For the past couple of years I’ve chosen a word to guide me through the year. In 2014 I used the word Simple, in 2015 Listen, and then last year Create. In the few years that I have done this, I have seen a tremendous change in myself.
Since choosing the word “simple”, I have become more mindful of my time, money, space, relationships and things. I came to realize that with this one life I’ve been given, I need to be more aware of how I spend my days and who and what I surround myself with.
To concentrate on the word “listen”, I became a better friend, wife, and mother. I’ve learned to really listen. I change the station when music or a tv show comes on that my soul knows I shouldn’t hear. I stop those voices in my head that are telling me lies. I spend time listening for God’s voice.
Last year I truly embraced the gift God gave me to create. I made bags, dolls, aprons, and lovies to sell in order to give all the proceeds to missional organizations. I honed my craft to become a better artisan. I went on an artist retreat and spent a week with others who are like me. Instead of being embarrassed about this need to create, I’ve embraced it and am using it to bring joy to others.
This year I prayed about my word. I had no idea what it should be. Then with this election year, I realized how damaging words can be. Receiving a sweet card from a friend, I know the power of encouragement from the written word. Reading the Bible I kept coming across verses about being careful with our words, the power of words to build up and to destroy. My word of 2017 is “Words”. It isn’t very pin worthy, but it does keep me focused on what I believe is important for me this year.
I’ve been known to speak before thinking and this usually has me in a state of pulling my foot out of my mouth afterwards. What if I were to T.H.I.N.K. before speaking? What if I asked myself…Is it true, is it helpful, is it inspirational, is it needed and is it kind?
In order for me to be encouraging and truthful, I need to have my heart filled with what is true and right and filled with love. Have you ever noticed how the topics of conversation depend on who you are with. When you are with Connie Complainer, do you agree with her negative thoughts and fuel her negativity? What about your conversations with Gabby the Gossip? Or Sally Sludge-Mouth? It is so easy to fall into ugly conversations when we are around people who don’t have happy hearts. On my own devices, I fall right in there with the judging, gossipy, ugly speech. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 The Word is active and living. Jesus said that she who abides in Him will have life. To have my heart filled with love, I must pour into my heart the only true, unfailing, everlasting love which can only come from Jesus. I plan to drink up the words in my bible.I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk? Here are some actions I’d like to practice:
*Fill my heart, soul and mind with things of God by reading the Word of God.
*Increase my prayer time, my conversations with God.
*Practice the habit of pausing before speaking and T.H.I.N.K.
*With eyes that can see the good in everyone, compliment others.
*Write cards of encouragement.
*Continue to write a blog that finds joy in the ordinary, messy, beautiful thing called life.
In a world that is saturated with hate, judgements, lies, corruption, and self importance, it isn’t easy to stay joyful. In a nation that is split in two, protesting, looting and killing, I’m more and more convinced that our words mean something. I can’t change the world, but I can do my part to show people the love of God through laughter, notes, cards, sweet conversations and even through this blog.
Do you have a word of the year? I’d love to hear about it! Let’s encourage one another to stay on track. Thank you for stopping by!