Can I just say it?
How can it already be 2018? I’m still trying to catch my breath after all that 2017 held. I don’t know about you, but last year was kind of a crazy year for our family. I can look back now and better see why God had me focus on the word Intentional.
Here, at what is probably the quietest time of my year, I am preparing for the unknowns the coming days will hold. I love the early days of January where I can be still. Where there aren’t a lot of demands on me.
I know some people like to create a list of resolutions, and that works for some. For the last number of years, I’ve focused on one word. I’m always surprised at how God brings my One Word to life in my heart. These are my previous words:
Last year, God showed me the importance of being intentional in how I invest myself—my time, my energy, my words. Raising two teen boys gave me lots of practice on being intentional about what I said . . . and what I didn’t. As they grow in expressing themselves, I’ve had to choose my responses more carefully. Those crazy teen emotions were sometimes triggered at one mis-spoken word.
God showed me that, before I can live Intentional I must know what my priorities are. He gave me four areas that to focus on last year. These helped guide me in the choices I faced.
When I consider each choice I’m offered, I must also look beyond the choice itself to the impact it will have on those around me—especially my family.
And, with the busy-ness the year held, I chose to be intentional about spending time with the Lord daily.
Time with Him breathed calmness into the craziest days. Enabled me to hold my tongue when one of the boys tested me. God also helped me to view situations through His eyes and to respond accordingly.
Each September, I begin praying about the word God will have me focus on for the coming year. Every year, I’m surprised at the word He gives me. As certain words I liked came to mind, I listed them. Words that seemed recur in my days also went onto that list.
Early in December, during my quiet time, God shared a verse that stopped me.
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
After this, one specific word popped up over and over—in my quiet times, in songs I listened to, in conversations. I thought I knew a lot about this word. As I come across it in the context of God’s word, I now have a lot of questions. I want to understand my One Word better.
My key verse for the year is Romans 15:13—
As I meditate on what God taught me about being intentional, I suspect He will use some of those lessons to help me better understand what Hope really is, how it operates in a Christian’s life, what the benefits are, and how hope impacts our choices.
What about you? Do you focus on One Word or on creating resolutions . . . or on something else? If you’re a one-word person, I’d love to hear your word and what God’s shown you about it.
I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth