asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

One Word 2017

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It’s that time again- the New Year!  This means it is time to post my One Word for the year.  (I wrote about it–>Here and Here and Here if you would like to read more.  I posted a few links in one of the post to read more about the One Word concept.)  I know many of my friends ask God for One Word each year as well.

Last year, my word was Open…which seemed like a bizarre word at the time.  However, as God always does, He showed me throughout the year how He could use this word to grow me.  There are numerous ways and situations throughout this past year in which I have needed to be Open to Him or Open to others.  The ways in which He grew me and stretched me in this word were quite surprising.  By the end of 2016, I saw how He truly needed me to be Open to HIS will for my life.  I feel like all of 2016 was basic training for the question He would ask me by year’s end, which was “Do you really trust me and my plan for your life?”

The past few years, I have not truly known my One Word until almost February.  However, THIS YEAR…He gave me the word in November.  I felt Him saying…”You are gonna need a little more time with this word so I am giving you a few extra months to work on it!”  I can already see how He is teaching me, growing me, and challenging me beyond any other year.  I can see how this coming year is going to present me with ways in which I will need to practice what I am learning.

This year’s word is Love {Well}.

I say word because it feels like one thing to me, although it is more of a phrase.  Here’s why: It is easy to love those who love us and love those who are easy to love.

I feel God saying,

“Ok, so how are you going to love:

those who are difficult to love,

those who have hurt you,

and love when you are so far up in your junk

your heart is closed and locked up.

Tamara, how are you going to love MY children?

Now…how are you going to balance this

with boundaries and codependency and vulnerability

and all those other things which get love all twisted and turned?”

For some of you, this may not be a problem.  For me, it is.  Somewhere along the line, Love got all twisted and turned and confusing and scary and unsafe…and a whole lot of other things.  If it didn’t for you, that is wonderful. For the rest of us, you understand, right? You can still be a Christian and say, “These things can be hard for me, and I want to learn to do it better.”

Brené Brown said it best in this talk, Brené Brown on Boundaries, Empathy, and Compassion,

“The most compassionate people I have interviewed over the last 13 years were also absolutely the most boundaried.”

She goes on to say, as she became more boundaried,

“I am not as sweet as I used to be but I am far more loving.”

For me, all of this is how you truly learn to Love {Well}!

As I listened to her, I knew exactly what God was doing with this word in my life.  My journey has definitely already started.  I am praying (oh my goodness…I am praying!), researching, reading, learning, and seeking such wise counsel on this!  I am excited, scared, apprehensive, and so ready to see where this journey is taking me because…

in order to truly love His children WELL…

I have to learn this stuff…

so I can love myself well first.

I will be sharing throughout the year what God is revealing to me and ways in which He is stretching and growing me.

I may come out of 2017 bumped and bruised and a little rustled…

and, I hope above all else,

I am not as nice as I use to be to His children but that I am definitely more loving!

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What is your One Word for 2017 and how can you see God using it to grow you?

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