Like many of you, I have the habit of picking a word for the year, my one word. I’ve been doing this for maybe eight or nine years? I remember the first year I chose a word and I think, if I remember correctly, I was in counseling at the time for anxiety and obsessive thoughts. That was around the time my ten-year-old was a baby–hello postpartum hormones magnifying mental distress.
I used to have a piece of paper in the front of my Bible with each year’s word and then the cover tore off my Bible. My only record of previous words are posts here. I’ve chosen More, Give, Purpose, and Steady. I do remember in years past choosing, JOY, TRUST, MODESTY.
Back to this year. I thought I had chosen my word almost a month ago, “Go Bravely.” It came to me one day while I was considering the year ahead and some various goals, plans, and dreams I had for my blog, using essential oils for our health and wellness, and our family as a whole, including spiritually and financially. And “Go Bravely” seemed to fit nicely…until it didn’t.
Out of nowhere, two days before the end of the year I suddenly found myself with a brand new word for the year. And as much as I disliked God changing my word at the last minute, this new word fit like a glove, as the saying goes. And this was very much a God thing. I wasn’t thinking about or considering a word for the year because I was already nicely situated in my one word.
One evening sitting in the chair in my bedroom I knew my one word for the year was “Grow.” I also knew the accompanying Scripture verse. I guess when God changes your one word at the last minute, sometimes you’re lucky enough to keep the same verse from last year.
I am so excited about this word! It perfectly encapsulates so many areas of my life I intend to grow in this year-spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
One of the best decisions I made in 2018 was to commit to reading a One Year Bible. The spiritual growth and closer friendship with God that came about through that one seemingly small act have been immeasurable! Of course, there were a couple of days where I got behind, but not many, and I quickly caught back up. I wrote an entire post about reading my One Year Bible here. The highlights are: I set myself up for success by purchasing a One Year Bible with all the readings laid out in a year-long format. I also kept it super simple–if I thought something, I wrote it down in the margin. If a verse made me stop and think, I underlined it and then went back and highlighted it so I had the chance to read it twice. And as for highlighting, I used the first one I grabbed, no color coding, no premeditated thoughts, nothing.
I’ve already started back up with a different One Year Bible for this year. I want to continue to grow in the knowledge of God, in the truths I’m taught and in closer friendship with Him.
I want to grow my prayer life this year. To do this I will be picking back up my prayer journal. I need to make some tweaks to it; mothering young adult children has a way of changing your prayers. Once I get it back in proper working order I’ll share what it looks like and how I’m using it this year.
I started last year off with a bang! And then life kicked my legs out from under me and then kicked me while I was down and physical exercise was the last thing I wanted to do when I felt like I could barely breathe (kind of figuratively speaking). I commit to walking on my treadmill again this year because it is so very good for me for so many reasons.
Did you know walking has been proven more effective than anti-anxiety meds to treat anxiety? Yep, my counselor of years ago told me that. I live out in the county and I don’t feel comfortable walking on the road so I opt for my treadmill most days. Sometimes Chris and I will walk in the field and that’s even better; the terrain is different and the effects of the outdoors are even better, plus the company isn’t bad.
I also started lifting weights here at home last year with noticeable results. I’m 46 (days away from 47) and lifting weights is great for a woman of my age. The physical results are fun to see and I just feel so strong and powerful! I also have a strong family history of Diabetes and I notice walking and weights kept my normal blood sugar in a really good normal range. (I check occasionally since I do have a strong family history.)
This year I want to grow physically strong by exercising–walking, lifting or doing a Fitness Blender video 4-6 times a week.
Last year hit hard, I know you this. In looking back I realized I’m an absorber. I absorb the turmoil of the people around me. I also allow others to use me as a punching bag. I let them say what they want and then when they’ve had their say and gotten their crap off their chest, I’m left to limp away in a battered, terrible mess. It’s like their words are a bullet that makes a clean entry but then pings around and shreds my insides. Lord if this doesn’t literally tear me up inside. At times, almost paralyzing so.
It’s only after bleeding half to death that I’m able to work through it enough to realize, the majority of the time, it wasn’t about me, I was just convenient, safe, a scapegoat they knew wouldn’t retaliate or leave.
And I still won’t retaliate or leave, but my emotional growth this year means I won’t allow others to tear into me and try to cause me pain because they can’t bear their own pain. I won’t allow others to drag me into their confusion and drama because they’re lonely in there.
Emotional growth for all of us means realizing other people are not responsible for our feelings. We are free to choose. People may have let us down, hurt us, or abandoned us, but they can’t force us how to feel. I for one am choosing joy, peace, forgiveness, contentment. I’m sick of being wrapped up in negative emotions and baggage-mine and others. I’m sick of other people demanding I take account for their bad behavior. I’m tired of people convicted or offended and blaming me.
This reminds me of when my girls took swimming lessons. The instructors always taught that when someone is drowning do not jump in to rescue them, they’ll take you down with them out of fear and survival instinct. People are afraid in this world and they look for someone to accuse or blame because they can’t handle their fear. I get it. I’ve done it. It kept me afraid.
Instead of jumping in to rescue someone, you toss them a life-saving device. Well, the best life-saving device I know is Jesus, His Church, and the Sacraments. From now on picture me as one of those airline runway workers in a bright colored vest with two lights in my hand directing hurting friends and family towards Jesus!
Mentally this year I plan to grow by becoming more of producer and less of a consumer. Well, wait, that’s not entirely true. I will consume less sporadic junk, most importantly, less social media scrolling and consuming information that has no value or use in my life. I will read more books. I will finish the books I start. I will focus on what will help me to grow healthy and strong in all areas of my life and leave the dribble alone, not even behind, I simply won’t go to it.
There are some areas I want to grow in this year mentally. First, health and wellness. In November I joined a Young Living team led by a former Family Physician. The amount of useful and helpful information I’ve learned in the last sixty days has been incredible, not only for myself but for family and friends who just weren’t operating at their best. The more I learn about essential oils the more I’m amazed at God’s perfect design. I plan to continue to learn more effective ways to treat our bodies better in sickness and in health using the means God provided from the beginning.
I am also learning the business side of Young Living this year. Mental growth to me means expanding my possibilities. Not only has Young Living already started supporting the health and wellness of our family, it has also started to provide financial growth as well. The thing about the financial growth side of the company is that it requires personal growth, so it’s a “two-fer.”
Mentally growing the business means I have to get over myself. I have to get over people and their preconceived ideas of growing a Young Living business. This goes along with my emotional growth; other people’s problems do not have to become mine. I believe in the oils and supplements, I have my husband’s blessing and support, I’m good. I would love for you to join me.
So there’s a maybe not so brief explanation of my one word, “Grow”, and how it will become a part of my new year. Soon I’ll post some accompanying verses, quotes, and even songs that will help to keep me connected to my one word this year.