One Word 2011 Wrap-up

After years of making unkept resolutions followed by guilt and self-condemnation at not keeping them, I ran across something last year that was like a breath of fresh air.

One Word.

Instead of making a list of a bunch of stuff you know good and well you aren’t going to do, you ask God to reveal to you one word that will be a sort of focus for the coming year.

My word for 2011 was aligned.

Aligned with His will.  Aligned with God and not with man.

And I see looking back so many places where He was doing that.  He was gently but firmly moving me back towards center, towards the heart of the matter…His heart.  And He kept right on doing it, even after I had sadly forgotten to think daily of my word.

And then the summer came, the kids were out of school and my blogging nearly dropped off completely.  And I realize now just how much my blog is accountability for me – a pouring out of what God’s poured in.  And as the season changed and I struggled to find quiet time alone, I found myself drifting, floating.  I wasn’t pouring in as much and as a result there wasn’t much to pour out.

We all need to have some time of quiet to contemplate, to listen.  But I stopped taking mine.  And it was painfully evident.

I was all out of alignment again.

But now the season for new beginnings is here and over the last few weeks, I have again felt a longing, that pulling from the Lover.  His whispered call to return to my Center.  To come back to that place of nearness, enclosed in His arms with my ear pressed to His chest listening to the rhythmic breathing of the Almighty God flowing in and out…sending and drawing.

Like a holy dance of the ages, swirling and spinning, beautiful colors and glorious refrains composed by the One who made the stars.

In order to stay in step with Him, I must cling to Him.  Bind my heart to His.

He is the Living Water that quenches my thirst.

He is the Bread of Life that satisfies a deep hunger within.

He guides, He heals, He sustains.

He is the Master Carpenter and He lays the plumb line.

Match my heart with Yours, O God.

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For more info on One Word 2012, check out this site:

http://oneword365.com/

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Hey hey! What’s shakin’? What’s the WORD?

Alright, I have my word for this year and would love to share it with you as promised.  But first, just a few other things.  (Well, I can’t just bust out there with the word.  I’ve got to build up to it, right?)

I’ve had so many words floating around in my head this week, and although they were all great words, none of them really felt like “the word.”  I couldn’t really say that I’d felt God leading me to settle on any one of them, although I did feel like He meant for them to be included as part of my word

One word that I kept coming back to was focus.  As you may have already previously read, I struggle with focusing on one thing.  In fact, I often struggle with focusing on anything.  And when I do, it would seem that often I’m focusing on the wrong things.  I focus too much on my shortcomings, on my weight, on all the things that I haven’t done with my life.  My focus should be only on Christ, but often my focus drifts elsewhere.  If I could just focus on Him, all those places where I fall short would fall into place right?  But somehow focus just didn’t stick.

Then there was obedience.  Also a great word.  Man if only I could just be obedient to God’s call on my life.  Obedient to His word.  I would change so many things about my life if I would just do what He tells me to do all the time.  If I would just listen to Him when he speaks, wow what a difference it would make!  But somehow obedience just didn’t click either.  Like there was more than just that. 

The it was His.  As in, I am His, everything I have is His, my life is His.  If I could remember that I belong to Him, it would change my whole outlook on who I am and why I’m here.  If I could just see that everything I have belongs to Him and is only in my possession because He blessed me with it, then I’d surely be a much better steward of it all.  But even in the realization that I belong to Him, I still didn’t hear Him say “YES that’s your word!”  In fact, what He said was, “YES, you are mine ~ never forget that…but keep digging deeper.”

I met with my friend, Mandi, for coffee and a Jesus chat which we are found doing quite often and I was telling her about the whole one word deal and she started grinning.  “I know what word I’d give you if it was up to me,” she says, “but I don’t want to influence you.  I want it to be yours.”  Well after a bit of coaxing, I finally got it out of her…commitment.  (Haha Susan!  There’s yours!)  Mandi knows me well, and certainly picked a good word for me and although that one felt like it was close, it wasn’t quite there.  Like it was another descriptive underneath the heading but still not quite the one.  But she kept talking and started drawing me this diagram (which I wish I could figure out how to show you on this thing) that someone else had shared with her and explaining how if our lives were measured by this needle and that when that needle was straight up it would mean that we were right in line with Jesus…right on point.  And then she started telling me how Satan doesn’t knock our needle completely over but just kinda pulls us off the mark by just a little bit and so then we are fighting and fighting that battle there, but if we could just see that all we need to do is keep ourselves aligned with God, then….she lost me there because I’d heard what I’d been waiting to hear.

Aligned.

That was it!  Aligned.  Now, I can’t say I knew exactly what it meant and still realize that there are many facets to it that God will reveal to me over the course of the rest of this year, but here’s what I know for now:

I can’t do anything, overcome anything, be anything without Him.  And unless my spirit is aligned with His, even in my best efforts I will still be off the mark.  I can’t focus on anything if I haven’t first focused on Him.  I don’t have the strength to commit and I don’t have the desire to be obedient if I’m not relying on Him for both strength and desire.  And although I will be His for all eternity, He has a calling on my life that I can only know by spending time with Him.  And here’s about where I picked back up with Mandi.

Get in the Word.  Know the Word.  Apply the Word.  Meditate on the Word.  Hide the Word in our hearts.  How can we be aligned if we don’t know what to be in line with?  Then she gave me this verse from one of Paul’s letters:

Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable

—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—

think about such things. 

Philippians 4:8

Jesus is the Word made flesh.  He is true, noble and right.  He is pure, love and admirable.  He is excellent and praiseworthy.  He is my True North.

There’s more to share and I will as God is laying it out bit by bit.

Stay tuned…

Precious Father, align my spirit with Yours.  Then everything else will fall into place.

One Word

So I realize that I am WAAAAAY behind on this one, but I kept trying to ignore it and well it just won’t go away!

Mary Kathryn’s blog is actually where I first heard of the idea, but I’m thinking it all got started this year at grit & GLORY on Alece’s blog.  One word.  One simple word.  No resolutions, no “I’m gonna”s, no lists.  Just one word from God that would be the focus for the coming year.   

Well, I’ve put this whole one word thing out of my mind.  It sounded like an interested concept, but one I avoided for a few reasons.  One, I guess I just didn’t think God would be that specific with me.  I mean, He’s God but still, how in the world could He narrow down all the stuff I need to work on in just one word.  This is me we’re talking about.

And two, I can be as stubborn as any mule’s ever been and sometimes I just make up my mind I’m not gonna do something only because everybody else is doing it.  (Wish I’da had that particular stubborn streak in me back in college.)  That’s why I haven’t ever read any of Nicholas Sparks’ books (well that and they all seem to end sad and quite frankly I don’t take antidepressants so that I can go and purposefully read something that I know will be sad).  It’s also why I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy.  What can I say?  I’m a rebel.  

Okay so back to the one word thing. 

So I finally gave in after this thing has been nagging at my heart since I first read about it.  And I’ve been thinking this over…trying to come up with a word all week.  But see that’s where I’ve been at it all wrong.  I’ve been trying to come up with my own word.  As usual.  The whole purpose as I understand it is to wait for God to give you “the word.”  Because that’s really the bottom line in all of it, isn’t it?  To do this all His way?  I’ve spent quite a bit of time off and on doing it my own way and you know what I’ve discovered?  Even when the things I want for myself turn out to be reasonably decent, if they aren’t God’s desires for my life, they serve no Kingdom purpose.  On the off-chance that I might actually be able to force something good to happen to me, then it’s probably only about ME.  And as hard as it may be to swallow sometimes, it’s just not about me.  At all.  It’s only all about Him…about surrendering my life to Him, my desires to His desires, my heart to His heart. 

You want to know something funny?  Even as I am writing this, I still don’t know what His “word” is for me for this year.  I listening and waiting and I’ll let you know as soon as I hear it.  But one thing I know for sure.  With all my heart, I want that word to be His and His alone.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:5

 

Do you have a “word” for this year?  Would you mind sharing it?