Did you know we have entered the final quarter of the final year of this DECADE??!! These are IMPORTANT days!! How are you approaching these last three months of 2019? “How did the first three quarters go for you? In January, Sharon and I introduced you to a practice we have been doing for a while now.....we asked you to choose a Word of the Year to use as a personal mantra, a goal toward change, a journey to bring clarity and focus to your life. Did you choose a Word? Did you stick with it, and check-in with it from time-to-time, to see what kind of meaning it was manifesting in your life? It’s not too late!!! You have three more months until we turn over to a new decade to re-focus and re-purpose your intentions!!
Some of the words you chose and reported to us in our Word of the Year Facebook group were: STEADFAST, DREAM, SELF-DISCIPLINE, ACCOUNTABLE, INTENTIONAL, LEARN, UNSTOPPABLE, MINDFULNESS, BELIEVE, AWARE, COURAGE, FORTITUDE, COMMITTED, REST, GRATITUDE, and RELEASE. Wow, those are some powerful words!!!
My Word of the Year that I chose back in December was EXPECTATION. In accepting that word, I was excited and intent on turning all of my expectations - of myself, of other people, of my work, my influence, my opportunities or lack of opportunities, things I hoped for and things I wanted to give up.....I wanted to choose expectation that God would be a part of all those things, and to expect that He would show Himself clearly when I sought Him out. I wanted to fully expect to reap His rewards and blessings (and challenges, and provision and acceptance). So, I’m going to share with you a brief summary of the first three quarters and where I stand now, in terms of expectation and how I’ve seen God working (and where I’ve seen Him ask me to wait...). One of those things people say is, “be careful what you wish for...” It seems that whatever Word of the Year I choose, I find plenty of ways that it will challenge and grow me as I consider it and apply it to my life...
In Hebrews 11:1, it says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” If that doesn’t connect with expectation in God, I don’t know what does. The first three months of the year, January through March, were a bit rough for me. I had some family issues going on, a lot of unrest in my spirit, and was having trouble “letting go and letting God.” It was a struggle, and I was a bit down and frustrated, to be honest. As I went on through the next quarter, April-June, I started to realize that my “expectation/hope” that things might settle down with these situations and my inner peace was unrealistic and actually trying to control things, not let go. As I prayed, diligently, for the same situations, over and over again, I realized that being in the muck is ok, if you look up and know you are not in it alone. Was I still seeking to fulfill my own expectations of how I wanted things to be resolved, or was I going to realize that the whole idea of expecting in God means the results are His, not mine??
God was with me through every minute of frustration, every pang of hurt I experienced (including the passing of my dear father-in-law in April). I was gradually learning that the expectation I needed to be looking for was God’s presence and provision through all of it, and the hope that His Will is always best, and even if it seems hard or makes no sense some days....it will in His time. I found a great therapist who has been helping me to embrace where I am and set goals toward doing what I can, and letting go of expectations and results that I can’t have any control over.
As summer came around the corner, I was expectantly seeking that “summer rest and relaxation.” My outside of the homework schedule was going to be light, and we had some beautiful trips planned. I expected the summer to be sunny, warm, and peaceful. Silly me, why do I do that? Why do I continue to put my human expectations on God’s plan and will for my life? I had been praying for years about God’s calling upon my life to use my artistic ability and encouraging heart to do something for people. In the second quarter of this year, God was busy clarifying that vision for me. He put it on my reluctant heart to start an art and encouragement business. I am not a business person, and I don’t like to “put myself out there.” But the tide was flowing out of my control (duh, wasn’t my tide to control), and my website, Instagram account and Facebook page were ready to launch in early August! Not what I had been expecting from my relaxing, slow summer....to be starting a new business! Let alone trying to embrace a new identity that I had never craved - becoming an “entrepreneur”!! Yikes!! Seriously, not what I was expecting and not what I was prepared for.
So, here we are entering the final quarter of the DECADE! I think I am finally to a place in my journey with my “Expectation” Word of the Year that if I am going to give my heart, my purpose and my intention over to God in the form of a Word of the Year, I better believe and trust that He is going to be faithful to grow me through that word. And He has - in hard ways, but in vibrant and profound ways. I have come to the place where I look forward to seeing how He is going to close out this word for me and what word He will bring me next to kick off the next new decade. I will keep seeking Him and doing the work it takes to see His presence and provision in my life. It makes life all the more purposeful.
Please comment on his post, or go to the Word of the Year Facebook group and let us know what you have learned or received from this Word of the Year practice. And again, it’s not too late! There are almost three months left in this decade, make every day count!
Love you ladies!