2019: ONE WORD
There is such power in the spoken word, even the words we softly whisper to ourselves. I often catch myself analyzing what others say, but I think my time would be better spent being mindful of what I am saying to myself. I have a tendency to talk to myself, especially when I am alone. Sometimes it is just meaningless chatter filling the quietness around me. Other times it might be an affirmation for a task completed or a condemnation for something I failed to accomplish. Whatever it is, I’m not sure I always grasp the impact those whispers can have on my psyche.
A term many are using these days is “mindfulness”. While there are many definitions of mindfulness, Webster seems to describe it best as the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something. Mindfulness is a popular term in our vocabulary, but it is nothing new. Paul new the importance of this practice when he advised the brethren in Philippians 4:8.
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s Word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
What we whisper to ourselves day in and day out matters. In fact, it matters a great deal. It shapes our words, our actions, and our view of everything around us. This is why Paul directed the believers to be mindful of praiseworthy thoughts. He knew the power of our mind.
As I am looking toward 2019, I have been reflecting on this past year and pondering what the next year will bring. During
conversations over the holidays my oldest daughter and I were discussing the dreaded New Year’s resolutions! Do we make them or not? She mentioned that someone she followed on social media suggested choosing one word versus making a list of resolutions. This caused me to think—What word would I choose? The more I thought, the longer my list became. I never realized the power that could be contained in one word.
Here are a few of my possibilities.
You probably noticed these words are ACTION verbs. Any of these actions could extend to every aspect of our lives—spiritual, social, emotional, and physical. I also considered a few nouns.
These words also represent action (in my mind) and have the potential to impact every component of life as well. All of these words seem worthy of a New Year’s resolution for 2019!
As an over-achiever I am tempted to choose more than one; after all, I should be striving in all of these areas, right? Yet, we all know what happens when we take on too much. I have a sneaking suspicion that any one of these words would expand in meaning and application as we listen to God speak.
Seriously consider joining me in selecting ONE WORD for 2019.
Where specifically is God asking to focus your thoughts this year? What is He wanting you to do?
Select a Scripture to accompany your ONE WORD. For example, if your word is LOVE, you may want to choose one of the passages below.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. I John 4:11-12
If your word is FREEDOM, you may want to choose Galatians 5:1.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Write your word and Scripture down and place it where you can see it on a daily basis. Be mindful.
Speak your word and Scripture daily to yourself and to God. Paul reminds us in Philippians 4 that as we center our minds and implant these words in our hearts, the God of peace with be with us.
Start a ONE WORD Journal. Write down your daily thoughts, Scriptures and experiences that God is bringing into your life around your chosen word.
On a side note, I have to share with you what has happened since I drafted this initial blog. I prayed about my list of words and I selected one word that I felt God was pressing on my heart. I wrote it down and an accompanying Scripture. In less than twenty-four hours God has shown up BIG. I started with one verse; I now have five! During our church service this morning, four songs spoke of the one word I chose. Don’t you just love how God let’s us know he is ever present? He is so good.
You may be wondering what my word is. I am not quite ready to share. I am sensing I have much more to learn. Stay tuned!
As we close out 2018 and welcome in 2019, I am thankful for every educator called to make a difference in the lives of children. You are so important. May God fill you up with His presence as you take on the challenges of the upcoming year. I leave you with one of my favorite prayers in the Bible.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
What will your one word be for 2019?