My One Word, 2018

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Zig Ziglar wrote, “If you aim at nothing, that is what you will hit it every time.”  That just about sums up my 2017.  It pains me to admit that on the most part of last year, I was idle.  My verse for 2017 was Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose prevails.”  2016 was so jam packed with plans and aspirations, some of which didn’t go quite as planned.  I thought it was my fault for not REALLY seeking what the Lord wanted for my life.  Perhaps, this is why I entered 2017 fearful to make plans.  In hindsight, I went from one extreme (micromanaging my plans) to the other (not really making any plans). If there is one word I can choose for what I did in 2017, it would be “drifting" and  I don't think that is what the writer of Proverbs meant in Proverbs 19:21.

The realization that I was drifting came to me towards the end of year.  I was forced to be still (thank you, concussion*), slow down, and just read, read, read. Or rather, because of my concussion, I listened to God's Word.  My first reaction to the realization that I was drifting was panic, not a very godly reaction and not something I’m proud of, but yes, I panicked.  Then, there was sorrow and even shame. I have failed God by being too laid back and idle. But GOD, who is ALWAYS faithful, came in and gave me that peace that passes all understanding.  He also began working in me, bringing certain things my way to give me clarity.  (THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR GRACE!!)

Some will say it’s coincidence. Some will say that my own desire to focus on something attracted other things in the universe to speak to me about this very thing that I am focused on.  For me, it is a GOD thing.  Several things came my way that led me to my one word: a sermon series in church, bible verses in my daily devotions, readings for school, words of wisdom from family and friends, and finally, a book that I had on my Christmas 2016 wish list but did not get until Christmas, 2017, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life that You Want. I realized that it wasn’t so much about making plans as much as it was making sure I focused on the right things.

All those sources paved the way to my One Word.  As the end of 2017 came to a close, I prayed about my One Word for 2018 and what I got was “SIMPLIFY.”  I rejected this word at first.  Prayed some more.  Waited.  Prayed again.  Waited some more.  But "SIMPLIFY" kept coming back and this verse:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"
Hebrews 12:1

I wanted a more profound word.  But I couldn’t escape from the word SIMPLIFY and Hebrews 12:1.

This is why my first blog post is coming to you this January 5. FIVE DAYS INTO THE NEW YEAR.  I gave God all the different reasons why this can’t be the word or verse for me. But of course, as I dug, prayed, and listened, SIMPLIFY and Hebrews 12:1 were it.

So what will SIMPLIFY look like for me in 2018? It starts with sitting down this weekend to complete my LIFE PLAN as laid out in Living Forward.    As I draw up my Life Plan, I will be praying for God's leading.  He gave me a dream three years ago, and some set backs threw me a little off course.  My Life Plan will help me to focus on what's important to me, including my God-given dream, instead of drifting.  It will be my guide when I make the decisions and commitments. 

Most importantly, I need to SIMPLIFY my life by "throwing off everything that hinders" my relationship with God and my Spiritual growth as well as "the sin that so easily entangles."  SIMPLIFY also means throwing off everything that hinders my Life Plan.

I know that even with my Life Plan, God's plan will still prevail.  I still believe the truth in Proverbs 29:11.  I can do my best to discern what God wants for me but God will allow unexpected things my way.  I will be drawing up my Life Plan with the that truth on my mind.  I want my Life Plan to be a response to God's own plans for me.  One of the books I am reading for school right now is The Ripple Church by Phil Stevenson.  In it he writes:

"That is not to say that planning doesn't matter.  It is a recognition of the fact
that it is God, not our plans and goals, that directs us.
God implants dreams in our hearts and minds.  He gives us gifts and talents
to carry out those dreams.  Yet dreams belong to him. When we become possessive
of our God-given dreams, we may neglect the God who gave them. 
We must cherish the dream, but love the God who gave it even more."
(emphasis mine)

Do you have your One Word?  How will you live out your One Word?

<3,  Marie

*SIDE NOTE: For those of you that missed my Facebook post about it in December, a soccer ball hit me on my head, causing me to have a concussion.  For the most part of December, I had to "rest my brain" as the doctor put it, and couldn't be on my phone, or watch TV, or read.  

1 comment

  1. My word this year is love. John 13:34-35 are my emphasis. I am looking forward to leaning into God's love and my love towards others.