Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Just.This.One. Word.

Several years ago when I first started blogging, I heard about a movement called One Word. Instead of a resolution; a word. A word to frame, shape, define the upcoming year. My first word was illumination. Illuminate.

To shine light on.

Holy Cow, as Emma Claire would say (and I have no idea why she says that because cows are not holy and I never say that, except for, well, right now.) Wait. OK, yes, as I was saying, “HOLY COW!” It was a totally random word and had no clue at the time why the Lord would give it to me, but let me just say that in the four years to follow–

There’s been a lot of light.

And even a small child will tell you, you can’t hide in the light.

“….wait on the Lord who will both bring to the light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4: 5)

Sometimes the dark is easier. Not better, but easier. So I give you this—

Choose your word carefully.

I don’t remember some of the words. I remember one year with two words, “No Buts.” I will choose joy, no buts. I will speak up for myself, no buts. I will find my voice and remember the light and refuse to be a door mat.

No Buts.

And then last year on this day, there was no word. There was only chaos. And fear. And anger.

And attorneys.

And for the first time EVER; for the LAST time EVER; there was no hope.

And there was no word.  At least none that I can say out loud. Wait, yes I can. PromiseS.

Broken PromiseS.

But this is a new year. And the chaos has calmed and the fear has turned to hope and the anger—whatever, still workin’ on that,—but this is a new year.

And if you drop the “S”.

Just.This. One. Word.


And it becomes totally different.

2013. Holds Promise.

2013. Full of Promise.

2013. The Year of Promise.

For a future and a hope.

For mercies that are new.

For beauty from  ashes.

For restoration and redemption.

For a strong place to fall.

For going before and staying behind and never leaving and never forsaking and never.

Giving up on me.

Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so.

Promise. Keeping,  Holding,  Learning, Teaching, Believing.

The Promise for a new chapter; a new book (figuratively and literally) and the promise, while not exactly Biblical, of a new name!

HALE Yes! 2013 is a year of Promise. And here we are. Walking away from the broken, from the ugly, from the ashes and toward the Promise. Look closely and you will see the ashes. Of smoke. We have walked through the fire. And we have not been burned.


OK, so all my Christmas decorations have been put away. Save for one.

The Baby Lord Jesus. At least that’s what Emma Claire calls him. I guess I’ve always just said Baby Jesus, but I rather like “The Baby Lord Jesus.” And I’ve decided he should stick around  as a reminder of the Promise.

Babies hold the promise of a future and a hope; and if you come to my house in 2013 you will see this Baby and you will see  new life and you will see joy and you will see  hope and when you come to my house, you will be tempted to think I forgot to put away Christmas and it will probably come out in court papers that somehow this makes me a terrible person, but I tell you this…if you come to my house you will see this baby. This Baby Lord Jesus that holds the promise of what is to come and his birth was the fulfillment of promises before and this—

This is what you will see, and this is what humbly I will try to live and this is my word.


No “S”.

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