I’ve been pondering on my resolutions / goals / hopes / dreams / (whatever you call it) for 2016 for a while now.
Towards the latter half of 2015, I wrestled with the reality of “letting my ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and my ‘no’ be ‘no’” in my own personal life, thinking about the importance of speaking the truth in every possible way on a daily basis. I am all for making goals, lists, plans of actions, etc. But there is something sacred about committing to one thing, even a small thing, and carrying out that commitment with grace.
I was reading my friend’s blog today (she writes with such honesty, grace, and beauty…you need to read it for yourself) when I ran across the concept of One Word 365 (or I suppose it’s 366 this year since it’s a leap year!).
It is utterly brilliant. Instead of having all of these resolutions, you pick one word that sums up your various goals, dreams, and hopes for the year, and you live with that one word in mind every day.
The funny thing is, I had already had one word floating through my thoughts and popping into my head at random times throughout the last couple of months. I suppose this is best evidenced in my last blog post.
So here it is, 2016…
Immanuel – God with us.
Of course, this is a truth we carry with us every day as believers. However, there are sometimes seasons when that truth becomes more prominent, and this year is already revealing itself to be one of those seasons.
But the planner / goal-oriented / “get-it-done” girl within me wants to come out and play, too. So, here are a few ways I want to practically live out my one word for 2016 –
I will spend more quiet, devotional moments with God at the start of my day. I received this year-long devotional journal by Sarah Young from one of my small group leaders for Christmas. It’s only been a week, but already, it’s slowly transforming the way I quiet my heart and seek His presence. I’ve used several devotionals in the past, but this is one of the best I’ve come across. Great scriptural insight, birthed from a place of intimacy with Jesus, but also very practical and easy to use.
I will read Scripture on a daily basis, knowing that the Word was written to reveal to us that God desires to dwell with us. I wrote a post back in September with my “pre-resolutions” for 2016. I know, call me crazy. But it has actually helped me to keep reading through the Bible on a somewhat more regular basis. I admit, there may have been times when I kept plowing through simply to keep up with the plan. But coming into this year, I want to open my heart more to the fact that the Lord always desires to reveal Himself through Scripture. As I read, He speaks to me.
I will practice gratitude (instead of worrying) by remembering what God has done as I share it with my husband and friends and by reflecting on His nearness as I write it down in my journal and/or blog. There is something powerful about declaring the truth of His faithfulness and goodness in the midst of failure and darkness. I want to live bravely this year. I want to proactively stand against the tide of worrying and grumbling by practicing gratitude.
This is really going to take “God with me” in order to live by these goals and hopes this year. This is when I’m thankful for two things – (1) the gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen me each day and (2) this blog for holding me accountable to do what I say I will do! 🙂
What one word would you pick to live by this year?
P.S. the featured image above was taken by my husband on New Year’s Eve as we worshiped God with almost 20,000 others at the annual OneThing conference hosted by IHOP-KC. Check out the archives here if you’re interested in this last year’s sessions (I personally was moved and convicted by the word Francis Chan gave).