Over the past few years I’ve noticed bloggers doing this thing where they pick a word for their year. I don’t totally know how it is supposed to work, and since I was doing well just to start this thing part-way into last year, I didn’t worry about picking a word. I just needed to start.
But this year, I wanted to pick a word. Well, it’s not so much that I wanted to pick a word as that God kept laying this one idea on my heart–over and over. So, I wanted to put a word to it for 2014.
The idea that God has been nudging me toward has come with a number of different words: “showing up,” being “incarnational,” and such like.
Basically, my natural inclination is to retreat. When I’m super stressed out, I probably need a good stretch of solitude to right myself.
I don’t withdraw to avoid conflict. In fact, I’m surprisingly comfortable navigating interpersonal rifts and engaging opposing viewpoints.
But I do like to escape into my inner-world. I have a super-active thought-life that doesn’t slow down–ever. In my previous post titled Why I Love Conferences Even Though I’m an Introvert (click the title to read that post), I explained, “I can be in a crowd of people and be totally withdrawn into my own thought-world.”
I don’t consciously try to shut people out, but this natural inclination to retreat does mean that I have to consciously make myself get out, reach out, and be connected to others.
At first when we moved to this super rural community I was a little troubled by the fact that there wasn’t a paying job for me way out here in the Texas countryside. As time has gone on, what I have found is that this easy country life has been a great opportunity to do the writing that I have wanted to do. And the preaching & speaking opportunities have come just often enough that I can bring in a little income for my family.
All the same, this country life has made it easier than ever in my life to retreat to a fault. And my dear husband is so supportive of my writing and preaching and speaking that he lets me retreat whenever I need to. This is great when I need it, but not great when I am needed elsewhere.
So the big challenge for me is pushing myself to get outside of myself more despite how easy it is to retreat. With that, my word for 2014 is…
I’ve never been very big on New Year’s Resolutions–mostly because making resolutions all-of-a-suddenly, out of nowhere seems like a recipe for failure. But this word, this idea of being present has come from quite some time of reflection and I am indeed resolved to work at it in 2014.
Some specific ways I want to live this out are:
- Getting up & ready by X time everyday, so I can be ready for unexpected opportunities to be present with others.
- Putting events on my personal calendar as soon as I learn of them so I can make sure to be present at events that are too easy to forget without planning for them.
- Writing on the blog 1-2 original posts each week so I can continue to cultivate a consistent online presence.
This is new territory for me in choosing a word and making resolutions. But New Year’s is generally an upswing for me as my birthday falls on the third day of each new year (yes today). So, I am optimistic about my resolve to live into this intentionality of presence. Pluswhich, somehow 2013 was the best year of my life so far, so I want to be fully present for whatever 2014 might bring.
This post is part of the January 2014 Synchroblog: New Beginnings. See what other Synchroblog contributors are saying about their New Beginnings:
- Jen Bradbury – Enough
- Abbie Watters – New Beginnings
- Cara Strickland – Bursting
- Carol Kuniholm – Acorns, King, Beloved Community
- Kelly Stanley – A Blank Canvas
- Glenn Hager – Overcoming The Biggest Obstacle To Reaching Your Goals
- Dave Criddle – Get Some New Thinking
- David Derbyshire – Changed Priorities Ahead
- J A Carter – The Year of Reading Scripture for the First Time
- Damon – New Beginnings: Consider These 5 Questions Before Tying The Knot
- Jeffrey Kranz – Where To Start Reading The Bible
- Joanna990 – On survival – my one word for 2014
- K W Leslie – Atonement
- Happy – my One Word 365 surprise
- Michelle Moseley – Ends and Beginnings
- Matthew Bryant – A New Creation
- Liz Dyer – It’s a new year and time to make some new mistakes
- Edwin Pastor Fedex Aldrich – Foreclosed: The beginning of a new dream
- Jennifer Clark Tinker – Starting a New Year Presently
- Loveday Anyim – New Year New Resolutions
- Loveday Anyim – New Year Resolution Dreamers
- Loveday Anyim – New Year Resolution Specialists
- Jeremy Myers – Publish Your Book with Redeeming Press
- Amy Hetland – New Beginnings
- Phil Lancaster – New Beginnings
- Mallory Pickering – Something Old, Something New
- Margaret Boelman – The Other Side of Grief
- Kathy Escobar – One Image