There’s That Word Again

I don’t know about you, but at the beginning of the year I take inventory of my life. Last year was good, but I had little focus and follow through. It seemed the success I had was haphazard, at best. Lucky me, I did fairly well in spite of myself, but there was something missing.

I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately about having a theme word for 2016. I did this in 2014 and the word was DEEPER. That year, I went deeper in all areas of my life – my walk with the Lord became more resolute and He brought me to new places because of my commitment to going deeper.

Have you ever asked God for a word to set the tone for your year? It’s quite eye-opening. I chuckle at the fact that God has such different ideas about what needs to be accomplished than I do. I was inspired by Nikki’s choice of the word SIMPLICITY, because who DOESN’T need to pare down and remove all the distractions? Kristin’s choice of CONSISTENCY spoke volumes to me as well – I could use some consistency in my life, for sure.

I filled 3 pages with words I was hoping might inspire me to move beyond my sluggish vision for myself. They were all great words. Any one of them would have been appropriate. Perfect, even. Words like

MOMENTUM * FORWARD * EMPOWER * GROWTH * RESOLVE * ACTION * INTENTIONAL * CONSISTENT * SAVOR * IGNITE * COMMIT * FOCUS * DILIGENCE * SOAR * PERSISTENCE * YES * DISCIPLINE* BALANCE

You get the idea.

But God doesn’t see what I see. So I asked Him to show me a word to adopt as my theme for 2016. On those 3 pages, I first highlighted all the words that jumped out at me, or “spoke” to me. Now I’m left with about 25 words. Funny thing, I had written the word Intentional about 4 times and highlighted it each time. But I still wasn’t convinced.

Now, instead of SEEING the word “intentional” periodically, I began HEARING it. I’m not kidding. A couple weeks ago on a Saturday I attended a business training class where the speaker emphasized the need to be INTENTIONAL in our business. Emphasized is not even a strong enough word – she must have said it at least 20 times. The very next day, my pastor preached about beginning again in the new year. As he spoke about not settling for being comfortable, about how God has called us move out of our comfort so he can speak to us and through us. This requires being INTENTIONAL about how we use our time and resources. He added, “Don’t you dare set your agenda for the year. Give God the pen and let HIM write your plan.”

Okay, got it. My foray into being intentional needs to include hearing from God for each step.

In 2015  I neglected to choose a word and I was floundering. Busy without being productive. I felt a sense of disconnect between my calling and my reality. Nothing seemed to move forward. It was okay, but certainly not good, and most certainly not great. And not even close to being spectacular or even fabulous. I believe God has placed spectacular gifts inside of us, and it is up to us to use those gifts.

I want the best God has for me. So this year I know the word I need to focus on is INTENTIONAL. I know beyond a doubt that God has called me to great things, as I believe He has called each one of us. The key is, will we answer that call? Will we look toward intentional living so that we are effective for the gospel? Daily that word is before me, and daily I am taking steps to live a life of INTENTION.

I want the best God has for me. So this year I know the word I need to focus on is INTENTIONAL.

0

Every Story Needs a Theme

I’ve been thinking back to a sermon I experienced at Bethel Atlanta in early January, while I was there with all the LifeWords Today ladies to launch Nikki on The World Race.  Steve Hale talked that day about having a vision and a theme for our future.  About how it’s good to take stock in our lives and make adjustments where necessary.  Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” He challenged us to ask God for a verse, a theme, an investment to make that year.  I have had the experience of God giving me a theme song for the year.  That day I started thinking about my theme word for the year.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve also been seeing bloggers talking about their word for the year.  Apparently, this is a thing now.  Instead of New Year’s resolutions, people have been encouraged by websites such as OneWord365 to come up with a theme word to focus on daily.

This word can be a goal you’d like to reach, a state of mind you’d like to achieve or just a revelation about where you’d like to live the story of your life in 2014.

The OneWord365 website says ~

“Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway.

Choose just one word.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.

Discover the big impact one word can make.

One word. 365 days. A changed life.”

Wow. A changed life? Sign me up! I could use some life-changing.  Never a fan of the New Year’s Resolution, I like this idea very much, and since January I have met many people whose lives have been redirected in very positive ways because they focused on one word for the year.  Some of them are on their fourth year of the One Word idea, and it has been life-altering.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and have discovered that if you’re a Christ-follower, you can’t just pull a word out of a hat and have it work. There’s a very big difference between the word or words I wanted to project into my year, and the word that describes what God wants me to do with my year.

For instance, that day at Bethel Church when I first was challenged to come up with a theme word for 2014, I wrote a list of words I hoped would speak into my life.  My first attempt at batting around the possibilities looked like this:

IMG_0977My second list was a basic name it and claim it session with words like abundance, prosperity, plenty, bountiful, clarity, increase & thriving.  But I just couldn’t make them stick. That very first word I wrote on the very first day kept rising to the top.

What I found was a constant desire to go deeper.  Deeper into my spiritual walk.  Deeper into my relationships.  Deeper into my profession of voice acting. Deeper into life. Just. DEEPER.

I want to Dig Deeper.

Feel Deeper.

Look Deeper.

Go Deeper.

Deeper.  The word strikes fear in the hearts of many men and women I know.  They are content to scratch the surface of their lives and never go deeper.  But I am not content with that – I have a  hunger to learn more, see more, reach more, do more.  And when I do, I have a feeling there’s no going back.  Deep cries out to deep.

To go even deeper.

I know it’s March, and I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions like it’s January 5th or something, but if you haven’t spent some time thinking about one word that could drive your year, I encourage you to do so.  All you’ve got to gain is a changed life.

What ONE WORD will you focus on this year?  Share it with us in the comments below. And then listen to my 2014 theme song ~

0