I admit it. I’ve been in a funk – personally, physically, professionally, spiritually, relationally. Pretty much in every way, the winter doldrums have been widely apparent. Normally the winter blues don’t hit me until February, but this year they’ve arrived early.
December was a rough month for me. It seemed as though the sun only shined one or two days. Normally Advent is one of the most powerful and personally-meaningful seasons of the Liturgical year for me, but this year I never really “got” into it. The days were darker in more ways than one. As the daylight time decreased, news reports of local and global tragedies grew. Coupled with all of that, I stopped running (and I was doing SO well too!! grrrr) and started eating terribly. By the time Christmas rolled around, I was grumpy and mad.
Thankfully, New Year’s was just around the corner. Days have been sunnier already, daylight is growing, and the night is receding. As I turn the page to a new year, I am hoping to have a “renewed me.”
Last year I was introduced to the idea of having a “Word of the Year.” If you aren’t familiar with this concept, google it and you’ll discover a host of websites, books, and Facebook groups that explain the idea. In short, having a “Word of the Year” is a way of funneling or focusing your life-goals and New Year’s Resolutions under one word. I like the way blogger Christine Kane explains it: “The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing the BE level of your life, then the DO level and HAVE level follow more easily.” In other words, a Word of the Year focuses on who we are/want to be first and allowing what we do to flow out of that.
I tried this with our church in 2014. Our Word of the Year was GROW. It was portable, easily remembered, and applicable in countless ways. We wanted to grow spiritually so that our lives more resembled Christ’s. We wanted to grow numerically, so we set a goal to welcome seven new families into our church. We wanted to grow our ministries, so we revamped our Vacation Bible School program and began identifying new Sunday School/Bible Study leaders. Overall it was a successful first attempt.
This year I am applying the Word of the Year concept to my own life. My Word of the Year is BALANCE. I discovered the image below when a pastor-friend of mine posted it on his Facebook timeline. It resonated with me then, and I’ve found myself regularly coming back to it. I think a large part of my unrest has come from living an unbalanced life. This year I want to be far more intentional and purposeful in working toward creating balance in the four categories pictured – worship, love, play, and work. Perhaps in the next few weeks I will flush out how I intend live into my Word of the Year through these categories this year. I want to BE a more balanced person. Let’s see what I should DO to HAVE that.