Friday, January 3, 2014

New year, new word

One Christian author that I greatly respect is Ann Voskamp. Her blog contains powerful writing about the daily struggles about living the life of faith. One spiritual practice that Ann promotes is choosing a word to guide the coming year. In 2013, I tried to focus on the word "quietness." I tried to spend more time alone. I tried to keep my opinions to myself; especially my opinions about things that could distract from my primary purpose of living for Christ. I still wanted to have an impact on others, but I wanted my impact to come more from my example than the words I spoke. I tried to be more open and less dogmatic and attempted to listen to smaller amounts of the shock-style spirituality so present in our culture. I watched less news and I incorporated more spiritual literature into my reading diet. While I don't think I attained "quietness" in 2013, being conscious of a desire for it and spending time in prayer concerning it helped me focus my spiritual energy in 2013. My prayer life was stronger in 2012 - mid-2013 than at any point in the last 10 years. I think the desire to be still and to be more focused on quietness greatly helped in this area. As far as I can remember, I didn't reveal this focus to anyone else until now, but I think the practice was beneficial.

For 2014, I have chosen the word - growth.  2014 promises to be a year of changes in many aspects of my life. New family situations, new living circumstances, entering a new decade of life, entering a second decade in my work at Lebanon - all promise to be big changes for me - a person who is fairly resistant to change. I also am actively seeking out opportunities to try new things and to move beyond my comfort zone. While spiritual growth will be an important part of 2014, I also want to grow socially, emotionally, intellectually, and in wellness in the coming year. I look forward to sharing this year of growth with you here on the blog. One reason I decided to change the format of the blog from the daily quotes to less frequent, more thoughtful posts is that I wanted to encourage myself to stretch and grow as a writer in this space.  I hope you will check back here throughout the course of 2014 and maybe we can grow a little bit together this year.

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