Every year in October, I begin praying for the Lord to speak a word or phrase to my heart as a theme to direct my next year. I meditate on it until mid-december, and once the Lord deposits the phrase, I then create an Evernote to journal thoughts and questions to prepare for how those words will guide my year.
In the past I have had words like margin, refresh, and wait. In 2016, God gave me an acronym- D.I.G. (ironic because our theme as a church was BUILD) - which stood for Do it now, be Intentional, and lay the Groundwork. My friend even gave me a necklace with the acronym inscribed that I wore throughout the year. It was was a great conversation starter and held me accountable to live it out.
As I finished 2016 last week, I spent some time reflecting on how I did with the theme. Here are some lessons, successes, and where I fell short:
Do it now- I got much better at picking things up once and doing something with them right away, instead of my natural tendancy to move from pile to pile. This applied from laundry baskets to receipts to projects. I really worked at doing things as I thought of them (ordering birthday gifts when I got the invitation) but still struggled to always respond to texts when I read them. At the end of the year I found myself falling back into the habit of checking emails all day long instead of my goal to check at the start and end of each workday.
Intentional- This was probably my favorite (and a trendy) word and I am proud that I really made an effort to be intentional with all of my relationships. I wrote and sent birthday cards every month! I hosted a monthly small group and made some amazing friends. I would stil like to better focus on "my people" and give them my time and best energy.
Groundwork- this was a cool idea, but I feel like I didn't really reach my full potential in this area. For the Art of Assisting, I met with a different assistant most months, but I didn't do a very good job of creating new friendships with assistants or blogging regularly. In motherhood, I implemented some new routines to help streamline the mornings and evenings, but three kids will overwhelm even rhe most structured mom. Honestly, I know this is the area I need the most work in, so I am not surprised if the Lord challenges me to revisit this word in the future.
Overall, I really enjoyed the phrase and remembered it from beginning to end of the year (which was not the case every year). I added some new habits to be more intentional and effective in my day, but I also struggled to move forward on some new projects. I do give myself grace knowing that my summer was interrupted with the arrival of our third daughter.
So there went 2016. As for the new year, tomorrow I am excited to share my words for 2017.
Your Turn: Did you have a word or phrase last year? What was it and how did you apply it to your year?