At the start of 2018 I had all these plans. Plans to buy a house, hire a new doctor in our office, more time off for Derek, and sleep train Oliver (again).
I mean, I had PLANS. Want to know how many of those goals I achieved?
ZERO. None. Nada.
Looking back, I can see that my plans, they were never in God’s plans. At least not for 2018. I can see that what was in His plans were for me to learn about obedience.
Listen, I know it’s 2019 and the word obedience gets a bad wrap.
Yeah! Stick it to the man and all that!
But God? I’m not going to “stick it to Him.”
This past year I was able to respond to God by being obedient to something He has put on my heart for many years. My story. This blog.
And that doesn’t mean I sat down and started typing. I took a class called “The Next Big Step” that was all about helping you take that leap. Figuring out what it is you want to do, and how to move forward towards that goal. (Side note: If that’s something you want/need, I’ll add the links at the bottom for you!)
When I started that class I didn’t know what I wanted to do with God’s calling. It was all unclear, but I knew it was a feeling I couldn’t ignore any longer. It was time to respond.
As I began, God put people in my path to encourage and support me. People who helped me with questions and struggles.
(Huge shout out to Derek. He cleared, and still clears, his schedule for me every Tuesday morning so I could be alone to write. So I have time to respond to God. He built this website after the one I built wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted to. He is my biggest fan, the first to read each post, and the first to be real with me. #imarriedup)
I was listening to the Dad Tired Podcast and something Jerrad said stuck with me. He spoke about how he talks with his kids about the importance of being obedient to your parents.
It’s important for your kids to practice obedience. Simply because when God calls them to do something, when He calls them for His purpose, they will have had practice in obedience.
I loved that.
I ate it up. It resonated with me.
I am God’s child. He has called me to this, and so, as an act of worship I needed to respond with obedience.
I have to admit, being able to sum up my year in a word has been so fun. It’s like I get to wrap it all up, put a big bow on it with a handwritten word to label it, “Obedience”. Such a beautiful gift.
And now I see, “Do you have a word for the year?” is starting to trend in captions on IG this year.
Six years ago, was when I was first introduced to this concept. It was in my first bible study.
A friend had talked about how she prays for a word from God every year.
She asks, what does He want her to focus on during the coming year? How will He grow her?
Over the years I’ve heard friends talk about having a word for the year and what it meant to them. We often talked about how in the beginning the word would give them anxiety, cause confusion or excitement
Last year a friend’s word was FIGHT. She didn’t know what it meant at the time (never do). But boy did she fight through some shit this year.
It is so awe inspiring to look back on her year with her and see how hard she fought for herself, her health, and for her faith.
This year was the first year I started to pray for a word.
It was the first year I felt comfortable asking God to reveal a word to me. One I could pray over, resonate or struggle through with Him.
I started praying in November.
Since then a word started popping up. And it caught my attention while packing for Christmas in Florida.
While picking out clothes for the trip, I broke into tears. Looking at myself in my mirror, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin.
I thought, “Why can’t I see myself through God’s eyes? Why can’t I see myself like He sees me? Why can’t I love myself that way?”
Through my tears I heard this tiny voice that said, “Find the joy.”
Huh? The joy in what? My body? How uncomfortable I am in my own skin or my clothes that don’t fit?
I stared at myself in frustration …“Find the joy.”
I didn’t listen. I cried and got angry instead. I listed all my “go to’s”: If we only had a bigger place with work out room in it. If we only lived somewhere warm so I could run year round. If the kids would actually let me sleep. If we only made more money, blah, blah, blah…
I spiraled. It wasn’t pretty.
And my husband, he was so good to me. He didn’t try to fix my struggle, he let me wrestle with it for a little, till I was ready to be loved again.
I wish I could tell you that was when the joy entered, but it didn’t.
Reflecting on that moment now I realize that I was actually fighting against joy. And that joy might be what this year is all about.
That’s my 2019 word.
It has come up many times since that night. In books, conversation, social media, and little whispers in my head…
This past Monday night The Bachelor premiered.
Those of you who know me, you know how much I love that slice of “reality TV”. My family members know that Monday nights often mean an earlier routine so Mommy can watch her show.
I get to relax with my Bachelor Bracket, my friends and family members on texts. All while Derek snuggles up next to me on the couch. I get to spend two hours laughing and sending hysterical gifs back and forth. #sorrynotsorry
BUT, that night other people and things took priority. Between Landon’s basketball game, carpool, getting adjusted, and picking Derek up at work. It made for later dinner time and later bedtimes.
I was grumpy. I was.
Until I heard it again, “Find the joy.”
I looked up from my dinner, and there we all sat on a Monday night as a family. Talking about our days, about basketball. Giggling about how when the dentist asked Oliver to open his mouth he looked her straight in the eyes and said, “no.”
It was there. I didn’t snap out of it right away, the way I now wish I had. But the word softened me.
I let go of my entitlement after Landon said, “Ma, your show is on.”
I responded with, “It’s okay. I’ll catch it tomorrow on Hulu.”
You know, I’m not sure what the year holds. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t be all joy all the time. But, I know I can work on finding joy in the struggle.
I can work on learning about the JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) and forget about the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Oh the JOMO, I’m actually excited about this one. When I miss out on something it’s more opportunity for me to rest or spend time with my family. Or more time in the word, or more time with myself. There is so much joy in those things. I am embracing missing out on things this year.
Honestly, I know that I have been at war with my body for a long time. But, maybe this year is the year I find the joy in it. Maybe this year I will be able to see it through His eyes.
Here’s the thing, all these things seem so small, and I know I could never even begin to guess what God has in store for me. But, I am willing to be obedient, and pursue His goals for me this year.
Cheers to 2019, may we all learn to find the joy this year, no matter what our word is.
The Next Big Step
The Next Big Step was a program with Kelle Hampton and Corinne Bowen. I highly recommend it. They offer other courses on mindset and even a photography course. All online, all full of women who are on the same path and adventure as you.
SammyJanuary 11, 2019 at 10:15 am
Oh my gosh, Heather! JOMO! That is it! i love that idea. And I love your posts…where have I been in 2018 (??) because I missed when you started writing this blog! lol Thanks for sharing your voice – you truly have a gift. <3 Sending love from Santa Barbara!
Jennifer ArazaJanuary 11, 2019 at 10:39 am
So beautifully written Heather!!!! I chose a word for the first time in my life last week! (Organized- it’s been a huge pain point for pretty much everything in my life for way way too long. Time to focus on that!) love
your posts always 🙂