09 January 2014

One Little Word {2014}

I suck at New Year's Resolutions (minus the year I went to Weight Watchers & lost 30ish pounds).
I start off with grand expectations, like many of us, but by the time Valentine's Day rolls around I'm like, "Screw it, I'm eating the damn roll/cupcake/{insert your comfort food here}. 
Multiple things {resolutions}to work on actually make me anxious; probably because when I don't accomplish them the way I want, I can beat myself for it the following months.

But I like the idea of one little word to help guide, encourage, and give me direction as I start and live 2014. So I've been thinking and asking God what one little word would He like to use to help teach me is.

On NYE, Jim and I were driving to church for an evening of prayer, food, & ringing in 2014 with Jesus.  During prayer, earlier that day I was asking God and listening for guidance on a word.  I said to Jesus, "Lord, please help me cling more and more each day to your sacred heart!"  Cling. Hmmm, like a window cling?  Clinging to Jesus, yeah I like that...

Well I asked Jim what he thought, and his response was, "...Yeah I guess its okay, as long as you don't become one of those weird, crazy, clingy people."  Oh.okay.  Nothing like honest feedback from your spouse.  After he said that, I had all these weird images of crazy cat ladies or stalkers who can't take a hint running through my head.  And knowing that wasn't helping me stay focused or in tune to the voice of the Spirit, I decided to nix "cling."

So since then, I've been praying about it more.  And today in my prayer, I was struck by the word focus.  So I've been sitting with "focus" and its really starting to gel in me (not to mention I'm not getting images of cat ladies in my head anymore).
Lord, where do I need more focus in my life?  What are the things that you want me to focus on this year?
Honestly some of the things that came to mind surprised me, while some I think I always need to be consistent with.

Focus on...not being so reactionary
Darn it.  This one is hard for me.  I'm on the more emotional side of the feelings spectrum; when I'm happy, bubbly, you'll know it.  When I'm frustrated and ticked off at someone, I quickly react and sometimes let it just eat away at me.  I react {at times} poorly to mean.insensitive.any type. comments and actions so easily; and it doesn't always help that I'm a more sensitive soul.  I get worked up about dumb things and worry, "what does this text 'really' mean?" or "How can she act this way, does she realize how that comes off to other people?".  I need to focus and get better at how I react to situations with others.  If someone chooses to ignorant, mean, or insensitive, I have a right to how it makes me feel.  But I really should not get SO worked up about it, and just remember I actually have the power to decided how much/if at all this controls and affects my perspective, my attitude.

At work the other day, I reacted poorly to a series of texts from a family member; over-analyzed, got worked up, and frankly, just got my panties in a bunch.  While I was driving home, I was just talking {with a little venting} to Jesus about the whole situation.  As I was driving, I began to look more objectively at the situation and realized once again I over-reacted.  I sincerely started praying for this person; asking God to bless her, to help me genuinely love, and be kind to her.  It did help me re-evaluate the situation, and remember in the scheme of things it really doesn't matter.  Feelings are one thing, but its about how I react to those feelings and how much power I let them have over me.  Acknowledge when I catch myself being too reactionary, name my feelings, and then simply move on....

Focus on...spending daily time in God's Word
I'm sure a lot of people include spiritual goals in their resolutions, but this is one I have been trying to more faithful in the last few months.  Growing up as a Catholic, I definitely met and encountered the Lord in our faith.  And definitely was familiar with the Bible {in one year at Mass, through the readings, we actually read over half of the Bible!}, but never was really taught how to pray with Scripture or make it a regular part of my prayer life.  I have a great spiritual director who has always said just as we would reverence the Eucharist, so too should we honor and venerate the Word of God. love.that.

In the fall, Jim and I went on a retreat where a nun gave a talk where she said we have no excuse to not spend time with Scripture every morning {I've heard this before, but it has never struck me as much this time}.  Since then I have been slowly working my way praying and reflecting through the New Testament writings.  I set my alarm every most nights to 30-60 minutes before I need to leave for work in the morning, so I can have my prayer time in the morning.
Do I get up every morning? No, honestly right now my track record is 2-3 days each week.  But I keep striving and working at it, because when I do it I know I'm checking in with God, leaning on Him to guide my day instead of my plans I have already mapped out in my planner.  Since the beginning of December I've been making my way through the book of James; what an awesome little gem it is!!  Who knew 5 small chapters could be so jam packed with wisdom and relevance for where I am in life right now.

If I try to live my life mapped out my what I have written down in my planner, it won't necessarily be living the life God has for me.  But when I put Him first, get into Scripture, and bring my day before Him each morning, it is a sign that I am trying to live under the lordship of Jesus and not under the lordship of the world.

Focus on...not caring about what others think of me
Sometimes I care or worry too much about what other people think of me.  It comes in all sorts of forms from comparing myself to other people to feeling guilty when I have to say no to something.  I want people to like me, find me to be an enjoyable, fun person to be around; I mean, who doesn't want that?  But sometimes I care too much about what others think: was what I said the right thing, over-analyzing something said to me, and wondering were my words/actions mis-read or judged wrongly.  At the end of the day, it really can not be about trying to please other people, or even myself; but caring about what God thinks of me.  His opinion {along with my husband and family/friends} is really all that matters.

I think part of not caring about what others think of me, is related to having confidence and self-esteem; and not believing the negative self-talk which I am working on getting better at.  Sometimes I have to just chuckle as I think about Jesus not caring what others thought of Him.  He could have cared less that he ticked off the Pharisee's or when many disciples walked away from Him when they thought what He was calling them to was crazy.  If Jesus only cared about what His Father thought and not about all the nay-sayer's, how much more true is that for me?

We all need an attitude adjustment in an ongoing way throughout our life, so that we can become more fully who God created us to be.  We have all those certain area's of our lives that need direction and refinement.  And for where God has me in my life right now, this word resonates with me in so many ways.
I am excited and curious to see where this one little word will take, lead, and teach me in 2014...


  1. Umm, excuse me? Are we the same person? Your words hit my heart in every.single.aspect that you discussed focusing on. I'm definitely praying for you and looking forward to following your journey this year! :)

  2. We all should have more focus on God. and live in every aspect of him. I am dealing with things now and this is the quote I live by now a days.


    Whatever you're going thru, with the Lord with you every step of the way and with you praying and having faith and trust in him you will get thru it. IF you need a friend in Christ, i'm here for you.


  3. Joining in a bit late and popping over from the OLW blog hop. :)

    Wishing you well in your journey with focus . . .


09 10