( I wrote a post about it a while back HERE, for all of you that need context ) It seems to be the theme of my life since I started doing this and it has kept me focused on what I KNEW God wanted my heart to process throughout the year. When it rained or whether the sun shined on the year these words helped me navigate the clouds as I knew God was working these things out in me. 2014 was a hellacious year, so it 2015 God dropped in my soul RESTORE. 2015 was a monster year where I watched God breathe life back into my shattered spirit. 2016 God asked me to LISTEN. Not audibly, but with a true understanding that deep was calling to deep and I was on the other end of that call. He taught me the importance of being in constant awareness that He is always speaking, and I needed to be in tune to His still small voice at all times. In 2017 God dropped the word HERE into my hands and began to unpack what truly living in the here and now meant and looked like. I grasped this one pretty fast and because God has jokes 6 months into the year He changed my word to SACRIFICE. I spent the latter part of the year relinquishing my pride and believing that perhaps my constant need for excellence was clouding something God needed me to surrender. I struggled with this word as I felt incredibly surrendered. But God continued to remind me that the word was sacrifice, not surrender. Surrender: to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. Sacrifice: an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure. Surrender tends to focus on the enemy, sacrifice is focused on God. See, I thought because I’d surrendered my life to Him that I had truly sacrificed everything I am; but alas, in the last 6 months God began to reveal to me the following: — Surrender says…I give up, take my life Sacrifice says…I give in, I gladly give you my life — Surrender says… I can’t do it, you do it Sacrifice says…I can’t do it, and I want you to teach me how — Surrender says… I give in, take control Sacrifice says… I let go, I relinquish control Look, I am not perfect nor do I know everything. But I do know this. If you ASK God for a word to lead your year, He will not only GIVE you the word, but He’ll unpack it in a way that will change you and challenge you. Now, have I totally mastered sacrifice? NOPE! I still need to sacrifice things like worry, and eating my feelings. But God will meet me there if I keep my heart focused on gladly giving in to all He is so willingly and lovingly wanting to show me. And as I finish 2017 like a boss and step into 2018 with my new word I know he’ll show me that He’s in the business of RESTORING broken things by speaking life over them. I just need to LISTEN as He is always longing to meet me HERE in a place of true surrender called SACRIFICE. I look forward to hearing what your words are for the year and what you’ve learned from this past year either on facebook or in the comments below. xo chari  ]]>