pigpenOver the past few years, Compassion International has invited bloggers to choose one word for the new year and write a post about it. Writers were asked to name a single word that externalizes the promise of what the new year brings. The thought behind this practice of asking God for His yearly theme, is that it is meant to fortify us in tough times. It’s also a way to refresh our spirit and inspire us with purpose.

I so wish I had discovered this idea sooner! What a beautiful way to sit down and simplify the coming year.

I honestly thought it would be much harder for me to settle on a word. However, God’s been whispering this one in my ear for about two months now. I didn’t really know what to do with it until now.


In the Mishnah (Avot 1:4), There is a verse that captures why I chose dust. The Mishnah is a collection of rabbinic thought from 200 BC to 200 AD. The quotation is from Yose ben Yoezer (yo-EHZ-er), one of the earliest members of the rabbinic movement. He lived about two centuries before Jesus:

Let thy house be a meeting-house for the wise;
and powder thyself in the dust of their feet;
and drink their words with thirstiness. (2)

The thought behind these words is to motivate people to make their homes places of Bible study, and to welcome itinerant teachers and learn from them.

I can almost see the disciples and others who were thirsting for knowledge walking behind Jesus as He teaches. The dust kicked up from His sandals eventually leaves a fine film of powder on His students’ faces. I want to be covered in His dust.

I’ve felt for awhile now that I need to spend more time reading the Bible. Not just reading the Bible – really digging deep. I’ve been terribly lazy, and realize that quickly perusing a verse a day isn’t enough.

And my prayer life? I like to think I’m in a constant state of prayer, often whispering up quick requests and the occasional thank you. However, I’m ashamed of how little I actually sit down and have a real heart-to-heart with the One who breathed life into me.


My word for this year is my reminder. If I want to really grow and have a deeper relationship with my LORD, I’m going to want to get a little dirty.

Do you have a word for 2014?