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(3-11) Lynna Clark: My New Word

By now most folks have forgotten their New Year’s resolutions. It’s just human nature. When my daughter Hannah owned a bakery, she could count on January sales dropping to near nothing. People tend to give up sugar filled treats and buy treadmills at the beginning of each year. But by Valentine’s Day customers forgot that nonsense and remembered how much they loved her oatmeal crème filled cookies.

A savvy person whose blog I read recommended choosing one word to focus on for the year. That was January 2016. She said it would be better than a New Year’s resolution since it would be one daily reminder of that which is important. I thought on it a while and the word “Flourish” came to mind. What a great word! Instead of just getting things marked off my to-do list, I would focus on flourishing. Why do things half-hearted when one can flourish?

Happily I found colored pens and wrote my word, then placed the notecards in strategic places around the house. As I continued to edit my book I decided to add the word to a scene since it’s not a term I use very often.

This is part of a phone conversation between a mother and her grown adopted son:

“Honey, talk to me. What’s going on?”

Shawn had a hard time speaking and it took a bit til he could reply. “I’m in a hard place Liddy. Please pray for me.”

She waited and felt her own tears rising. “I will honey. Where are you right now?”

A shiver went through his body so he started his truck and turned on the heater. “I’m up at your prayer garden but I’m sittin’ in my truck. It’s turned cold all of a sudden.”

She tried to brighten his mood. “Did you get to see the sunset?”

He relaxed a little remembering all the times they’d watched it together. “Yep. It was GLORIOUS!” He used her word with a flourish and she laughed.

“Glorious huh? That sounds about right. So I reckon God’s still splashing His love all over the North Carolina sky. I don’t think He much cares for Alabama. He makes them wait an hour on their sunset.”

Shawn was quiet and knew she was trying to cheer him up. He breathed another prayer about how much to tell her. Somehow it didn’t seem right to break the confidence he and Tessa shared.

When I typed my new word, it was then I realized the problem. A red squiggly line marked it. I had spelled flourish wrong on all my notecards. I was completely disgusted with myself. How can I flourish when I can’t even spell it? Florish is not a word!

I collected my pretty cards, ripped them to shreds and tossed them in the trash.

Five months later I learned that I have cancer. As the news got out I was suddenly overwhelmed with care packages and cards and Facebook messages and prayers. Love and kindness was showered on us. Ladies at the school where David works painted the giant rock out front and put my name on it in pink. People mailed us gift cards for groceries and meals. Flowers cheered me with happy faces and promises of better days to come.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day 2017. Our beloved pastor encouraged us with a beautiful message about becoming intentional in our walk with the Lord by prayerfully choosing one word to focus on. I bowed my weary head and prayed. I knew which word it would NOT be. Then it came, like a firm but loving reprimand.

“Lynna! Will you ever realize that you are truly loved? You’re not stupid. You are loved.”

I took a pen and wrote on the notecard “Love(d).”

Because the Lord and many others have loved me so well, I too can learn to show love. Too bad it took cancer to help me see it. But praise God for the revelation! Even though it’s already February it has remained my daily focus. With this new goal, who knows?

I might even flourish!


Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at Lynna’s Wonderful Life at wordpress.com

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