What’s your word for 2019?


Our life group gathered last night to celebrate the season and of course, share our word for the year ahead. An annual tradition that I have encouraged for many years.

FLOURISH is the word that I chose, meaning – to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

There might have been a little mockery at the cheesiness of my word, mostly from myself but when the Spirit of God encourages a word in me – who am I to argue?!

I love the idea of a favorable environment where I can grow – I will be focusing on EVERY area – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.

I remembered some thoughts I had written on this subject a while ago…

Are you languishing or flourishing? John Ortberg describes the two…

Languishing is recognized as the absence of mental or emotional vitality. This can result in isolation, discontentment, discouragement, feeling irritable, insignificant and troubled. A failure to thrive.

Flourishing is to grasp your purpose for living. To become God’s best version of you. Recognizing and understanding your own conditions that lead to your flourishing. When you flourish you cannot help but pour blessing into relationships. You listen to others. You are struck by their dreams. You bless. You are open. You forgive.

‘For us to reach that point of true flourishing you first need to know, grasp and believe the truth that you are God’s masterpiece. God’s Masterpiece!’

Faith flourishes when it finds its flow from the One true vine then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

As the year closes I encourage you to take time to ask God for YOUR word for the year ahead. He has plans and intentions for your life far beyond all you can ask or imagine. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of what that could look like with a simple word.

Happy New Year!

You are loved,

Michelle xo

PS. If a word doesn’t come to you… you can have mine 😉


Yes! Look how you’ve made all your lovers to flourish like palm trees, each one growing in victory, standing with strength!

You’ve transplanted them into your heavenly courtyard,

where they are thriving before you.

For in your presence they will still overflow and be anointed.

Even in their old age they will stay fresh, bearing luscious fruit and abiding faithfully.

Psalm 92 tpt


Vulnerability on Facebook.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

I recently read a Facebook post from a friend (a teacher) who’s very calling and passion had been questioned and undermined. Who had taken a hit by a fiery dart which had left her hurt, confused, floored.

So, she put a shout out on Facebook asking for some encouragement…

The fleeting thought of judgment of asking such a thing disappeared as I drew on my current focus of living in vulnerability. I soon saw the power of it. Remembering: “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brene Brown.

Here’s what she wrote for me:

‘I guess you could say that my post went viral in my own little world. I received 24 pages of encouraging comments from students, former students and parents of former and present students. Each one had a profound effect on me. They made me cry and smile. They brought back fond memories of every single student who responded. They strengthened me. Each word of encouragement was like an arrow shooting back at the enemy who was trying to discourage me. I was humbled again in a different way and somewhat embarrassed. My mother wasn’t. She said she was proud of me and the comments made her cry and smile too. She was the one who asked me to copy all the comments into a Word Document and send them to her so she could read them to my Dad who doesn’t like reading on the computer. That’s how I know there were 24 pages of encouraging comments. You know what else is significant about that number? This is my 24th year of teaching. Yes, Satan may win a few minor skirmishes, but my ultimate victory is secured in Jesus Christ! Let us never underestimate the power of encouragement!

….I greatly appreciated, and now cherish, the encouraging comments that were given to me last week. Without social media, I wouldn’t have been able to reach out in my need or received such an immediate response. There may be those who see only the “evils” in social media, but I for one have benefited in more ways than one from the positive use of social media. God can use ANYTHING for his purposes!’ Thanks Jo!

I’ve read all sorts of posts complimenting each other lately on being a round person in an edgy world. Raw edges? Shattered? Serrated?

How are you on encouragement? Being an encourager that is.

 ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up’                              1 Thessalonians 5:11

F.B Meyer said that if he had his life over he’d spend much more time in the ministry of encouragement.

Yes –  the ministry of encouragement. Is that you?

Healer of serration. Pouring oil on the raw.

Liar fighter. Celebrator. Defender.

Comforter. Hope giver. Creator.

You are real – you know hard stuff happens – in fact doesn’t just happen, its commonplace.

It’s not bumper sticker unreality or


Cotton candy fluff…

They’re THE Word pinning others down as they spin, holding them up as they fall.

“Words kill; words give life.” Proverbs 18:21

If I lived like that were true – that everything I say or write can give LIFE – I…we would be so much more intentional with words.

There is someone in your life, your family, and your circle that needs a word of encouragement today. It’s more than a positive word. Its more than a pick me up. Words give life. Ask ‘Who and how do you want me to encourage today Lord’?

It could be that only you are in the position to help those you come in contact with.

Become part of Gods plan for someone else’s day…who knows, it might be formative in someone’s life, or it might just get them through the next hour.

‘The generous will prosper;
 those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.’ Proverbs 11:25. 

Be (an) encourag(er)ed!

Love, Michelle xoxo