One Word 2016

Last year, I was focused on how I used my time. With both of my kids in school all day, I wanted to make the most of my time - including work, chores, educational reading, Bible study, leisure reading, family time. Almost immediately, my schedule was ruined. Rodgers was away from home a lot for several months. I was in survival mode, which (as I shared on Instagram) means that laundry will be clean but not folded. Folded clothes are a luxury! And yet, it seems to me that in simply being conscious of how I was using my time, I was more productive in survival mode than I would be in my natural state, not prioritizing time management. I got work done (as long as the boys were in school), I kept up with housework to a satisfactory degree (I am not a perfectionist), I read about 30 books, plus I read another 30 aloud to the boys, I crocheted, I exercised sometimes (I went through phases), I read through the Bible twice (and some books more than twice), participated in a book club and online Bible studies. Using time wisely is a discipline I still need to work on, but I'm calling my focus last year a success. I didn't intentionally "do" One Word 365, but my style of non-resolution New Year's Resolution fit the mold. My word was time.

Over the past few months, I've been reading again and again about the importance of a Sabbath - a true day off from the daily grind, no work, no chores, no errands. Failing to take a day off seems to be a type of idolatry, thinking that the world won't keep turning if I am still. I can't take a break. We won't eat. We won't have anything to wear. My work won't get done. But, when God told the Israelites to observe Sabbath, he also instructed them on the day of preparation. Some work has to get done so that you can feed yourselves. But you can do it in advance and still take a break! I had a bit of an aha! moment here, realizing that if I would just take some time to prepare - have leftovers ready to eat, do an extra load of laundry the day before - I really could take a day off. Weekends are too busy. We have errands to run, we often have meetings (or Rodgers has meetings and I have my hands full of little boys), we teach Sunday School and go to church an hour away. Somehow, Thursday seems to be my most consistently least busy day. We already have family night on Thursday evenings, which calls for a suspension of evening chores. I decided to try extending that into a full day Sabbath. Then the boys went on school break, my parents were here, we had no schedule, there were holidays, we moved... I did try to make up for it in half days or a few hours here and there, and with work and meetings and coordinating my schedule with other people's, this will probably happen many weeks. But when the boys are in school, a default Thursday Sabbath is feasible.

I am still reading through the Bible. I started a Four Streams reading plan. (I couldn't stick with the 1 chapter a day from 10 different sections reading system that I mentioned.) You read through the Old Testament once a year, New Testament four times, Psalms twice, and Proverbs 4 times. It is only 5 or 6 chapters per day. I enjoyed reading 10 (or so) chapters per day last year. I love reading, and setting time aside to sit and read, read, read the Bible was so refreshing. But I am ready to spend a little less time reading and more time studying and praying. Which leads me to my last point...

Since becoming a mom, I have had a very hard time stilling my heart and mind in prayer. There is just so much in my head, and there are so many additional stimuli vying for brain time that being still in prayer is more and more difficult. I blogged 2 years ago about some strategies I use for staying connected to the Vine throughout the day with kids underfoot, and I admitted then that I was still working on the praying continually one. And I think that was part of this same problem: not being able to quiet the noise in my own brain (and my brain's reaction to the noise outside of it).

I had already thought about all of these things and considered how I wanted to make changes when I was reminded of One Word, via Velvet Ashes, (where I linked up). I knew what my word should be.

I know, it's 2 words. The one word would be "still" but "be still" is more specific.


  1. Rule breaker. Hearing your struggles and resolutions challenges me. Thanks!

  2. Rule breaker. Hearing your struggles and resolutions challenges me. Thanks!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts