I have been picking “My One Word” for a number of years now. I used to keep a list and of course I can’t find it now, ugh! Look for an upcoming post on what planners I’m using for what this year; I’m tired of jotting notes on scraps of paper that I lose. But back to my one word. I remember some of them: joy, trust, abide, modesty, 2015 was more and 2016 was give. I was starting to get worried this year because my word hadn’t come to me as quickly or easily as years past. I was also relieved and hopeful because the last two years my words were kind of a dud. I think I rushed into picking them or didn’t keep up with them. A friend recently emailed that she needs help keeping her word healthy. Me too.
In the past, my one word has just kind of popped into my head based on circumstance or situation, song or verse or something I’ve read. The beginning of December I started looking, similar to the children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” And, just like the book, each time I stopped to examine the word, it wasn’t my one word. No matter how many scripture verses I could find or songs I already knew, I just couldn’t make those words fit. So the search continued.
Let me back up a bit. 2016 was a year of change and surprises for our family. Our oldest graduated from our homeschool, turned 18, we paid off our house, Chris got a new job, and we took an honest to goodness family vacation to Florida–where our oldest stayed to live; a thought we only had one week to prepare for. Crazy y’all. 2016 was also the first year I finally felt like I was coming out the fog from Chris being gone eight out of twelve months that made up our 2014-2015. In 2016 I felt like my head was finally coming up out of survival mode only to be whacked with some major life changes. The result, as the song says, I “Let it Go.”
Oh, I forgot to mention Chris and I made the decision to actively work The Littlest Way. It’s been in a slow transition from strictly hobby to business (ministry) the last two years anyway. I began to realize the amount of time and effort I was putting in could easily be considered “work” so I started calling it that. And when someone works, it’s reasonable to be paid, so instead of just seeing blog income as book money, I started investing it back into the blog. I know there are millions of websites around and I want to make this one easy to use and enjoyable to visit. The Littlest Way has grown quite a bit in two years and growth costs money. As I consider my upcoming year, I knew I needed to start being intentional with not only our family finances (again) but also my business finances.
Finances are not the only thing I needed to start being intentional with. I’m not a strict schedule, super organized girl, but I do have a large family so some of that just comes with the territory. And when I “let it go”–nutritious meals, morning time for school, following up on chores, well, they went. Here’s a good analogy, I definitely didn’t stay on top of anything–more like ran along beside or even, gulp, chased! I know, not a great atmosphere to live and do and be all that God has called me, my husband, children, and family to do and be for His glory.
How to Pick a Word for the Year
I’ve waffled between a couple words the last couple of days. I even went so far as to telly my sister she hd to change her word for the year because we couldn’t have the same one. Yes, I am the oldest child, why do you ask? She never picks a word and I always do so if we both ended up with the same word, one of us needed to change it and obviously it should be her. She told me, “Hm, sorry I can’t hep you with that, call back tomorrow.” So I kept listening and looking. I had an idea of what I wanted my word to mean and inspire me to do, I just didn’t have “the word.”
I started with this idea, I need to be more intentional, better organized, and have a clear focus for 2017. I looked up synonyms for those words or ideas. I looked up scripture verses. I messaged my friend Candace to ask for song suggestions. When I choose a word, I go all in–quotes, Bible verses, songs, you name it. So, I could kind of see the word, but couldn’t quite make it out clearly. Until New Year’s Eve.
My One Word Needed to Be a Noun and Verb
I needed a word that could double as an idea and an action. I had looked up so many synonyms for so many words it wasn’t even fun any more. I looked up so many scripture verses, and although they were of course lovely verses, they either all had to do with me or with God, not the mutuality I was looking for. I wanted a verse that spoke of a character trait of God but also a characteristic I was striving for towards God and others–not only an ideal but also a plan of action. On New Year’s Eve we had gone to a friend’s house for food, friendship, and football–in no particular order. As my friend Rebecca and I were talking she mentioned she had started reading A Mother’s Rule of Life. Now I had read that book years ago when it first came out and liked it, but the ideas didn’t really resonate with me at the time. I’m not sure of all the words in the sentence Rebecca was saying but she said the word “purpose” and I knew.
I had just read the word “purpose” could be used as a noun–intention, meaning, aim–with synonyms: direction, function, goal, idea, intent, plan, and wish. It could still be used as a noun meaning–persistence and resolve–with synonyms: faith, constancy, resolution, steadfastness (one of my favorite words in the Bible). Still, as a noun it could mean–use, duty, function. Finally, as a verb it means–intend, set sights on–with synonyms: aim, commit, consider, contemplate, decide, determine, meditate, plan, ponder, pursue, work for, work toward.
I hope my thoughts are making a straight line here and not a jumbled mess…
Last week I just started working through Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Year series. I have a private Facebook group set up for those who purchased all three courses from this post, How to Make Over Your Life in 8 Weeks. The first lesson is all about setting your priorities, then your focus and finally your goals. I had been struggling with naming my priorities until I started reading A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul yesterday. (Which by the way Rebecca, if you’re reading this, I’ll buy you a new book. I got tired of writing down the import parts so I started highlighting in it.) Everything started making sense and coming together for 2017–My priorities, my focus, and my goals. I started seeing how purpose as a noun and verb was going to look in my day to day.
I have a purpose to live and I can pupose on how to live it. Does that make sense?
My purpose is to know, love, and serve God in this life so I can be happy with Him in the next. I purpose to say my morning prayers and read my Bible everyday to grow in closer friendship with Him.
Whew! This post has gotten long. I will be sharing my specific goals for the year in an upcoming newsletter for subscribers of The Littlest Way–Click here to subscribe.. I’ll share how I used the 5 P’s from A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul, sprinkled in “purpose” and now have a clear plan for my spiritual life, my marriage and parenting, house and homeschool, and The Littlest Way all from choosing my one word for the year.