One Word for 2016

Compassion started a tradition for their bloggers of focusing on one word every year. It’s one they’ve been faithfully keeping for some years now (since 2009).

 

onewordtradition

 

Each month, as a volunteer compassion blogger, I get a writing prompt. How I missed this one way back last year, I don’t know. But I would have loved to blog about my one word then.  And it’s funny. Because up until, this morning, I thought I knew what that one word was. I thought my one word would have been the same word God gave me back in 2014. Intentional.  I was wrong.

Since I’ve found out about the one-word writing prompt, I’ve been thinking heavily about my word for this year. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gotten away from intentional. I will always strive for that. It is my mission.

Speaking of the word mission, it is my one-word focus this year.

I am on a mission. mission

I am. It’s something that I never want to lose focus of. In fact, my whole purpose for being here on the earth is for the fulfilling and completion of it. And I need to be reminded that, if I’m going to do that, it is NOT ABOUT ME. So what is my mission about? You ask.

First, it’s about bringing glory to my Heavenly Father. Where would I be if it wasn’t for His grace? Second, it’s about being one with my husband. I truly love that man. The way God has blessed my family by making him the head of it (I was a single mom of three when we met) is truly beyond words I can ever use to explain. Third, it’s about me being the God-purposed mother I need to be to the children that were gifted to me. I could into details of my past about the parent I used to be. But, I’d rather talk about the mother God has made to be today (in case you don’t get my reason for the line through my previous words, I’m no longer that mother). That mother wasn’t truly aware of her mission and purpose. This one, however, is.

Fourth, it’s about freely giving unto others what God has freely given me. Compassion. Mercy. Word of my testimony. Love. Jesus. And lastly, it’s about praying without ceasing. I honestly cannot understand how anyone can survive in this world without EEE Eee ever talking to the Father. That is something that is beyond me. Prayer is my lifeline, honey! Haha! I can’t go a day without prayer. I may as well go and sit in a corner and forget about my mission period. I mean, how am I to fulfill it without Him? It will never be possible.

So there you have it! My one-word focus of 2016. Now, I want to hear from you. Have you started the tradition of one word? If so, what is your one word? What events took place to help you decide on your one word? Share with me. Sharing is caring.

 

signature

 

 

#CompassionBloggers

Taking A Stand

 

Is it okay for us to be honest about the hard truths? Because that is what I’m facing today in this New Year.

Four years ago, I prayed for God to show me how to prioritize my life according to His will. And He led me to Elizabeth George’s book: A Woman After God’s Own Heart! I got as far as the table of contents and couldn’t believe the way in which God quickly answered my prayer. My heart began to burn with a fierce fire to have what God wanted for me; to be who God wanted me to be.

What and who was God calling me to be? God was calling me to be a wife, to be a mother, and to be a godly woman for His kingdom. He was calling me to be a woman of true authentic integrity. Which, if I am truly honest, has been my hearts lifelong greatest desire. And with that, I set out to do exactly that. Has it been easy? No. Worth it? Yes (every sacrifice worth).

At that time, I had also been let go from a job, in which, I loved. I worked for the Boys and Girls club. And seeing those children come in every day was a joy to me. I was sad to have to leave them. Yet, the reality was was that my own children at home needed more. Grant it, they were with me when I worked. But yet, something at my home was missing. You guys, I would lie if I told you my house was in order. BECAUSE IT WASN’T. BUT GOD! We were also going through some other things at that time as well. I think we can see why this calling to be a woman after God’s own heart was much needed. I saw it instantly. I saw it, but I didn’t grasp the full meaning of it. I knew it was important, but I didn’t know how important.

Let’s move ahead. Four years later. Here I am still, on this lifelong mission to be a woman after God’s heart. Still prioritizing; still with that same burning fire that I’ve had since day one He called me. And, Wow! So much has been revealed since then. So many hard truths have I learned. So many valuable lessons. So much wisdom. I bless the name of God for such a call as this. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in this world.

Let me add before actually moving on. I made the choice after losing my job, and seeing what God was calling me to, to not go back to work. I really believed at that time that I needed to be at home with my children. And this is a reality that I realized much later. I had spent the most important years, the ones where their lives were meant to be truly shaped, working and away from home. I was a single mother for a period of that time. I had to do what I had to do. But after having married, I saw the order God was bringing to our home. And it called for me to make a really tough decision. That was to be a stay-at-home mom. That was in the year 2012.

So here I am. It’s the year 2016. And it seems that now more than ever, this calling to be a woman after God’s own heart has become even clearer. There’s so much more depth to this calling. And it is honestly centered around one word: Integrity.

Integrity. A word I cannot seem to get away from. A word that pursues me every day. A word that has brought me to a hard truth; that in my family line, amongst the females, there hasn’t been one to truly live this kind of life. I haven’t up to this point (truth be told). But God has called me to be that one.

What do you mean, Erica? I mean to truly live and set the standard for God’s righteousness and holiness in my family line. To be courageous. To be the generational curse breaker. To bind the ties, and break the shackles of those unrepented iniquities of my ancestors that continue to want to travel from generation to generation. To declare that those things will travel no more. I believe in my heart that God has called me to that. And I am willing to answer the call. I have declared that those such things have run their course long enough. I have decreed that they stop here and today.

Someone has to take the stand for God’s righteousness. Someone has to make the decision to teach her children to truly chase after, pursue, and obtain a right and truly intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Someone has to be the one to carry God’s legacy through their family’s generation. I have determined it to be me.

And so, I will build my house, maximizing the time I have left of my children’s years to lead and guide them. They are well in their teens now. My son has left the nest, but my daughters still remain. Who will teach them? I will. They will forever need to see a godly example. I resolve to be the best example of a woman of God that I can be, to bring glory to God and to lead my children. For that, I need the utmost integrity. God’s integrity in me.

 

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. (Psalm 25:21)

 

But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. (Psalm 102:12)

 

Deuteronomy 11:18-21
18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

 

I’ve Stepped Down

 

picsart2016-17-1-22-08-441“There’s only room for one person on the throne of my heart. I’ve decided that that one person is not and will not be me.” ~Erica Dunomes

Burdened down and couldn’t take it anymore! I was trying to do things in my human strength and it was getting the better of me. What’s worse is that I was not sure how I ended up that way. Frustrated and frazzled. If someone were to take a picture of me on the inside, they’d have found a woman who looked like she walked over to an electrical socket and decided to stick her finger inside. Well, at least that’s the picture the movies portray right? Haha!

Seriously, though, I can say that I don’t know how I ended up that way. I mean, that is the question we’d all like to ask ourselves after we’ve found ourselves in situations we don’t like. Right? Most of us really know the answer. But asking the question, “How did I end up this way?” gives us somewhat an escape from having to admit that we know the answer. So I’m just going to admit it. I knew the answer. I was sitting on a throne where I (Erica Dunomes) did not belong. There! I did it! (Wow! I didn’t know I’d be this relieved.)

So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life. – James 5:16, The Voice Translation

(Pray for me, please! Sincere prayers, that is.)

In doing this thing called life, I have made a lot of mistakes. And I’m sure I will probably make plenty more. I’ve made one just recently. I took over a throne. I mean it was one that was way too big for my bottom. But there I was sitting there, ruling and reigning. All the while, I was making a big mess. The previous Owner just kindly stepped aside and let me have my way. I guess He figured that since I wasn’t trusting in the job He was doing, He would allow me to see if I could do better. Boy! Did I fail!

Things got heavy for me there! Instead of things falling into place, they were falling out of place. Even the things that I didn’t know were not out of place were falling further out of place. I had made a big ole mess.

So to the original Owner I went.

Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-20, The Voice Translation

I pleaded with Him to get back on His throne. I confessed the mess that I made and declared that I didn’t want to continue into further destruction. I just wanted Him to come back.  He happily obliged. And He had been waiting for me too. He knew it would have been only a matter of time. He knew that I would get tired. He was right. I did get tired. Sitting in someone else’s throne and ruling His kingdom was hard work. And I never want to do it again. The Owner of that throne is Jesus. The place of His kingdom where His throne resides? My heart.

How could I ever think that I would do a better job at ruling my heart than the One who bled and died to rightfully reside there? I mean, who was I fooling other than myself? I’m not as wise as God. (Thank You, God!)

My intentions are not always yours, and I do not go about things as you do. 9 My thoughts and My ways are above and beyond you, just as heaven is far from your reach here on earth. -Isaiah 55:8-9, The Voice Translation

Jesus told me that apart from Him I can do nothing. He is the Vine and I am the branch. The Vine is the supplier of everything that the branch needs. My connection to Him is vital (judging from the mess I made while trying to rule in His place).

I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. -John 15:5-6, The Voice Translation

I’ve stepped down! In all honesty, I know that allowing Jesus to reign King in my heart is the beauty of having a relationship with Him. Through that relationship, I allow Him to abide as King in me, while I abide in Him. I need that relationship. And I’m so glad He’s there instead of me.