Every year, for the past three years, I have picked one single word to focus on for the next 365 days. It allows me to intentionally work on whatever that word encapsulates, and let God do the rest. I’ve found that it works much better than a New Year’s Resolution, because it’s hard to fail just one goal, amiright?
My first word was “surrender.” That year, I saw what it looked like to give everything up, including my scary future, to the one who holds it all in His hands. It was especially helpful with college hunting and decision-making. However, I’m quickly realizing that the lesson is coming back, and I still have so much to learn in that department.
The next year’s word was “enough.” I wanted to learn how to find everything in Christ. He needed to be first in my life and enough for my heart. Of course, He provided that lesson, but that wasn’t all. By the end of the year, I also learned that I was enough. One teensy weensy example of that would be surviving without makeup, and that was HUGE. (more on that HERE!)
My word for 2016 was “abide.” To “abide” means to stay, wait for, dwell, and remain. I wanted to focus on abiding in Christ, and letting His promises abide in me. Here came the bonus lesson: I had to abide this summer. Long story short, I didn’t live at home this past summer because of an internship and left my fellowship at home. I honestly wouldn’t have made it through the summer without spending a ton of time with my main man, Jesus.
This year was quite a bit different. I didn’t even want this word. In fact, I scoured the stupid site to try to find a different one that would stick out as much as this one did. But alas, here we are.
Pause, relax unashamedly.
I don’t want to pause. I don’t want to be still. I’m constantly busy. Busy means productive, right? Wrong. Busy, without rest, means worn out. I want to learn how to rest in a way that is refreshing and doesn’t leave me feeling guilty for taking a load off.
Pause, look intentionally.
I want to be aware of the needs of those around me. I don’t want to be blind to their pain or, even worse, pretend it doesn’t exist. I want to help bring them out of their brokenness as God calls me out of my own. Ignorance is not bliss.
Pause, speak gracefully.
When I’m speaking to people, I want to pause and think about how they might receive what I’m saying. When I’m angry or feeling quite sassy (which is most of the time), I want to pause, take a few breaths, and think before I lash out.
Pause, listen attentively.
When I’m listening to people vent, I want to actually listen. You know, the age-old trick of listening to understand. I want to actually hear them out instead of spending the whole time thinking about what to say next.
Pause, stop immediately.
When I’m about to do something [stupid], I want to stop and ask myself what my real motives are. I need to learn to keep them in check and stay true to myself. I want a clean heart. I want a glorifying attitude.
Pause, think truthfully.
When my puny little brain is being detrimental to poor little Colleen, I want to pause and ask if what I’m thinking is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.
Pause, breathe easily.
When I’m worried about the future, I want to pause and live just for today. He is good, He loves me, He is in control, and He has a plan. I want to stop, remember God’s faithfulness, and bask in that for a while.