I wrote this for my newsletter last week and felt led to share it here as well. I hope it encourages you.
Are you familiar with the practice of taking on a word for the year? It seems to be an updated version of making New Year’s Resolutions.
The idea is to prayerfully consider a single word, preferably a verse to go with it, and strive to be a better person based on the word.
For example, my word for last year was a combo of 2 words: Intentional Investment.
I wanted to be more intentional in how I spent my time. Because how we spend our time isn’t just about how we spent our day but what we chose to invest in.
Think about what you did yesterday as an investment. Who did you invest into? Friends? Co-workers? Children? Spouse? Neighbors? Yourself?
What were you investing in? Heaven? Entertainment? Self? Worldly goods?
Ahhh Now you see how important it is to be intentional or else we’d waste our time.
Now, I’ll confess. I didn’t invest very well last year. It was an improvement. But there were still so many more ways I would have liked to have improved. But lifelong change takes a great deal of time and effort.
I used those words to guide my personal and writing life. In writing, I could see it playing out better. I spent part of the year fine-tuning my brand and target audience. I was being intentional in who I was writing for and how I would meet with them.
As 2020 came to a close, I considered keeping those words for 2021 because I still saw where I needed to improve. But the Lord had other plans for me and led me to “Be Brave” instead.
Now, you may look back at my silly picture and think that I must be rather brave to publicly share it, but laughing at myself has always been easy. (I was playing around with my son’s sunglasses. I don’t think he found me as cute as I did. 😉 Teenagers. LOL )
However, I’m afraid of failing.
I’m afraid of never catching a break.
Or of never finishing a task.
Or of the task itself.
I’m often cowering under a daunting to-do list, both in my personal and writing life.
I’m afraid of change.
I’m afraid things will never go back to normal.
I’m afraid of the future.
I’m even afraid of the present on most days!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 1 Timothy 1:7
In my head, I know why I don’t have to be afraid and yet fear often lingers or returns for me.
If I’ve learned anything from last year, is that you can’t accept a word for the year, then tuck it away and forget about it. You have to remember it. You have to remember why you chose it. You have to physically put it to practice.
It’s not a wish that you toss into a fountain. It’s a prayer. It’s a desire.
I want to approach my word differently this year by keeping them out in front of me. Posting them near my desk. Writing them in my Bible. Whatever it takes. But I don’t want to forget the prayer that God has placed on my heart. This area that He’s pointed out to me needs working on.
Maybe you’re new at this Word of the Year thing. It’s not too late to adopt a word for yourself and see how God uses that theme throughout the year in your life to challenge and change you. You’re welcome to borrow either one of mine. But as I was preparing this message for you, another suggestion came to mind.
Consider one of these words for your year:
As the fruits of the Spirit, either one of these words would be more than worth living your 2021 around.
I’d love to hear from you!
Are you choosing a word of the year or making any resolutions? I’d love to hear about them! And if you’re interested in any of these words for the year, you’re welcome to download them and keep them with you.