Behold My One Word for 2018

 He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return… and tell them everything you have seen.” Ezekial 40:4 (NLT)

Behold! My “One” Word

As a child, I was notoriously unobservant. I believe that my siblings took bets to see how long it would take me to notice major changes on the farm. I remember once, a large fan at the end of the stanchion barn broke. There is no way that a person would not notice it blowing but it took weeks for me to come to the realization that a new fan had been put in. My brothers had a hay day with that one. I was never paying attention because I was often in my own little daydream.

As an adult, I don’t daydream that much but I do tend to get into my own little world studying, writing, reading. Hours can pass by without my ever noticing a thing.

God has been challenging me to make a change in this area. So I have decided that this year’s one word should cause me to take notice, pay attention, observe what is happening around me. I need to “stop, look and listen” and see what God is doing. It’s a big challenge but I’m going to try.

Searching for the Perfect Word

I searched for the perfect word. There are so many and I was never really certain which one would be best. So I found some definitions to see if that would help…

  1. Watch – look at or observe attentively,
  2. Look – direct one’s gaze toward someone or something or in a specified direction.
  3. Observe – notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant.; watch (someone or something) carefully and attentively.
  4. Notice – to become aware of
  5. Aware – to be concerned and well-informed about a particular situation or development.
  6. Pay Attention – attending to the comfort or wishes of others; very polite or courteous.
  7. Alert – the state of being watchful for possible danger.

Great Words But…

While these are all good words, watch and look seem to stay at the top of what I desire to do this year.”Watch” and “Look” are both used many times in scripture in many different instances.

Then at Christmas, I received a newsletter from a friend. They used “Behold” as an acronym. It was the first section that caught my thoughts.

Behold is a word that should get our attention like “Take notice” or “observe”. Its used many times in scripture and especially in the acoount of Jesus’ birth. I want to “Behold” better. My desire is to notice faster what Jesus is doing in me and around me. I want to understand what He is doing in others that our lives have a reason to touch.

This really jumped out at me. It was my feelings exactly; “to notice” faster, to understand what God is doing in me and around me. So this year, I plan to BEHOLD all that is happening around me.

Behold God's Creation
photo credit Kathy Dawson; modified by Mandy

Finally, I came up with a plan…

  • Look to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith” Hebrews 12:2
  • Stay alert! Watch out for our great enemy, the devil. 1 Peter 5:8
  • Look around and notice the beauty of the earth. Genisis 13
  • Look at all the plants and seeds the Lord has given us. Genesis 1:29
  • Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive that grace of God. Heb 12:15
  • Look after the poor, the orphans, and the widows.
  • Look after His sheep. John 21:17
  • Notice who is around you supporting you. Exodus 4:14
  • Stand still and watch what the Lord will do. 2 Chronicles 20:17

Then I can do as the Psalmist said…

  •  “.. look for Him and discover true joy and happiness in Him. Psalm 40:16

And at last, I will hear Him say…

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelation 22:12 NKJV

How am I going to achieve these things?

  1. Look To… -Make a list and prioritize the things I started last year. Then start checking them off one by one. (book reviews, blog posts, publish a book)
  2. Watch out! – Stay grounded in the word. Ask the tough questions.
  3. Look after  – Stop, Look, and Listen to my family and friends. Make them more important than whatever it is I am doing. Orphans and widows – I have been writing cards to pastors’ widows in our district. I want to continue doing this maybe step it up a notch. Other believers – continue to write encouraging devotions and do more speaking engagements.
  4. Look at the seeds and plants. This scripture is specifically about what God gave us to eat. I want to lose weight but nearly impossible with chronic illness and medications. Special diets are not affordable to me right now. So I’m just going make sure to eat more fruits and vegetables and snack on nuts.
  5. Look around and notice God’s beauty. Again, Stop, look and listen to creation. Emily Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday is challenging her followers to post pictures of your Tuesdays on Instagram. I’m wanting to learn more about using IG so I will be participating and use the hashtag #ItsSimplyTuesday. In particular, I want to start checking out the sunsets. Also, just around the corner from us, they are building a new hospital. The turnoff to our community is transforming quickly, so I am taking a picture every Sunday on the way home from church. You should be able to check that out on my facebook page.
  6. Take notice of who is holding you up in prayer and support, then be appreciative. My husband and children have been so supportive for years now since my illness began. Several friends have reached out financially to help us stay above water, others have been a great support as prayers warriors.

Look up! Your Redemption draweth nigh! I feel strongly that the return of Christ is just around the bend. May I never take my eyes off the Easterns Skies!

Mandy Farmer

Previous ONEWORD Challenges

2017 Persevere

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

2016 Expect 

For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. Philippians 1:20

2015 Less

He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

2014 Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

2013 Bold

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

2012 Wait

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)

About Mandy & Michele

Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10 says Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
That is why my we, Mandy and Michele, have decided to join together to hold each other up and at the same time, we hope that you are lifted up as well. We will share about chronic pain issues and raising children with ADHD, Things we've learned about leaving a legacy, and then some fun and laughter along the way as well. We will be sharing about how God helps us through the worst of trials and the best of days. We hope that you will sign up for our newsletter.

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