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Star Words

Star Words, a new tradition at Lenape Valley… just a few years in the making. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Epiphany, when wisemen from afar followed a star to find the King of kings. For the last four years, we have been offered the opportunity to choose a Star emblazoned with a word to challenge and guide us through the year. Many of us have discovered that this “random” selection has a rather Divine intent. Last year, pandemic isolation inspired a new way to select your Star Word. Click on the link, watch the wheel spin until it settles on your Star Word, then enjoy an eruption of confetti. How fun! Yet behind all that fun is the possibility of a deepening faith walk through the year.

During worship on January 2nd, Eileen Mitchell shared the story of how Star Words impacted her family over 2021. Their family includes two parents, four children, two in-laws and six grandchildren. All fourteen spun the wheel for their 2021 Star Word… accomplish, treasure, virtue, comprehension, will, favor, money, protection, breath, music, brightness, exaltation, language and redeem. Day after day, Eileen prayed for her family with those words as her guide. And then she watched as her family grew in faith and fellowship, following their stars to the One! She wrote, “I trusted God to do His work in each of their lives around their word.” Eileen encouraged all of us to spin the wheel and then “see what mysterious ways God will work, His wonders to perform!”

In 2021, the Bell family also spun the wheel and shared the Star Word that emerged: tenderness, sanctify, essence, truth, profound… I was so jealous when my daughter-in-law’s word was fun. My son’s fiancé was given the word refresh. Oh, to have that word in the midst of these pandemic challenges! But when I spun the wheel, my word was sacrifice. That’s right- Sacrifice! It was as if the wheel was confirming my worst fears- the challenges had only just begun. Needless to say, I approached the prospect of getting a 2022 Star Word with fear and trepidation. After selflessness in 2020 and sacrifice in 2021, I was not so sure I wanted to see my 2022 word.

I thought about spinning for my word. I love the confetti shower at the end! But was afraid that I would be tempted to re-spin if I didn’t like the word. (I am not going to ask how many of you have ‘cheated’ with a re-spin.) Instead, I made my selection from Kathy Johnson’s basket at church. I knew that Kathy would ask, and sharing my word would give me needed accountability. I hesitated as I selected my star. Should I pick big or small, solid, or print, teal, purple, pink, red… Honestly, I was wondering what combination of size and color would offer me the best chance of a ‘good’ Star Word this year. In the end, I picked a small teal star- my granddaughters love that color. I paused before turning the star over… not sure if I was ready for another challenge. But to my surprise, my 2022 Star Word is Delight. I smiled… I think I even laughed with relief. Delight. I so want to delight in life. I love the synonyms for delight! Joy… gladness… satisfaction… amusement…

What a great Star Word for 2022! But on reflection, I have come to realize that living into the word delight will not be as easy as I first thought. I am an old school, work ethic kind of person. Our pandemic reality has necessitated long hours and weeks without pause to care for the needs of our faith community. As much as I yearn for light at the end of this tunnel, I strain to see past the challenges we currently face. So, I started 2022 by steeling my face toward the year ahead. But now God is calling me to delight… in life and people. This Star Word, “randomly” selected, calls me to STOP long enough to enjoy the moment, to joy in the relationship, to savor the taste, and breathe deeply the fragrance of life. Delight calls me to rejoice in the day the Lord has made. Delight.

I am wondering if you need my Star Word this year. I am willing to share! Perhaps together we can learn to delight… to celebrate God’s gift of today, even in the midst of our challenges.

Delighting with you,
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