Rise & Shine

Dear One,

Every year around this time, I ask God for a word. One word I then lean into for the following year. 

My word for 2020 was soar, which, if I’m to be honest, often felt more like sore. 

“Soar” arrived with an image, and the image was that of an eagle, which made perfect sense. However, this eagle was grounded, its giant wings folded across its chest in self-protection. It looked pathetic all closed up in on itself. 

The eagle was me.

And this word given to me? Turns out it was an acronym. I about fell over when the Spirit showed it to me: Sweetheart, Open and Rise.



Oh goodness gracious!
Open? Rise? In the year that has been 2020? My urge to close in on myself and play it safe was at its peak. Soar? For such a time as this???

I have a precious friend who lives with sometimes debilitating depression and anxiety. When it’s at its worst she experiences what I call rise-resistance. She has a terrifically difficult time rising out of her bed. Her safe space. Nothing outside of it feels remotely okay.

My friend’s resistance to rising out of her bed and moving into her day is like me not wanting to rise (SOAR) because it doesn’t feel safe – because the fear is so strong – because so many loud voices seek to keep me down, buried, underground, under the covers, under the bed …

Are you rise-resistant, too? 

I have this fear. Fear of exposing the center of me, which opening surely does. The very heart of me all vulnerable-like.

And oh, that is where the issue of safety lies, is it not? I don’t want to expose myself to potential harm. Too risky. Cue the closing. The eagle has landed.

It takes so much energy to stay pulled in tight. It goes against the very nature of the eagle. I whisper to Spirit: coax me open, coax me out, coax me up.

I am better at shrinking than rising. I know this. 

“Wake up, fair One; dress in your majestic strength … 
put on your glory garments! … 
Arise and shake yourself from the dust! Brush off the dust and get to your feet. Rise, take your place of honor.”
Isaiah 52:1-2

Get rid of the dust, the dirt, the degradation!
Get up to a new day and a new way!
Get on the glory garments and majestic might. Clothe yourself in strength. 

Sweetheart, Open and Rise!

So many feelings, as if their voices are being amplified – by fear? – even as I contemplate rising. Feelings that may have been lying dormant are being awakened right alongside me. Frankly, I would rather they sleep!

Uninvited, they say. Not important. Not making the guest list. Overlooked. Undesirable.

They pull me down, back to the ground, fold my wings across my chest, lower my head. Keep me safe? Keep me small. 

Shrunken & shriveled, I sink back down. Back into my old nature. My known place. My hiding space.

Sweetheart, Open and Rise. Shake this off and put on something new.
Shake this off and put on something true

“Arise, shine, for your light has come …”
Isaiah 60:1

Sweetheart, Open and Rise: Our Little Life Words of the week. 



  • Are you rise-resistant? If so, why?
  • What keeps you shrunken, shriveled, and playing it safe?


  • Physically curl your body into a tiny tight ball. Then stand as tall as you can, legs spread, arms high and wide. Chest out. Head up. Note any feelings.
  • Go bird watching or watch a video of an eagle soaring. 


  • Our song of the week is: Rise Up by CAIN. 


  • Join me in asking God to coax you open, coax you out, coax you up.

Friend, this is the last I’ll write until 2021. Looks like we’ve made it!! Let’s not let 2020 keep us down. So much dust, dirt, and degradation to shake off, but let’s do it, you and me. Let’s rise and shine. Even here. Even now. Sweetheart, Open and Rise. 

Meet you in the skies!

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