Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Word: ORDER

Last year it was "Intentionality".  I was tired of the circumstances in life robbing me of excellence.  I wanted to see our organization kick it up to the next level.  I wanted to be more deliberate in how I influenced each of my children.  Intentionality became an awareness of everything that was going on around me this past year.

Reflecting backward this past week, I was pleasantly surprised that adopting that one word instead of an entire list of frustrating, circular resolutions created positive change in my life throughout the year.  On a personal level, I was able to be a far more effective advocate for my children because I was intentional.  I successfully connected to helpful new resources and got my daughter restored to an IEP rather than the weak 504 Plan that wasn't serving her well.  I was also able to firmly advocate for all of my children against medical personnel who were not moving in a positive direction.  The special adventures planned with each child -- a first-time visit to California; a long journey to a German immersion camp; time visiting with animals and engaging in team robotics -- left me with sweet memories rather than the regrets of previous years.  Intentionality drew me into deeper relationships with others, including God.

Professionally, the ministry soared to new heights.  I was able to break through issues that had frustrated me for years and build teams.  Miles to go before we reach a level that I perceive to be "creme de la creme", I would say that we still saw positive change, improved systems, and an organization that was far more attractive to donors.  Intentionality personally brought me a deep sense of satisfaction and joy in our service to parents raising children with special needs.

In subtle ways, even though I didn't keep reminders up all year, my choice of one word permeated everything I did these past 12 months.  Spiritually, financially, relationally, and beyond, this year has not left me where it found me.

With such impact, why wouldn't I join others in the One Word 365 movement this year?  Introspection and honest confession brought me to the area that resolutely needed to be dealt with in my life.  I found myself praying about how I could build on intentionality in my chaotic, special-needs-parenting life.  There is no doubt that, while I have a gift for big-picture thinking, I really struggle with organization.  My lack of talent in staying orderly and organized makes life so much tougher than it has to be for myself and others around me.  Knowing that drew me straight to 1 Corinthians 14:33.  Realizing that I avoid that which I am less gifted at, my sin of making a bad problem worse became glaringly apparent.  If I truly love Christ, I need to abandon my sin and repent.  Repentance means that I need to change direction.  So, this is my year for ORDER.

Getting specific always produces better results than making vague plans.  While those specifics are still unfolding, I do know this, God will help me achieve His purposes for me through the accountability and encouragement of others.  I need others alongside me, who know my goals, who will give me an occasional boot or pep talk, and who will cheer me to the finish line.

So, what do you say?  Are you in?  Why not change all of those vague or lengthy resolutions to ONE WORD?  Choosing just one word is a particularly good path for busy, stressed parents like us who are raising children with special needs.  Too often we do nothing or stall out because we are so overwhelmed.  Committing our year to one word empowers parents like us to do something without adding to that overwhelm.  All you have to do is make that word your focus for the next 365 days.  Let that single directive seep into every aspect of your life, and find yourself changed by this time next year.  I hope you join me!

PRAY:  Father, we know that failing to plan becomes planning to fail.  Help us take hold of everything good You intend for us.  Guide us as we step into this fresh year, so that our days are not wasted, but spent in ways that honor You.

NOTE:  Please share your ONE WORD in our comment section below.  If you have one, we also welcome including a link to your own blog post on the ONE WORD you have chosen.  Let's start a wave of positive influence as this New Year begins!

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~ Barb Dittrich


  1. Found you blog on "Order" is my word for 2014 also!

    1. Great to meet you, LuAnn! Let's spur one another on to excellence in 2014! Looks like you also have your hands full. Feel free to keep me updated on your progress at