Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Word Wrap-Up 2013: Hear

'The Sound of Silence: After Hours' photo (c) 2008, fotologic - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


For the last 3 years, I have participated in the One Word campaign/idea/thing. In 2011, I picked the word Hope. In 2012, I picked Faithful. And in 2013, I picked Hear. And I noticed that I'm really bad at following through consistently on my word. In 2011, I didn't blog about the word I picked, but I did a couple updates and a wrap up. In  2012, I blogged about the word I picked and had an update or two, but no wrap up. In 2013, I blogged about the word I picked and one good update. Then I fell off the blogging wagon and forgot my word.

Forgetting my word has been a bit of a theme across the last few years. Somewhere around mid-year I forget that I have a word to be focusing on and then in November or so, I pick it up again. It would seem that I would make no progress on the word during those months. However, the One Word campaign is more than just about me and my effort. It is about God and what he is doing. So when I pick a word it isn't what I would like to accomplish. It is what God plans to accomplish in me.

In 2011, I didn't see much progress on Hope, but today I see how much less I worry about stuff and how much more hope I have in God and His plan for my family and I.

In 2012, I didn't see much progress on Faithful, but today I see how much I trust God to speak into an individual's journey and how it isn't my job. I see how much better I am about getting things done around the house and financially.

In 2013, I originally started out with a heavy focus on writing. Then I threw in a smidge of God because it sounded good. (Well maybe more than just that, but not much more.) Then in my update, I heard God speaking to me about writing and life stuff. As the year progressed, my writing basically went away. I stopped blogging and I certainly didn't write anything else. I did journal about once a month, which isn't very awesome because my goal was 3 times a week. There was 1 month this year that I didn't blog a single word and 4 more months that I only blogged a few times. So my writing goals went out the window.

But what about the God part of my word?

In those 5 months, I felt lost. There were vast stretches of silence not just on the blog, but in life. I was nauseous and sick for about 24 weeks or so. I was tired and worn out. So I didn't put forth a lot of effort into writing, reading, journaling, cleaning, or anything really. That bothered me A LOT. I felt guilty about all the stuff I wasn't doing. I expressed some of those thoughts at Bible Study and one guy said, "Busy stands for Being Under Satan's Yoke." I listened to those words, but I also heard God's message that it was okay. I was slowing down and that was the right thing to do.

I tried to embrace the slowing down, but it was still a struggle. I wasn't ready for the nothing and the silence. It still felt like I was missing something or I should be doing something else. Then the Advent season of waiting brought me peace and acceptance. I can't say that there was one turning point. I can say there were lots of tears and some big changes. After those days, then came an uneasy peace which settled into simply peace.

My word for the year was Hear, but I didn't expect hearing to come with so much silence. There were things at my job that I relinquished. There were writing plans that I abandoned. There were social media 'obligations' that went undone. There were traditions that changed. There were job changes for my husband and people to whom we said goodbye. God silenced many things in my life this year, so I could hear the stuff that really mattered. My mother in law was healed of cancer. A little girl will be arriving at our house in March. My son needs attention from Mom and Dad and play time with those people. My extended family needs to hear more from me.

So I didn't hear what I expected and it didn't come to me in a way that I expected, but I do think I heard what God was saying. I also heard what he was not saying. In the hearing, I also learned to embrace a little bit of silence. I hope to find that at the close of 2014 I have grown in hearing and silence as well.


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