Tag Archives: new year

A Word for 2015

A word for 2015 | Faith and Composition

January brings with it the desire to reset, start afresh, wipe the slate clean. It’s an opportunity to sit down, review goals and aspirations, and map out some actionable steps. While I’m not a huge new year’s resolution fan, I do appreciate the invitation to dream big and look ahead with anticipation.

And while each of these things is good, healthy even, there’s a simple practice that has been more life-giving to me than resolution-keeping ever could be. It’s the act of choosing one word for the year, just a one-word theme to serve as a banner for the days and weeks that make up the messy, beautiful space of these 12 months. (See my word for 2014 here.) This one-word theme is simpler, gentler, than planning and goal-setting. Instead of checklists or strikethroughs on various actionable steps, it’s a continuous thread that runs through each day, binding the rising of the sun each morning to the setting of it each evening with a quiet, humble consistency.

For the past six to eight weeks as I’ve thought about this word, there has been one that has echoed softly, yet assertively through my mind. One word that wouldn’t let me go; one word that whispered in both the hushed moments and the busy hustle of going, doing, being.

Still.

Just be STILL …

A word for 2015 | Faith and Composition

 

 

Stillness in my schedule and stillness in my spirit. I’m not talking about a ceasing of activity or a complete putting-away of busyness. Rather, I long for a stillness that takes root in my heart and then overflows to transform and order the hours of my days.  

Because I’m tired of managing everything yet gaining nothing, tired of being here yet not being present. I want to quiet the noises in my head enough to hear the inquisitive questions of my kids; I want to put aside the tyranny of the urgent to make time for the more important; I want to still the chaos in my heart to rest in the peace of Him. Because when I rest in His peace, when I listen for His voice, certain things fall away and others come more fully into the light. Anxiety, fear, worry, hectic chaos, endless activity with little result … those things shrink when I’m simply still before Him. I find that my time expands, my spirit rests, my activities bear significance, and my conversations are rich with meaning.

So my word for 2015 is STILL. And although I don’t entirely know what that looks like from a practical standpoint, I’m excited to see and anxious to learn. In some ways, I think it may mean a paring down of certain things and a cleaning-up of others. I want stillness in my heart and stillness in my home, which may mean a move toward more simplicity, a weeding out of excess stuff. I also think it may necessitate a shift in my online habits, because when I’m tethered to my phone, constantly receiving messages, headlines, status updates, it all reverberates as loud, chaotic noise.

But more than anything, it means a commitment to spending some time still before the Lord. Whether that’s an early morning wake-up call, 20 minutes in the afternoon for a bit of scripture reading, or intentional worship played throughout the day, I just want more time with Him. 

I want to still my heart so I can let Him fill it.

I’ll likely be exploring more of this theme right here throughout the year, including ideas and insights on how to cultivate a heart of stillness in the midst of a busy family. What does it look like to be still when you’re a busy mom? I don’t know yet, but I’d love it if we discovered the keys to a soul stillness together! 

What about you? Do you have a word for 2015? Share your word in the comments, or over on the F&C Facebook page!

For a FREE Be Still printable, click here!

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A Word for 2014

Reflecting on 2013 and a word for 2014
I can hardly believe 2013 is coming to a close. It’s been a good year, most especially punctuated by the birth of our third child in January. After a quick labor and an all-natural waterbirth (I share just a bit about the experience here, if you’re interested), she joined our family with great joy. She has been such a welcome addition and has added light and life to all of us with her sweet demeanor. It has been an incredible blessing to watch her grow this year, and we look forward to celebrating her first birthday shortly!

And now I’m looking ahead to 2014 with excitement (placing an order for a new planner ASAP) and a bit of sadness. Sadness that the baby’s first year is coming to a close, that another year is winding down, that the hands of time never slow their onward march, and yet excitement for a fresh start and all that the coming year holds. There are new habits I’d like to instill, new things I’d like to learn, books I’m aiming to devour, skills I want to hone. I have aspirations for my husband, goals for my children, and wild hope for the new home we’re building. But more than that, there is a word that’s been echoing in my mind. It’s the banner over all my other plans for this new year.

I’ve been meditating a bit on the word serve, and this morning, as I opened Philippians and read through the first two chapters the words of chapter 2:1-11 jumped off the page.

Reflecting on 2013 and a word for 2014 | Faith and Composition


“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (4) not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (5) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

(6) Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
(7) rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!
(9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
(11) and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

And so I’ve chosen serve as my banner for this new year. I want to cultivate an attitude of service done in love toward my husband and my children. I want to be open to the ways I can serve the needs of others. I want to do less out of selfish ambition and more out of humility; and I want to do it all with an attitude of joy, void of grumbling or complaining.

As any mother knows, the very role of motherhood is defined by servanthood, and yet if I’m honest with myself, I frequently serve the needs of my family with a begrudging spirit. That’s certainly not the atmosphere I want to foster in my home, thus the crux of this matter needs to take root in my heart. As Proverbs 14:1 says: “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

So here’s to 2014 and all that it holds, dear friends! I look forward to sharing more of this new year with you right here on this little space, and I hope that 2014 holds promise and growth for each of you.

Have a word for the new year? Share your word or a few specific resolutions in the comments. I’d love to celebrate the coming new year and all that it promises with you!