Saturday, December 29, 2018

My 2019 Word of the Year and the Living Your Word Group

Each year for the past 7 or 8 years I have selected a word for the year to help guide my focus for the year. Ali Edwards, the creator of One Little Word,  says this practice of selecting and living with a word for the year is "seeing life through an intentional lens".

Every year I spend time in December reading back through my journals from the year, praying and asking God to reveal what my focus should be in the new year. For the past few years there has been a thread in the goals and intentions for my yearly word: getting healthy physically. Unfortunately, I have not seen much progress. I'll have spurts of time where I eat healthy and try to develop a habit of exercise, but it usually gets trumped by a busy schedule. This past year, however, has seen all three of our living parents struggle with health issues, and it has brought the reality of the need to lose weight and strengthen my joints and bones to the forefront, in order to be healthy and strong as I move out of middle age in the next few years.

If there is one thing in my life that proves to be a motivator over and over again, it is studying God's Word and then seeking to apply it to my life. So this year I intend to study what God says about our physical body and its connection to our spiritual life with the intent that this will help me develop a healthy rhythm for my life drawn from the call of God instead of my best laid plans. So the word that has kept popping up for me is sacred. When something is sacred it is set aside for God's purpose; it is consecrated, marked as holy. God tells us that He makes all the parts of lives holy and calls us to see them as holy and for His purpose. I have to admit that I have not thought much about my body as being set apart for God's purpose, but as I grow older and begin to experience how my body is aging and not keeping up with my mind, I realize that something must change if I want to serve Him for the long haul. So I will explore this theme throughout the year and try to create a healthier lifestyle with this as my motivator. Of course, I have made a journal just for my word through the year. It is a Signature journal full of watercolor paper and various book pages and maps - a cross between and alterd book a junk journal and a commonplace book.

So, how do I intend to keep my word focus before me through the whole year? With a spiritual and creative challenge, of course! For 2019 Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I have changed the focus of our Everyday Journal group to focusing solely on our individual word of the year.And we intend to do this with an inspirational bi-weekly challenge:

Living Your Word 2019: A-Z Inspiration

Valerie has practiced an A-Z of her word over the past few years. For 2019 she has designed a set of inspirational questions and activities for each letter of the alphabet. We have put together a list of word suggestions for each letter. Each person can select a word from the list, or make up one of their own, and explore how it is connected to their word for the year. Then you can use Valerie's questions and activities and find Scripture passages to go deeper into exploring that word in relationship to your journey with your word. In addition to the bi-weekly A-Z challenge we will offer other practices and activities throughout the year to help you focus on your word and live it out. You can then share your thoughts and creative responses in the private Facebook group, and join the conversation and the adventure of living out your word of the year.

Valerie will be posting the first letter and inspiration post on Tuesday, January 1st. 

Below is the list of possible words we have put together. You can select a word from the list or choose one of your own. A PDF copy for printing will be in the Word Challenges tab above, as well as in the Facebook Group under files. We will use each letter for two weeks beginning on the date specified on the Word list. Valerie's posts with questions and activities will be posted on the first Tuesday of each two week period.

Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group here: Living Your Word of the Year

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

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