A few years ago, my sister Krystal started talking about her “word of the year”. Each year she picks a word and focuses on it all year. I had heard of other friends doing this as well. One friend chose the word “fearless” as he worked through some fears in his life and tried to live without allowing fear to hold him back.
There is even the trend of having a necklace made with that word stamped on it to remind you of your word and to carry it everywhere. You’ve probably seen people wearing key pendants around their necks with their “one word” on it, right?
The idea is to work on your word and once you feel you have conquered it, you give the necklace (or bracelet or keychain or any other item that works for you) to someone else who might need it.
For example, my sister and brother-in-law got me one for Christmas with the word “three” on it (you can see it here). This is for Ecclesiastes 4:12, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” This is a constant reminder worn around my neck that in marriage when our focus is on Him, we can and will overcome any obstacle in our way.
After our first year or so of marriage (or whenever I feel it’s time) I am meant to pass the necklace on to another newlywed.
I love this concept. I love the simplicity of it. Pick one, pray on it, work on it, conquer it, move on. I love that it allows us to focus on one thing, just one thing, that we can be praying about improving in our lives.
So often I think we feel the need to be perfect and so we think we have to work on every single thing right now.
This year I decided to pick my own word and join in on the tradition! So, for 2017 my word will be PAUSE.
In the Bible this is called “Selah”. You’ve probably mostly seen this in Psalms but it is also in the book Habakkuk.
While the actual definition of the word Selah hasn’t officially been defined, it is most commonly thought of by theologians as “pause”, or “praise”.
I have always thought of Selah to mean “pause to praise”. I think of the use of it in Psalms and how it is usually stated in a moment that, in music, would be a time for a pause in the lyrics and a moment to just worship. To pause and praise Him.
I just love this!
While thinking about what word would be “my word” for 2017 I prayed that God would reveal to me and make known to me something that I need to work on. Throughout the next few weeks, I kept reading blog posts about “pausing”. Or I would see a quote about taking a pause in life to reflect and refocus. It became clear to me that “PAUSE” was my word.
2017 is my year of Pause.
I will pause before I speak: Will what I say be encouraging and uplifting? Will it push the listener towards Christ? I will pause before I speak and pray that the Lord leads my words to help me to be more intentional about speaking life into others.
I will pause before I do: Is what I’m doing bringing glory to my Father? Is it helping to build His Kingdom or is it for my own selfish desires? Anytime a new opportunity comes along or new social activity arrives I will pause to really think about if it will be beneficial to His will.
I will pause before I react: Is my anger, sadness, or hurt getting the best of me? Am I reacting out of my own emotions or am I reacting in a way that will show love, grace, and humility? I will pause and ask the Lord to guide my heart to react in a way that honors Him. I will put my emotions aside and react based off of the love and grace I receive daily from Him.
I will pause for people: This is the one that really confirmed my need for the word “pause” in my life. I was running errands and stopped to grab a quick coffee before heading home and I ran into an old classmate from high school. I was so much in a hurry to get home and finish my “to-do” list that I quickly said “Hey, how are you? How’s life been?”. She answered a quick response and out the door I went. I didn’t even really stop walking. Just asked the question and kept on walking. Anyone who’s had this happen knows that person doesn’t really care how you’re doing, right? It’s just more of a greeting.
Later that day I messaged her on Facebook that it was good to see her and I was sorry I was in such a rush. Her response, “Yea, you seemed in a rush.” Ouch.
I wish I would have stopped just for a few minutes to listen to her answer. I missed out on an opportunity to show love and kindness. I missed out on really hearing how things were going for her. I missed out on allowing Christ to use me in that moment. All because my own to-do list was more important.
This coming year I will work on pausing for people. Taking time to really ask how people are, listen to them and their hearts, see the signs of a lonely friend and cancel my own to-do list to be there for them. Put down my phone and just be present.
And finally, I will pause in my quiet time: I get in this habit of my quiet time really being me just reading. I sometimes forget to pause and pray that the Lord will open my heart to what He has to say through the Word. Should we read the Word? Absolutely. It is a vital part of our relationship with our Father! But we must also open our hearts to listen. We should clear our minds and just rest in Him. Pausing our own needs and wants to focus on what He might be trying to show us. How can we hear Him if we are always the one talking right?
I don’t think this year’s word will be an easy one. I’m a doer. I like having things to do and things to cross off my lists. I like being busy. Taking time to pause might be difficult for me in some situations but it is so very much needed.
I love the concept of “pausing”. And I really love this idea of focusing on something in your life for a whole year!
I’m so looking forward to working on “pausing” and being more intentional in life. In resting in Him more! What are you looking forward to working on improving? What is your word for 2017? Will you join me in pausing to be more present this year?
If you are totally loving the idea of the “one word” trend then I would highly reccomend looking into our favorite local shop, Five Arrows Jewelry. It is run by the sweetest friend of ours and her mom. They stamp key pendants (and other jewelry) with your “word of the year”. They are actually offering our readers free shipping with the code ONEWORD17 with the purchase of a key pendant (you can see one of their beautiful pieces here)! This is totally NOT a sponsored post, I just seriously love her pieces so I thought I’d share her shop since I was writing about my “one word” for 2017 anyway! Enjoy friends!
You can follow Five Arrows Jewelry on Facebook here
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