That’s the new thing, isn’t it?
Everyone now skips the New Years Resolutions in favor of a word that represents what their year will be about.
I am proud to say that I have fully bought into this trend. Although, I will say that I remember hearing about this before it was a “thing” and jumping on board then. So…I’m not following the crowd, right?
I’ve been choosing words for the past couple of years and I have watched myself grow as a result of it.
In 2016 my words were “patience” and “time.” I can’t say I improved much on time, but I do think that I have grown in patience as the year progressed.
Towards the end of my year of patience, I felt the word “grace” being laid on my heart. I began to pray about this word and what that would look like in 2017.
I also felt a couple other words would really line up with what my intentions are for this year.
(A sweet friend gave me this adorable little journal last summer. I saved it for the new year and added “2017” on it with some marker. It makes me so happy to look at it because it is really just so pretty.)
Over the last year or so I have really felt the desire to give more. I felt like I needed to be tithing at church and giving to other causes in addition to that and it became really overwhelming to the point of me resenting the act of tithing and stopping altogether.
For me, I feel like it is really easy to “hide” behind the gift of money. Oh, you need me to donate or volunteer to your cause? Sure! I’d be happy to write you a check for that. You want to send a kid to camp or buy Christmas gifts for a family? No problem, I’ll contribute.
But volunteering my time, on the other hand. That’s where it hurts. I am really selfish with my time. (Don’t get me wrong, I am very selfish with my money too.)
This year I am hoping to give more. And not just money- but the gift of my time. Because after all, that’s what matters. Anyone can write a check to a cause or throw a few extra ones in the tithing bucket as it goes around.
But to take away from my precious time that I hold so dearly, that’s hard. That means sacrificing that other thing I wanted to do to be present for someone else. I think God will do good things through this.
During 2016 I felt myself becoming so overwhelmed with everything I felt I needed to do each day that I became to resent things that were important to me. In fact, I spent almost my whole summer off in a state of frustration because “I didn’t have any time to do what I wanted to do” because I was too busy doing things I felt I “needed” to do.
Last spring I went to counseling for various things. It was hard admitting to myself that I needed to go. And even harder admitting it to close people of mine. But it was really probably one of the best things I did for myself in 2016. My counselor and I talked about my need to always have things perfect. (Really we just talked about how controlling I tend to be…This was news to me 😉 ) But through our meetings and our talks I realized how important rest is to me. “Me time” is so crucial to my well being. I didn’t realize this until I started implementing it.
So this year, I am saying “no” to more things and “yes” to more rest. That doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on the couch all the time (although it certainly will entail plenty of that 😉 ). But more time for things that bring me joy. I’ve prioritized a lot of things in my life and had to cut back on some things, and people, that are important to me. But I think that when I make time for myself to refresh and rejuvenate, it will make me a better friend and give me more freedom to enjoy the things that bring me happiness.
Ahhh…Grace…The word that brought me here. Grace.
First of all, screw the English language!
I just went to look up the definition of grace to include in this here little post. And I was greeted with not one, not two, not even three definitions. but EIGHT. EIGHT defintions for grace. No wonder my sweet native Spanish speakers are so lost when it comes to the English language.
But I digress…Grace
Here is a definition I found that I resonated with.
“What is grace? In the New Testament grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means God sending His only Son to descend into hell on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven. ‘(God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’” (2 Corinthians 5:21).1
Found it on allaboutgod.com So…it’s gotta be legit, right?
Either way. Grace is what I want to show people this year. I can tend to be very tightly-wound and controlling some of the time. To the point of losing my cool when other people don’t do things the way I think they should be done. I realize this happens to all of us, it’s human nature. But I don’t want that to be what people think of me when they hear my name.
I want to show people the same love that Jesus showed me. People who don’t deserve my love. People who DON’T DO THINGS THE WAY I THINK THEY SHOULD! Jesus loves them too and so should I. I want to encourage people who don’t deserve encouragement. I want to love people well.
Luckily God has enough grace for the both of us!
What are your words this year? What do you hope to improve on in 2017? I’d love to hear!
Until next time,