Those are my words for 2016. In previous years, as I have found myself preparing and planning for the next twelve months, I have always made it a point to pray for a word to help set the tone for that year. Past words have included: authenticity, simplicity, unashamed, pursuit, and adventure. Always just one word. But then this year, I got three.
At first, I was confused, and maybe even slightly frustrated. It normally took me a while to wrap my head around one word, trying to figure out what it might mean or where it might take me that year. But three words? Oh heck no. And yet the more I thought about them, the more and more they made sense.
Make necessary changes in my life, including but not limited to:
- Sticking to my diet (bye-bye gluten and dairy, for real this time)
- Creating a fitness routine: getting outside 2-3x per week and workouts at home 2-3x per week
- Putting my phone/computer away and being in bed by 10:00pm each night (books in bed are always acceptable)
- Waking up daily at 5:00am for time with Jesus
- Making more sacrifices and seeking out other income-earning opportunities for my debt snowball
- Making writing a greater priority, and post at least once per week here and continue contributing regularly at the Unveiled Campaign blog
- Praying regularly, and asking more boldly in faith that He hears and cares about my desires
- Having more grace for myself and others
Really commit to all of those necessary changes. No excuses. Just do it. (insert Shia LaBeouf meme here)
This one felt like last minute addition, but it makes so much sense. I have a creative side that, if I'm honest, doesn't always get to come out and play. I love words, so I write and I do hand-lettering. I love colors, so I paint with watercolor. I love photos, so I capture moments, people, and places with my camera. I love these things, and yet I rarely do them... and when I do and someone chooses to compliment me on it, I downplay my art with something like, "Oh, don't you see THAT? It's imperfect. It could be better. I'm not that great. I just do it for fun."
Yes, I do it for fun... but what if God has given me these creative gifts for something bigger than just fun? That thought popped into my head at the beginning of the year, and I immediately understood why create is my third word: I need to create things in ways that I love out of my love for Him and admiration of His beauty. Am I the best at any of these things? No, probably not. But I love doing them nonetheless, and so I will continue to create... and I will accept any compliment as a reflection of God's delight in my creating.
So those are my 2016 words, and I'm pretty excited to see how they play out over the next twelve months. And to top it off, I am letting the following quote guide me all the way through...
Do you normally pray for a word to start off your year? If so, what is your word this year, and what are you expectant for?