Christian and I have a NYE/New Year tradition where we both choose a word for ourselves – the word we choose is a word that we pray over, journal about, and really embrace in the new year. We write our word on a rock and keep it on our desks and then at the end of the year we put the rock in a big glass bowl that sits in our home – full of all the rocks from past years. It’s one of my favorite traditions!
My word for 2015 was Adventure, and while I didn’t blog about it specifically per se, I learned a lot about what adventuring in life means when you stop seeking it and instead open your arms wide so that it might find you. Christian and I had a lot of unplanned adventures in 2015, here are just a few:
- moving to Nashville sooner than we’d originally thought. At the time, we had just made the decision to stay in Chicago for 3-5 more years and then move to TN when God said, nope- you’re going in two months.
- forgoing fertility treatments and instead signing with an adoption agency (this was definitely my favorite adventure of 2015, one that continues still and is still my favorite!!!!!)
- traveling to and experiencing Paris– a lifetime dream of mine, one that was granted when Christian was booked for a gig in Europe.
- buying our first house – something we thought we’d do in the next five years, but in no way did we think we’d be doing it within 7 months of living in our new state! God literally put our new house on our path – we walked by it while on a walk one day and less than 48 hours later the house was ours. CRAZY!!
- deciding to write a novel – a story that unexpectedly grew in my heart and something I never in a million years thought I’d set out to do!
- (and so. much. more.)
The most amazing thing about all of our unplanned adventures, and the thing I’m most grateful for, is that we had nothing to do with the planning – our adventures were very much His plans for us. They weren’t just the better choice, they were the BEST choice and I am so deeply thankful to Jesus for steering us in the most perfect and beautiful directions – even when we were so confused as to why our original plans weren’t working out. I was so sure I knew just what our adventures would be for 2015 and I was so incorrect on those predictions – on all accounts. And man am I glad I was wrong because His plans are always so much better and I wouldn’t change them for anything!
So for this year’s word, I thought long and hard about what it should be. I prayed about it, thought I knew and then changed my mind, until I realized that the feeling in my heart was so much MORE than just one thing… therefore, it was hard to choose just one word. I began to write down my thoughts in list form which quickly turned into goals for the new year. A few of the things I wrote down were:
- pray BIGGER, harder for everything – bring everything to Jesus
- love others greater – be bold!
- write more, share what’s on my heart – be brave!
- live with bigger passion, less fear! Less second-guessing myself – trust the gifts He’s given to me!
- dream bigger!! Work HARDER on my novel!
When I finished my list I sat back to look at it and there was one word that really stuck out to me… BIGGER. Of course in true word-obsessed fashion I googled the official definition of “bigger” and it read: of considerable size, extent, intensity, importance or seriousness. Um, YES. It was exactly what I felt in my heart and yet couldn’t quite pinpoint why, I just knew there was a fire burning and it was saying – DO THIS, DUDE.
And so, BIGGER is my word for 2016. No, this doesn’t mean that I’ll expect every day from here on out to be exciting or amazing… surely there will be hard days in 2016, frustrating days in 2016, sad days in 2016 – I don’t doubt any of that because that’s just a part of life (and it can mean I’m growing, if I choose to see it that way). But when I do find myself having one of “those” days, I’m going to pray harder, run farther, rest deeper, trust greater… I’m going to live braver in His name. I am going to strive to second-guess less and trust the gifts He’s given to me more. I am going to believe and trust that Jesus has all of those things, my entire life, in His hands and that He does encourage me to dream bigger, pray harder, love greater, and act with more passion, so that I might live a full life – life that He gifts to me with every breath.
There are seasons of rest and times to be still, and there are times to move and act and DO and I feel God is nudging me to say yes to the latter this next year 🙂 I’m excited and totally terrified (but mostly excited) and am going to push myself to share more of those things with you all in this space. So you heard me say it here, ok? Let’s do this, dude. Here’s to BIGGER!
Happy New Year!!