It’s that time of year when many will choose One Word as a theme for the new year they are entering. I personally have found this to be a significant way to bring focus and guidance to a fresh, new season of life. Last year my One Word was Courage, and it served me well as I meandered around many first-time life experiences. I was stretched and pulled far out of my comfort zone, and my One Word was with me on that journey.
I started thinking about my new One Word back in November while contemplating the dawning of the new year. I tossed around stellar words like Engage, Purpose, and Freedom. Although those words hold with them great promise, I could not confirm that they were the direction in which the Lord was taking me. Then one day, I heard my One Word in use, and that’s when I knew. A missionary I was speaking with was referring to another woman who was serving in the field when she spoke it:
“She’s very intentional in her life.”
In that moment, it sounded like the most beautiful compliment I had ever heard. She said “intentional,” but I heard worth, value, and wholehearted. I held on to the feeling of that moment, and I knew whatever it meant, I wanted to be intentional in my life. The word kept rolling around in my heart and mind, until at last, I spoke it out: “My One Word is…Intentional.” My spirit sealed the deal.
For me, to be intentional will mean going slowly in a fast world. I want to guard against the propensity to squander both time and thoughts and to get waylaid by the busyness of life, causing me to lose sacred moments – moments when life gives me possibility and I can make a difference, or I can miss it. Thinking longer before words spill, holding each moment close before it’s gone.
At times I wonder if God looks down and sees me as the proverbial bull in the china shop of life, excited and anxious about many things, yet could it be I am only intentional about few? Christ was intentional. He was intentional with his time, intentional about the people He spent it with, and intentional about His ministry. We never see Jesus in a hurry; He intended to make a difference, and so He did.
I want to be intentional in my relationships. In my marriage, making sure that I am making it my first priority. With my daughters in these last years at home with me before life causes flight under their wings. Intentional with my son in this last year before he becomes a teenager, enabling him to cherish childhood before it passes. Intentional in my responses to young missionary girls when they are asking questions about life. Intentional in my classroom of young, impressionable hearts. Intentional in my time with God, and in His word. Being intentional means remembering that time is passing. Intentional; nothing wasted, fully engaged, and on purpose. I will couple my One Word with this one verse: Psalms 90:12 , Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
What about you?
My daughter asked me, “How do you know for sure, Mom? Did God really give you your One Word?” I explained to her that it was just how I chose her sister’s name. With another daughter on the way in a succession of females with names starting with the letter R, I was on the hunt for the next R name. That is, until I heard the name Mikaylah. I didn’t just hear her name, I felt it. In the deep recesses of my soul, her name was symphonic. You may hear many good words, but there will be one that you feel deeply, with your heart and mind confirming. Why does it matter?
Friend, God sees your future and knows just what rod you’re going to need in your hand to cross that ocean called 2014
It will become a singular focus point when everything goes dark, and at times it will.
It lifts you back up when you are down and reminds you why you are doing what you are doing when you forget, because we do forget.
It helps you to fall forward into hope instead of backward into despair.
Because we know at times the enemy will bring other words to flood your mind like incompetent, failure, or loser. At those times your One Word will be there also. It will whisper back to you as it did to me last year; whenever I was afraid, I heard it: “Ruth, remember…courage.” Yes, courage; thank You God. Your One Word matters.
Will you ask, pray, and consider what your One Word will be this year? Bring focus and growth into your new year; instead of having twenty-five goals, choose One Word through which all of those goals are filtered. And when you have it, I’d love for you to share it with me.
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