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How I Learned to Speak

happy new yearSo here it is. The end of 2014. What a GREAT year. I think it is safe to say that this year was the best one yet for me. I know I didn’t keep up with the blog well…at all really…but here’s the truth: Even though I didn’t blog about it, it still happened 😉

My One Word for 2014 was Speak. Crazy to think that it was the greatest challenge for me at the beginning of the year. If there is anything I’ve learned this year it is this: when you open yourself up to the great that God wants to do in you, the results pass anything you can even imagine. I thought the Idea of speaking in front of a group of people would be the greatest challenge for me…turns out, God had a lot of other things in store. It just started out with being open to stepping outside of my comfort zone in one area. I love seeing what happens when God adds His supernatural to our natural…it makes for a pretty great combination!

There was a lot that happened this year…a lot that didn’t just happen accidentally… I endeavored to live purposefully this year. To not just LET things happen but to MAKE things happen. To be aware of the things that would be a challenge to me and to jump in and do them anyways, trusting that God’s Grace would cover what I was sure would be a lot of mistakes! It turns out that the word Speak was really just the catalyst to a lot of different challenges for me…

1. Literally speaking in front of people. I was definitely on the list of people who would rather do pretty much anything else in the world than speak in public. I had this contradiction in me: the knowledge that I NEEDED to do it and the fear that i COULDN’T! So off I jumped, into the realm of public speaking. In May I preached a sermon! With a lot of prayer, preparation, and support, I did it. And what is craziest? I really enjoyed it!!

2. Being real with my life and allowing people to be a part of it. I wanted to get serious about losing weight this year. We figured that 4 babies were enough for us so it was time to lose the baby weight and get in shape. I started a diet and exercise plan on January 7th and I lost 97lbs. BIG year. It was definitely difficult to start…and I didn’t want to tell anyone…I was ashamed at the thought that I would even NEED to lose that much weight…but
I’ve found that a lot of people have been encouraged through my journey, so I know that it was an important one to share. It was a challenge and it wasn’t exactly fun, but the outcomes were amazing. I’ve gained confidence and I feel SO much better!

3. Trusting that if I come with a willing heart to fill a need, that God blesses that. I’ve seen this in so many ways this year. I started leading worship on Sunday mornings…talk about a major stretch. In no way am I a talented guitar player, nor am I the greatest singer, but I am willing. I am willing to think beyond myself and what I’m comfortable with and to allow God to use me. So here I am. Leading a worship team when pretty much everyone on the team knows way more about music than I do.

As I look back on this year I see how the word SPEAK really challenged me in so many ways: to step outside of myself and to be open to ALL of the things that God could do in me and through me if I would be willing to embrace the challenge. To step out and DO the difficult things even when I didn’t really want to. I KNOW that I’m a much better person at the end of 2014 because I’ve embraced a lot of the challenges that have come my way.

I didn’t anticipate how my OneWord would look for 2014 so I’m really looking forward to seeing what my OneWord for 2015 will bring!


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