lessons in love

My Word for 2017

I have heard, for the past two years or so, about having a word for the year. I read through a few blogs posts a few Decembers back, and most of the ladies writing were talking about deciding on their word for the following year. Not sure what exactly they meant, I read through and saw they explained that they would pray and think about focusing on a word (or words, for some) for the following year – a word that would embody all they planned to focus on, work on, pray on, and live out. It seemed pretty interesting, but I seemed to forget about it until mid-February or later. So, I’d just put in the back of my mind.

Well, here it is December, and I am actually remembering to do it! I have been praying this week and looking up Scripture about certain words or themes. There are so many words I could focus on in my life to really draw my attention more to the Lord. But, after several days of serious prayer and reading, I think I have settled on my word for 2017:

CONSISTENCY

It isn’t a very exciting word. Doesn’t really catch much attention. BUT, it kept coming up in my thoughts and as I would one moment be in prayer and the next yelling at one of the kids. Yikes. Not very consistent.

Dictionary.com defines “consistent” as

adjective
1. agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory: His views and actions are consistent.
2. constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc.: a consistent opponent.
3. holding firmly together; cohering.
4. Archaic. fixed; firm.

For me, the word consistency is going to be for focusing on all areas of my life – my role as mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, and so on. I am so skilled at hiding my emotions to those around me, yet unleashing them on my children and husband at home in private. It is super ugly. I have cried many times about it, repented, and then fallen right back into the trap of anger, bitterness, resentment. The really ugly part is that the moment I walk out the door of our house, I slap a smile on and am the nicest lady to those around me. I will go out of my way to help a stranger in the grocery store parking lot or help a gal pay for her purchases when she realized she had no cash on her (true story). But, should my ten-year old act immature at the store…..boy, my eyes become darts headed in her direction. I have no patience with my own children, but have no problem waiting ten minutes on the person in front of me in line. It is a shame. My actions should be ‘not self-contradictory’ as the dictionary defines.

I want to focus on being consistent in my behavior and any other area I am convicted in. I just feel very disjointed – acting one way at home and another in public. Another area would be in my testimony – I want to be consistently sharing the Good News of Salvation with others. I am very irregular about witnessing, unfortunately. I like the fourth definition of consistent above….”fixed; firm.” My faith should be fixed and firm, which then makes me assume it will pour out of me more among others. If I am firm in my faith and the work the Lord has put me here to do, my testimony to His goodness and salvation would be much more evident.

A few verses I looked up (all in ESV), knowing they deal with consistency, are:

I Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Titus 2:7-8 – “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

James 1:4 – “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Hebrews 10:23 – “ Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

That last one is so comforting. No matter how much I fall short in having consistent faith, Jesus is always the same – the perfect example of consistency!

I know it is a busy couple of days that we have left to 2016, but I would encourage you to think of a word or words to focus your heart on this coming year. Just planning and praying about it has been so encouraging. I look forward to a whole year focused on it!

Do you already have a word for 2017?? Would you care to share it and your reasons for choosing? I would love to hear!!

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