Faith, Personal Growth

How To GROW Your FAITH This Year

James 1I am a visual learner.  I LOVE name tags at parties or Sunday School. I LOVE ’em.  I need ’em.

So, it’s no surprise that when I study the most amazing book IN THE WORLD that I would have the urge to write and draw pictures and flow charts.  I wonder if you do too.

I scribble in my Bible. A few years ago, I wrote a 30-week Bible Study in James (“Anatomy of a Doulos Girl“), verse by verse.  It changed my life.  And as you can see from the picture above, God’s Word was my workbook.

Earlier this week with my three growing lil’ men strapped in their car seats and rolling down the highway with nothing but precious time, I started to flip through my turquoise and brown leather Bible. My eyes scanned notes, dates, prayers, tear stains, and scribbles throughout the Book. I was amazed how it chronicled such a pilgrimage, a journey with my Jesus, through the years. And it was a beautiful, refreshing, strengthening thing.

You see, on the brink of each new year, I prayerfully select a verse.

A verse to place before me as my banner.

A verse to hold high as my purpose.

A verse to settle my heart on the truth.

A verse that clings to God’s hand with every step of the path ahead.

In 20081 Peter 5:10-11

2 Peter 5:10-11…I had a car wreck in January that totalled our Nisan Quest and broke my arm. Plus, I was still recovering from 2007 in which I had surgery on a fibroid tumor, migraines, fainting…

He Himself will make me strong.

In 2009, Isaiah 25:1

Isaiah 25:1…I fell from the attic and tore my meniscus requiring surgery, I fell while running sprints and scraped up my palms, I had more difficulty with my fibroid tumor requiring a second surgery.

But God in perfect faithfulness has a plan for me. I will praise His name.

In 2010, 2 Corinthians 9:8

2 Corinthians 9:8…I had two miscarriages this year (February and July). But in October a healthy pregnancy!

God’s grace was poured out on me. In all things at all times, I had all I needed in HIM!

In 2011, Psalm 71:14

Psalm 71:14…our miracle baby boy was born! A year of joy and transitions.

I will always have hope- not because I get what I want- but because of Jesus. I will praise Him more and more.

In 2012, 1 Corinthians 15:10

1 Corinthians 15:10…God worked on my heart this year, rattling out insecurities and performance driven living.

It is by God’s grace that I am what I am (more on that here)- learning to live defined by grace! A journey that continues on.

In 2013, Psalm 126:3

Psalm 126:3…focusing on the great things God has done for us through hard times: our oldest’s Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis and my dad’s leukemia. Embedded in the hard times, the treasure of God’s movement is ever clear.  He provided like never before. He sustained with strength and power. He loved in tender mercy.

My heart is still filled with joy- because of Jesus and His sweet presence.

These scribbles grew my faith. Because now, you see, I have a particular vantage point. A perspective that sees how God’s truth laid out a blanket for me as I walked each year, not knowing what was around the corner or what would happen on a particular day. But God did and He does.  And He grabs hold of my heart and hand with His powerful Word.

For this year, 2014, my verse is Hebrews 10:23

Hebrews 10:23Would you join me in selecting a verse* for your 2014? Would you commit to use God’s Word as a workbook this year with me?

  • Write prayers,
  • jot down sermon notes or truthpoints that impact your heart,
  • highlight words and write out their original meaning.
  • And most of all, record the date.

So this time next year, we can snuggle up with our truth-filled workbooks and share with each other the spiritual footprints of God holding our hands and leading us in the truth… day-by-day, week-by-week, every month of 2014!

Let’s meet up again on TUESDAY as we dive back into Hosea and #messylove: God’s love never fails!


Click HERE for other posts in this series.


*Post posting, it struck me that it might be helpful to share how I select a yearly verse. Typically, they come through a bible study or personal study or a sermon or a friend sharing encouragement or a blog post (use one of mine above) .

It’s one that ruminates in my heart.

It hits a sensitive, raw place.

Maybe one of unbelief.

Maybe one of desperation.

Maybe one of curiosity.

Then, I write the date next to it in my Bible and write it on an index card to put in my car or mirror or by the sink (where I am the most). Honestly, there are months I forget about it- not referring to it once.

But by year’s end, my jaw drops as I realize how specifically God’s Word had been alive and active in my life day-by-day.

Please be assured that you can’t get it wrong. God’s Word is God’s Word and His power reaches beyond my inability of “correct” selection. So, there is no risk. Just a huge opportunity to be blessed, strengthened, and allow God to grow your faith. I hope you’ll try it!

I’d love love love to know what verse you selected for 2014. Just leave in comments below!

2 thoughts on “How To GROW Your FAITH This Year

  1. I just read this comment from C.S. Lewis today “His goal is not to defeat me, but to develop me” I had that same feeling on New Year’s Day, “A NOT-so -Happy feeling! Although I know God is in control and loves me, I just had this fear of dread, thinking (Oh my what is 2014 going to hold?) THEN my Spirit took over my thinking- GOD loves me…”The Lord is Fair in everything He does, and FULL of Kindness. He is close to all who call on Him sincerely.” Ps.145:17-18
    Love you sweet girl!!!

    1. amen. amen. amen. amen. amen. amen!
      resolved to rejoice in God’s love no matter what may come!
      love you!

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