What in the Word?

Have You Chosen a Word for 2021?

I haven’t always had a word for the year. It’s really only something I’ve done recently but it hasn’t been embraced the way I think it can be.

If I had to choose a word for last year it would be FOCUS.

It might seem a strange word to apply during a pandemic but I think many people can say that a lot came into FOCUS during 2020.

Focus on What’s Important:

Family, Friends, Your Health, Faith, Safety

Focus on What’s Not Important:

Sports, Entertainment, Hollywood, Religion, Temporary Pleasures

For me personally, FOCUS came from leaving a corporate job which was making me sick to FOCUS on what God wanted me to do with my life.

The amazing part is when I did FOCUS on God’s plan, and not my own ideas, I found a career I love and is tailored to fit me perfectly.

I love being my own boss, helping clients find peace and joy through organization, and having the time for a wide range of creative pursuits.

When I began to think of a word for 2021, I was leaning toward growth, because I do want to grow a lot in this next year:

    • Expanding Simply Designed Organization and the graphic design branch, Owl Simply Design
    • Write more novels in my Grace Series, publish at least one new novel this year
    • Publish the first novel in a new mystery series, The Sunday Mysteries, and write future novels
    • Spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible with devotions focused on the books of the Bible 

I was all set to make that my word until the first Monday night prayer service in January at my church. It was during the last song, I was down at the altar, praying for the upcoming election when our music minster began to sing a song that changed my thoughts on the word for this year.

It’s a song I’ve heard before and know the words, but when he sang out the word FORWARD, my spirit welled up and said “That’s your word for this year.”

I can’t tell you the song, I know it’s popular, but every time I try to think of it, I only hear the one word, FORWARD. Sung out clear and strong from that Monday night prayer service.

Nothing else will come to mind. I’ve tried to remember because I want to play the entire song over and over, but all I hear is the word FORWARD.

for·ward | fȯr-wƏrd (adverb)

    1. In the direction one is facing or traveling; toward the front
    2. Onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion
    3. Toward the future, ahead in time

Wow, what a word! Powerful! No wonder I can only hear the one word, echoing in my head and heart.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for some forward motion in my life for A LONG TIME.

The last few years life has been a real battle with health, security, and peace of mind. It seems like every time I make it through one battle, finally receive a breakthrough after much prayer and seeking the Lord, only to find it’s short-lived, because of another battle, mostly the same one starts right back up.

It’s emotionally exhausting and a cause of great frustration.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God to help me to walk into victory, the abundant life Jesus promised from John 10:10.


Last year, I focused not only on what God wanted and His plan for my life, but I also focused on obeying his leadings.

It hasn’t been easy and there have been a lot of tears, hurt, fear, doubt, and confusion.

But I stayed focus on God, or at least when I lost focus, I found it again.

I truly feel God is telling me to move FORWARD. Standing firm on His promises in faith has gotten me here and now, I can take those promises FORWARD into both my professional and personal life.

Moving FORWARD to

Knock down the darts of the enemy,

Pray with new authority,

Use my God-given talents to uplift and lead others to God,

Have a growing platform and a message to speak from,

Embrace a new, deeper relationship with the Lord,

Move forward, seeing the move of God in my life in unique and unexpected ways.

What a word! What a promise!

Have you asked the Lord to show you the word for your 2021 year?

He’ll answer if you ask.

Sometimes it’s with a whisper, sometimes a shout, and sometimes a song.

Ask Him.

Then be prepared to see the works of God in your life.

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,

new beginnings
About Me

The Unexpected Blessing During Covid-19

I think everyone can agree 2020 has not gone the way anyone had planned. There is an ever-growing list of activities, traditions, events which have been canceled. Many of the ways we interact have been dramatically altered and distance from the people in our lives has become the norm.

It is easy to list all of the ways Covid-19 has messed up this year. It is a lot harder to say ways Covid-19 has been a blessing.

But there are always blessings in the midst of the bad. It’s a promise God gave us in Romans 8:28. I love the Message’s version of this verse:

That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

In every difficult situation, every delay, every disappointment, GOD IS AT WORK.

My unexpected blessing was I got a sister during Covid-19.

That might seem strange to you because I’ve posted about my sister before. She’s been in my life since I was sixteen months old and Mom brought her home from the hospital.

Growing up, everyone who saw us together thought we were twins. We look very similar in our features and people easily pick up that we are sisters. Close in age, as the oldest girl, I hated having her so close in age. She was always copying me, wanting to follow me, and basically do everything I did.

Typical stuff for sisters.

We fought, a lot, and it wasn’t just yelling, it was hair pulling, punching, biting, and wrestling. Once when my Mom picked us up from Auntie’s house, she put her hands on her slim hips and told my mother, “Those two were trying to kill each other.”

Fighting is typical for sisters, too!

But what wasn’t typical is how we were raised. My father was not a nice man. I’ve written about him some in my devotional blog posts, but I haven’t always included the nitty-gritty and ugly details.

One of the worst things my father did was pit my sister and me against each other as soon as we could walk and talk. We literally had to fight for his love and attention. It was a one-sided, unfair battle that neither of us could win.

My father would tell me almost every day he loved my sister and did not love me at all. I wasn’t as pretty, smart, or as loveable as she was, while at the same time telling my sister that her own mother and sister didn’t love her, only he did.

Cruel, hurtful, and long-lasting scars.

It has taken many years of therapy and God’s healing grace for me to sort out what was lies from my father and what was just typical sibling stuff.

Elementary to college, it was hard to find ways to interact with my sister. We didn’t know how to get along and be friends, let alone sisters. There was anger, hurt, judgment, and HUGE AMOUNTS of misunderstanding on both sides.

Things have improved in the last few years. We’ve slowly learned how to be friends, but there was still something missing in our relationship. We weren’t sisters.

When Covid-19 struck and people were stuck in their homes for weeks on end, I was worried about what would happen being trapped in the house together. I was worried… But I shouldn’t have been.


Those weeks together weren’t bad. They weren’t even difficult. I got a sister during a Covid-19. We watched episodes of Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, and other mystery shows.

She helped me with my research for my new mystery novel and helped me figure out what poisons to use in the book. (Much to my mother’s horror because that research took place around Mother’s Day when we had long discussions about how to kill someone in unpleasant ways.)

We put together puzzles, watched cooking shows, talked, and laughed. We became the sisters I’d always wanted and that’s what my dad worked so hard to prevent.

Covid-19 has not been fun by any means. I’ve lost friends due to this deadly scourge. I have missed out on wonderful events in my friend’s lives as well as my own. I hate what it’s done to the world.


It is not easy to find the blessing in the heartache. I do not always find those blessings until long after the events happen. But sometimes, God gives us a gift during the hard times and we see a benefit in the middle of the mess.

Gaining a sister in the midst of Covid-19 is an unexpected blessing I will always remember as coming out of a difficult year. I know there will be more blessings in this difficult time. We might not see them until years later, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. GOD IS AT WORK!

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,

new beginnings

Love Thy Self as a Single Godly Woman

Love Thy SelfLove Thy Self as a Single Godly Woman in a sometimes unlovable, unfriendly world can be difficult. I often feel the end of the year is the hardest because couple stuff hits you back to back. Family events for Thanksgiving and Christmas, followed quickly by the New Year’s Eve Parties with the Kiss to kick off a fresh new year with Valentine’s Day hot on its heels. All in an effort to knock you off your equilibrium developed to get you through the year being single.

At thirty-seven, it’s a repetitive merry-go-round of singleness I have been on far too long.



NOT FUN… Especially as a Christian single woman.

Really, unless you are single, you really don’t get it.

Honestly, sometimes I think being a Christian makes it worse.

I don’t like who I am being wrapped up in whether I am married or not.

I’m more than just a plus one or a minus one.

I’m a Godly woman. I have a voice. I am a warrior woman who fights for women who are lost, who’ve walked away from God and forgotten to whom they belong. Being a woman is hard, married or not. It’s always been hard to be a woman. History has proven that over and over again since Eve picked that fruit and the world has condemned her for it, never once mentioning ADAM WAS STANDING NEXT TO HER THE ENTIRE TIME!

Continue reading “Love Thy Self as a Single Godly Woman”