I love personal growth, reflecting on 2018 Megan and then seeing 2019 Megan. It has always been important for me to look for ways of how I can be a better me. It isn’t about comparing myself to others or contemplating my shortcomings. For me, it is about making sure I am not complacent with where I am at. We all have areas we know we need to grow in, they may be areas we would rather not address but we know they are there.
When I was eighteen there was a specific area that I knew God was challenging me on. When describing myself, I would refer to myself as a blunt person, someone who would always tell you how it was. I believed that this was a good thing, after all it was authentic. However, I knew deep down that it was a lack of self-control and a lack of empathy. People don’t always want to hear your opinion and often it is an excuse for being harsh and unkind. God challenged me to make that year about becoming more compassionate. Compassion was my word for that year and God was faithful. That year was a year where I learned so much about how to love people better and more importantly to keep my mouth shut. So every year since then, I have chosen a word to define my year.
During the month of December, I search my heart and pray that God will show me what he wants to do in me and my family for the new year. There has not been a year where I have been disappointed. There are many other people I have met who pick a word for there year and they agree that it has been one of the best practices that they have put into place. It is an opportunity to trust God and see His faithfulness as you seek Him in the word you have chosen.
So this year, I have chosen the word DETERMINATION. For many years, I have thought of myself as a determined individual, some people who know me really well might replace that with stubborn. However these last few years I have been really worn out. There have been some health issues that have really zapped my energy and on top of that, I have three young lively children with autism. I haven’t felt myself and have felt as though I lack follow-through. So this year is the year to regain that determination. This blog was part of my efforts to step out, believing I will be determined enough to stick with it.
Choosing a word has been such a valuable and life-changing part of my life that this year I also picked a word for my family and that word is JOY. As a family I want us to find joy in every season no matter how it may look. I truly believe that joy is easy to find in the happy seasons of reprieve and then sometimes it is just flat out deep down. It is so deep that you have to reach and dig through the muck to find it. It is so important to do the hard work of pulling joy out even in the most difficult of seasons. This is where we worship despite our season knowing that God is still good and so faithful. Seasons are that, just seasons. They only last until the next season comes. I want us to find joy in it all.
This year I thought this could be a good year to ask the kids to pick a word for 2020. I explained to them that they need to pick a word that they wanted to see more of in themselves this year. So Elijah decided he didn’t want to from the get-go. Esther was going on and on about how she wants to be a gymnast who also is a horseback rider. She wants Tom and me to work on a farm so that she can ride these horses. There is not a chance that you will find Tom and me on a farm. Then Moses said he wants to be stronger. I was thinking to myself, now we are getting somewhere. I followed up with, in what ways do you want to be stronger? He said, “I would like some kid weights, a treadmill and a bike that you ride in place.” So there we go! Elijah wants nothing, Esther wants to be a gymnast horseback rider and Moses wants to have a six-pack. I will let you know at the end of this year how it goes.
As for me, this will be a year of DETERMINATION and it will be the year of JOY for my family. I am determined to have better health this year and I am determined to step out more and take risks even with the possibility of failing. I would love to hear about your word for the year, please comment below if you would like to share. If you have never chosen a word for your year I would encourage you to try it out. It isn’t too late, we are still at the beginning of the year and there are some great things ahead for you in 2020.