Each year I ask God to show me a word to focus on for the coming year. Since I have started this practice, I have been amazed at the events that my life encounters directly related to the word of my focus. For example...
2009 found this to be my word. I felt a selfishness buried deep in my soul that I knew I needed to work on. I wanted to learn to give of my time, possessions, money, and my very self.
When I selected this word, I had no idea we would be asked to take in our little guy, let alone adopt him.
What God has taught me about my own selfishness has not been easy but oh so necessary. What God has shown me in the Bible and in the world around me about the blessings of generosity has been so revealing and affirming.
This was my word the year of 2005... the year that I realized I wanted to quit working FT and be a SAHM mom again. It was a long process. That desire awakened in my heart in Feb. of 2005 and I was not able to change to PT until June of 2007.
I had no idea that God gave me that word for that year knowing that I would need to learn to be content in His plan and His timing.
(Interestingly enough -and due to a number of situations- I am now back to working FT. Thankfully my husband is able to be with our children while I am working!)
This was my word selected for one year. As I began praying about a new word for the next year, this word continued to come to mind. I soon realized I was not being released from this word. It was my word of the year for two years in a row.
When I began 2010 with this as my word, I was sure my main focus would be learning to extend grace to others. Little did I know that God had plans to venture to the very depths of my soul, and that in those hidden places I would need to learn and be willing to extend grace... to myself.
This was my word for this last year of 2013. On this side of it, I have no doubt that the focus on this word carried me through many days. To not just let things happen (or not), but to be intentional and purposeful.
I will readily admit that just because I focus on a specific word for a year does not mean I have mastered it when the year is up! Far from it.
I could still use work in the areas of generosity, contentment, discipline, grace, intentionality... and every other word I have ever chosen as a focus for a year.
What it does mean is that I have many situations experienced, lessons learned, and Scriptures revealed that have molded that word deep into my memory and my heart. I have a greater sense of the true meaning of that word and how it should apply in my life.
Although I do believe I have been given my word of focus for 2014, it has not been my practice to share my current word of the year. I leave it between me and God alone. I feel that this allows for a more objective application of it into my life.
My style is to find Scriptures that apply to my word. I have heard of some people that choose a Scripture to focus on for the year.
Either way, I find it a great exercise in personal character growth. To have something that is a specific area of focus keeps me aware of the situations around me and chiseling away at the debris in my heart that needs a bit of attention.
Have you ever tried a similar thing before? Do you have a similar practice?
If you don't and would like to give it a try I would encourage you to go for it!