2018: Intentional Living
Happy New Year!!
If you're reading this, that means you too made it to 2018, thank God! We're only 4 days into the adventure, the blessing, and the mystery that is the year 2018!
Much of this post comes from a journal entry I wrote with pen and paper on January 1, 2018. And I'm excited to share some gems, from other writers, that have been resonating with me as well.
Many people start the New Year with shallow resolves and fickle resolutions that evaporate at the first sign of challenge. And in general, I have never been one to participate. In many ways this year is no different.
"...the difference between 2017 to 2018 is just one meaningless number...a number does not have the power to change us, only our decisions do."
There's nothing wrong with New Year's Resolutions as long as they are goals backed by discipline and commitment, and not simply wishful thinking.
Although, I don't have any resolutions confined to 2018, this year I did decide to pick a word for the year.
According to my big sister Kerry, in a post she wrote on Surrender last year, "For the past several years, choosing a Word of the Year, has become a trendy activity...you choose to focus on one word that will serve as your guiding word for the year....its not as simple as it may seem....
Still the great thing is, if you let it, that one word can not only shape your year, but every moment and decision of your life."
My word for this year is
Why? I want to live on purpose and with purpose.
In 2017, there were some areas were I made conscious efforts and reaped the benefits—reading my Bible regularly, work, communication in my marriage, and serving at church. But other than those areas, I remained passive, and kind of let 2017 happen to me. As opposed to being a more active participant in my life.
One of my greatest takeaways from my Bible reading at the end of last year is Luke 10:41-42, a passage where Jesus is talking to Martha,
"...you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing." (NRSV)
Other translations say, "only one thing is needful (or necessary)."
And what is that one thing? Drawing near to God, through prayer and reading His word.
In 2017, there were times when I was worried about, and distracted by, a lot of things. But I found that when I made drawing near to God a daily priority I was much more focused and I could handle even the most overwhelming situations.
God is intentional in everything He does—He has a divine and eternal purpose for everything! And if I'm His child, and a reflection of Him, then, I need to be intentional too. I don't want to be a passive bystander in 2018, I want to play an active role in experiencing everything God has in store.
Intentional living requires slowing down and making time to think through decisions. It looks like refusing to be pressured to give a "yes or no" answer, without first thoughtfully contemplating its effects.
In our fast-paced society, that demands more and more at a rapid pace, intentional living is very counter-cultural. In other words, I don't expect society to cater to my personal conviction, which means there will likely be challenges and opposition at every turn.
I don't care.
Intentional living is what I have to do to fully lay hold of the abundant life Christ promised me. So, I will remain rooted in drawing nearer Him and making that my most pressing daily priority.
Intentional Living On a Practical Level
For me living with intention looks like remaining intentional about engaging with God's word daily, and spending more time in prayer.
I will be intentional with my time—choosing pursuits that require active engagement like reading and writing, rather than things that let me be a passive viewer (like social media and TV).
I'll be intentional about moving my body more, rejoicing in my physical abilities to stand and walk and dance and lift my hands—and glorifying God for those abilities rather than taking them for granted.
I will be intentional about lifting others up and encouraging them.
I will be intentional about cherishing special moments, and refuse to be pressured into sharing those moments in real time, or even sharing them at all.
I will be intentional about following my conviction about authenticity, honesty, and transparency, rather than joining the trend to showcase a misleading, perfectly-curated life.
I believe, the more intentional I am, the more I slow down to think things through, the less time I will waste on silly mistakes that cost me peace of mind and the precious commodity that is time itself.
I'm excited about everything 2018 will bring, and to see God's intentions for my life manifest! And I'm equally excited about being ready and actively reaching to receive.
What about you, do you have a word of the year? I'd love to know what it is and why! Or maybe you have specific goals for 2018. Let me know in the comments, and let's keep each other lifted in prayer!
Grace and Peace to you,