The past two years, I have joined an online community in choosing a year to focus on each year. In 2010, I chose risk. 2011 was the year of rejoicing. Thanks to Alece for inspiring me to choose differently each year!
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If there was a way to measure success with OneWord’s, I would imagine it would be weaving in the word you chose into your everyday life in small and big ways. I would imagine it would be learning how to incorporate this word in different aspects of your life. I would imagine it would be feeling like you ‘conquered’ the word and have made it into some sort of discipline.
Thankfully, this isn’t about succeeding or failing at a resolution.
Because if it were, I think I would have flunked the rejoicing class.
I look back over my year and now see hundreds of times I had a chance to rejoice, and instead I responded in anger, hurt, confusion. Whether in response to the devastating headlines that hit the news month after month this year or in personal relationships, I know I did not always choose to rejoice. I know my actions and words did not spew out a spirit of rejoicing.
If I’m most honest (say it, Stacey), I’m not sure an outsider would even know I was trying to focus on rejoicing this year. I fought more often than I praised. I questioned more often than I accepted. I grieved more often than I sang.
But I did learn.
I learned that having a rejoicing spirit stems from having a perspective fixed on the eternal, not the fleeting. I learned that rejoicing means holding loosely to everything, instead of clinging white-knuckled to what I think is important. It is about trusting God in everything that happens, not just the good things. I learned to stop more often and thank God for the small things: the green lights I needed when running late, the text message from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while, a song that captures the state of my heart, the laughter in pain. I learned to acknowledge God in more things that I have before. And I learned true rejoicing will never be masked in a fake smile and cliché answers.
How did your OneWord2011 go?