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Your One Word Matters

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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 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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8 thoughts on “Your One Word Matters

  1. I love this post; having an annual One Word is a fantastic way to help give me purpose and focus. This year, my One Word is Challenge, and I’m anticipating an interesting twelve months seeing how that Word plays itself out in my life.

    • Challenge is a perfect Word for you Michele because God has given you a spirit of excellence. You will thrive this year climbing each mountain ahead. I believe you are being prepared for an even greater journey in 2015!

  2. My yearly words have all come easily to me except for this year. I was really struggling trying to “find” God’s word for me. Then I saw it on Instagram & knew right then & there, it was my word. ABIDE! As in: to wait for, endure without yielding. I’m going through some changes this year & I know God’s telling me to abide in Him & not give up.

    • Kim, wow I love your One Word. I pray that as you press into Abiding this year, you will find deep peace in Christ amidst all your transitions, and be able to look back in 2015 with great joy at all God accomplished for you in 2014. #abide

  3. Love this & love hearing about your word. My word for 2014 is abide. I’ll be honest, never really thought much about the word abide but when I happened to catch it on an instagram feed & saw the defintion I knew God was placing that was my word on my heart for a reason.

  4. This is my first year following through with a word & I really struggled with coming to the word. At first I thought my word would be Discipline: I need to be disciplined so I’m more productive in my home-based business, consistent in homeschooling my kids, and disciplined in making time for the Word of God. Then, I thought it wasn’t so much “discipline” as it was Obedient to do the thing I *know* I should be doing. After more reading, praying, thinking, I decided to look at what I *wanted* — to be more productive, to grow my relationship with God, family, other people. Then I had to dig deep and ask myself WHY I wasn’t the way I *wanted* to be. I heard “you’re not using your time wisely. You can be lazy. You find excuses”. So, I thought my word was EFFORT. I needed to be making an EFFORT to do what I need to be doing. Then, a friend asked me if the word “effort” would spur me towards godliness & good works. When I thought about it, I thought effort sounded like drudgery. Then, I came across the word INTENTIONAL and after doing some internet searches, I realized my word was to be INTENTIONAL. After I came across your blog and read it, I *knew* my chosen word of INTENTIONAL was it! Your blog hit all aspects that I was trying to define. This is my first year going through this process & I’m excited to experience the journey.

    • Patricia, thank you for sharing your word and process with me. I love that we are sharing the same One Word. I believe God will meet us on our quest to be more intentional this year in every aspect of life. I’ll check in on you!

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