I know there are the organized, type-A people of the world who actually plan what they are going to write about before they sit down and start pecking away at the keyboard. I tried that once. Then, when I sat down to write what my “to-do” list said to write about, the rebel in me revolted and my inner dialogue went something like this:
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
And, that was pretty much the end of the conversation in my head. I don’t like to be penned in. I was talking with my favorite daughter last night about the power of words and commitments. Kendall actually brought it up and I had to laugh because as much as she is like her father, there is a substantial amount of Mama V in there. She was explaining how she is guarded with her words because she doesn’t want to be confined or committed to them. When she chooses her words, she thinks through them and says what she means, and means what she says. (side note…I’m pretty sure she’s going to be the girl that if a young man says, “I love you” to her, and she’s not feeling it, she may just say, “thank you.”) (second side note…if any young man is even thinking of saying that to her, don’t. Her daddy, who doesn’t use enough words sometimes, will find plenty of words for you.)
Anyway, Kendall and I want to leave room for options and not feel obligated by words we say, but don’t really mean. And, for me, I can take that concept even further. I want options in my commitments too. This is the reason I’ve never bought a “grown up” purse. I can’t bring myself to pay $300 (I don’t even know what they cost?!) for a purse because then I HAVE TO USE IT…forever. I will never be able to break up with it because it’s so costly. I like change, but more so, I like the freedom that all can be changed. As long as I haven’t given my word, or committed to it, all is negotiable.
I went to bed thinking about this personality trait of mine and as much as it can be great (I say what I mean). Sometimes, leaving room for change can play out negatively in my life, though. Sometimes I don’t make commitments when I need to make one (or two). Sometimes my fear of disappointing people (because my follow-through sucks so bad, and, hello?! what if I change my mind?) paralyzes me from productivity and routine that is imperative to a disciplined and fruitful life. I excuse my flaws through my filter of “that’s my personality.” When in actuality, if our personality traits and idiosyncrasies cause us to miss opportunities for God to use us and bear His fruit, there’s a problem. More often than not, I’m in that camp. Knowing God is asking me to do something, but I’m hiding behind my past-behavior-has-proven-I-won’t-finish-the-task-because-I-like-change-personality,so I don’t even try.
So, there’s that.
Which is why I always laugh off this time of year…resolutions and goals. But, this year, I KNOW God is asking me to trust Him for the ability to do things I have never been able to do in my own strength. Isn’t that all what we, as Christ followers, desire–to look back on our life and recognize anything remarkable or remotely beneficial to others could have only been accomplished by the work of an active and living Savior?
For the past three years, my husband has prayed about and chosen a “word for the year.” You may have seen this concept floating around social media (#olw–one little word). He read this one little word book with his co-workers and they all have found it beneficial to share their word with one another and inevitably, hold one another accountable. Stefan’s word for 2012 was “lean.” And, as you may or may not know, he had a massive stroke in March of 2012 which created many opportunities for him to lean…not only on God, but on others.
He is a walking miracle.
I joined in this concept last year and my word for 2013 was “less.” Based on the verse, He must increase and I must become less. I wanted a simpler life, less stuff, less weight, less commitments. I didn’t experience life changing, burning bush moments, but at the end of 2013, I did weigh a little less, had fewer commitments, and recognized the areas that are still too excessive. I wouldn’t say it was a success, but it wasn’t a failure either.
So, this year, as I prayed and prayed for God to help me with a word…one kept coming back up in various ways. I didn’t like the word I kept hearing and seeing, so I kept praying for another word. An easier word. Isn’t there a bible verse that says “ask and He will give you the easy way?” No? That’s just a Vanessa translation? m’kay.
Because I’m as stubborn as they come, God, graciously put the icing on the cake for my word of the year when I read these verses in several different forms on several different social media/online devotionals and I finally submitted to Him.
My word was birthed from Colossians 3:5-14
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b]7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Essentially, there must be death so that abundant life can be accomplished. Change is birthed out of death. Put to death (vs. 5) so that you can put on new (vs. 10).
So, my word for 2014 is Execute…the duality of it is what I love. Death and action. Executing (killing) my flesh, so that the Spirit can execute (action) the work prepared for me.
Sounds fun, right? Sounds safe, right?
Ah… He isn’t safe, but He is Good. (CSLewis)
I’d LOVE to know if you have a word for the year. I will commit to pray for you if you want to share it with me. And, y’all know, I don’t like commitments. Email me or comment with your word and I’ll pray that our Great God changes us with the same power He used to conquer death. Oh friend, He is for us. He doesn’t want us to be stagnant and accept failure and live in defeat.
And, I should probably tell you this…it’s pretty exciting. For Christmas, Stefan got me a website guru. Actually, she’s so much more than that!! She’s my good friend, and she happens to be uber talented in the area of graphic design/website stuff that I can’t even begin to understand.
And, she keeps me in line with deadlines and stuff. (Praise God from whom all blessings flow…)
She and I have some big ideas and big plans for the Real V website, and because I want to begin executing ideas, we are shutting down the website for a few weeks SO THAT she can design and work her magic. We will relaunch the website…but that’s ALL I WILL TELL YOU. I’m thrilled about the upcoming changes and hope you will be too. If you want to stay up to date, please sign up for email updates on the side bar. You will receive an email from me that will ask you to confirm that you want to receive my emails. Once, you click yes, you’ll be subscribed.
I want to give a couple of days before we shut her down because I really want to hear from you. It is an honor for me to pray for you and it just makes me down right giddy that anyone would read one word that I type. Indeed, that is the work of God.
Now, I’m off to change out my purse. I’m noncommittal like that.