Word for the Year – New…


“NEW” – Exciting & Risky

Word for the Year

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Back when the New Year 2014 began (36 days and many, many inches of snow ago) I chose “NEW” as my word for the year, believing that God was saying to me, “I am doing a NEW thing!” (Isaiah 43.19).

While there is nothing magic about having a word for the year, it is something to hold onto for guidance, encouragement and daily hope as each day of the year unfolds…

I knew when I chose “New” that it could be exciting to see what New things might be in store in my life ahead – new opportunities, new people, new growth. But I also figured there would be a risk factor – all those new opportunities, people and growth might bring with them challenges that stretch me and force me out of my comfort zone.

Barely into the second month of the year I am delighted to report two very New things that will change my life forever (well, at least the first one will).

babyinbasketvintage1 – NEW grandchild (my 1st) Fiona & Tim due this Summer! Woo Hoo!

2 – NEW book “Live These Words” (my 11th) due late Spring!

What huge cause for rejoicing! But they will only come with time…. Right now, both Fiona and Tim’s baby and my book (which is, if you ask any author, a bit like birthing a baby) are still in process. They are very real, but not yet seen…

Isn’t that true about much in life? As I type today at “Sunnyside” cottage here in Connecticut, we have just received a foot of new snow. It covers everything and will undoubtedly not have time to melt before the next huge storm arrives this weekend.

A lot will be hidden. For a long time, perhaps.

My new favorite children’s devotional book is “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” and in it, author Sally Lloyd-Jones describes this phenomenon to children:

“In the Winter it looks like the trees have all died. Their leaves wither and drop off. They stand like skeletons against the cold, desolate sky. But did you know before even a single leaf falls to the ground, next spring’s bud is ready? Next summer’s leaf is furled inside that tiny bud, waiting. And Jesus says there is nothing broken that won’t be mended, nothing sick that won’t be healed, nothing dead that won’t live again…  We can’t see it now, but remember the fruit tree in winter? It looks dead. But the buds are ready to go. And, come spring — blossom and fruit! ‘Look, I am making everything NEW!’ (Revelation 21.5)”

roundtoptypewriterhandswordsAnd so we wait…

There is much to be revealed each and every day.

I don’t know what New things are ahead for me, but I’m grateful that whatever comes, someOne very familiar will be at my side. And I fortify myself with a host of biblical promises that are both exciting and risky.


  • “He put a NEW song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40.3)
  • “Sing to the Lord a NEW song, for He has done marvelous things.”  (Psalm 98.1)
  • “See, the former things have taken place, and NEW things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Sing to the Lord a NEW song, His praise from the ends of the earth.”  (Isaiah 42.9-10)
  • “See, I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43.19)
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are NEW every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3.22-23)
  • “I will give them an undivided heart and put a NEW spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11.19)
  • “A NEW command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13.34)
  • “He has made us competent as ministers of a NEW covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (II Corinthians 3.6)
  • “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self… and to be made NEW in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the NEW self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4.22-24)
  • “But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a NEW heaven and a NEW earth, where righteousness dwells.” (II Peter 3.13)
  • “To the one who is victorious… I will also give that person a white stone with a NEW name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Revelation 2.17)
  • “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything NEW!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21.5)

Keep these words in mind as you are waiting for the NEW, or pursuing the NEW, or even if you are avoiding the NEW… God never changes. He is beside us. He will hold our hand and guide us through…

snowflowerpurpleOut of the snow and into the spring…

“Dear God of new beginnings, we are walking into mystery. We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring us or how we will respond. Be love in us as we journey. May we welcome all who come our way. Deepen our faith to see all life through your eyes. Fill us with hope and an abiding trust that You dwell in us amidst all our joys and sorrows. Thank You for the treasure of our faith life. Thank You for the gift of being able to rise each day with the assurance of Your walking through the day with us. God of our past and future, we praise you. AMEN.” (anonymous)

 under the mercy, Cindy

Be sure to check out my NEWS PAGE for more new things! 

©2014 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

www.EncouragingWords.net            www.NewEnglandChristianWritersRetreat.com

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