Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Forget New Year's Resolutions

Button courtesy of Melanie at Only A Breath

Welcome 2013! It's the second day of the new year and, for many, resolutions have been made and broken. Not me. I've long since given up on making and breaking resolutions at the beginning of each new year. The list was always the same - lose weight, work out more, read my Bible more, pray more - and, though my intentions were good, the results never changed. Ultimately, every resolution I ever made was broken.

A few years ago I was introduced to the One Word challenge. The idea is simple: One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

Though I liked the thought of focusing on one word throughout the year, I never stepped up to the challenge. Picking one word seemed too difficult, too risky. How do you pick just one word? What if I picked the wrong one? What if the word actually took shape in my life and changed me? 

Despite all the fears and doubts chasing each other in my head, this year I'm accepting the challenge. For several days I thought about different words - expect, believe, trust, justice - and even looked a few of them up in the dictionary for greater clarity. I prayed, asking God to shed some light on which of these words He would have me focus on this year.

Surprisingly, God chose a different word for me: return.

"Return" seems like an odd word. At first glance, it doesn't necessarily sum up who I want to be or how I want to live. Nor does it seem like a word to focus on day-in and day-out. 

What does return even mean? Return to what?

"Return" means to come or go back to, and it has undertones of restoration and redemption. At second glance, it's a perfect word for me. While I have little idea how this word is going to play a part in my life this coming year, I'm sure of two things:

God wants me to return to my first love - Him.

God wants to return to me what the enemy has try to steal, kill, and destroy.

There is little doubt that God has spoken this word - return - to me. My heart longs for those quiet, intimate moments with Him that are more often than not hurried and short. My spirit thirsts for His words, alive and breathing life into me. My soul longs for vindication from the Lord, for the return of peace, joy, and health to me and my family. For all the things that have been taken to be restored.

"Come, let us return to the Lord. He will heal us, He will bandage our wounds."

Did you make any New Year's resolutions or did you choose one word to focus on through the year?


tim gallen said...

wow, denise! your word (and post about said word) is way more memorable than mine. return. i love it! i chose finish as my word because i started so many good things last year but i've had difficulty through the years finishing projects and work that are important to me. this year is about the finish. but i hope i have a little return this year, too! wow! love it!

Jon Stolpe said...

I didn't make any resolutions this year (at least not yet). I do have some goals for the year though. As for my one word, I'm still working on this. Last year, my word was transformed. I want to stay the course this year.

Denise Dilley said...

Have you decided on your one word for this year, or will you stay with "transformed"?

I haven't made any resolutions, except for my "one word" resolution. I do have a list of goals that I'm working on that I hope to accomplish this year.

Denise Dilley said...

Thanks, Tim! I was surprised as I prayed and sought God for a word and He gave me "return." It definitely isn't a word I would have thought of, but it makes sense for my life right now.

I thought you chose the perfect word, especially since you say you're good as starting things but not finishing them. I hope as you go throughout the year you'll remember your word and focus on the finish line. I, for one, am looking forward to a couple of your projects being completed.

tim gallen said...

thanks, denise. i appreciate your encouraging words. i hope you're able to focus on the return this year. excited to hear what god has planned for you this year!

Michael Hawkins said...

What a great word for 2013. I love it. I think your prayer has been answered. "Return" is a perfect word -- in many ways.

I chose three words for 2013. You and your blog community can read about them here;

Best wishes for a FANTASTIC 2013!

Denise Dilley said...

Thanks, Michael. It's only 7 days into the new year, and I can already see God using this word in my life.

You chose three good words!

Best wishes back at ya! :)

Jon Stolpe said...

I'm actually thinking about the word "Epiphany". I want my year to be a constant revealing of Christ in my life - the Son of God.

Denise Dilley said...

Oh, I love it!

Denise Dilley said...