Around this time last year I began contemplating what I would choose for my word for the year.
It didn’t take me long to settle on “slowing.” The year before I had gone with “stewardship,” and I felt that this would help me grow in the same vein.
I can’t say that I was perfect at following my word for the year, in fact so much of the time I was racing to keep up so I could find the time to figure out how to slow down. But even in the craziness (and this year has been crazy), I had that reminder deep within me–a little something nudging my heart and saying, remember to slow down. And I sincerely tried to.
It was so far from perfect though.
There are areas where I have improved. For instance, going to bed early is a must–it helps keep me sane and gets me through the work week. Husband and I are devoted to spending Sundays together–we rarely even make any plans beyond “oh, this would be fun” or “we could maybe do that.” It’s been a wonderful practice to focus on resting, being, slowing, instead of getting things done.
And there are areas that still need improvement–like the frantic race from work to home to barn back to home to small group to home and finally grabbing a bite at nearly midnight.
So this year, as 2012 came to a close, I was pondering what my word will be for 2013. I prayed the Lord would reveal to me what He would have me focus on, what He would have me learn and pursue.
Several possibilities were tucked away in my brain, but the one I have settled on was not one of them. It came as a surprise when we were sitting in the Christmas Eve service at our church preparing our hearts to celebrate Christ’s birth. Suddenly, as we read a prayer the words leaped from the page and the Lord nudged my heart. Those were my words, right there in front of me, in black and white.
The prayer goes like this:
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us the strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Did you catch that phrase? Did it leap at you out of the text as it did for me?
Singleness of Heart
It’s a bold phrase, a real one. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to mean stretching, growing. I’m not even sure I know what it means…but I know I need it.
There are other goals for this year, of course, more concrete ones that I’ll share with you soon. And I will focus on those as well, but this little phrase will be the mantra of my year, the definition of my year… Singleness of Heart