It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blessing alert!  They happen all the time, but here’s one I couldn’t wait to share…

I’ve talked before about how I ask God every year for “one word” for the upcoming year.  I started making this request in 2012 when I first read about “one word” from Beth Vogt’s blog.  In 2013, God gave me the word moderation.  I was new to the “one word” concept but by the end of 2012, I was understanding it was a gift that came with work required.  It was my job to learn and start practicing the word God gives.

For 2014, God gave me the word Grace and I have to say…I have embraced the word grace all year.  Giving grace, learning what grace truly is, and finally (probably for the first time in my life) understanding, really understanding what God’s grace means.  The environment in my household is changing (not perfectly) because of fully embracing my “one word” for 2014.

I started to get really excited about 2015 and what my new word would be.  I started asking God extra early this year.  He gave me my word in October – HOPE!  At first I didn’t want it.  I was afraid.  Hope to me always meant that the “reward” was still off in the distance – I had to keep waiting and working and striving and frankly, in October of 2014, I was TIRED!  I didn’t want to wait – I wanted my reward now.

Then God showed me the excitement of hope.  Hope and Joy and Peace are closely tied together.  Hope makes waiting exciting, peaceful, joyful!  And that I wanted to embrace.  I started to get super excited.  God showed me much more about this word, hope, as well, but I’ll save that for a blog post.  J

Here’s the blessing:  Friday I was reading Beth Vogt’s blog about her “one word” for 2015.  While reading her blog, she was talking about how she always has something made or buys something to visually remind her of her word.  I thought to myself, “I would like something to remind me about my word.”  But, we’re still tight financially and so spending extras on myself right now instead of putting it toward gifts for others with the upcoming holiday season wasn’t even a consideration.  And, I was okay with that.

Saturday I was at home relaxing with my family.  One of my great friends called and asked if she could stop by to drop some stuff off (her family has been such a blessing to mine – sharing clothes, giving toys, etc. for our youngest).  I was excited because I had a couple books I wanted to share with her too.


She came into my house and said she had something breakable, a gift she made for me!  I wasn’t expecting that – when I opened it, it was a beautiful wall plaque and look at what the center word was.  I couldn’t talk for a few minutes and then I could just repeat, “What a blessing.  You have no idea.  Did I tell you about my word?” (I’m sure her husband, who doesn’t see me very often, was thinking, “Hmmm….And she writes?”)

When I could finally get words out, I shared with her that my word for 2015 was HOPE and what an answer to an unasked prayer this was.  It was simply beautiful and meant so much – because she thought of me and it was MY WORD!

So, besides wanting to share with all of you a beautiful gift that my friend lovingly gave to me, a hug straight from God, I want to use this to encourage all of you today.

God hears our spoken and unspoken desires, needs, requests.  Did I need a visual to remind me of my word for 2015?  No…but God knew how much it would mean to me and so because of love alone, allowed me to have that visual reminder of hope…something we all have through Him and something that keeps us going through the hard times.

Do I think because He gave me the word HOPE for 2015 that it’s going to be a tough year?  I’m choosing to believe that the word HOPE was given to me as encouragement.  There is HOPE for a brighter tomorrow because my Father is the One in control.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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