Month: January 2017

Remember…

Since 2009, there has been an internet movement (started by Alece) to have #OneWord365 resolutions – to take one word and focus on it all year. It’s a movement of people trying to live with intentionality (to read more, check the website), and for me, it was the substitute for failed new year’s resolutions.

I first discovered the movement in 2014 – and chose that year’s one word – CLOSER (read that post here). I spoke of this “word for the year” to girlfriends at church, who also had heard of it and chosen a word for themselves. If memory serves, the word CLOSER lasted well past the norm of my previous new year’s resolutions, but I’m not sure if it lasted the entire year.

I think I may have chosen a word for 2015 – but I can’t remember it, didn’t blog about it, and have not found proof of it in my journals (and honestly, I haven’t made time to look). As with all my other resolutions, the one-word-365 went by the wayside.

2016 was a tough year, and 2017 snuck up on me – isn’t it amazing how days do that? I had not given much thought to one word – past deciding I wouldn’t do one for 2017 either.

Then God happened.

Of course, the one word movement is still all over the internet and social media. People I keep up with on Facebook and Twitter are posting their words and telling their stories. It was still in the back of my mind despite deciding I didn’t want a word. I kept thinking, “Hooray for them. I ain’t got time for that.” Even my pastor was asking me to slow down – to be intentional about 2017 with God – to make spiritual goals to grow closer to God.

And I kept resisting.

Why? Why do I resist doing what I know will be amazing? Still trying to answer that one…

Then, for the first time, I watched a precious high school friend do a live Facebook video with two other wonderful ladies (link here), and I’m struck by some things they said…

And I’m following along with First5.org‘s Scripture reading plan, and Joshua chapter 4 is about memorial stones, and it intrigues me…

And I’m living with my mother-in-law (MIL) who has Alzheimer’s and my father-in-law (FIL) who is starting to have memory issues, too…

And I’m cleaning up mounds and piles of paper and memories and to-do lists…

And I get an idea and an entire outline of a book in the 20 minute drive to my day job…

And my word comes as I’m chopping potatoes in the kitchen…

REMEMBERRemember…

… that I don’t have to be enough because MY GOD IS ENOUGH.

… that He has shown up time and time and time again – and He will keep on showing up.

… that my children – their relationship with God – is their’s, not mine.

… to tell His stories as standing memorial stones like during the days of Joshua and the Israelites.

… to find ways to entice my children, who are questioning and doubting everything they’ve been taught, to ASK about the stories, to ask about how God has shown up.

… to help my MIL and FIL remember the good times.

… that I cannot fix reality.

… to learn to focus on not only old memories but on making new ones.

… that life takes focus, time, energy.

… to be intentional.

… that God’s got this – all of it.

REMEMBER.

#OneWord365

So Long 2016 – Hello 2017

2016 was a year of tough, and I certainly had it better than some.

From illnesses (Valentine’s Day with kidney stones) to death (December took a dear friend and several acquaintances) –

from aging parents with health issues (Alzheimer’s and hypertensive chronic kidney disease) to growing teens and adult offspring with heart issues (God is always God, whether you like it or not) –

from hitting major life milestones (40), achievements (20 years of marriage), and defeats (both my husband and I were laid off work in September) to giving up our home to live with his parents and support them –

it was a WHOPPER of a year – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Relationships changed – some were lost, some were wounded, some were strengthened.

Plans changed – some were discarded, some were revamped, some were completed.

Joy happened – successful homemade coconut creme pie and sour cream rhubarb pie, family gatherings, prayer times with my man.

Life happened – forgotten children at the airport, burnt meals, mental illness.

I was ready to say goodbye to 2016.

I was a little nervous about 2017.

And my Jesus – I think He chuckles at me; I’m just sure He does. And He challenges me.

From the First5 study of Joshua and Judges, Day 1 (January 2nd):

Father, I will not fear any task (even life) to which You call me because You go with me wherever I go. (emphasis mine)

and Day 2 (January 3rd):

Lord, give me a heart willing to risk (my comfort – my children – my plans – my relationship) everything I am on You alone. (emphasis mine)

and Day 4 (January 5th):

Lord, I thank You for Your presence (with me in the tough) and Your protection (it could have been so much worse). (emphasis mine)

and Day 5 (January 6th – Epiphany):

I need to worry LESS and worship MORE. (emphasis mine)

I hear You, Lord.

Bring it on, 2017.

© 2017 Charlene Birky

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