One Little Word

7

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.  Psalm 119:105

In the freezing, snowing, cold and ice of North Dakota lives a warm and lovely soul named Roxane.  I have never had the honor of meeting this delightful woman but her words have touched me and her spirit has inspired me.

Even though our paths have never crossed, I feel like I’ve known her for years.  She writes with such a convincing sweetness and honest zip, you just want to sit down and share a pot of coffee with her.  Roxane is one of the many talented writers here at CatholicMom.com and I’m sure she has touched many of you as well.

More than a year ago, I read something she wrote about choosing a “word” for the year.  Choosing a word for the year requires prayer and deep thought, but if the process is done right, the result is a “God inspired” tool to help you navigate your way through a new year and all the challenges and celebrations it’s sure to bring.

It seemed like a great idea, but I never really got around to it last year.  I wanted to just pick my own without the prayer and deep thought, so the result was less than wonderful.

Okay, I’ll just be honest; I just picked one on my own and by February I had forgotten what the word was!  Not so helpful!

I read Roxane’s posts and articles throughout the year and saw time and time again how truly inspired her word had been and the countless times God had offered His peace and comfort and sometimes even humor through her word for the year.

This year I was determined to get it right!  I got a message in mid-December and found out Roxane already had her word for 2014…YIKES! I knew I’d better get busy. Nothing like a 13-hour car ride to Kansas before Christmas to think and pray about my word…and so I did!

As we backed out of our icy driveway that Sunday morning headed for Kansas, I began to pray that God would inspire my thoughts and help me discover a word that would guide my year on a path closer to Him.  It sat on my mind the whole trip, but as we pulled into my Dad’s driveway 13 hours later, I still didn’t have a word.

One Little Word

I guess I expected a little light bulb to go on and illuminate my word written in perfect penmanship on a blackboard or something.  I had nothing and I was a little frustrated to say the least.

The only thing I did get a clear sense of was all the places I fell short in my discipleship; the more I thought about a guiding word, the more it felt like I was on a bad trip down memory lane 2013.  As we began a few days with family and friends, I put it to the side and vowed to revisit the process on the way home.

Friday came and we were once again packed in the car at the front end of a long drive. Once again, I began praying about a word.  In between praying, thinking, reading, and goofing around with Dave and the kids, it all began to make sense.

God was leading me on a backwards journey.  Before He gave me a word to lead me, He wanted me to take a look at where I had been.  After a very long and sometimes uncomfortable examination of conscience spanning the past twelve months, the word was as clear as a bell.

God lovingly encouraged me to look long and hard at some of the areas of weakness and sin in my life.  It was like a movie that just seemed to keep getting stuck in a few spots; and they weren’t the good spots!  I really think He was inviting me to dwell there and take a good look so I wouldn’t ever want to go back…not because it was uncomfortable for me, but because it was those very places that kept me away from Him.

As I began to pray about those spots in my 2013 and ask His forgiveness I began to realize there were concrete changes I needed to make in my life in order to be sure I didn’t wind up right back in the same yucky spot.  I’m not gonna lie: I have a lot of work to do, but as soon as I realized that and vowed to do the work, He gave me my word.  It was a word I had never even considered and it came out of nowhere.

It was unmistakable and powerful and exciting!  It’s a very strong word, a busy word, a demanding word.  My word tells me that I’ve got work to do and He will be there with me, but I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and get busy.  It’s not a sweet comfy word like peace, happiness or prayerfulness; it’s a giant word, a mighty word, a “get busy” word.  My word is…

I’m not going to tell you just yet what my word is.  I’m going to try it on for a few weeks while each of you think and pray for your own.  I think I wanted a word like Roxane’s. I really liked her word and I spent a whole year trying to pick my own when I really should have let God choose it for me. But her word matched her journey, not mine!

You and God get busy and pick a word and then we’ll all share.  Remember, if you do it right, you will truly get a “God inspired” word to lead you through your year.  I’m thinking this is a whole lot more powerful than any resolution.

Don’t worry if it takes a few days and don’t worry if it involves a trip backwards through some of your “un-lovely” moments and days…it’s all part of the process.  Rest assured that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing my word and asking for yours.

God bless you as you think and pray; and God bless Roxane for beginning this most excellent journey!

A Seed To Plant:  Re-play 2013 and prayerfully ask God to reveal the ways He wants to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him.  Ask Him for a word to guide you.

Blessings on your day!

Copyright 2014 Sheri Wohlfert

Share.

About Author

Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to take a good look at the simple ways we can all find God doing joyful, blessed, amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.

7 Comments

  1. Sheri, I love it! Thanks for weaving me into your post. Of course, I cannot claim ownership of the one-word idea, but I have heartily taken it on as an annual “rite of passage,” this process of coming up with THE word. I hadn’t called it a guiding word, but that is exactly what it is, and makes the whole thing much more focused. Thanks for giving the one-word idea some thought. It is neat to see how that word comes in and out of one’s life, and I am so excited to see what you’ve come up with. You are a tease, you know? I really thought you were going to reveal your word. But I love that you didn’t in order to encourage others to step in without feeling pressure. 🙂 So, I’ll try to be patient with that in mind. 🙂

  2. Sheri, thank you for this. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been praying for a word for 2014 but 3 words keep coming up and I can’t choose which one is right. The words make sense when grouped together so I think for 2014, I have 3 words.

  3. I’m still praying about my word, but two that keep coming are closely related to the same theme. My word for last year was “Yes”, which unplayed in an amazing way. In the end, my prayer has resulted in this year’s word, which is “Move”. It may seem strange on its own, so I need to do a whole post to explain it, but it pertains to several facets of my spiritual journey. Great column Sheri, with an assist to Roxane!!

    • I’m anxious to hear the explanation…I’m very curious! Please be sure to share the link to the post when you are ready to share. Blessings on your day.

Reply To Lisa Hendey Cancel Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.