Those of you who know me know I love words! I like writing, I take notes, I doodle words! I gravitate towards wall plaques and interior decorating that uses words. Ok, I think you get the idea!
New Year’s Resolutions don’t Work
I also have big aspirations and make optimistic New Year resolutions. Falling right in with statistics, I make too many and am unrealistic in what I think I can accomplish and… they don’t last very long. *sigh* Who doesn’t do that though? Even my daily to-do lists and goals are set so high they are almost impossible to complete in 24 hours, let alone the few hours after work.
The Magical Word
So when Ben and I listened to a podcast interviewing two authors who together wrote the book, One Word that will Change Your Life, I was instantly intrigued. The magical word – if I could just buy the book so I knew what it was – there would be hope for such a failure at New Year’s resolutions as me! (Isn’t that how they make you think though?) Actually, it’s not quite how I thought; not a one-word-fixes-all situation. Because *spoiler warning inserted here* the ‘one word’ is different for all of us.
You can listen to ‘Casting the Vision with Dan Briton and Jimmy Page’ from 2013 here.
A One-Word Year
This is the idea of a one-word year:
It’s not setting to do goals, but rather to be goals; it’s not what you want to accomplish, it’s who you want to become in one year. Discovering that word that’s meant for you that cuts through all the clutter and chaos and creates simplicity, power and focus.
It’s not simply picking a word. … As you… listen to God… it’s a process of surrender, receiving the word God has for you that year and then living it out.
We’re looking for a God-word, not a good word.
1. Look in – Prepare your heart (unplug, de-clutter, introspective time thinking about what God may have for you to learn)
2. Look up – Discover your word (it may not be the word you want; it is the word God wants for you!)
3. Look out – Live your word (share your word, tell others, and work on becoming who God wants you to be)
A couple other good quotes from the podcast:
Don’t try to do everything. In the pursuit of trying to do everything, you don’t do anything as well as you would like.
Leadership is about character, not as much about what you accomplish.
An interesting thing to note is that often busyness stands in the way of hearing from God (because we don’t take the time to think and listen) and living out who He actually wants us to be because we’re just so busy… doing. Our culture sees busyness as a badge of honor, even to the point of (subconsciously?) bragging about our schedules when we meet our friends in the grocery store, trying to outdo each other with the number of things we are busy with. “…but I am just so BUSY!” One word cuts down on some of the busyness (trying to keep up with New Year resolutions, anyone?), is easy to remember and helps narrow our focus down to one theme for the year, and as God works in us to refine our character, it will affect every area of our life.
These are all words I would have wanted. As we listened through the podcast, of course my mind started racing, trying to pick a word for my year. Until they got to the part about how God chooses it for you. My initial reaction was, How do I figure that out?! Because I’d like to know NOW! Then it all started to come together.
I already have my word! Not a word of my choosing, but I know with certainty that it is God’s word for me for this year. In fact, I already wrote about it at the beginning of the year, here, when it was on my mind a ton. Funny, how I’d almost forgotten about it until recent, when that theme presented itself again.
Right now [with the circumstances of a postponed trip] God is allowing me to experience indescribable peace. I have a very hard time accepting a change in plans. I have expectations. I need to be notified way in advance so I have time to ‘mentally prepare myself’ as I call it. And did I mention, I hate having to be flexible. If all isn’t quite on track, I stress.
I had plans. I had expectations. I was not notified in time to prepare myself for the sudden change.
I could be angry. I could be bitter. Certainly I am disappointed. I could hold these feelings of resentment towards God, or even harbor bitterness towards our baby – it’s their fault I feel this way, right? In circumstances out of my control, my attitude is always my choice! The Bible warns us to watch out for a root of bitterness and commands us to put these feelings of anger and bitterness away because they do not produce the righteousness of God. Interesting that anger, bitterness and resentment stem from unmet expectations. Bitterness only hurts those holding it in their hearts. It will eat away your joy and harden your heart. With God’s help, and seeing others’ examples, I am learning to choose cheerfulness.
I choose life. I choose joy. I choose to see my circumstances as a gift, because through it God is letting me experience peace like I never have before. Kind of cool, how this podcast and idea of one word is helping make sense of what I saw before as a negative situation.
What word is God trying to give to you? I choose to accept my word for 2013. Will you accept yours?