My One Word Journey: October/ November

My One Word Journey: October/ November

Each month I share highlights from My One Word Journal. My Word for the year is BECOME.  

Throughout my journey this year with my one word, I have focused on what I was becoming. In October, instead of me becoming, God became my peace and strength.  That has continued over into November.

On September 22, I got a call from Mom asking for me to come.  Dad had fallen and said he had broken his leg.  After an ambulance ride and many x-rays, it was confirmed.  He had broken his hip.  They recommend a partial hip replacement, but warned us because of his age and dementia, that his chances of coming through surgery were low.  He made it through surgery and was sent to a nursing home for rehab.  He was alert and it looked like he was going to be ok.  Because of his dementia, he kept forgetting he couldn't get up on his own.  So Mom and I took turns sitting by his bed.

It was during those times, when the worry came, that Jesus became my strength and peace.

On Monday, the 9th, he stopped opening his eyes, then he refused to eat, and on Sunday Oct 16, he went home to be with the Lord.

It was during those days at his bedside and the days that have followed, God showed me what it meant for Him to be my peace and strength.



O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever!  Psalm 107:1 AMP

The LORD is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield; My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.  Psalm 28:7 AMP

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.  Isiah 54:10 AMP

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] John 14:27 AMP 

True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.  Psalm23:3 MSG


Highlights from my notes:

      • Let Jesus become your peace and strength.  Don't rationalize away your blessing.  My peace is yours, my strength is yours.  Grab ahold of it, of me and don't let go.  Call on My mercy, I will have compassion on you.


      • Stay in the eye of the storm, under My wings of protection and peace.  Let the storm rage around you but don't get caught up in it.  I was reminded of the movie Twister.  When the tornado came and they couldn't out run it, the tied themselves to posts anchored in the ground.  God is saying tie yourself to me.  Let me become your peace and keep you strong and safe through this storm.


"Beloved, this day allow the sinew of My strength to become the iron in your backbone, the flint in your forehead, and the determination that you will not allow anything or anyone to get in the way of your peace that I have bestowed upon you this moment."  Russ Walden


"There is hope, there are miracles, and everything you are trying to find a way to, is actually coming to meet you in ways more fulfilling that you ever imagined.

Come close here --  it's going to be okay…

That mountain your climbing today?  God is greater!

Thoses obstacle your facing right now?  God is greater!

The storm your weathering through?  God is greater!

Today just hold on to these three words.  Your refrain for the climbing, the overcoming, the pressing through the wind…God is greater! 

Ann Voskamp


Throughout the month, I would wake up hearing this song by Van Morrison.  I felt like it was a duet the Lord and I were singing together.


Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that's what you do
For the morning sun and all it's glory
Greets the day with hope and comfort, too
You fill my life with laughter
And somehow, you make it better
Ease my troubles, that's what you do
There's a love that's divine
And it's yours and it's mine
Like the sun
And at the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray
To the one, to the one
Van Morrison


Art Journaling Page:

I didn't have access to my art journaling supplies, but found an app that was color by number.  It wasn't  the same, but it did help keep me busy and calmed my mind.  I chose the truck picture for this page because of the last conversation I had with my dad. He kept forgetting his limitations and was ready for an adventure.  He wasn't content to lay in bed, but wanted to go out and experience what life had to offer.  In the end, he embarked on an adventure greater than he could imagine, meeting Jesus face to face and living with Him in heaven.


Action Plan:

Take one day at a time and hold on to the Lord.

Plan adventures for the future and take bold steps to make them happen.

Forget your limitations, nothing is impossible with God!



Honor and celebrate the legacy that Dad left by embracing a spirit of adventure.

Rev. Paul Lees
Dec. 17, 1929 - Oct. 16, 2022
BLOOMINGTON - Rev. Paul Lees, 92, of Bloomington, formerly of Streator, passed away at 2:35 a.m. on Sunday, October 16, 2022, at Martin Healthcare Center, Bloomington.
He was born December 17, 1929, in rural Herrick, son of Lowell and Berenice Feltenberger Lees. He was raised on a family farm in Oconee, IL.
Paul graduated from Pana Township High School in 1948. He went on to serve 45 months in the United States Air Force, military police, where he earned a sharp shooter medal.
He married the love of his life, Gertrude "Dollie" Short and together they raised two girls, Jodee and Sandra.
Surviving are his wife, Dollie, Bloomington; two daughters: Jodee (Steve) Schrlau, Farmer City and Sandra Ankrom, Highland; five grandchildren: Matt (Katie) Morin, Samuel Ankrom, Rebekah Abbott, Dan (Mia) Abbott and Josiah Abbott; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Travis Ankrom.
In 1963, Paul left farming to serve the Lord full-time with the United Methodist Church. He pastored at the United Methodist Church at Grove City, Donovan and Grand Ridge, IL. His love for people led him to become a hospital chaplain and from 1980 until he retired, he served as chaplain at St. Mary's Catholic Hospital in Streator.
As a "snowbird" he led an international worship service at Life Oak Resort, Arcadia, FL. In 2008, he and Dollie returned to Illinois and settled at Westminster Village, where he was active with vespers.
A deep faith and fierce love of the Lord and family were the driving forces of his life, with adventure-some spirit, passion for people and hunger for learning fueling it. Paul also enjoyed music, camping, hunting, fishing and dancing.


My Favorite Steps & Review:

On the last day of his life, my sister and I sat by his bed and talked.  In those six hours we covered politics, religion, family situations, and aliens.  It was exactly the kind of conversation Dad would have loved.

The family all wore cowboy hats to the services in honor of him.  Steve looked really good in a cowboy hat!

Have you decided on your One Word for 2023?  I'd love to hear what yours is! I've narrowed it down to two I'll be praying over.

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Jodee, I am so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing, but rejoice he is dancing on the streets of gold! Thank you for sharing him with us here, I feel honored to have read your words.


I am so sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. That being said, I truly feel his last few days on Earth and his passing on to live with Jesus have taught you quite a few lessons about faith. That’s wonderful! As for my One Word for 2023, I haven’t decided yet but am sure something will pop up in my mind soon enough.


Oh, Jodee, I am so sorry to hear that your dad passed. :( He sounds like he was a wonderful, passionate man for the Lord. I’m glad you and your sister were able to spend the last day together covering all the angles of life in conversation. I bet he would have loved seeing all the cowboy hats at his services! You have created such beautiful meaning with BECOME this year. It’s been an honor to hear about your journey.

Lisa notes

So sorry for your loss, and encouraged to read about the wisdom that is carrying you through this hard process.

Michele Morin

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