A couple of years ago I decided to forego the annual resolution gig. Not that I was always good about making resolutions. Nor was I good about keeping them once I made them. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes and result in guilt rather than growth. Honestly, if I made it to February, I would celebrate that as a win. Two years ago I stumbled upon a lot of friends and bloggers who had sworn off resolutions and instead were beginning each new year with a theme word – a word they would aspire to; a word they would grow toward – rather than a behavior, they would run away from.
I liked the idea. A lot.
Last year was my first year with a theme word and it made all the difference. Choosing one word gave me a focus that no resolution every had. It gave me a clarity about decision-making. It gave me a plumb line by which I measured growth and movement. It pushed me forward without weighing me down with guilt.
After a lot of prayer time, the word I selected/received for 2014 was courage. I made a promise to God that I would be courageous. I would take chances that were out of my comfort zone. I would say “yes” to invitations God sent my way that would challenge me or push me. Throughout the year I kept a list of how God participated with me in this theme word adventure.
Without a theme word, I would have missed the connections. With a theme word, I saw the thread woven throughout the last year. With a theme word, I looked at invitations, people and experiences differently than I ever had with resolutions.
A month ago I began praying about a theme word for 2015. My word is freedom. I want to truly live as a person who believes at her very core that her worth is found in God’s fierce love for her, nothing else. My worth is not in my job or how busy I am. My contentment is not found in possessions or material comforts. My emotions are not enslaved to food nor a number on the scale. My value is not dependent on the opinion of others. None of these things are bad in and of themselves but when I expect them to do things for me that they are not meant to do, I abdicate my freedom to them. I become a slave. And God loves me way too much to allow me to live a life enslaved to anything other than His righteousness.
Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
Romans 6:17-18, The Message
His freedom. That is what I’m growing towards in 2015.
Want to join me in the one-word challenge? Already do this? I’d love to hear your one word for 2015 and your own experiences with a theme word if you do this as well. Leave a comment and share your story.