Last month I introduced my word for the year: IMAGINE. So far, it has been a great word. I am looking “to Him” to do immeasurably more than I can imagine. It’s been fun, refreshing, and a little bit freeing to dream and then let God take over.
This month, I thought it would be fun to ask a few of my friends their word for the year and have them share some of their thoughts with you.
Last year my word was accept and I decided if I was going to accept, I needed to adapt. Then on New Year’s Day weekend the sermon was about adapting, so I felt like it was my word!
I felt like I needed a word to help me focus on having a steadier faith, regardless of my circumstances. I want my faith to grow in such a way that it takes me off the roller coaster ride and leaves me with no doubt that God is in control, even when the scary downhill plunges (or even small bumps) of life come my way. I prayed about and wrote down many words before I came across this one and immediately knew it was the one for me. I also found some scripture verses to go with it that I keep visible and read every day. My prayer is that throughout this year, God will teach me to trust more and waver less.
I was at a conference in January and was in the middle of worship with these words on my lips: “I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation. I will put my trust in you alone, and I will not be shaken.” In that moment, I had a feeling that my year was going to be full of moments forcing me to put those words to the test. Since the conference, my whole future has been flipped upside down as I have stepped out completely into the dark and unknown this past month. A couple years ago I changed my career path to play it safe and do something a little more comfortable and secure instead. I changed from pursuing broadcast journalism, with hopes to be a news anchor one day, to public relations, with hopes to have a stable income, normal hours, and a normal, safe life. Well, plot twist! I was offered an internship with a news station my final college semester. Knowing that I committed to remaining STEADFAST no matter what was to come my way this year, I pretty much had no choice but to get uncomfortable and welcome the risk if I really wanted to live up to my word.
I feel like God revealed to me (mostly through prayer and reflection) that I need to trust Him more and BELIEVE that His promises are true, that His plans for me and my loved ones are good (and so much better than mine), and that He is working all things for good for us that are called according to His purposes. The posture of walking in belief is a liberating one for me and counter to the posture of self-effort, striving, control and fear.
My word for the year is “trim.” I spent too much money this fall. It didn’t make me feel good; it made me feel guilty and excessive. I have too much of everything in my house; too many clothes, too many things. This year, I want to trim my spending, get rid of debt, and trim the “things” in every room in my house. I even want to trim my eating so I can trim my body.
Mary Jane: TRUST
I’ve had this word for quite some time. I have felt that God has told me that I need to trust Him in the big and small things in life. I feel as though this is one of the essential elements needed in our faith walk to help us grow and develop a relationship with Christ.
This year my goals are to embrace life even further and truly THRIVE! Expanding and blossoming in my “second spring” spiritually, personally, physically as well as professionally is what thriving means to me. So often our culture defines women in their fifties and beyond as “over the hill,” “post menopausal,” and so on. That’s an old stereotype that I’m kicking to the curb! I feel our 50s are a time of blossoming and coming into our own in a very exciting and freeing way. I feel myself hungry for growth and personal development. Exploring creative gifts and serving others from a place unique to the way God created me gets me fired up. To thrive means I will not shrink away from challenges or fears. I will not focus on what is not mine to control. I will live more wholeheartedly which means I will be more vulnerable, more forgiving and more loving with others and myself. Any limitations I perceive are just thoughts; they are not reality. I get to choose how to show up in this amazing world and in my life daily. I choose to THRIVE!
It took me awhile to choose just one word because quite honestly I’m so overwhelmed with my life right now. Intentional seems to be the perfect word for me because I feel easily distracted with lots on my mind and also feel pulled and needed in so many directions. I’m striving to be intentional in all I say and do–to be “all in,” wholly in the moment–when I’m with someone or doing something.
I knew this year was going to be packed with new things and new goals. Last year was truly “dynamic” and filled with lots of exciting change. Therefore, this year is going to be spent capitalizing on all that change. Adventure seemed to be destiny. I’ve already had several travel adventures that were on the life bucket list for my husband and myself, as well as several more planned. But other than travel, we will be soon celebrating our first year wedding anniversary, learning Spanish, and making some big steps professionally. I know this year will be full of adventures–big, small, exciting, and even perhaps not so exciting– planned and unexpected. And I can’t wait for all of them!
Abide just seems to fit perfectly for what I need and where I am right now. I feel I need to ABIDE with the Lord this year, stay close to Him and lean on Him more fully. I was reading about what abiding in Christ truly means and one author put it this way: “Abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills and transform our affections.” My verse for the year is “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4) This is what I’m striving for this year.
My word is still patience. No new surprise. When get some I will let you know. (Susan’s note: I’m tickled by Pat’s response. As my mentor and one of the most “far along” women I know, she says she lacks patience.)
I love the hearts of the women who’ve shared here, and I hope these words and thoughts inspire you! If you haven’t claimed a word for the year, it’s never too late.