Scratch that. I'm great at making New Year's resolutions. When I was a kid, I would make a very detailed list of all the ways I would change in the new year. I found an old list not long ago, in fact, in my teenage handwriting, and had to laugh at my former self.
- Get up earlier.
- Read my Bible everyday.
- Be nicer to my brother.
- Keep my room clean.
Funny...those are still things I'm working on. Which brings me back to my opening statement. I'm great at making resolutions, but lousy at keeping them. Take the list above. I'm sure that by January 15 or so, I'd already had to run for the school bus several times, I'd skipped my devotions more than once, gotten into another argument with my brother, and decided that cleaning up my bedroom was not a important as talking on the phone with my friends. Another year down the drain...and it wasn't even February.
With my record, I was intrigued when I heard about the idea of dumping the idea of resolutions and choosing one word to focus on for the year. And not just choosing what I wanted, but going before God in prayer first to see what He might want to do with my character in the new year. One word. Not a list that I would quit doing halfway thought January. Just one word to guide my thoughts and focus for the year. There was even a website that would help me out with it (www.myoneword.org).
The first year I did this was 2012. I chose the word submit. With three pregnancy losses behind me and our rainbow baby on his way, I knew I needed to have an attitude of submission to God and whatever plan he had for me. I also wanted to be consistent in my submission to my husband and to others around me, putting their needs before my own desires.
The next year, 2013, I chose the word peace. This time, I also adopted a Bible verse, "God is not a god of disorder, but of peace." I felt the need for order - in my home, in my time with the Lord (see? Still working on that teenage list!), and in my time and responsibilities outside the home.
I would love to say that I am now a woman of impeccable order with a gentle and submissive spirit as a result of My One Word.
But those two years were still powerful and meaningful in setting my eyes on those goals, and especially considering what God has to say about them.
I'm excited to join in with this movement again in 2014. My word this year is JOY. It's been nearly five years now since we entered the community of "baby loss", when our daughter Naomi passed away in my fourth month of pregnancy. In the last five years, we said good bye to three babies and hello to our son. We've had the privilege of beginning a ministry, Naomi's Circle, to other parents with babies in Heaven. I've met some incredible people and made lifelong friends as a result of our journey.
It's been a roller coaster time of emotional highs and lows, and my moods have often been dictated by my circumstances. In choosing to focus on joy this year, I'm hoping to change that, and to have my moods more anchored in the changeless truth of God's word than in the changing world around me. That doesn't mean I won't still have times of sadness and even grief. I fully believe joy and grief can and do coexist. That is what I want to learn more about this year and to experience, as that understanding moves from my head to my heart.
If you are interested in hearing more about this, I'll share here what I'm learning throughout the year. But what about you? What one word could you choose to focus on this year? Share it below!