Friday, January 1, 2016

OneWord365: CLARITY

Face it, parenting a child with a chronic illness, disability, or special need leaves little time for the profound pondering involved with New Year's resolutions.  Even so, the desire for personal improvement and meaningful self-examination tugs at a person, leaving them longing for positive change in our lives.

THIS is the exact reason I embraced the #OneWord365 movement 4 years ago by praying for God to reveal just one word that He wants me to focus on for the next 12 months.  It has been fruitful and revealing.  I have learned much about myself.  I usually have a Bible verse that underpins the word that the Lord has lead me to each year.  The first year my OneWord was "Intentionality."  The next year God put "Order" on my heart.  This past year I have spent much time (and learned I need to spend much, much more) learning to "Forgive."  

Aside from the fact that I often have a too-full life like every other special caregiver, the reason this OneWord365 approach is so wonderful is that it truly accomplishes something.  Unlike most New Year's resolutions, it is not forgotten in only days or weeks.  I create graphics (like the one above) and frame them each year, so that I am reminded daily of what God is working on in my life.

See if my word for this year resonates with you...

My OneWord365 for 2016 is CLARITY.  This word seems rather ironic considering much of 2015 has been anything but clear to me.  I suppose that's the point.

Clarity can only be found under the direction of my Maker.  I can't organize my way into it.  I can't problem-solve it into existence.  Yes, clarity can only come from the Voice that leads me and gives me purpose.  Even so, I cannot HEAR that Voice unless I do certain things.

As a result, I purpose to do the following to open the door to CLARITY in 2016:
  1. Continue to closely guard daily time to hear God in the quiet -- For me it has to be first thing in the morning or it isn't going to happen.  I also find that I must commit to getting to bed earlier and rising before anyone else in the house or the noise takes over.
  2. Invest in developing more leaders around me -- There is too much for me to do and too little time to do it.  When you are perceived as a strong person, people don't see that you need help.  I have needed additional help for far too many years.  People rely on me too heavily.  They don't see that God wants to use their personal experience to lead others as well.  I am going to be much more overt about letting those around me know this in 2016.
  3. Create more margin in my life -- A loving friend just chastised me as she left town, "You need more than 4 days of retreat away per year."  She is right!  I cannot hear God's voice if I'm immersed in non-stop work most of the year.  It doesn't matter if that work is my job, my duties as a mother, or the endless household chores.  I need my tank refilled more often to create clarity in my life.
  4. Enforce strict boundaries -- One of the things I have admired in Jesus is he lived laser-focused.  Everything he did had purpose.  With all that others demanded of him, it would have been easy to become derailed by the tyranny of the urgent.  Having good boundaries, knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no" was critical to Jesus' success in this regard.  I must do the same to gain clarity.
  5. Commit to a pattern of regular, intentional self-care -- When my pain is high, my energy is low, my sleep deprived, and my appearance poor, it is hard to have clarity.  A person cannot think straight when they are operating with too little energy or deprived of adequate rest.  Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to a healthy mind.  I need to find an accountability partner for this part!
Being the main caregiver for a medically-challenged family and the leader of a ministry for fellow special caregivers stretches my clarity enough.  Now I have some personal traumas from my past that desperately need to be addressed.  It will take God-sized wisdom to make sense of it all.  I know I am not alone in such battles.

What OneWord365 might God be placing on YOUR heart?

El Shaddai, You are more than sufficient to provide clarity in the midst of life's confusion.  Lead us and guide us as we march down messy paths.

~ Barb Dittrich

*Snappin' Ministries is a proud #OneWord365 Partner.  Join the movement this year by visiting http://oneword365.com/

2 comments:

  1. This one is for me too. Like you were reading my mind. I spent half of 2015 searching for the path my family should take and we are not there yet. I know because nothing has worked and things are getting worse. I definitely need clarification on which way to go. God bless you for being such a blessing to others.

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  2. The Lord gave me the word CLARITY for 2016 also!
    It will be interesting to see how He works this word through our lives this year and onward
    http://hisfirefly.blogspot.com/2016/01/word-for-2016.html

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