One Little Word 2017: Serve

serve

You know that a year slipped and spiraled away from you when you sift through your posts to find your “One Little Word” for the previous year, only to realize you never wrote that post you were sure you did.

This will be my 5th year doing One Little Word. It’s been absolutely amazing to see how perfectly the words God has given me each year have been in describing how my life would stretch, grow, and change through those years. Since it’s something I pray about the words are not often ones I would choose, or that I want, but rather ones that God impresses upon my heart as I ponder the direction life will go with the coming year.

For 2016 my One Little Word was Trust

Like all my previous years, it proved to be poignant and so fitting over and over throughout the year, which was full of exciting, joyful, crazy, and suspenseful changes for our family.

A busy, bustling last semester of college for Bob and crazy regular life for us brought our lives in East Texas and living with Bob’s parents to a close as we said goodbye to commitments, friendships, and service. In typical God fashion we found out at the exactly right time and last moment what job Bob was supposed to take, through 2 job offers so perfectly timed and orchestrated so that it could have only been His hand showing us the way.

Next came the flurry of house hunting and the loan application process that lead us into a part of Texas we’d lived close to for four years, but never visited or heard of before that point. Just when I was sure we’d found *THE* home for us, I’d end up in a puddle of tears as the inspection came back horrific or we got the call that it had been bid out from under us by a buyer who paid cash for the entire amount.

I learned that Trust is so much harder than it seems, but that God is truly patient and forgiving. Each time I’d stamp my feet and cry my tears and sigh my sighs He lovingly re-directed me, my eyes, my thoughts, and my dreams to the path they were supposed to be on. It’s one thing to tell God, “I trust You. I only want for You to put us wherever You want us.” It’s quite another when He starts to guide and direct and you back peddle, “Are you sure about that one??? That’s not what I had in mind when I told you that.”

Though my year of Trust had it’s stumbles and trips, God’s hand lovingly upheld me through it all. He was faithful and answered prayer and already I can begin to see how He perfectly set everything into motion to get us exactly where we needed to be when we needed to be there. Like so often in my life, it’s the last thing I thought He had for us, but I’m wonderfully joyful and blessed right where He’s called us to be, as He knew I would be.

From Trust in 2016 to 2017

As I have for the past several years, as the year drew to a close, through all the holiday joy and crazy, my mind started to form and pray about my One Little Word for the upcoming year. Like my year with “Wait” this year’s word kept crowding into my mind, tugging at the corners, forcing itself to my attention.

Serve.

Like with the year Wait, I wanted to push it aside. No, no Serve. I don’t want you. Let’s focus on a fresh, cozy, or happy word! One of those that the other people are throwing around. Even a word like Intentional would be fine. Not Serve, though.

But yes, my word for 2017 is Serve.

And this time I’m OK with admitting to you that I’m not even sure why it is Serve. I know that God has been hacking away at my selfish, prideful, and narcissistic sins for the past several years, and there’s no better way to cut to the quick of what I struggle with most than through loving Service. I know that I need to focus on my marriage, and on my parenting, and in my ministries, and I know there’s no better way to Grow, to Bless, and to Trust–than through a servant’s heart in these areas.

How, what, or who God will be calling me to Serve, or how it will look played out through the year, though, I have no specific callings or ideas.

I’m excited, though. I’m excited to push past my selfishness and embrace this year, this word. I’m excited for the riches and the growth it’s sure to bring.

I’m excited, to Serve.

 

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One Word 2014 – Bless

Yesterday I shared just how much my One Word for 2013 impacted my life, and that I was excited to choose my word for 2014–knowing just what a big change it might make!

There wasn’t much of a question though, really. There has been a word that’s been pressing itself into my heart and my mind for several months now, and fully formed once I remembered the One Word for the year. I did pray about it, but it was perfectly clear to me which word would be my guiding beacon throughout 2014, and after the year I had of Grow, it really makes perfect sense!

My word for 2014 is….

One Word 2014

Bless – to provide (a person, place, etc.) with something good or desirable

Bless. It might seem strange, at first, until you start to think about it. This year I only  want to choose, do, say, think, or participate in things that will bless. Things that will bless God, bless my family, bless others, bless me.

Although it might sound a little strange, I’ve decided this year to pass everything through the “filter of bless”. Before you get weirded out on me, hear me out. Before I choose to say, do, or participate in anything I will consciously stop and ask myself, “Will this bless? Will this thing I’m about to say bless the person it’s being said to? What about the person it’s about? Am I doing it to build myself up in pride, or is it truly something that is good and desirable?”

Before I choose to fritter away time online when I need to be working I will remind myself that it is more of a blessing to focus my time and save “pointless stuff” for the chunks of time when I can actually enjoy and be blessed by it, rather than when it chips away my day and guilt me.

Before I choose to say yes to another job, or activity, or thing I will stop and consider if it will be be a good and desirable for me and my family, or if it will cause added stress and clutter in our lives and schedules.

I know that the Bible is full of verse about Bless and blessings, and I can’t wait to do a word study on bless throughout this year, to really dig into what God has for me and this word in 2014.

Have One Word that you’d like to share? I’m linking up with the Compassion Bloggers who are also sharing their one word for 2014 and I’d love to see yours as well!

A Year In Review – One Word 2013

One Word 2013

At the beginning of this year, nearly one year ago to the date, I shared with you my decision to pick a singular word to focus the year around. The word that was impressed on my mind at the time was Grow. A few weeks later I shared what areas specifically I wanted to Grow In.

And then I went on with my year, somewhat forgetting about my one word for the year. That is, until a few months ago when I was sent the prompt from Compassion Bloggers that it was almost time to pick a new word for 2014.

And I thought–what was my word for 2013 again?

When I went back and looked at my word, Grow, and the post I wrote about it, I was stunned. Stunned, because this must have been a God thing, choosing the word “Grow”.

Continue reading “A Year In Review – One Word 2013”

Grow in….

I mentioned that my word for 2013 is Grow. Without something to work towards, however, words are just that, words. And while I’m trying to avoid a list of resolutions to break, I do want to get the areas I want to grow in so I have some concrete ideas of what I do want to accomplish this year!

  • Grow in Health
    • Exercise and eat right consistently to lose weight (10 lbs), gain energy, get toned, & get sick less often
      •  Accomplish this by running 3 times a week and work on decreasing my mile time and working up to running 2 miles in one session. Do ab work outs at least once a week
      • Eat better by maintaining a food journal & having 4 “good girl” days a week and 3 “cheat” days
    • Get out of the house often and play outside so the kids can get fresh air and exercise as well (yey for Texas to make this easy year round!)
  • Grow in Grace
    • Strengthen spiritual walk w/ the Lord by daily prayer, Bible reading, writing devotions, & weekly Bible study
    • Be more generous and giving, look for opportunities to reach out and help others
    • Trust God for strength and wisdom for grace in our current situation
    • Work towards strengthening marriage even more and putting Bob first.
  • Grow in Balance
    • Keep on top of emails daily
    • Do finances daily
    • Keep up with reviews & giveaways and don’t take on more than I can handle
    • Add more content based posts to my blog
    •  
  • Grow in time for Myself
    • Write at least one article, review, devotion, or snippet of life daily
    • Start my new blog
    • Read (at least) 52 books this year and review each one
    • Make time each week to organize and edit pictures and begin digitally scrapbooking again
  •  Grow in Parenting Simply and Intentionally
    • Participate in a playdate and/or story time weekly for Amber & Tyler, look into extracurricular activities for Amber (dance, swimming lessons, etc)
    • Preschool 3 times a week with Amber
    • Build in quality time for just play and fun with both kids each day
  • Grow in Thankfullness
    • Be purposely joyful each day
    • Take time to keep up with friends & family
    • Cultivate and create friendships in our new home and work on maintaining the long distance ones

So many areas–to grow!!!

Nicole Elliott

One Word 2013: Grow

Last year my theme going into 2012 was No Excuses. Looking back I’m happy with how I took this, embraced it, and ran with it. I got into the habit of working out 3 times a week, eating a little healthier, doing regular devotions, and many, many of the other items on my 2012 To Do List can now happily be crossed off.

There was a surprise, however, in that it didn’t turn out to be a normal year–well, let me rephrase, it DID turn out to be a normal year with yet another cross country move and total upheval of our lives as we transitioned from military family to civilian college family, from being 2,000 miles away from any relatives to living with them.

All of these things go swimming around in my head, complicated and crazy. So I decided to just pick one word for 2013, one word to help me guide my focus and keep to my goals. That word is

as I look at my goals from year to year it strikes me that they are all a steady continuation. To be more healthy, more godly, more of a helpmeet to Bob and wonderful mother to our children, to be a more loving friend and a kinder person are goals that will take a lifetime to achieve.

These are not things that can be ticked off nicely at the end of one year. And to be sure the growing process–the stretching, maturing, re-shaping of my ideas, thoughts, and attitudes, is a difficult journey with many tumbles, aches, and pains.

But I’m getting to the place where I can see the benefits. I can see the hard needs to come for the good to come to. So as we face these next few uncertain years–instead of writing down a tidy little list and expecting the year to go my way I instead picked a word. Grow. I expect that 2013 will cause me to grow, stretch, and change in ways that I don’t imagine but that are needed. So here is to 2013, I look forward to striving, learning, changing, and yes–growing this year!

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

Thanks to my sweet blogger friend From Tracie who inspired me to pick one word for the year.

Nicole Elliott

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