Two years ago, I started identifying a word for the year with the #OneWord365 challenge. It’s been helpful because it acts like a thesis for my year, the main idea under which I place my goals. It’s become a focus of prayer and intention throughout some interesting seasons. I’m always amazed to see how God uses the word to grow me in ways I couldn’t have seen in the beginning.
I’ve considered my word for 2017 for a few weeks now. In the early morning and middle of night feeds for my son, I’ve chewed on it. I’ve watched other folks pick their words and felt a touch envious because I simply couldn’t settle on it. As I’ve wondered and prayed, I've felt like God gave me a vision for this year, and yet I doubted it. Honestly, I didn't want this word.
And in a way, isn't that the point?
Just the other morning, I woke up and felt so optimistic about the day. Instead of remembering I have a 3 week old baby; I attempted to clean my house, complete too many projects, create time for writing, run a ton of errands, and think I would have energy for even more later in the day.
Bless my heart.
Only then I started to feel the settling of my word:
This is the year of small for me. This is the year I continue to give myself permission to not do it all. It's not like I ever had the ability to do it all; it’s that I tried.
And so, I feel the call to a season of less not more. It's a time where I pay attention to my people and my small calling in order to love better and flourish. I've decided to say no to the frustration and energy wasted from banging my proverbial head against the wall when I attempt to live outside of what is mine.
This is my story: I am an over responsible, rigid, perfectionistic, prone to depression and anxiety person who has healed by miles but still has a marathon to go. So while I've learned how to accept my limits in many senses, a huge life transition like a newborn brings me back to my start. So again, I am learning how I need to stay small, in the best sense of the word. In the sense that I honor my make up and limits and actually live further into my calling. When I honor how deeply I need Jesus and others I am better. When I accept some days I will literally accomplish almost nothing—at least according to productivity standards--I'm actually more life giving and loving.
Even now as I type this, a part of me wants a “better” word. I want something a little more glamorous. But here we are.
As I look 2017 in the eye, I find a core need is to let go of the desire to be finished, perfected and accomplished. I know someday when I look Jesus face to face, then I'll be done. Until then, I want to look at the part of myself still asking for too much and say, “sorry.” Perfection doesn’t make me valuable, my identity as beloved does.
This is my calling for the year, to be small, to steward my tiny calling well and to live out of my truest identity.