Last year, I was introduced to the idea of OneWord365. I didn't join the community, but I loved the idea of choosing a word to focus on for the year. A word to grow into, to intentionally shape your life around.

 

The word I chose was thrive. At the beginning of 2015, we had just moved again for the seventh time in three years. We were in the midst of burnout. It felt like our whole married life (almost five years at that point) we'd just been surviving. Holding on for the next season. Waiting for things to get better, more settled, easier. I was tired of living in survival mode.

It was time to thrive.

I was realizing that it might be a long time until our life felt settled. It might be a long time until things were easy again. With a burned out, depressed husband and many questions about our future, I wasn't even sure how we were going to survive, let alone thrive. But that was the word God put on my heart. Thrive.

So I wrote it down. And then I wrote out what thriving looked like to me. My list was divided into categories, and included things like "weekly meal plans", "regular date nights", "daily exercise" and "hospitality". I chose my one word, and then I made a whole list of New Year's Resolutions that I felt would help me live out that word.

Little did I know that things were going to get worse before they got better. I've already shared some of our story, so many of you know that by April we were desperate for help and signed up for a three-week counseling program. Not exactly thriving. At some point about halfway through the year, after a few months of barely surviving, I pulled out my New Year's list. As I read down through all the worthy goals I had set for myself, I felt hopelessly condemned. I most certainly picked the wrong word. This was not a year to thrive.

And then it hit me. Thriving is not defined by whether or not my kitchen is clean, my meals are planned, or my husband is taking me out for a date. Thriving is the state of my heart, an attitude. I can accomplish my to-do list and still not be thriving. On the other hand, I can rest in God in the midst of turmoil, confusion and pain, and my heart can thrive.

I still don't feel like I did a good job of living out my OneWord this year. I do not feel like I thrived. But I did learn that thriving is not something you do, it's something you are. I did realize how quick I am to make lists and measure my success by what I get done, instead of focusing on the attitude of my heart. I did learn that God is not nearly as interested in my goals and accomplishments as He is in meeting me in my pain and weakness.

And now that I've learned those things, I think I'm ready to learn to thrive.

 

This article is part of a link-up at Velvet Ashes. Don't miss the great articles there about other ladies' experiences with their word for the year!

 

rsz ow 365

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