For the past few years, instead of making a list of New Year’s Resolutions, I have chosen a word to try and live by.  A word that I struggle with, a word that I know will make me a better person in how I glorify God, a word that will make me a better person in how I serve my family, a word that I can apply to almost any situation that life brings me.

As I reflect back, I feel like I have made some major changes in my life through this process and they have stuck!  (Unlike so many resolutions that last a few weeks and are forgotten about…) The first word I chose is 2013 was INTENTION.  I tried hard to be intentional about the choices I made and the situations I took part in.  I learned how to be intentional about the words I spoke to people and the actions I took as well.  While this was a challenging word for me, it was a good one and I still keep this in my mind and I continue to work on it.

2014 brought UNDERSTANDING.  This was also challenging for me.  I needed to learn to listen better and listen first!  I had to spend lots of time putting myself in another’s situation and changing my perspective.  I’m not going to lie, my husband helped me a lot with this one!  We had many conversations about ways to be more understanding.

For 2015, I chose the word RELATIONSHIPS.  Boy was I nervous about this one.  Since my son died, I have severed most relationships and have been quite comfortable with just my family as my support system.  I really did not want to choose this word, but sometimes God chooses for you and you need to step out in faith.  So that is what I did.  I spent much time praying about how to better myself in the area of relationships.  In the last year, I have made a couple of close friends and met some new neighbors.  I am definitely out of my comfort zone!  However, more miraculously is what has occurred right at the end of the year.  Shortly before Christmas, two things happened to me that I have been in prayer about for years.  The first was that I forgave a family member who hurt me more than 10 years ago.  The second is that I apologized to a long lost friend who I hurt about 6 years ago.  I have not seen this person in years because we moved away, but I happen to run into her a few weeks ago and it felt so good to tell her I was sorry.  I may never see her again, but she knows now that I am sorrowful for what happened and I know that I am forgiven by God.

Overall, I’d say that choosing a word to live by for the year has done me well so far!  I definitely see a change in me from when I began this journey in 2013.  So, as I began praying for what my word should be this year, one word kept coming to mind.  I tried to say no, I tried to pray about another word, but God has a way of letting me know this is it!  Ironically, it was even the subject of my Bible study this week!  I guess He wanted to make sure I was hearing Him loud and clear!  The word is OBEDIENCE.

And, yes, as I heard that word, I said, “NO!”  I am not the most obedient person.  I struggle with what I want to do often or with what I think is best.  So, I guess this is my challenge this year.  I will focus first and foremost on being obedient to God.  Once I am in obedience with Him, I know He will help me with all the other areas of my life where I need to show obedience.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
-Romans 5:19

Join me on this journey!  Pray about a word you can use this year in all you do and see what God brings forth because of it!  I would love to hear about what word you choose.  Leave your comments below.  God bless and Happy New Year!