Posts Tagged ‘new year’

Tasty Tuesday!

January 4, 2017

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I’ve had this idea for a couple weeks now to have a feature on my blog where I highlight a meal (recipe with pics, etc), & call it “Tasty Tuesday” (& run a feature on Friday & call it “Fearless Friday“). The only problem regarding today’s post is I ran late getting home following a meeting I had in Dallas. So, I considered doing a feature at a restaurant instead of cooking tonight. That way, I wouldn’t always have to prepare a “homemade” meal on Tuesday nights, I could mix my attempts with the pros! However, I really didn’t want to eat out tonight since I went grocery shopping yesterday. Ugh… Decisions, decisions.

And then it happened. I was tempted to feel like a failure on freaking JANUARY 3rd of the new year! Wow…the enemy wastes no time in bringing discouragement in the form of doubts & those pesky little things called “feelings”!

Well, I dug in my heels, and said, “No. I’m not going there.” And I decided I’d assess the food situation at home.

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Hot Mess Express!

My sole purpose in wanting to create “Tasty Tuesday” & “Fearless Friday” is to bring encouragement as we all learn to operate out of a place of fun, creativity, and courage. I knew right then I just wanted to drop the facade of perfection I can lean into, & just have FUN with it (while taking care of my hunger pangs….”hangry” really is a thing, y’all)!

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Gettin’ Fancy

Tonight, I made a peanut butter & honey sandwich, sliced up a pear, & added some veggie stick chips. I poured a cold glass of milk, & set my table. But I took it a step further….instead of using a paper plate or ordinary dishes, I used my CHINA! I also cut the sandwich into triangles to make it more “fancy”, and I found myself laughing while plating it all like a Master Chef…haha! The lemon lavender cookies were the perfect sweet ending, too.

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Lemon Lavender Cookies

And not just because Disney made a popular song out of that phrase, but because you’ll gain your life back, or find one you never knew existed…one that YOU were destined to live! And you’ll even have FUN making it fabulous!

Tonight, I’m thankful for the sweetest honey found on Whidbey Island, WA…it truly made my sandwich EXTRAordinary. And I’m also thankful for God’s help in taking the negative thoughts captive…the muscle of self discipline I’m learning to exercise is growing, and that’s both empowering and faith building.

 

Here’s to TASTY TUESDAY, & all the new beginnings & fresh revelations of 2017!

 

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Word of the Year for 2017!

January 1, 2017

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I love the NEW YEAR! A fresh start. A clean slate. Promises to take hold of are just within reach. I love soaking in the positivity and peace most people are expressing and pouring out in written and spoken word. It’s lovely while it lasts!

To get to my word of the year, I have to tell you a little bit about my THEME of the year! 2017 is a year that will contain a big milestone birthday for me: 40. Yep, the big “4-0”. I’ve never been one to be bothered by my age, and find it kind of interesting when I hear people talk about birthdays that “bother” them. My Mamaw always said, “Well, what’s the alternative?” But when I started thinking about turning 40 years old, I realized that what bothers me is not the number, but rather the things still left undone. Hopes not yet realized, places not yet visited, and goals not yet reached (or even written down for that matter). The sand in the hourglass seems to be falling more quickly, and it makes my heart race, and my brain send impulses frenetically that seem to be saying, “You need to complete a lifetime’s worth of stuff in 12 months. Got it?!” So rather than succumb to a midlife crisis, and throw all caution to the wind and suddenly move to an island with no job or home, I decided to be intentional in looking at this next year and creating a theme. Forty: Fearless, Fit, and Fabulous! I want to be FEARLESS in every area of my life. The spirit of fearlessfear and unbelief tend to hang out together. They’re buddies. And they’re two “frenemies” that I’ve decided to kick out of my circle. I have no place for them in my life anymore. I want to be FIT in every area of my life…body, soul, and spirit. I need to be intentional about self care. I’ve allowed neglect & abuse to rule the roost and that’s poor stewardship. And it’s absurd that I would choose the things I have when God says, “I want to give you ABUNDANT life, Leigh-Taylor. One that overflows!” So, that’s what I’m choosing….overflowing, abundance that saturates every realm of who I am. And then there’s FABULOUS! I want to do special things this year that make it truly fabulous, and a year that stands out from among the others in my memory. Because travel feeds my soul, I know it will include some fun getaways and trips, but I also want to find the fabulousness in the normal day to day living, too.

So, because of this great theme I’ve been excited about I thought FEARLESS would be my word. It seemed like a natural fit to me. But that’s just it….it’s what “I” thought it should be. I didn’t prayerfully receive it like I did my other words. On Christmas Eve, I was thinking through how I wanted the upcoming year to be different, and I invited God to speak into it. That’s when the word entered my mind in big, block letters: BE. I knew instantly that it was my word for 2017. Then, immediately following that picture i saw in my mind, the cover of our devotional book that we’re using at Gateway Church for our corporate fast popped up on the screen: Created to Be.

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This is the graphic I saw on the screen at Gateway Church!

I came home, and immediately started thinking about verses and two popped into my mind. The first one was Psalm 46:10, “BE still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” I thought, “This is ridiculous, Lord. I’m the one telling everyone I know about what You’ve done in my life through Shabbat, through REST! Don’t I have this whole “being still” thing down?” I paused instantly, and knew down deep in my spirit that I didn’t practice “being still” in ways that had brought about total refinement. My quick, haughty response was my first clue! So, I’ve decided this definitely was one of my verses for the year. I want to BE still and know that He is God….whether I know anything else, I don’t care. For me, that will be enough. Also, I want to see God BE exalted among the nations and BE exalted in the earth! I’ll see that done in new and fresh ways as I focus on BEing still.

joshua-1-9-imageThe other verse is from Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? BE strong and courageous! Do not be afraid.; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” So many “be’s” y’all!! While that does in fact make my heart happy, the verse came to mind because of that first BE. I did some studying and found that the Hebrew word chazak is the word used there and means “strength and courage” (& there are 3 repetitions of it in that section of Scripture). The Israelites would shout it while advancing into battle. It was their battle cry, their war hymn…their anthem! I want chazak…and that will come as I BE…and as I declare it to BE!

So there you have it, folks. My word of the year for 2017. As you can see, there’s much to unpack. There will be a lot of unnatural discipline required to just BE. But I am declaring that I’m up for the challenge! Chazak!

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Word of the Year 2016

January 1, 2016

Every year, I prayerfully receive a word of the year from God. For 2015, it was BEHOLD. That word has come to be so precious to me. At one point, I thought maybe I would keep the same word. I wasn’t ready to let go of it. But that’s when God reminded me to keep holding all things loosely…even my words of the year. I want every area surrendered to the Lord, and for there to be nothing between us.

2015 was filled with many great adventures, but my trip to Israel was by far the greatest. It was there that God laid the foundation for the word He would give me for 2016.

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Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) to be all that life changing for me. I had printed out a prayer that a friend had sent me, and last minute on the outside of the paper I scribbled a prayer that said, “God, release your promises here, and beyond. Amen.” Something like that anyway… I thought I’d go say a quick prayer, shove the piece of paper into the wall, and go on with our tour. We were told we had 20 minutes before we needed to move on.

 

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Prayers in the Wailing Wall

Our group had just been to the Upper Room, and one of our pastors had given his testimony about what God did in his life at the Wailing Wall. He encouraged us to be open to whatever the Holy Spirit had for us there. He anointed us with oil, and off we went. I believe our pastor’s testimony released the Spirit of Prophecy for God to “do it again”….to bring healing and direction. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen.

 

 

I took a few pictures in front in the courtyard, and when I was ready, I approached the wall. I stood there praying for a minute then I leaned in and placed my forehead on the wall. That’s when something happened. I saw a freeze frame of my life memories, and one particularly painful memory was frozen and I could see it clearly. I had never been able to overcome this memory completely even through counseling. In that very instant, God whispered to my heart, “Today, Leigh-Taylor,  you have been made wholehearted.” I doubled over & started sobbing uncontrollably. That had been my prayer for two years! I said to the Lord, “It can’t be that easy, God!” He said, “That’s what happens when you come into my Presence.”

Healing IS that easy…emotional, spiritual, physical…any and every thing comes into alignment in His Presence.

A phrase that the Lord had given me prior to my trip to Israel was: Touch the hem of my garment. I had no idea that it would be a prophetic phrase that would be true for two occasions: my prayer shawl I bought in Tiberias, and my healing at the Wailing Wall.

A couple days after I returned home, I was asking the Lord about my word for the year 2016. Immediately, the word PRESENCE came to mind with a passage of scripture confirming it as well as another passage for my yearly declaration. You can see them below:

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And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest [by bringing you and the people into the promised land].” And Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go [with me], do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we are distinguished, Your people and I, from all the [other] people on the face of the earth?”

The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have asked; for you have found favor (lovingkindness, mercy) in My sight and I have known you [personally] by name.” Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” And God said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion (lovingkindness) on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and while My glory is passing by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and protectively cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:14-23

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“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

I know that this year holds many promises, and a heavenly release of those promises here on earth and in my life. I can’t wait to see what 2016 looks like after a year of living intentionally in His PRESENCE!

Amen.