Friday, June 12, 2020

2020 Vision Board & Moving Forward

2020 Vision Board & Moving Forward

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."                   Soren Kierkegaard
Generally I make a vision board for my word of the year earlier in the season, usually in February or March. It's a way of visualizing my intentions for my word through the year. But this has not been anything like a normal year. So, instead of just a board looking at the year ahead, I am both looking back  to see how I have lived out my word, and then looking ahead at where I feel called to go in the rest of the year. This is our theme this month in our Living Your Word of the Year Facebook Group, looking back in order to move forward. This is a regular practice for me. A few times a year at least, I will read back through my written journals and my art journals to see where I am in this journey of spiritual transformation. And generally, God will use this time of looking back as a time for me to reflect and evaluate where I need to focus. I wrote about the start of this looking back process in my post two weeks ago, which you can read here

I have made a vision board for my word of the year for quite a few years. In fact, it's one of my favorite practices of the year. I usually put them on an artist canvas and display them in my home studio/office. They are visual reminders of my journey.

I begin by going through my collection of magazine pages and other ephemera that I have torn out and saved because the image or words stood out. I enjoy going through my magazines every few months and tearing out the pages, and the bonus is it keeps my magazine baskets from overflowing! Even though I read a lot online these days, I have not lost the enjoyment of holding a magazine in my hand and leafing through it.

Next I like to cover the edges of my canvas with gesso covered book pages. I do this in part because I don't frame the canvases and the papers add a subtle decoration to the edges.

Over the past few weeks I have looked back over the beginning of the year, and especially the months since we began experiencing the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks the horrifying events of racial injustice that have taken place have been added to my time of reflection. All of this is in my heart and mind as I began to think about what the future may look like. There is so much to think about right now and so much that is unknown about how life will be lived in the months, and maybe even years, ahead of us. Below I have some reflection questions that helped me and that may be of use for you as well.

  • Re-connect with your "why" for selecting your word for this year. Have the circumstances of the past few months changed your "why" at all?
  • How have your life values led you through this time?
  • What have you held onto? What have you had to let go of?
  • As you look ahead, what are you sensing God calling you to? What might He be calling you to leave behind as you move forward? What might He be calling you to keep in your future life from these days?
  • What have you been thankful for?
  • What has brought joy? What has caused fear or disappointment?
  • What do you need more of? What do you need less of?
  • Are there areas in your life right now that require more trust in God and His promises?
  • How has your faith been? On shaky ground? On a firm foundation? What has this time of crisis shown you about your relationship with God?
Let me also offer two great questions I read recently. The first was in a newsletter from Shelly Miller. She is an author and has an online group called The Sabbath Society. Here is her question for reflection:
"If the previous chapters of your life prepare you for what lies ahead, how might God be using your right now circumstances as preparation for what comes next?"
The other question was posted in our Facebook group last week and comes from Suzi Stringfield Denis.
"How is God using this time to transform me?" 
This week our prompt in our Living Your Word of the Year group is to spend some time reflecting on the past few months and thinking about where God may be leading you now with your word. Try making a vision board from that time of reflection. This project may take some time to work through. In the next few weeks we will offer more reflection questions that will help us evaluate the goals and intentions we set at the beginning of the year, and seeking God, will help us move forward in the second half of the year.

My vision board process surprises me each time. As I go through the process of cutting out letters and leafing through magazine pages I don't immediately see how they will come together. But once I start laying things out on the canvas the pieces start to fall nicely into place.

I hope you'll give a vision board for your word of the year a try. If you do, please share it in our Facebook group and/or on Instagram with the hashtag #livingyourword2020.

Join us in the Living Your Word Community
My friends Bernice Hopper, and Valerie Sjodin, and I share insights through blog posts for creatively living a word of the year. In our Facebook group, we encourage one another by posting questions and prompts to inspire living out a word focus, keeping a journal etc. It is a safe place to ask for prayer and support. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word, you can ask to join our Living Your Word of the Year 2020 by clicking on the link below.

Hashtag for Instagram:  #livingyourword2020
Check out their blogs:

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