As the holidays came to a close, I turned my heart and mind to the new year, as most people tend to do. I kept seeing friends posting their goals and resolutions on social media and had others asking me about my own. I was completely intrigued with the “one word” resolution and loved the thought of taking a long list and reducing it to a word or phrase. However, I had the hardest time coming up with my one word. How do I condense all that I want to see happen and all that I want to commit to doing into something short? Some of my friends had catchy ones like Create, Hustle, and Listen. My word became something much less striking, much less stellar and inspiring. My word for 2017 is Discipline.
See, I told you… not much fun. But, it makes sense for me. If you know my daughter Brynley at all, then you know she is a free spirit, full of life, spunk, and unstructured-ness (is that even a word?). In many ways, she takes after me, because I tend to lean in the relational/unstructured category as well. That’s why I thrive on routines. It’s really the only way I get anything done when it needs to happen. So, when I thought about changes or goals or new routines for 2017, I saw that some of them were just repeats from previous years – spend more time in prayer, cultivate a love for God’s Word, lose weight, drink more water, get in shape, etc. I start to sound like a broken record.
As most people, I dive into resolutions and goals at the beginning of the year and then lose track or let them slide somewhere along the way (usually by the time session season starts back up in March). I really don’t lack desire to meet those goals. I mean, I REALLY do want to be healthier, and I REALLY do want to have a deeper relationship with Jesus. I just couldn’t seem to stick with it all and make it happen.
Apparently, what I really lack and truly need in order to make changes is Discipline. Discipline helps me develop patterns and routines that help me with more consistent choices, which ultimately leads to new behaviors and habits. It just so happens that our pastor at church is preaching a series on Habits, so I think the Lord might be trying to tell me something.
For me, though, Discipline alone seems so dry. I mean, where’s the fun in that word? So, I’ve devised a few ways to add creativity into Discipline. For instance, I’ve put together a Faith Journal. In this little book, I’m writing down Bible verses, keeping track of prayers, and journaling notes and thoughts. I may not have a prayer closet like on the movie War Room, but this little book is becoming a treasured place to return again and again when I need to seek the Lord for strength, wisdom, or just simply thank Him for His blessings. Now, I’ve written in diaries and kept daily journals before. This is different. It’s more than just a reflection of my day or activities, it’s a launching pad for my faith and a place that helps me connect with the Lord. God’s word comes alive to me as I draw out prayers or paint scriptures. It helps me be excited about sitting still and listening to the Lord speak to my heart.
I waited for a while to finally post about my one word resolution and my Faith Journal, simply because I was a little uncomfortable about blogging on something so personal. And, honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d stick with it. But, as January comes to end, I’m still on track! Now that’s a cause for celebration!
We are past all the glitter and glam of a fresh new year now. I hope that as you really start to dive into 2017 that you find more of God’s faithfulness than you ever thought possible, that you experience His presence holding you close in challenging moments, and that you seek to know Him more deeply than ever before.
Who knows, maybe He’ll lead you to a one word too… just praying it doesn’t sound as boring as mine!!