Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In which I don't have a One Word

Man, you guys are coming up with the absolute best One Words this year.  Your Words are substantial and strong and oh so motivating.  I'm inspired as I hear your hearts as you claim a vision of who God wants you to become.

But, dare I say ... the whole One Word thing just hasn't worked for me.

I jumped on board in '13 and again last year.  I wasn't going to go there the second time around, but, truth be told, I didn't want to miss the party.  {Not exactly a decent decision making platform, right?}  Along the way, my good intentions seemed to vanish into the wind and it wasn't long 'til I wouldn't have known my chosen mantras even if they hit me in the head.  I was never purposeful in my pursuit of putting those words to work in the dailyness of life.

In fact, I had to troll around the blog archives here and there to re-discover what they were.

How sad is that?

Since I do like to keep my word, and since I didn't keep my word for the last two years, I'm not going to go there again.

*

But ...

Prompted by Myquillyn's challenge last year, my own personal UNword evolved and stayed right in front of me month after month.  Kind of like a beacon leading me to a transformation that ended up being soul deep.

It was who I didn't want to be and what I didn't want to do.  It was a tone, an attitude that emerged from my mouth way too often, a character trait that brought no honor to Christ.  A moral defect, a sin that was just plain annoying to anyone who happened to be around when the mood struck. 

Odd that I remembered that five letter UNword all through the year.  And maybe not so odd that by God's patient grace, I took a bunch of steps away from whiny. 

And right into the waiting arms of gratitude.

Leaving the whining behind, I began to look for small and big reasons to be grateful, around every corner and through every hard and difficult situation.  I began to purposefully focus on all that was true and lovely and excellent and praiseworthy {Philippians 4:8}.  I spoke my gratitudes often to God, my husband, and those closest to me.  Gratitude wove its beautiful life-giving self through my journaling, in more than a few posts, and in conversations left and right.

Gratitude crushed whiny and left her in the dust.

* 
 
When something works for me, I go back to it.  Repeatedly.  A good restaurant.  A favorite book.  A dear friend.  A much loved beach.  Sadly, but certainly unsurprisingly, I have another UNword again this year.
 
Impatient. 

We talked about this a while back at Lessons at Breakfast.  It's an ugly word, immature, really.  But I see it in myself just like I saw whiny last year.  And so today I place impatient on the table in all its obnoxious reality.  It's kind of like a line in the sand.

I'm so done with it. 
 
God and I've been talking about this in recent weeks.  The sweet Spirit took no pleasure in pointing out chapter and verse of how my frustrations can pop out in ways that are unpleasant and hurtful to others.  And surely unbecoming to a woman who calls herself a Christ-follower.  I know what this is.  I know what brings it on.  And I know that I truly do want to consistently respond to life's irritations in ways that are thoughtful and compelling and gracious.

Instead of reacting like a 4 year old having a tantrum.
 
Patience is one of those luscious fruit of the Spirit.  This truth tells me that this challenge has a strong spiritual dimension to it.  For if I'm filled to overflowing with the Spirit, patience should be right in there with the rest of the package - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control {Galatians 5:22-23}.

I'm just so grateful that God forgives. That He doesn't throw up His hands and give up on us.  And that He keeps on wooing us closer to Himself.  He wants us to become more and more like His beloved Son.  Prompted by the Spirit, the Trinity longs to make all the things that define us new, more pure and holy.
 
So that's my UNword for 2015.  Impatient.  In all it's childish self-absorption and raw insensitivity.  I'm purposefully attacking this head on.  Feel free to hold me accountable, ok?
 
And it's no accident that this year I'm sharing the uncropped version of last year's whiny photo.  Where my little cousin looks at the camera, like, 'what is it with this girl?  I'm so outta here.'
 
Our stuff impacts those around us.  For good or for evil.
 
Strong motivation, indeed ...
 

What's your One Word this year?
 
OR
 
Do you have an UNword?   
Who don't you want to be? What don't you want to do?  
What bugaboo, character trait, moral defect, sin, habit,
or thorn in the flesh are you absolutely done with?
 
*
 
subscribe here to get random UNword updates
 
and do share the UNword message with your social media tribe ...
the links are below
 
*
 
spending time with Kristen & Holley

52 comments:

  1. Hi Linda, How are you? My one word is "Greatness". Well thanks for sharing you "Unword".

    take care of you.
    http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I read your Word, Ifeoma, all I could think of was that old hymn, 'Great is Thy Faithfulness.' May that faithfulness spur you on to be all He's designed you to be!

      Thanks for kicking off this conversation! It's sure to be a good one!

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. HUMM--think I will pass--life is evolving--changing with each sunrise and set--so to come up with any one word to embrace or divorce for 365 days---impossible!

    I have great admiration for all of you who make a selection and wish you perseverance in the quest!

    Blessings, Friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't that the truth, Lulu! Each day, each hour has surprises, both good and not-so-much. Let's just embrace Him! He knows the way and He'll guide us well.

      Praise God He never changes! How faithful and dependable He is ...

      Delete
  3. I don't do the "one word" thing. I have too many words running through my head. LOL Seriously, I just don't feel drawn to participate but am glad when others do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hear you about all the words running through my head ...

      The sign of a great writer? Too much time online? Or just old age?

      Sigh.

      ;-}

      Delete
  4. I chose a Word but it is kind of an un-Word, too. UNSUBSCRIBE. I'm unsubscribing from unnecessary email, unnecessary online time, unnecessary drama, unnecessary habits, and unnecessary belongings. I want to make time and space for the people who are important to me and unpredictable events that 2015 is going to bring my way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your word, Debby ... especially the unecessary drama piece!

      ;-}

      I've had to let go of many things / situations / opportunities this past year just so I could use my energy to focus on what truly mattered, primarily my family and my counseling clients.

      People don't necessarily burst into applause, but that's ok.

      We play to an audience of One, yes?

      So good to see you again, friend ...

      Delete
    2. Less is scary, isn't it? It means trusting God more.

      I'm open to the adventure!

      Delete
    3. I like less.

      The older I get, the more appealing the whole scenario is to me. I feel free-er, lighter, more focused on what really matters, and am much less prone to getting overwhelmed.

      ;-}

      Delete
    4. I'm not quite there yet, Linda. Less for me is new, scary, and not completely of my own choosing. I'm used to doing, running, planning and now I'm learning to just "be" sometimes. Less noise, distraction, movement. All I can do is show up each day and see what adventure awaits.

      Delete
    5. Yep, I loved the 'doing, running, planning' season, too. I felt alive and vibrant and creative ... and loved knowing that what I did was making an impact.

      The good news is that I still feel that way but without the doing and the running. It seems like this is a season of simply being. Less 'noise, distraction, movement' seems to bring out the creativity, the wisdom, the peace, and joy that I need to be fully present to counsel and write.

      And 59 looks different than 49 or 39. And it's all good ... very good.

      ;-}

      Delete
  5. For some reason, the idea of an "unword" sits better with me then "one word". I've been contemplating this for awhile even before reading this. I think my unword should be "no" but used in the context of not saying no to myself as often as I do. For 25 years I've thrown myself into motherhood with all my heart and soul but it has become unbalanced for me. I believe as a mom I should always be available for my kids but not to the extent that I lose myself - which is what has happened. I have to stop saying no when I'm so weary all I want to do is take a nap, or curl up with a book, or just sit and stare at the wall. Now I just have to figure out how to do this.......................................

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Valerie--with practice--it get's easier!

      Delete
    2. Very good to know!! Thanks!!!

      Delete
    3. It only takes a day or two with my daughters and their families to fully remember how truly exhausting and grueling and endless being a good mama can be. I hear you, Val. And I love that you're noticing that things seem a bit unbalanced ... and that you're ready to claim some time for some self-care.

      So go ahead and take that nap or curl up with a book, simply sit quietly or go for a walk. Please give yourself grace. And permission to take a break on a regular basis. It truly is ok.

      ;-}

      Delete
  6. I must confess I've never really done the whole one word thing either - but kudos to those who do. I can hear what you're saying about impatience. We get so conditioned sometimes to things happening the way we want it. Waiting is tough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah ... we want it our way and we want it yesterday.

      No wonder we need a Savior!

      ;-}

      Delete
  7. Oh, totally forgot about the UNword thingy. I do like that concept too. And while choosing One Word has worked for me, it's not something I necessarily write about that much but it's always there. God just seems to use it. But God moves in our lives differently. Love that about Him. Love that our relationship with Him is so personal. :) I am liking your UNword. I have noticed that just about every word someone shares (whether it's there One Word or UNword) it seems to point me right back to my word. Such confirmation that it's the right word. However, there is a part of me that wonders is it really an all encompassing word of GOD that should be my word???
    Always blessed and challenged (in a good way) by what you share, Linda.
    Much love. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so hearing what you're saying at the end of your note, Beth.

      Maybe if God was truly front and center in our lives, we wouldn't need an UNword or a One Word or any other catchy slogan because we'd be so attuned to His love and His intentions for us, so absorbed in HIS Word that we wouldn't need anything else to catch and hold our attention.

      mmm ... you made me stop and think. Once again. Appreciate the way iron sharpens iron around here ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  8. Whiny, impatient. You set lofty goals! I love it and think you are amazing for taking them on.
    You and God got this impatience thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's got it! Never content to leave us where we are, always desiring to make us more like Christ. Thankfully, we don't attempt this alone.

      He does the holiness thing in us and through us. We need only ask.

      I'm so grateful!

      Delete
  9. Oy, impatient. That was my word for years before picking a word was the thing to do. And boy when you ask God to give you patience He DELIVERS! I didn't pick a word either, as you know, but a verse that has really been speaking to. I'm sure though, like the word it will evolve and change as the year goes on.

    That picture is priceless! :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you chose a verse, not just a single word. Claiming a passage of Scripture as our own is a powerful act. I can't wait to see what God does in you this year, friend!

      And welcome back, too! I missed ya' ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  10. I'm glad you don't jump on the bandwagon for something that doesn't work for you. Fads do come and go and we need to find how God wants to work personally in each of us, regardless of what everyone else is doing.

    Your UNword makes me smile. I have a lot of growing up to do myself with impatience. The picture here is wonderful. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impatient? I knew I couldn't be the only one!

      And thanks for the bandwagon comment, Lisa. It's so easy to do in this whole social media thing, isn't it ... what we end up doing just to get liked or followed or friended or whatever.

      Yikes.

      Delete
  11. Love the "unword" idea. I'll have to think about that one, but it'll be hard, since I'm already happy and handsome and patient and...

    Oh, quit rolling your eyes.

    I have three words, this year. The first is Hirihokenten, which means "it's good to contemplate debt, but unimportant to think about death".

    The second is a phrase...Utmost Savagery. That's how I meet those things that are trying to kill me.

    And the third is "DUDE!"

    It bespeaks a friendly open-ness, an acceptance without caste or class. I like that.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/01/love-u-for-better-marriage-l-for-linger.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. this is good! I am struggling to decide on a word for the year- thanks for this thought, and glad I am not the only one who struggles to figure one out- Good to see how the Lord spoke and gave you this idea instead- encouraged by His personal, wonderful work in our lives

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That you're figuring out what works for you instead of jumping on the bandwagon {see Lisa's comment above} is a very good thing!

      How cool that God is not limited to giving us guidance in just the first few weeks of a new year ... I'm so grateful!

      Delete
  13. I am with you about trying to find a word and remember it all year long. [I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday let alone a word.] However, an UNword is right up my alley. I didn't even have to think it popped right into my head, amazing. Bossy. I feel the need to make sure everyone knows what to do every minute of the day. I don't think my poor husband could get out of the driveway with my directions. How I want to stop, how I long to give up the know it all attitude. Perhaps with the UNword I will have something else next year. Please pray for me. {is that too bossy?] Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bossy. Kind of akin to whiny and impatient, huh?

      ;-}

      That whole control freak thing is a real drag isn't it. To feel like we've got to save the world is exhausting. Thank God He has already done that through Jesus!

      Praying that this conversation will bring some kind of peace to your soul ... I am glad you've joined us today.

      Delete
  14. LOVE the picture, Linda! I am totally with you on the whining and impatience. This UNword concept is fantastic! I've never heard of it before. Usually I make an obscene amount of resolutions each year and end up depressed every January while reflecting on the last list. I've decided to try out the one word theme for 2015 with "health"- something I desperately need help in. Many prayers for your loss of "impatience" this year :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Health. I like it! It covers so much of who we are, it's a flexible goal, it impacts the rest of life. Can't wait to see how you live this out! And I really appreciate you sharing it here, Candace.

      Cool.

      Delete
  15. I happened this way from WFMW. I do have a one word--gentleness. And as many commenters have noted, God is amazing in how He speaks to us differently, but very much the same. The verse I associate with my one word is also Galations 5:22 and 23. And the beauty of it is that if our intent is to grow more like our Saviour, He blesses us no matter how we are motivated. I look forward to coming this way again. God bless! Victoria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gentleness. Sweet. I love this, Victoria! I feel cradled and comforted and quieted just at the thought.

      I'm so grateful you found your way here ... and appreciate that you were brave enough to jump right into the conversation.

      You've made my day!

      Delete
  16. I'm not really a bandwagon kind of person either, however last year the word "unfrozen" was dropped in my mind by God on a frozen day in January. a mere couple weeks later, God "unfroze" me in such a tender way. and I didn't even remember that word until 5 months later when I was sharing a "story of wonder" at our church and in writing up what happened, I realized I had been "unfrozen." It served as a story of wonder for me!

    last week I read an exchange in the comments section on Michelle DeRusha's blog between her and Lynn Morrissey. For the life of me, I can't find that blog. maybe it wasn't even hers, who knows, but they talked about something that led to the idea of "making room" this year. At first I thought it was making room to RE-FIND find my spiritual rhythms, but realized it was probably more like finding a NEW spiritual rhythm for this new season of life. It's also about making room in my home - if you showed up at my house, you wouldn't notice , but the "weight" of things in drawers and closets bog us down.

    At the same time, I know I am not to create long lists of things to do NOW and push push push. A friend told me I needed an emotional vacation. and she was right.

    so for now - quietly make room...that's where I am.
    and sometimes when I am in these kinds of seasons, the blog doesn't get focused on as much and I have to be ok with that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, each season calls for new rhythms. It's a grace we give to ourselves and the acknowledgement that life is different than it was before. To quietly make room for this allows you to take that emotional vacation, which to many of us, may be the best way to start the new year.

      ;-}

      It's so good to have you in on the conversation again, dear lady! Thanks for taking the time to share your heart. You know it's appreciated!

      Delete
  17. Love your words here and "unwords" too--at least the choice you're making, sweet Linda. I struggle with that "unword" impatience too. Could we be too restless peas in a pod? I think so! And I think I've seen that pic of you before (since you said you posted it before) or else you still look so much like that little whiny cutie with goldie locks--minus the whiny, mind you! I think that's what I kind of did last year with my one word too--chose an unword. I wanted to stop comparing my life to others (negatively) and start comparing my life to Christ's so that I would take the sober view. I think I've managed to think of that focus more times than not, but still have a LONG way to go . . . not that I'm whining about it or anything! ;) Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this - 'comparing my life to Christ's.'

      Talk about a Word, a goal, a calling, a yearning! Sure beats comparing ourselves to everyone else which is always such a discouraging waste of time.

      And yes, we are 2 peas in a pod. We must have been separated at birth. Except you got the blonde hair ...

      So good to have you back from vacation, Beth!

      ;-}

      Delete
  18. Linda, love your open, honest, and transparent posts! especially this quote..."Patience is one of those luscious fruit of the Spirit"...luscious indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In being honest and vulnerable as we walk with others in community, there is freedom and a sense of purpose. I still seek for the right balance in doing so. Thanks for your encouraging words, Beth.

      All glory to Him ...

      Delete
  19. Linda,
    I love that photo...is that you? And the UNWord...perfect...as you can tell from my post, I haven't exactly picked a word this year ...and like you, I'm definitely wanting more fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy and patience etc....Thanks for a delightful and honest read :-) Happy New Year! and good-bye to impatience...but wait...it is a process which requires patience....(wink)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband shook his head and smiled out loud when he saw the UNword. He said, 'be careful what you pray for!' More trials, more craziness, more frustrating stuff?

      I guess only God will decide!

      And yes, Dolly, that whiny little girl in the pretty aqua dress is me ... I was rather unpleasant as a little one, I've heard ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  20. I love your idea of an UNword, Linda! My word for the year is GRACE, but I've just barely begun to explore what that might mean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that unmerited favor, grace is. You're so right, Mary ... we can't even begin to get a handle on it. Would love to hear how that plays out for you in the days ahead.

      I love that you've stopped in to visit. Thanks!

      Delete
  21. An unword! Love this idea as much as one word. God just craves to hang out with us and by listening intently to Him, we are learning so much whether it is through one word or a word that we need to let go of because it does not honor Him. I love how you follow well but you follow on a path that is not always popular. You are a role model for me! :) Love you and love your words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words encourage me today, Mary. I guess we're all still trying to figure out our own unique pathway. Each of our journeys keeps evolving and surprises and new ideas continue to come our way. I'm grateful you understand!

      I so appreciate that we do community together, friend ...

      Delete
  22. Yay! The "unword" lives again. :)

    My theme for this year is "Pray Big," so I guess the unword version would be "Over Worry."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a whole potpourri of ideas that can help us get focused, isn't there, Lyli! One Word, UNword, two words, a verse straight from Scripture.

      Whatever God needs to do to grab our attention, yes?

      ;-}

      Delete
  23. Hi, Linda! I saw your comment over at Holley Gerth's and came here to read about your "Unword." It is great! Thank you so much for sharing. I posted it on FB, too. God continue to bless you richly. By the way, my One Word is Yield - to God - especially in prayer, but in other areas, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing the UNword news on FB, Cindy! It's so good to meet you today.

      And YIELD is a powerful word. Would love to hear how that opens up for you in these months ahead.

      Stay cozy ...

      Delete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...