2015… makes me almost want to cry… as I count my blessings I am humbled, as I think of things I didn’t overcome I am saddened, as I think of things to come (like Mary turns 16, I turn 45, etc…) I am hopeful! For the last several years I have chosen ONE WORD instead of a list of resolutions. This is my fifth year – my words in order have been 2011 – RENEW, 2012 – PREPARE, 2013 – INTENTIONAL, and 2014 -OVERCOME.
I always create a huge list of words that come across my path and I start considering. I had a friend who read an article over the summer of a great word and sent it to me saying it maybe her word for 2015! This ONE WORD is infectious. I have tried to support people that choose a word, because as with any choice, as the days/weeks/months pass, so does one’s strength. I post my word everywhere and when I am in a tough situation, I think of my word. It is like having a crazy eight ball that every time I shake it, the reply is my word (oh I may have to create one of those). I have also been blessed to have friends share with me their words and watch my friends words come to life in their lives as well.
In October, our life as a family had some changes given to us, that were not by my choice. At first, the thought of the changes were quite overwhelming, but I used my word OVERCOME to face the situation and come up with an attitude adjustment! One of the last things I did before the big change was to attend a woman’s conference. A few words were placed in my arsenal to continue at that time including BRAVE, COURAGE, and QUIT. There were a few pivotal messages I got from that weekend, that I thought for sure would be my word. After that weekend, I read a book by Annie Downs “Let’s All be Brave” because I was sure it was the word. My sister-in-law shared a blog about Brave being listening to the small voice inside your head. What that convinced me of was not brave, but the scripture that kept playing over and over in my head. But, I will have to be BRAVE to take this word on, especially for me!!
I had a great list of other words I was considering..
- Replace (bad habits/attitude/food with good/positive) ,
- Eliminate (but this meant getting rid of without adding something to my life) ,
- Authentic (also from the conference I attended to become the authentic version of me) ,
- Balance (because face it I have a lot of plates in the air at any given time),
- Notice (I love the book the Noticer, the Noticer returns and recently Lysa TerKeurst one of my favorite authors did a blog about being one who notices). How many times do I not notice a need because I am too busy
- Whitespace /Margins – this is from a blog I enjoy about not leaving enough empty space to have for God, people’s needs, unexpected needs, etc… Lisa TerKeurst also talks about in her book The Best Yes. I know there are days I fill to the brim and leave nothing open for God, to take care of me, for my husband or children…
- Mindful – this was a word a friend of mind chose after an article about how we are so busy multi-tasking that we are not truly mindful in what we are in. This is so true for me, the multi-tasker.
And then, my friend, Johnetta, had a ladies bible study / tea and the first week was about “She did what she could” (Mark 14:8). (at the tea I joked that the scripture that should have been chosen was Why are you bothering her! Mark 14:6). Elisa Morgan talked of how these 5 words made such a huge difference in her life. It is the story of Mary who pours a whole bottle of very expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus. She just did it… didn’t worry about the crowds’ opinion (which was very negative)… didn’t worry about the costs… didn’t worry about others reactions… didn’t make excuses why she couldn’t or shouldn’t…. she just acted! I bought the book from that study and read it this past week. Really I was trying to avoid reading it, but have been so convicted since that session. The book is full of examples of the power of the people’s actions.
- I have the weakness of procrastination, the strength of working well under pressure (probably because I usually procrastinate so have to perform at the last minute), the strength of planning but the weakness of implementing the plans.
- Yes, I want to NOTICE people and needs as I mentioned being a word I considered, but is it enough for me to notice a need and do nothing about it? I want to ACT on what I notice
- Yes, I want to eliminate things that are not good for my life and replace them with good / positive things. I can make a huge list of items that fall in this category, but they mean nothing if I don’t ACT to eliminate / replace.
- Yes, I want to balance my life better. I want more whitespace. I want to be more mindful. My family time, me time, God time definitely gets less time than they should… I can plan the balance/whitespace on paper, with my calendar, but if I don’t follow through and ACT on balancing nothing will change.
- Yes, I want to be more brave, have more courage, and quit things to become more authentic. Again, I have to ACT on them.
- I also just finished 2 books by authors with cancer… The Hardest Peace (Kara Tippetts), and Napkin Notes (Garth Callaghan). Both talked of the importance of acting on life. Garth especially said we spend so much time getting ready and not enough acting on things.
- ACT means assuming responsibility, not sitting back and just adding to my list to do (yikes).
- It is not making excuses of why I can’t but ACTING with what I can.
- I can’t just make promises.. I need to follow through – ACTIONS speak louder than words.
- I will never complete my 45 by 45 list if I don’t ACT
- I need to strengthen relationships – with God, my husband, my children – but they can’t just be an item on my to-do list that gets moved week to week. I must take ACTION.
- I need to take care of ME (hasn’t that been on many list), but without ACTING with the first exercise, first healthy meal, the quiet time – it just remains an item on the list.
- I think of times I have avoided people, sometimes because I didn’t want to get involved or know what to say… in the book, she talked about we may only have 10 minutes, but I can give the 10 minutes – it doesn’t mean I have to take on someone else conflict but I can listen.
- Move past my moving things from one list to the next, to the next week, to the next week, without completing. The sad thing is many could probably been ACTED on and completed in the time I wrote them on my list… I am the great procrastinator.
I really didn’t want ACT, but I can’t shake the conviction. This will require me to take an active part in life, in relationships, etc… that I have successfully sat back and watched and put on my list. I pray with God’s strength and wisdom at the end of each day, each week, each month I want to say I did what I could…
My song – Matthew West “Do Something”
My scripture for the year is Mark 14:8 ” She did what she could”
but also love – James 1:22-25The Message (MSG) 22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.