In the past I have always focused on a phrase or a few key words for the new year. I will write them down, talk about them, but by the summer I almost always have forgotten them. This year, a friend challenged me to come up with ONE WORD. She did it last year and it really made a huge impact on her. (When looking at devotionals to start the year, I noticed this one that also suggests the success of having ONE WORD for your year).
I have never been good at limiting things down to ONE. If someone asks me my FAVORITE, I will always list a few items. Or if I need to get ONE thing done for the day, it ends up being a list of 3-5 things that HAVE to be done. But I was up for the challenge.
My friend, knowing about my desire to start this blog, and so many other dreams I have, recommended the word be START. I read this book by Jon Acuff last year and it encouraged me to take steps forward. But after prayer (and receiving a bunch of similar themed books), I felt the Lord speak this word to my heart. Are you ready for it?
That's it. Two letters. But God spoke so clearly to me this word. It came in a whisper but then the doubt, conversation, and mind racing began. That's it?! No big major accomplishment like ACHIEVE or COMPLETE. No powerful earth shattering word like OVERCOME or EXCEL. Nope, just be.
I knew it had to be God, because I would NEVER choose this word. I am a DOer. As an assistant, one of my favorite things is a TO DO LIST. I love the little things that I get done in a day. I must admit that I sometimes even write things that I have already accomplished, just so I can cross them off. I like to see all that filled my day and make another list for the next day. The idea that my word would be START or COMPLETE, would feel so easy and measurable to me. But BE? That does NOT come naturally to me. Honestly, I don't think I am alone in this. With a culture of Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media, we have a generation focused on all the amazing things that we have done every day. Nike encourages us to "Just DO it", Amex says "DO more", and HP challenges us to "Invent". Our world is moving faster and we need to DO all we can to keep up; at least that is what we think. But here is what God challenged me:
Colleen, this year I want to you to BE. Your identity can so easily become wrapped up in WHAT YOU DO rather than WHO YOU ARE. I plan to accomplish great things through you, but none of what you DO should BE about you anyway. You are a mouthpiece to speak, hand to reach, and foot to step out toward others FOR ME. Before you can DO anything great for the Kingdom, you need to first rest, trust, and look to Me. This year My word for you is BE. Just Be. Everything you do, how you act, interact, and react, is a direct reflection of who you are. I don't want you to act like me, but to BE like me.
Wow. Okay, but how do I DO that? What list can I make to BE the best wife, mom, assistant, Christ follower?
That is the challenge I face on week two of the journey. I think this is the struggle Christ intended for me to have. The truth is, God approved of Jesus before he DID anything. He loved Him because of WHO he is and the same is true for us. The battle is that instead of DOING things that help me to BE a better person, I want to BE the kind of person that naturally DOES those things. This is the same for our relationship with God. He chose us while we were still sinners, before we DID anything right. And we couldn't DO enough to make Him love us any more. His desire is for us to BE in Him, and let Him DO the work in us. So that is my plan for the next 361 days, and I am not sure I can DO anything about it (ha ha!).
Do you set a word, phrase, goal for the year? If so, what is it and why?
Does BEing or DOing come more easily for you?