Saturday, January 5, 2013

My One Word For 2013

I have been trying for days to load more Christmas pictures to share with all of you, but for whatever reason I have been unable to do so.  I think it is because I am supposed to share the following with you instead.  Please bear with my ramblings.

I have long admired disciplined people who can set goals and see them through to the finish.  I have never been one of those people, but I have long admired them.

I have also been fascinated over people who can align their focus to one thought or word for an entire year.  My friend Stacy likes to use rhyming statements like "A Bovine in '09" (which she accomplished by the way with not one but three bovine in 2009).   At Wilcrest Baptist, Rodney themed every year.  The last full year I was there was the Year of Revival which was rich and deeply personal to me. 

As you all know, I have tried setting monthly goals (2010 - didn't make it out of January with those); quarterly goals (2011 - didn't make it to May); and last year I tried just listing six year long goals (I saw one all the way through the year and one other through 'most' of the year).  Improvement?  Yes.  But still not able to make the changes that I so desired.

When the time came to make a list of goals for 2013 I just couldn't do it.  I have tried and failed so many times before that I just couldn't bear to write down 'lose weight' or 'find a home church' another time.  Well, actually I did make the list...but it depressed me so I tore it out and threw it in the trash.

I opened my new devotional instead and began to read. 

{the following few paragraphs are a rabbit trail to be sure...but an important part of the story as well}

One of our new traditions with grown children is that I place a new devotional in each of their stockings.  Last year I bought the same one for myself and the girls, but I bought for the boys according to their individual taste.  I wasn't a big fan of the one I bought for us girls last year and ended up purchasing a new one for myself by the time February rolled around. 

This year I really wanted a certain one for me and the girls, but I forgot to order them and had to settle for what was in stock.  Let me tell you that it is not easy to find four of the same devotional anywhere and this year I needed seven copies (some were for other gifts).  After circling Lifeway for what must have been the tenth time, my eyes fell on an end cap display with more than enough and from a name that I had used before and enjoyed.  So, I bought seven copies of The One Year devotions for Women: Becoming a Woman at Peace by Ann Spangler.  I had read her devotional on the names of God years ago and got a lot out of it.  (By the way, I also purchased one devotional for all the guys because trying to remember what I had given each one last year was way too hard!  Theirs is Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado.  And yes, this note is so that I have a record for next year!)

Back to my original story...

As I read the acknowledgments and introductions, a phrase caught my eye.  It was much like the quote from Ann Voskamp that I found last January and that spent the whole year on my kitchen chalkboard as a reminder.  So I replaced one Ann's words with the other:

One of the most important Hebrew words in the Bible, shalom conveys the idea of peace, tranquility, satisfaction, success, prosperity, healing, completeness, safety, well-being, and good relationships between people and nations.  Rich and multi-faceted, shalom sums up all the blessings God gives to those he loves.
Ann Spangler 'Becoming a Woman at Peace' Introduction
A few days later I came across Ann Voskamp's post about her word for 2013 (which is {with} IN, just in case you were wondering).  In that post she had a photo of the book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen.  The thought so intrigued me that I immediately went online to see if there was a copy available at my local Barnes and Noble.  I picked it up on the way home. 
I began to read the story behind how this 'movement' began.  It is a fascinating concept to me.  Mr. Ashcraft begins the book with the story of how he decided to keep a list of all the things he needed to start doing or stop doing as was given over just one week of watching a morning news show.  By week's end the list was overwhelming, to say the least.  But somewhere in the back of his mind one word kept impressing itself on him so that he tossed out the list and wrote it down instead.  After several months of living with this word he states, "In looking through the lens of a single chosen work, I found a new approach to personal change and spiritual formation - one that is doable, memorable, effective, and sticky.  The results have been greater than I expected."
That sounds exactly like what I need.  Something doable...memorable (past week 2 of 2013)...effective...sticky.  So, I began reading the process of how to choose My One Word.  It was then that I realized that My One Word had already chosen me. 
Or rather that the Lord had chosen My One Word for me...way back in the middle of December as I struggled through Lifeway for the tenth time to find seven copies of the same devotional.  (I had already made phone calls and Internet searches to locate seven copies of the one I went in to purchase to no avail.  While in the store, no less!)  I was praying and asking God to lead me to the right one, which I was sure was the one I already had in mind.  But He had other plans. 
And so, My One Word for 2013 is this:
= Peace
I hesitate to share this with you all, not because I fear what someone might say or that I want to keep a secret.  I hesitate because I have an awful habit of failing to keep up with something once it is brought into the 'open'.  If I exercise five times a week for three weeks in a row and happen to mention it to a friend at lunch -- I never go again.  If I read the Word every morning for months on end and then post something about it on Facebook, I can assure you that by the following week I am off the wagon.  And so it is that I ask you all for your prayers in this endeavor.  That 'Shalom' would be ever present in my mind and on my heart and that the end of 2013 would find me to be 'A Woman At Peace'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Contentment should probably be my word. Not that I'm contented with much at the moment but I need to reach contentment and peace within myself. As that is the only person that I can change. I do hope and pray that you are able to meet your goal.