Navigating a New Year with Jesus

Poppa and I began discussing a 2017 Word of the Year at the beginning of December 2016. (I started this tradition about 4 years ago, and oh my goodness, the way God’s uses 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’ 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 silly and that the meaning goes far deeper than glitter and twinkle lights.

After a couple more “Are you sure, Poppa?” conversations, He pointed me toward a pair of verses in Psalm 34.

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.
{Psalm 34:4-5}

Know what “radiant” originally meant? Yeah, you guessed it: “to sparkle i.e. be cheerful” and “to shine, to give light.”

Color us intrigued.

The Deeper Meaning

I’m just diving into what “sparkle” means for our lives. Some of the things God’s revealed are:

◊ Those of us who trust God, our faces shine and our 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 means to shine 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 job, your ministry, your family . . .

So, wherever your adventure takes you this year, I hope you sparkle with excitement as the God of all grace helps you grow in understanding Him and knowing who you are in Christ.

Happy New Year!

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