A few years back I started coming up with a word to encapsulate the coming year. It is usually something I want to develop or a character trait I desire. See the past years here here and here.
This year was especially challenging. It wasn’t easy but the more I considered it one word came into focus. Then I received a book that sealed the deal for me. The word is
Concise and to the point. It invokes a couple of different images for me. One is that of, well, growing. Duh I know. I picture my little self maturing and bearing fruit. The other is that of a seed. It must die and be planted if it is to grow. I must die to myself a lot this coming year. I will be stretched and challenged beyond anything I have experienced to this point. And that takes some dying. Dying to grow.
I will be sharing more on this in upcoming posts. Please leave a comment on your word for the year if you have one, or on your thoughts regarding mine. I look forward to chatting!
Ann has a splendid tradition of naming each new year. Last year I started that little exercise as well. You can read about that word here.
This year I have been carefully searching for the perfect moniker for 2012. It’s not an easy task, to be sure. Something about the process seems weighty and significant and it’s easy to become paralyzed as the word lies just out of reach.
Last year lives up to it’s name. I expect this year to as well. My word for this year is
Salient–standing out conspicuously : prominent; especially : of notable significance
It is my aim this year to focus on the salient in my life, to always pay closest attention to the things that are most important and significant. It’s not easy to do in this world where everything—even the trivial—seems urgent and important. I pray God will help me filter the salient in my life and place it prominently before me.
By shifting our focus from what we do to what God does, don’t we cancel out all our careful keeping of the rules and ways God commanded? Not at all. What happens, in fact, is that by putting that entire way of life in its proper place, we confirm it. Romans 3:31 The Message
I am trying to keep my word for the year in the front of my mind. Pour. I am a seeker, searching meanings and clues to what this word means in my life this year. I want to be truly transformed by this idea of pouring.
“Pour” denotes an activity, which is very different than emptying. Being emptied is passive, it can happen without your consent or participation. Things can happen every day to empty us. Tragedy and stress and life itself can tear holes and drain out most everything.
Pouring takes action. You can’t pour out of a container without first taking hold. Purposeful holding. I want to not just be emptied this year, but to be poured. I place my earthen vessel in the hands of Jesus and trust that I will be poured out as He sees fit, as He fills me with whatever He deems useful and worthy.
Reading Ann’s post on her yearly ritual challenged and inspired me. I never had thought of doing that before but it makes sense. Naming a year seems to make it more purposeful, more important, more intimate.
So I set out to discover my own word for 2011. Like a child in a wondrous candy store, nose pressed, heated breath fogging the glass, I searched for the perfect word to summarize the focus of 2011. Would I choose something sweet and lemony like Refreshing? Maybe sugary, satisfying Joy instead. Or would I select the licorice root Righteousness? Oh what a wonderful dilemma!
So while I prayerfully considered my choices I reviewed some of the scriptures that have spoken to my heart lately. Then it jumped out at me.
And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. Is 58:10
I am poured out to be refilled.
It’s not simply “giving ’til it hurts” or until I am depleted. God doesn’t work that way. He gently and completely pours into us so that we can pour ourselves out again.
It’s such a beautiful thing when it comes full circle. Pouring to be refilled to pour out again. I am going to seek out ways to pour out to my family, my friends, the world, so that their needs might be met. And then getting refilled becomes the sweetest treat of all.