As I shared in my 2011 Reflections post on Write Thinking, I make goals for a new year rather than resolutions. For some reason, "goals" don't seem to set me up for failure the way "resolutions" do. Do you make resolutions?
One thing I do every December (yes, I've shared this on my blog before) is to ask God for a word or words for the coming year. I've been doing this since 2005, and I wish I'd been doing it longer because I've found it such a rich experience. I love the things God has shown me and the way He's surprised me. Sometimes the lessons have come through trials and difficulties. Sometimes they have come through joyful experiences. Sometimes they are mere whispers in my heart. I love remembering the words from years past, too, because they are like a map of the journey I've been on these past seven years.
- 2005: Endurance
- 2006: Victory
- 2007: Peace & Simplicity
- 2008: Intimacy & Devotion
- 2009: Press in/Press on
- 2010: Come Away
- 2011: Rejoice Always
- 2012: Fear not!
When I asked God for my word for 2012, the answer came to me almost immediately. It isn't always like that. Sometimes I have to wait and wait until I understand what He is showing me.
After sharing my word for 2012 with some friends, I opened an email to discover that Debbie Macomber has been doing something similar for almost 20 years. And now she has a book coming out about it called One Perfect Word. I immediately pre-ordered a copy for my Kindle and it will download tomorrow, January 3rd.
Here's an excerpt from it:
For almost twenty years I’ve been meeting with a group of women entrepreneurs for breakfast once a week. Many years back, my breakfast club ladies and I decided to select a word to serve as a personal focus for the year. Over time the words I’ve chosen have had a powerful impact on my life. In John 15:7 the Lord says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” That could be the story of my life. As I’ve tried to remain in Him and tuck His words deep in my soul, I’ve asked, I’ve imagined, and I’ve dreamed. I have to confess, God’s blessed me far beyond that for which I asked. Why should that be such a big surprise? That verse carries a promise. And God always keeps His promises.
When we choose one single word from His Word and spend a year with it, I’ve found that the Lord takes us by the hand and walks us through the year, teaching us about that word, about ourselves, and even more, about God Himself.
To which I can only say, Amen.
If you've never asked God for a word or chosen one for yourself as a part of your spiritual walk, I'd like to encourage you to give it a try and see what the Lord will have to show you in 2012. And may He richly bless you as you draw closer to Him in the process.