New Year, One Word

Sometime around the turn of the year I heard an interesting conversation that was happening on K-Love. I turned the radio on in the middle of the conversation that Lisa and Eric were having with someone (a pastor, I think…). They were talking about New Year resolutions. Their guest was relating how most of us make resolutions in the hope of self-improvement but quickly get discouraged when we are not meeting our many expectations. Soon, we give up. He said it was for that reason that he gave up on making New Year resolutions. So far I was totally with him!

So he decided to choose just one word to focus on throughout the year. That one word would be the area that he wanted to see improvement in, focus on, seek for more of it in his life… You get the drift. Well, apparently it made such a profound impact on his life that it has now become a movement~ My One Word. How have I not heard of this before? Lisa and Eric were relating stories of how choosing one word for the year impacted them this past year. (Read some 2010 stories.) How did I not hear them talking about it last year?

To be honest, I was pretty sick last year at this time. They could have stood before me and screamed it in my ear, and I may have forgotten. It’s been a hard year of trying to get better while also trying to stay on top of all that is entailed in taking care of my family and teaching my children. Once I start really thinking about it, I realize it’s been a really hard 4 years. After the birth of Teeny I spiraled into some nasty postpartum depression. It was a long road to feeling good again. It seemed I had just started to really feel like myself again when I was struck with asthma. It has taken a year to get better again. It’s been a long 4 years.

This idea of choosing one word hit me in just the right place. It really struck a chord. So I took up the challenge. The guest speaker urged us not to choose a word flippantly just because it may be January 1, but rather to take some time to think and pray. What would God have my word be for the year? There are so many words I could think of… healthy, patient, perfect.

As I have been pondering, I realized that I have been feeling more myself over the last month than I have felt in such a long time. What’s been different? I have been happier. And sillier. And dancing more. (I love to dance.) That’s when I realized that I have gotten so serious. Where did my silly self go? Why has it started to come back out? I think I figured it out. I have been listening to this radio station that plays 80’s music. (Sorry, K-Love. You’re still on in the mornings!) It just makes me happy to hear all my old high school and college tunes! My children are regularly tortured because I am trying to make them all dance with me.

Then it struck me. I have become the proverbial Martha. (Luke 10:38-42) I have been worried about many things. We moms can rack up a list of things that have to be done yesterday faster than you could blink an eye. I live in an uber-small house with seven residents, all our stuff, and loads of books. That’s enough stress to turn anyone into Ebenezer Scrooge. And I let it. I need to resurrect that part of me that is the proverbial Mary. I need to sit at Jesus’ feet and not think about my to-do list while I’m there. I need to choose what is better.

I knew immediately what my word needed to be for 2011. Joy. I need more of it. I need to remember to search for it. I need to remember to seek it out. I need it. My husband needs it from me. My children need it from me. So Joy it is. I can’t wait to see what God does!

Will you join me? A great place to start is to read more about My One Word and more about how to choose your word. Their blog includes exercises you can work through during the year.

I also stumbled upon a giveaway related to this idea that is being hosted at Tip Junkie. She was inspired by a similar challenge called One Little Word. It has a lot of similarities to My One Word. You should hop over and check out the giveaway. It ends on January 11.

I hope you’ll join me on this My One Word adventure.

What will your word be?

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