Brave and Behold


Welcome, 2017 with all your fresh, blank-page, newness.

Here we all sit, with journal lines, computer screens, new books, and plans.

Ask around and I bet we can find a few people who have set a “word of the year.” I think it’s our way of breaking free of New Year Resolution bondage. I wonder if we set these words over our years because they have been bouncing around in our hearts for a while and it is only post-holidays that we give ourselves space enough to breathe and take inventory. The things that are lacking ten to show themselves a bit more. We were anxious for most of last year, so our word for 2017 needs to be peace, for example.

It’s never been that way for me. When I pray and listen, the words, phrases or verses the Lord gives me will make little to no sense here at the start.

This is terrifying.

Several years ago I could not let go of the word JOY and as cheery as that sounds, it was one of the hardest years of my life. Joyful yes, but extremely hard. Lasting fruit is often forged in this most desperate circumstances. I never saw the battle of that year coming as I sat on my comfy couch in January.

This blog is a place of accountability for me. I want to tell stories, mine, yours, strangers, whomever. And I want to grow this little space this year. The question I ask myself before posting is, “would I tell this around a table?” and if so, I want to flesh it out – all the good and bad honest. If I’m telling a story, or talking about books or recipes, it’s evidence I’m writing, reading, cooking, and listening. If I’m writing about it, I’m showing up and actually experiencing life.

This means I need to be brave.

I am not brave.

I’m naturally skittish and hesitant and this has kept me from a lot of life. But the question I’m asking this year is this:

What is the bravest thing I can do today/right now/this minute?

Send a text.
Have a conversation.
Ask a question.
Admit I’m wrong.
Submit the book proposal.
Write the hard story.
Tell the truth.
Get out of bed.

What is brave for me may be incredibly easy for someone else, but no matter. The point is I don’t want to be afraid. There is no other agenda, no superhero mask. Just rejection of fear and acceptance of faith.

This is my promise to myself and to everyone around me, I will show up, do the best I can, and be the bravest I can be. Then we watch. Watch – behold – the Lord fill in the gaps. Watch the Lord turn my meager loaves and fish to a miracle. Watch the Lord take an empty net and fill it with fish.

Brave and Behold – my 2017.

Tomorrow, I start a new job and if you poked around this space for any length of time, you know this is over two years in the making. The details are – and I don’t use this work lightly – miraculous so if we run into each other, please ask. But for today know the story is a bit unbelievable to me still. I’ve been entrusted with a daunting next step to steward, the size of which could undo me if I let it.

Instead, I will show up, do the best I can as brave as I can be, then watch.

I’ll tell the story. I will write what I see.

Here’s to 2017.
Here’s to a year of learning as we go.
Here’s to a year of being as brave as I can be.
May we all see miracles.


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