concordance.)
Yup, folks, looks like we have a word winner for 2017!
The Deeper Meaning
I’m just diving into what “sparkle” means for my life this year. Some of the things God’s showing me already:
◊ The people who trust God, their faces shine and their eyes sparkle with a confidence and grace that can only come from Him.
◊ A radiant face and attitude are contagious!
◊ As God’s beloved daughters, we have every reason to shimmer, shine, and sparkle everywhere we go.
And on a practical level . . .
♦ Sparkle also applies to shining brightly as authentic you. No apologies. No hiding. No backing down. No tempering your personality so other people accept you better.
♦ Sparkle can mean being radiant so people see you shining – in what you wear, how you act, and even how your face looks.
♦ Sparkle extends to all of life: your physical person, your personality, your home, your biznistry, your family . . .
So, as I begin my sparkly journey for the year, I’m excited to see what God’s going to do with this word. I know He has big plans He’s been cooking up for a while now. Will keep ya’ posted!
How About You?
So what word will you and Poppa embrace together this year? What focus will your life take? Where does God want to show you something deeper about Himself and who you are all at once?
Whether it’s a beautiful, expected kind of word or the kind that makes you laugh out loud, may you quickly learn to love it. And may the God of all grace grow you in grace and the knowledge of Him as you dive into 2017!
Happy New Year!