Back in January I felt like I heard the word “simplify” for my 2018 focus. I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like since we already live a fairly simple life these days. But after a couple of different confirmations, I just grabbed that word and said, “Ok Papa! Let’s do this.”

Two years ago I started feeling like I needed to pare down in certain areas of my life. I started by cleaning out closets, cleaning out unused items around the house (Anyone else out there have a crazy amount of coffee cups? Anyone? No? Just me?), etc. etc.

So at the start of this year I felt like my word was a bit redundant – a cheat of sorts – since I was already simplifying.

But you know God. He’s got such a fantastic sense of humor.  I was a bit shocked because these two areas aren’t places that I would think were overly-cluttered in my life, but He thought differently.  While I’d like to say that it has been a very intentional focus from the start, in truth, it feels like it’s been more organic – almost as if these two areas have “found me” and started simplifying.

What do I mean by that? Well, I heard my word and then I went on with life.  If I’ve learned one thing over the course of the last few years and having a #OneWord focus, it’s this: If God gives me a word to focus on, He already has a plan on how that word will unfold in my life over the year. I just need to be open to whatever that looks like.

Emotional 

This area of focus showed up unexpectedly around July. Up until then I was just moseying along enjoying the peace and quiet of a pretty calm life. HA!

Most of you know that back in July we re-homed our dog, Buddy. He was with us for over a year so I got really attached to him. When we decided to do this, it pulled up an over-the-top emotional reaction in me that caught me off guard. I immediately knew it wasn’t an appropriate response so I made an appointment with my pastor to talk/pray through it.

In that one session the Lord was so gracious to help me get to the root of what was really going on. So now I can focus on the root issue of my heart from a more settled place. I am so excited to start excavating and pulling out that root so that my heart is healthier and softer. I’ve noticed that my emotional reactions have simplified and that I take a purposed pause before allowing them to get the better of me. 

Spiritual 

When I attended WellSpring School of the Heart in 2011 I was so frustrated that everyone seemed to be “getting it.” I’m not sure what “getting it” was, but I knew they were and I wasn’t.  I just felt so tied up inside. Questions raced through my mind: When would I really get that I was fully loved? When would I be able to be in a church service and not feel left out? When would I stop feeling like a fake?

Over the course of the last 8 years, I’ve been diligently working through things in my life that have hindered me from connecting with God in a really deep way. I’ve focused on chipping away at the wall I constructed to protect my heart from being wounded.  I’ve made great progress, but I never felt like I had got it. It was as if the security of just being His daughter was just out of reach for me. 

Some people get that immediately. They have an amazing revelation of the Father’s love for them. But some of us get that revelation over time.

Hi. My name is Mary and I’m the “get that revelation over time” person.

Ever since I’ve been immersed in this culture, I have grabbed bits and pieces. I’ve had moments of really connecting to it. But the full weight of it has seemed elusive to me. I didn’t have a “one big moment” I could point to that really wrecked me and revealed the depths of His love for me.

That’s just keeping it real, folks. 

But over the last 9 months I have realized that all of that work really has paid off. I find myself more secure in who I am. I’ve been enjoying just being with Him all day, practicing His presence in everything I do – driving, eating, laughing with a friend, washing the dishes.  And somewhere along the way, it’s clicked. My heart “got it.” I find myself smiling throughout the day because I know He’s my Papa and He really loves me just because I’m Mary.  I know the work isn’t complete, but man, it sure has progressed with leaps and bounds this year.  Or maybe my heart has been changing ever so slowly and faithfully over the years and I’m just realizing it.  Either way, I’m super stoked to be here.

Simplify.

Be intentional. Have a single focus. Enjoy the present. Speak with purpose. Soak up the every-day-ness of life. These are the things I’m focusing on, not only this year, but as a lifestyle.

It’s been an amazing year so far. I’m looking forward to how it finishes up.

How’s your #OneWord focus and/or resolutions going this year?

Thanks for sharing!
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