Word of the Year - 2011

It's that time again. You know, the one where I start, in December, asking the Lord to reveal what "word" He'd like me to work on, ponder, grow in, the following year.

I'm not real happy with His word for me this year. It's a tricky one. It's gonna take work. It's not as 'happy happy joy joy' as last year's word. That one was HOPE and you can check it out
here or here if you're stumped as to what this 'word of the year' is that I'm talkin' about.

So anyway, back to this year's word. Mid-December I had it narrowed down to two words. Both probably end up being similar, different sides to the same coin. Both are somewhat terrifying because, well, I tend to be a smidge bit rebellious at heart, a tad bit 'do-it-myself', and a little wee bit 'I'm doin' it my way because I can trust my instincts and my abilities.' {Not necessarily proud of those last three statements but, that is, to some degree how I'm hard-wired.}

And I know that while in my mind I can see where God will take me with this word for the year, I also recognize that He'll probably take me a whole lotta other places, too, and at this point I really don't wanna go all those places. I'm thinking of Dr. Seuss's book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and I just wanna change the title to read, "Oh, That One Place I'd like To Go."

Here's the bottom line. As hard as this might be, I do want to grow; in my relationship with Jesus, in my relationship with others, in areas that will improve my health, both physically and emotionally and mentally. I don't want to be stagnant. I don't want to be the same Alysa today as I was five years ago; growth is important to me.

And so, without further adieu {I love that word}, here's my 2011, Word of the Year ...

OBEDIENCE. And by obedience, I mean, being obedient to God, His Word, and what He would want me to do this year. I can tell you right now the tangible thing I know He is asking me to do. He's asking me to be obedient in getting healthy. In taking care of my body. In eating better and exercising more. I start this year with lots of HOPE that I can lose more of the weight that needs to be lost. There were plenty of times this past year when I would plateau in my weight loss. And the reality was, I would plateau because I wasn't being obedient. I wasn't doing the hard work. I was eating the extra cookies knowing that was not the right choice.

You wanna know the other word I was considering for this year? Discipline. Ya, I hate that word too, and as I talked about these two words with my good friend, we were talking about the fact that for me, discipline is just an awful word. It's not who I naturally am. It is laborious. It has complete negative overtones and undertones and innertones. Really, it's a bit on the evil side of the dictionary if you ask me. I mean, just my personal opinion.

There are some, like my husband, who are naturally inclined to discipline. He decides he's going to get in shape for ultimate frisbee and he just does it. Every day, faithfully jogging, lifting weights, not eating yummy foods. He was a wrestler in high school and I'm coming to learn that wrestling is perhaps one of the most disciplined sports you could enter. His dad told of a Thanksgiving meal where all Jack drank was water and skipped the meal because he had to weigh in for a match the next week and he had to 'meet weight'. {I just have to say it, for the record: that sounds like h-e double el to me. As in, shoot me now, I'm never doing that.}

But obedience, I can wrap my head around that. I mean, as a Christ-follower, that's what I'm called to do. Obey. Not saying it's easy, but that's a word I can get behind and focus on this year. That's a word that I can choose to embrace.

I find that every year when it's time to 'pick the word' all of a sudden everywhere I turn that word pops up. Out of the seemingly blue yonder. {I personally think it's a God sighting, but that's me.}

Saturday I made the final decision to choose obedience for this year's word.

And Sunday in church .... this verse struck me.

"For God is working in you, giving you the DESIRE TO OBEY HIM and the power to do what pleases him." {Philippians 2:12-13 NLT version}

And wouldn't you know that Monday morning, when I picked up the Bible study I've been working through the past few months, this is what it said: "How does liberty/freedom in Christ become a reality in my life? In a word: obedience. Obedience to God's Word."

And here it is Friday, the day I'm actually finishing up this post, ready to send it to cyberspace for you all to read, and this is what my Beth Moore study talked about: "This week we've talked about the key to freedom: obedience. An obedient life grows from obedient days. Likewise, a victorious life is made up of victorious days. Thankfully, in Christ, the former always leads to the latter. Those who are obedient are those who will also be victorious."

An obedient life looks like this: walking with God, in the direction He's going, in step with Him, letting Him lead.

So there you have it. I'm gonna grab up my skirt, do a dosey-doe {sp?} and get to work obeying. Wanna join me?


BA said…
God has been speaking to me about this too ... and placing His best example on display for me to emulate ... or rather to allow to live through me as I learn to die to my flesh and give Him room. The word came to me from the same chapter of Philippians you quote above. "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient" ... even to the point of death on a cross. Am I really willing to be His follower? I pray that He will give me the desire to do so ... it is a blessed relief that He didn't call me to come up with the desire myself!
Alice said…
Fortunately for us, there's always a blessing for obedience--God promises that. So...expect loads of blessing in '11!!!
Denise said…
I am with you on this journey...and cannot wait to see how God stretches you, yet ultimately molds you into a clearer image of Him (with an Alysa flair). LOVE YOU and LOVE GOD more because of you, my friend.
Ake said…
Yes, in short. Aaron and I have this tradition of asking God about the word for the year too. The first New Year we had together it was "perseverance" - for 2009, which turned out to be a very "needed" word. For 2010 it was "joy" which I was excited about - however I have actually learned that joy doesn't come from loads of good things happening, but from holding on to God in the midst of hardship. However we also got engaged in 2010 which was very joyful! For 2011 we are not sure yet, but the stuff that keeps coming up for me is about light in the darkness and about sacrifice in order to worship and obey. None of that sounds very fun to me. But then again out of death comes life. It's always been that way, hasn't it?

Popular Posts