Monday, January 2, 2017

Courage: My One Word for 2017

It's funny if you're attending school, or if you're teaching school. When you refer to "this year", you have a calendar that runs approximately September through June. And, in line with that timeline, my 2016 word, 'humble', was given to me in September 2015. I had to walk through a lot of humbling, but God is so good and has been teaching me much in that word. In July 2016, I was helping with our Vacation Bible School when a young woman in our church asked to pray with me. She believed she should pray the word Courage over me and also blew a shofar.

So, though my word began in 2016, I will carry it as best I can through 2017 as well.
This year I am a full-time teacher, and last year was my first year as a staff member instead of a substitute teacher. It was a humbling experience to be sure. And to be teaching full-time is a balancing act that requires a lot of strength. If my strength is not in the Lord (as I'm often reminded), my strength is quickly sapped and I'm left with a lot of opportunities to fail and learn.

This summer I painted Courage. He is a lion and the main character in the chapel stories I am teaching to my students on Wednesday mornings.

Now in this painting I am showing you I printed out the lion's head and used mod podge to affix it to the canvas. But during the summer, I projected that lion head onto the wall at our school and painted the mural. That lion is our mascot. I had no idea that I would be using him as my personal emblem of courage!
Our old logo



new gray background

projection for tracing

the paper is 8.5 x 11 (to give perspective)

all traced and with part of the painting begun

most of the painting filled in-first coat

My blessed teacher friend, Jessica, who helped me finish the second coat in every place that needed it

Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah.

As you enter 2017, perhaps you are feeling lowly or lacking in fervor. Let me share with you the first verse of courage he shared with me yesterday.

Jeremiah 20:11
"But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten." (NIV)

As I walk this year in courage, I also feel the word strength flowing through it. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord! (

His humble servant,


  1. Happy New Year, Tammy! I love your choice of word and the lion picture is amazing! I came very close to choosing the word "courage" myself but went for "voice" in the end- focussing on God's voice, listening and then having the courage to speak out. Hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    1. Lesley,
      Thank you so much!! I do believe you have an important voice and I pray you have the courage to speak out the truth. Happy New Year, my blessed friend!!

  2. Great word and painting, Tammy! Congratulations at going full-time, and I am sure that God has great things in store for you this year.

    1. Andrew,
      Thank you! And congratulations on your birthday and persevering through with bravery this past year! I am excited for what this year holds and grateful we still have a few more memories with you in them!