That One Word

That. ONE. Word.

You know the one, that word I chose for myself for this year. Yes, that’s it over on the right staring you in the face as you read this.  When I first became aware of the “One Word” for the year it seemed so much more practical than a whole list of resolutions that most of us write down on January 1 and promptly forget by February 1. 

Here’s what I’ve discovered about this one word:

  • The very nature of only one word makes it much more intense and soul-searching than a list- ho-hum
  • There’s a sense of accountability that resides in one word that holds much more weight than a list
  • And, for me, by the definition of my one word there is increased responsibility over, say- the word “rest” for example (I’m good at rest. Perseverance? Not so much.)

 

    I’ve lived with this word for 4 months now. I’ve persevered through illness and allergies and a surgical procedure and allergy testing and new meds and two courses of steroids. I can breathe better and am on immunotherapy for the kazillion allergies I have.

However, the one side effect that I get as an afterthought from the steroids- a good-bye kiss if you will- is hair loss, it’s not as bad as it has been in the past, but it’s still leaving my head by the 100s every time I shampoo, comb, brush and dry my hair which doesn’t leave much time for it not to fall out. God gave me fast growing hair and has numbered them all so I’m not going to grieve over the departure of some of them. 

As for the surgical procedure, I was awake, only partially numbed and trust me if I hadn’t trusted the doc, and my Lord to get me through it I would not have sat in that chair at all. But I did and my sinuses feel much better now, thank you very much. In this situation pain=gain.

I totally and completely failed in the perseverance of the 40 days of Water for Blood: Water Mission. I started out gangbusters and managed 2 weeks with no problems, then the allergies and illness set in again and I simply had to have hot tea for my throat. Or so I thought. I confessed to my daughter and she said I could have had hot water with lemon and honey – well, duh. Not going to confess to her again. Anyway it went downhill from there and I managed to be an almost- there were days where I had only water- complete failure in that endeavor. Now I’ve had to eat my words I wrote in the first blog about the 40 days of water… sigh.

So, now I press on looking forward to the next 8 months of what this dear little word will bring. PERSEVERE. Will I be able to persevere long enough to get the front hall painted? Will my plants survive the summer? Will I be able to maintain a steady diet of scripture once BSF is over for the summer?

Stay tuned, for future developments on the persevere front… (imagine sheepish smile here) 

Still learning what this verse means to me this year:

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

 

It’s Gonna be a One Word Year

So, as I said in my previous post- I’ve chosen a word for the coming year. Not a vow. Not a promise. A goal. One Word. Easy Peasy, right?

On second thought, I think it sounds and looks easier than it is. Today we had plumbing problems in the guest bathroom. We have family on the horizon fast approaching. Not an opportune time. I just fell apart- One. More. Thing. I said through the tears that were forming- “It’s always One. More. Thing. I’m so tired of this.” And he says “it’s always been One. More. Thing.” 

That definitely did not make it better.

So I grieved a little- pouted actually, felt sorry for myself for about 2 minutes; then recovered. And, now the plumber is here and the “thing” is getting resolved. Whew.

Which brings me back to this One Word. 

Persevere. 

Here’s my button, tell me what you think?

oneword2013_persevere

Rather impressive, yes? I have Melanie at Only a Breath to thank for this jewel- http://onlyabreath.com

She is one talented girl with a big heart! Thanks Melanie! Go check her site and ask her to make you a button for your word for 2013.

Being a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, I was clueless about this One Word for the year. No more. This is better than a new year’s resolution. Not an unattainable goal here. Just one simple word. It will stay on my page for this year as a reminder to myself and to keep me accountable. 

I wonder …. 

Persevere. Verb. {uh-oh that means action…} If you click on the aforementioned word to the left there- you can read the dictionary definition- and please note the meaning from the origin in the Old French > continue steadfastly, aka > very strict. Did you read that? VERY STRICT

If you know me even a little- the only thing I relate being very strict about is when I’m addressing my children’s behavior {ok, kids, you can get up from the floor now}. Fortunately, they are grown and do not suffer under mom’s iron rule anymore. 

This just in: I can already see that this persevere thing is going to start right away.  

My computer has just been visited by a gremlin in the Kremlin and I’ve lost the rest of my post. I saved every time I walked away, I did, but, all 4 paragraphs are out in the ether now. So I’ve lost the words and, now, my train of thought. Bummer. 

Here’s my attempt to salvage this pitiful offering…I am the epitome of the word undisciplined. I can accomplish a task or bring something to a satisfactory ending when required. However, now that I’m in charge of my own time, I get around to finishing something eventually. Sort of. Well, occasionally. 

The point is that in order for me to continue steadfastly I have to believe that God is Faithful and will bring me through it if He brings me to it as I’ve heard it said.

 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16 

 for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12b 

Welcome 2013, I eagerly await you and what God is going to do as I persevere.

Come along for the ride?

Keep on Keeping on…

The past few weeks have been a blur. Since the end of September actually. {don’t tell the family- they think I have it all together in my head and heart}

I reached a low spot this week. After the news of last week’s horrible events- see I can’t even write clearly- I spiraled right down to the bottom.

There have been many things happening around me and in my home and in my life in general, most have been “ok”. If you know me and I say “I’m ok” then you know that I am indeed “ok”.  A few things have been stressful in negative ways, in “not sure where this is going” ways, and in good ways. In my usual internal reaction to input overload I found myself in a “stall”.  

You know, like an airplane stalls; it goes up at a sharp ascent then suddenly the engine just sputters and stalls out and the plane plummets toward earth at ear shattering speed. If the pilot is good, and the plane is better, then it is possible to pull out of the stall thus avoiding the inevitable splat and end of life as one knows it.

For me, this was an internal stall while I still bought groceries, took the cleaning to the dry cleaners, bought Christmas presents, went shopping and out to lunch with friends, baby sat and pulled out the Christmas decorations and started decorating the house.

Notice I said “started”. That’s where the stall became noticeable. To me. I began to see what was happening and the plummet had begun. I became a slug mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Thoughts were spinning around in my head so fast I couldn’t connect. The low point came yesterday when one of my blogging group friends asked if I was doing ok. Honestly, I had to respond “no, actually I was not.” Coming to terms with what you are feeling when in that tailspin is the first step toward pulling out. {Thanks, Shannon}

Not long after that, as I was reading input on a FB group, more dear ones {these intuitive ladies- I love you all- you know who you are}  began sending me messages telling me they were praying – Ah, God gives good gifts! Lo and behold, another one spoke of memorizing Hebrews 10. Timely words. Indeed. My curiosity was piqued. I read it not because it was in my mind to memorize it too, but because it comes right before Hebrews 11, in which my go-to verses reside:

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country —a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16

When I start to spiral out of control these verses usually remind me that I don’t belong here and that there is something better waiting.  But, this time the Holy Spirit was whispering- read the one before. And I did, all because one friend remarked that she was memorizing this passage. (thanks, Donna)  Deep, down, in the middle of this passage, were the words that were written just for me in this moment in time: 

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

Those few whispered words there in that chapter were all I needed. He provided. 

But wait! That’s not the end of this story! 

Today, another blog friend (bless you) posted on another group about One Word Buttons for our blogs free from Melanie at Only a Breath- http://www.onlyabreath.com/2012/12/theyre-here-free-one-word-blog-buttons/

and then from there I was taken to One Word 365- http://oneword365.com/about/  Where Alece asks folks to choose one word to focus on for the year. This is what she says: “One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012(3). One word that you can focus on every day, all year long. It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment. But if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow. Discover the big impact one word can make.   One word.    365 days.”

And, that dear friends, is how I came to choose my one word:

Persevere

I end here with Paul’s words to the Philippians (3:12-14)- Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So, in the coming year, when you see that I’m not quite myself, do me a favor, whisper this one word in my ear?

Persevere

What one word would you choose to propel you forward in 2013?

 

Feeling Stretched???

 Are there days you feel like there’s no way you can take another thing? Like one more broken dish, one more glass of spilt milk, one more toddler tantrum, one more trip to the grocery, one more argument, one more slammed door, one more late for school day, one more overdue bill in the mail?

Do your prayers sound like this: Ok, Lord. I can’t take another thing today, I have no endurance, no strength and for sure no patience. Help! Please? I just don’t know what to do or how to do it anymore.

Mine have. 

If you will re-read that prayer in a whiney voice, add some tears and just imagine that I’m in the bathroom with the door locked and someone is knocking on the door, and someone is yelling from the other room that they can’t find something or other and another someone is yelling they are “going to be late, gotta go, see you tonight”… oh and while you are sitting there imagining that, see me sitting on the toilet lid gritting my teeth and my fists are clenched and white knuckled, and I’m looking up at the ceiling and thinking that prayer.

Oh and just to flesh out the picture – I’m not dressed for work, nor is my makeup on. Someone still needs breakfast- hence the knocking on the door.  And, the homework is the something that is missing. So I exit the bathroom to help with the homework search.  There is no time for a pity party.

I enter the kitchen.

It looks like a tornado just went through it- dishes and open boxes of cereal sprawled on the counter. The carton of milk is sitting out, the dishwasher door is open and the racks are hanging out. The closet door to the washer is open. There are clothes piled on the lid and the dryer door is open and the clothes are spilling out onto the floor into the kitchen. The dry cleaning is piled up by the door to take to the cleaners. The dog food is standing on the floor in the middle of the room and the cats rush toward me because they are hungry. {actually, it looked much worse most days}

I have about 5 minutes to slap on the makeup, throw on the scrubs and shoes, find the homework, thrust food into a hand and get everyone out the door and moving toward the car. Top all that off with the grandmother/mother call, at the exact wrong moment, who chose that second to rip my heart out with some well-honed comment that had been fermenting in her mind.

{That was before caller id and answering machines…. When you actually answered a ringing phone}

Now that’s a great start to a day.                   NOT.

There were times when I thought I was losing my mind. I was so entrenched – literally in the trenches. Holding my breath, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop from the grandmother/mother.

I would get so bogged down in the here and now and develop myopia of the mind; I looked around and saw only what was on the surface. But those were precisely the moments that the Holy Spirit would pray for me because I had just lost the ability- I had no words left to describe the turmoil nor to ask for what I really needed at that instant. I was stretched beyond my ability.

Little did I know… But God did. He knew that He was developing in me an endurance and patience beyond myself. Below is a quote from Oswald Chambers that describes pretty accurately what was happening in my life.

“Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says–‘I cannot stand anymore.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” – Oswald Chambers

If you are there, being stretched beyond what you think you can endure or stand, open up your grip on whatever is in your hand and heart at this moment, look at that open hand, take a big deep breath and know that you can trust Him. He does not stretch us to the breaking point, but to the point where we can be most efficient for His purpose.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

“For this reason ,since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

  “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” Hebrews 12:7