Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013's Word


Last year I read a blog post - I believe it was my friend Nicole's - right before New Year's about choosing one word for the upcoming year. It could be one that you choose for yourself, or one that you allow God to provide you with, if that's something you believe He is capable of doing. I loved the idea. Especially since I was 4 months deep in the uncertainty of my 9 month stint of unemployment and desperately seeking guidance for what my next steps would be, I figured my year could use all the direction and help it could get.

So one night, after I had just received news that I didn't get a certain job I wanted, I set off (in tears) to the chapel at my church where anyone can go at any time (well until 10pm) to sit inside and pray or journal or do whatever it is you need to do there. I felt so frustrated and lost and confused as to where I was supposed to turn next. So I remembered this exercise and prayed specifically for God to provide me with my word for 2012. I clearly felt like the word I received was "Purpose." It was fitting for a lot of reasons, but mostly I was clinging to the idea that this was the year I would live purposefully. In my job, relationships, blog, dreams, etc. I didn't want just another job. I wanted one that was going to fulfill my calling and bring me closer to the dreams I always dreamed for myself. I wanted to live intentionally and with meaning and not waste time on activities or careers that weren't going to benefit others and glorify God. I wrote that word down and held onto it tight as I left the chapel that night, still feeling slightly helpless, but trusting God would not let me go.

Fast forward through 12 months. Man this year didn't turn out how I thought it would. I don't say that resentfully, but I also will be honest and say I was surprised to see the turns my year took when I felt so clearly at times that I was meant to head in a different direction. I've spent a decent amount of time trying to analyze how the word "Purpose" played out in my year and if I felt I succeeded or failed at living up to its definition. My first instinct is to say that I failed to live with purpose in 2012. Not entirely because of my own choices, but even because of unexpected opportunities or experiences that popped up that weren't in line with what I thought was "God's plan" for me last year. 

But in a moment of grace, and upon deeper reflection, I realized that even if I didn't end this year where I thought I would, I honed in on my purpose in life more this year than ever. Through the 6 months of it I spent unemployed, I was given incredible vision and clarity for the type of impact I want to have on this world. I began serving in ministries that would grow to be some of the most important parts of who I am now. And I endured situations that allowed God to mold and soften my heart in a way would change me forever.

I don't ever want the word "Purpose" to stop being part of my story, even if it isn't my word for the following year. I am so thankful I was given that word, and for every chapter of 2012; good, bad, exciting, disappointing, and even unexpected. 

This year I asked for my word a couple days early (I was anxious for this year to start ;). In the silence of my bed - probably around 3am knowing my sleep patterns - I heard the word "Trust." My heart jumped a little bit because to be honest, that word scares me. On one hand, the word implies safety and faithfulness and peace, but on the other is uncertainty, letting go, and obedience. I pray that I live open-handed and with abandon this year as I learn how to let go of my agenda and trust in my Creator's instead. Oh how I wish I could sneak peak at the post I'll write a year from now :)

Have you ever tried this? Do you already have a word for this year? If not, I highly encourage you to give it a try. It can be something you want to be true for your year, something you felt has been a reoccurring theme in your life lately, or heck, it can even be a word you let a friend choose for you. But I would love to know if you have one and am wishing all the best for you and your year :)

From my heart,
Sara B

35 comments:

  1. Such a great word, Sara. I love this entry. So honest. And I think any Christian can completely related. "Purpose" was kind of my word for 2011, which ended up leading me to a two year Bible school with my husband. But he'd already been going for a year, so after the end of my first year, he was sent out to be a minister in another state. So I had to leave Bible school a year early to essentially come be a housewife in Michigan.

    I was confused by God, and wondered if I'd somehow missed it somewhere... why would God send me to Bible school for just one year, to fall in love with it just to be taken out of it? But time spent in prayer has led me to believe that what God asks us to do doesn't always make sense to us! I think sometimes our presence at a job or with certain people is required for a certain time. Sometimes he just needs us to be in a place for a little while to grow us up. Who knows why God does what He does!

    "Trust" was definitely a word I had to get used to in 2012, with a big move and no education for me. But God has provided, and I am blissfully happy, and rest in the fact that I'm in His will. It's the sweetest place to be.

    Not sure if any of this comment is relevant to you, but just thought I'd share what was on my heart! I love your blog, Sara. It's one of my favorites. Thank you for doing what you do. :)

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    1. thanks for sharing! God sure does do amazing things!

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    2. Lynette thank you so much for sharing your story with me. My favorite part was reading, "I am blissfully happy, and rest in the fact that I'm in His will. It's the sweetest place to be." So true, even though I forget that at times. So glad that God is carrying you and teaching you about Himself along your journey. Thank you for your encouragement and sweet words and happy new year to you! xo

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  2. I haven't done this yet or really even heard about it. However, my friend Sara (foreverandarecipe.com) is doing it and her word is believe!

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    1. Believe is a great word! And you should join along too if you're up to it! :)

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  3. What a lovely entry! I've never really thought about it that way, but I love the idea of having a word. When I sat down and thought about it subconsciously, I'm aiming for peace this year. Peace with myself, my surroundings and the people i share my life with. Thanks so much for sharing, it really put a smile on my face.

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    1. What a lovely word for your year. I am hoping for great peace for you this year, and for myself as well! Thank you for your kind comment. xo

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  4. I've never tried this and I am not religious but it is definitely interesting to me and something that I would be open to me. I have lots of words in mind. Thanks for the insight.

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    1. Hi Staci, thank you for your comment and for sharing. Yes, it could even just be a word you want to cling to and return to often throughout your year. Wishing all the best for you! xo

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  5. I like this idea. I totally read about this just yesterday in an article about how to motivate your team as a leader, and they mentioned having each person select a word that they feel speaks to them and comes to them naturally and as a leader you help them strive towards that goal. They say this is much more effective than any type of rallying with the use of numbers, because it's comes to each individually naturally they're more likely to continue on the path to reaching their goal.

    Beautiful post!

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    1. Oh that's such an interesting point about applying it to your work and leadership abilities! I love that. Thanks for sharing Bettina!! Excited to hang out again soon :)

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  6. Love this post Sara — thanks for sharing. My word is "intention." Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Monica! And love the word "intention." That's a great one. Happy New Year to you too! xo

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  7. Dearest Sara B., you have inspired your mom with this post! (Like many other posts in the past) God has certainly given me specific thoughts & answers that I was seeking, but I have never asked for a singular word to help define the year ahead. I am going to try it & I will let you know what He reveals. This concept terrifies & exhilarates me all at the same time!!! I am so humbly proud of who you are & how you express yourself, and your on-going relationship with God. XOXO

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    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words as always Mama :) Excited to see if God reveals a specific word to you and can't wait for this year with you! Love you!! xo

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  8. Trust was my word for 2012! I can't wait to see where it takes you and what you'll have to say this time next year. Beautiful post! :)

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    1. Oh yay! Love that we've both had the same word now and that you do this too! Can't wait for next year as well, and to see what your word for 2013 is :) xo

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  9. Renewal is my word for 2013. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Thankful for you and your blog Sara!

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    1. Oh that's a great one Meredith. Praying for total renewal for you this year, and thank you so much for your kind words! xo

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  10. I have tears I my eyes after reading this... I'm so inspired by your openness with your faith and your willingness to share it with others. Your blog is such a special little corner of the Internet that I always look forward to visiting. Whether it be a fun fashion post or a heartfelt letter about your loved ones I always know it will put a smile on my face. And I love the idea of having a word, mine for 2013 is "acceptance."

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    1. Wow thank you so much for sharing these sweet words with me. That means the world and I'm so glad my blog can bring a smile to your face. It's comments like this that totally make all my blogging worth it! Acceptance is such a perfect word for the year. I'm hoping you experience that in every corner of your life, and especially within yourself. Thank you again for your comment! xo

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  11. Hi Sara! I love your blog, I read it almost daily and it is definitely something I look forward to everyday. Although we have never met your posts about faith really inspire me to draw closer to God and to live for him. I have never heard of having a word be a theme for the year but after some praying I believe my word for this year is Patience. I am planning on getting married this year and often I feel like I just want it to be over with and start a family already and I need to enjoy each stage of life that I am in instead of trying to rush to the next thing. I wish you all the best this year :)

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    1. Hi Michelle! Thank you so much! For your kind words and for reading my blog! And for letting me know that my blog and my words have inspired you in some way or another. I am so glad and so thankful for the internet at times like this :) I love that you were given the word Patience, even though that is not easy. I too am anxious to rush to the next stage of my life at times, so I can understand the need for patience and contentment as well. But I love that your heart is wanting to soak in every moment and I pray that God honors that hope for your life. Congratulations on getting married this year, that is so exciting! Have such a wonderful year (sounds like it will be!) and thank you again for your sweet words! xo

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  12. My word this year is trust too! Such a great stretch for me to learn to let things go and let God do His work in me and my life. And also for trusting others around me more. I posted about it a couple of days ago and would love any tips or insight you would like to offer! By the way- love your blog! xo
    Life as a Wife

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    1. Oh so fun we have the same word Jenn! I love the ways you want to experience that trust in your life too. I headed over to your blog and loved what you had to say in your post as well. Thank you for sharing and happy happy new year to you! xo

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  13. This was encouraging, I'm going to pray for a word for this year. I think just stopping and taking time, time away form my computer and from my phone, time to sit and listen and pray. Thank you sista!!

    PS, when are we going to collaborate?! ;)

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    1. Yes, that's something I need to do more of too :) Thanks for your sweet comment Jade and ahhh I would love to collaborate soon!!! I will do some brainstorming, but I think it would be so fun if maybe you, me, and Sam all did some sort of sparkly fashion collaboration on our blogs. And if we could all meet up next time I'm in PDX!!! I'll keep you posted and happy new year to you!! xoxo

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  14. hi sara! first of all i want to thank you for making me think about my future and my life perspectives with your blog. i love reading your inspirational posts and all the pictures of southern california just make me want to move back :)
    although i am not as religious or do not go to church on a regular basis, i truely believe there is something bigger than us out there that guides us on our journeys. and so my word for 2013 is "conquer". conquer my fears of not only failing but being rejected, conquer the walls that only i see are in my way of being happy and pleased with how my life is turning out.
    thank you for making me actually write down the word and visualise it everyday from now on.

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    1. Hi Anna! You're so welcome, thank you for your kind comment! I love that your heart is open to searching out answers in life and the word "conquer" is so powerful for your year. I am hoping for that to play out in incredible ways this year in your life. There is something so great about choosing a word and claiming it for yourself. I hope you return to it often and thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me xo

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  15. Thanks so much for this post, Sara! I'd never really heard of this before and I love how thoughtful and insightful it is. One of my personal goals for 2013 is to focus more on building a stronger relationship with God; I think concentrating on one word - in scripture, life, etc. is a great way to start. Blessing to you in 2013!

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    1. You're welcome! I know, I hadn't heard of it until last year, but I think it's such a wonderful practice and have loved seeing how it's played out in my life and in others'. Your goal is one of mine as well this year and I wish you all the best for 2013! Thanks for commenting xo

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  16. My word for 2013 is DRINK. Basically, if I do nothing else this year, I want to DRINK in as much of God and His Word and His truth that I can. I know that whatever happens this year, I will be better for all of the drinking that I do. Strange word, but the ideas behind it are going to be good!

    John 4:10, Psalm 36:8-9, and Jeremiah 2:12-13 are Scriptures I've already found to keep close as the year goes on! There's living water and my soul craves it...In Christ, it's mine!

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  17. sara, i have been enjoying your blog SO MUCH. thank you for your honesty and transparency. i have a feeling i'll be spending a lot of time here :)

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  18. Love this post! I am a new reader and reading this really resonated with me. My year last year was change and it was an exhausting year. This year my word is gratitude. :)

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