#oneword2018: RISE

“Still I Rise” Maya Angelou

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

If you were to run through my Twitter feed for the past several years, you would see a succession of gorgeous sunrises. It is no secret that I love them. They inspire me. I have recorded them. Cried watching them. Sang at the top of my lungs and in whispers in their presence. Lifted my arms in praise for the gift, and bent down in prayer below them when life overwhelmed me. I find sunrises to be a miracle couched within the mundane of life.

Unlike many of my well-respected colleagues, I have never engaged with the One Word process before. Admittedly, that stems directly to what 2017 was all about for me. Though I never selected the word for last year, my 2017 word was clearly RESTORE. The past four months specifically have been focused on restoring my spirit to a space it belongs, and there is a whole transformation that I have undergone through it. Throughout my journey, there have been consistent and specific messages gifted to me about how God wants to use me.

While I could write an entire book on those special messages, the important pieces are focused on my One Word.

My #oneword process was highly spiritual, so when I share it with my PLN, it is vulnerable, but that is the way it was meant and fits perfectly with my word. It is important to note that the word was given to me. I did not select it, but I am supremely excited because this process allows me to begin the calling in this new chapter, which will be characterized by the word: RISE.

My word has several definitions, and I cannot wait to see how each one is revealed to me throughout the upcoming months. For now, the areas of focus relate to one definition of the potential 13 according to Merriam-Webster online. Of course it is my favorite number seven! “To increase in height, size, volume, or pitch.” My voice is how He wants to use me in this season.

After years of marveling at the rise of the sun, it is time to rise myself. In this year, I know the following will occur.

  • My voice will rise with His praises both in song and in the written and spoken word. Over and over again, Psalm 100:1 has been given to me for the past three months. “Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth.” Both through singing publicly again and in the spaces I am to be placed, my voice will rise with His purpose in me. 
  • His spirit will flow through me and lift my feet. When I continuously remain in Him, I will rise to unrealized measure. Through this, He will elevate my voice in order to illuminate His light within me. Those who follow me know this will be tied to running. 
After the word came to me in devotion this morning, I went out for a run. It was -34 windchill with unplowed snow, some of the worst conditions I face being an outdoor runner. While praying through the run and allowing His spirit to flow through me, I was able to run at an 8:35 pace for four miles. Alone, I could probably have completed half. With this partnership, I am able to do so much more. And I was singing His praises with lungs filled with frigid air and joy!

There is no doubt that in the coming year the myriad definitions will arise. Certainly, I will be called to rise above circumstances or to rise to an occasion. Through each, my focus will be on rising to glorify His purpose that lights within me. Any rise in position, profession, personal life, or passion will all be for Him and not to do with me alone. As my family sang often as I was growing up, it’s time to “rise and shine and give God the glory.”


  1. What a beautiful, inspiring post! I LOVE that word choice. (I'm a fan of sunsets too-the great part about the time change for me is I'm driving to school when the sun rises every day and I get to see and appreciate it-even if it's through a windshield). Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thank YOU for reading and responding. Through a windshield or not, those rises are miracles! Love that the concept resonated with you. Here's to an inspiring 2018!


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