New Year, New Word… Years ago, I gave up the traditional long list of New Years Resolutions and swapped it for the “One Word” project. This is not my invention but an actual thing. The “One Word” idea is to give thought to one special word to shape, focus, guide your year. We do it every January as a family. We search for a scripture to back it up. Then, we pull out sharpies of all colors, a pile of 5×7 canvases and command strips. Our “One Word” time around our table is one of my favorites.
This year, my word is DISCERNMENT. Sounds solid, doesn’t it? I really like it. I feel like it’s a bold, strong, smart word. I like the idea of being bold, strong and smart. My scripture is from Colossians 1:9-10. I swapped out a few pronouns to make it my prayer for this year. “I keep asking to be filled with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding the Spirit gives, so that I may live a life worthy of the Lord, and please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all the power according to His glorious might so I have great endurance and patience.”
2018, let’s do this: Knowledge, wisdom, understanding, fruit bearing, growing, endurance and patience. Yes Yes YES!
“The ability to judge well.” I need that. I like that. I love the idea of taking a breath in before I answer or exhaling before I react.
And right away, January is testing my word. But, not how you may think. I mean, yes, I do have 5 kids. That alone needs a load of discernment: Is the 15 year old burning the candle at both ends again? How can I help? What’s going to trigger Joseph? There’s the husband. So, sweet husband, how are we going to handle this week’s athletics, work, commitments and oh yeah, us? I’m a Wyld Life leader. How are my middle school friends doing? Where and how can I be meeting them in their lives? I’m also a sister, a daughter, a friend.
But, I didn’t pick the word as a mom. I felt drawn to the word for me, Andrea, the person. I want the ability to judge well for me. Do you know about the Enneagram? I recently took the test and was rated as a 2, a “Giver.” Who knew a test could sum me up after 25 minutes of this or that questioning? But it’s true. I am a giver, a helper. I will love you by helping you, driving for you, picking something up for you, etc. And while that is a nice type of person, certainly one of the sweetest types. Heehee. I’m not the best giver to ME. And that needs some discernment. Also, this blog, do I keep writing it? I love writing; truly love it. And yet, I feel this pull on my heart to be doing something different. And, I don’t know what it is. Call in some discernment.
So, God and I have this good thing going where I keep close to Him through prayer and journaling, etc. And, He sticks with me. The other morning I journaled (more like scribbled furiously) how annoyed I was with myself, with this yuck-dissatisfied feeling in my heart. And I asked God to “bring on Discernment.” My phone dings to announce an email. Ready? Two new emails: One from “She Reads Truth” offering encouragement in my search for clarity this year. Wow, ok. And the other is from Word Press asking, “What is your blog resolution for 2018?” Can’t make it up. Ummm, thank you God for sending random mass emails tailored directly to my tangled up heart. Then I get texts from two friends checking in on me because they “felt me on their hearts.” Cue the heart eyes emoji. THEN, I open up my “Jesus Calling” and the reading for the day…
“When you bring me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before me. Speak to me candidly, pour out your heart. Thank me for the answers I have set in motion long before you can DISCERN results. When your requests come to mind, Thank me for answers already on their way…” The scriptures for the day come from Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” And John 15:4, “Remain in me as I remain in you.”
There is something unbelievably mind-blowing about our big, invisible God reaching out from heaven to pat me on the shoulder and encourage me right where I’m at, on the couch, grumpy because I don’t know how to or even want to love myself well. See how He does it? Scripture is the obvious way to hear God’s voice. So, read it, every day; read it. The more you read, the more familiar God’s voice becomes. Also, random texts that prove there are no coincidences. And. my favorite is when God reaches out through my peeps.
Pray for me, please, to stick to my word. I know how awesome “steadfast” was for me in 2017. I look forward to all the ways and people God will use to teach me discernment. Also, Lily’s word is AAIOIPATPIOIPEAO. May it serve her well.