It’s 2018. New Year, new trials and tribulations, new hopes and dreams, new opportunities for 365 days. We’re beginning again with a clean slate for all, and are waiting for the joy these anticipations can bring.
Many of us may be glad 2017 is gone forever, never to return. We put it to rest like David put Goliath down, and are grateful for this new year, eagerly hungering for what anxiously awaits us.
For those of you who have followed my writing, at the beginning of 2017, I wrote a post titled, “What’s Your Word?” (https://anclif12.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/whats-your-word/) and I shared that I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. I’ve tried in the past, and miserably failed, usually by February. Instead, I choose a focus word for the year, one that helps guide decisions I make, positively influence how I view, process, and respond to various situations, and drive me to make better my and my family’s lives. I’m thrilled to say that I knew my focus word for 2018 before it was even here!
The word I chose (or I should say, was given to me), was INTENTIONAL. Maybe not as awe-inspiring or electrifying as “fearless” in 2017, but nonetheless, this word has not been able to escape my attention. It has been EVERYWHERE, jumping out at me like jackrabbits hopped up on caffeine. I had thought, prayed, and reflected on this word as 2017 came to an end, and realized that this was definitely the word I needed guiding me as I entered 2018.
Distractions abound everyday, and we can easily drift by each day, missing important moments, memories, and feelings because of something trivial, meaningless, and vain. Being “fearless” in 2017, in a large way, led me to pursue what I call, writing for real. I went to that conference. I started that blog. I put a couple of pieces of writing out into cyberspace, hoping someone would read them…
And then distractions started to abound. Multiply. Grow. And I got a little off track.
My posts online became fewer and fewer. (“Oh, I’ll post something tomorrow. Tonight I’m tired”). My time writing and developing ideas became less and less. (“It was a long day with the kids and I’m exhausted. I couldn’t write anything good right now anyway”). My personal growth hasn’t stopped, but maybe has slowed. (“I’ll get to it tomorrow night”). Can you relate in your life? One excuse after another for why you haven’t finished a project? Reached that goal? Or stayed in your comfort zone?
I’m in the trenches with you my friend.
So that’s why intentional has been flashing before my eyes, constantly, yet again. (You think the Man upstairs is trying to drop some hints?) “Fearless” was great and pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but what good will it do, if I don’t actively take steps to pursue my calling that has been given to me? What good will it do for you if you don’t take those careful steps to pursue your true calling? What good will it do for my family if I’m not intentional with them? Intentionally putting down my phone and playing with my children longer or purposefully spending more time listening to my son tell his imaginative stories or intentionally spending extra time with my husband that we can tend to miss out on in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We have to be intentional. We have to make purposeful choices. We have to think through our decisions, actions and attitudes and take the steps necessary to fulfill and live a life worthy of this calling we have bestowed on us (Ephesians 4:1). Because if we don’t, it’s all for naught. It’s fruitless and futile. And we’ll be left wondering, “What if?” We’ll be left wondering what could have been had we tried just a bit harder, practiced a bit more, or took that one chance.
Intentional. Purposeful. Baby Steps.
Here’s to 2018, and to all of us, walking together through it.