children • education • parents
relationships • marriage • the elderly


Four Words for a New Year

January 9, 2017 by

It was an especially rough day. I’d just learned that a young and dear friend had died suddenly. I wanted to lie down for a few minutes – just to shut my eyes and see if it would all go away. But there on my pillow was this message, written and crafted by my youngest son.

A handwritten note on the wall that reads: Faith! Love! Peace! Jesus!

It both annoyed and moved me because of the confidence of the writing, the exclamation marks, and the boldness of the claims. I laid it to one side, and zoned out. Later, I stuck it to the bedroom wall, knowing my child would look for it there.

That day is a few years ago now, but I have been unable to bring myself to remove this stapled paper, this four-word chain, so there it still hangs where I see it sometimes several times a day.

On occasion I think of it as a bit of a mantra. At other times, with the horrific events of war and world suffering, it seems naïve.

Some other time I’ll decide which order the words should best go in: faith, love, peace, Jesus? Or does Jesus come first and then peace arrive, and from that flow love, combining to create faith?

But right now, at the beginning of 2017, with the carnage of the old year behind and the hopefulness of twelve new months ahead, I’ll go with the bold, I’ll live the exclamation points, I’ll trust in Jesus.


About the author

Norann Voll

Norann Voll

Norann Voll lived in New York’s Hudson Valley until moving to the Danthonia Bruderhof in New South Wales, Australia in 2002...

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  • I LOVE this. It is so encouraging. I love when God gets us through our kids like this and how even when we want to just shut it all off, he's there to encourage us in unique ways! This is awesome.

    Dana faletti
  • Norann, you said it all. Looking forward to the twelve new months ahead just like you! God bless!