Now that we’re nearing the end of March and we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to give an update on my One Little Word, or word of the year, progress.
If you’ve chosen a word for this year, are you still keeping it at the forefront of your mind? Or has it kind of slipped away in all the business of life? Maybe it was just a fun thing to do at the beginning of the year, because everybody was doing it. I know those things we plan and promise at the beginning of a new year have a tendency to slide to the background of our minds where they remain as a distant thought.
I really didn’t want that to happen to me with my One Little Word project. After all, it seems like a silly waste of time and energy to come up with a word to define our year and serve as a guide or inspiration point if we’re never going to so much as give it a second thought once February rolls around. It’s pointless to do it just because everyone else is.
But, as I said in my previous blog post, we’ve gone through a very busy and stressful season in our lives, and I felt like I was not able to focus on my word for the year (I chose the word Cultivate, for those of you who may not know). With my schedule stretching me to my limit, barely finding time to do everything i needed to, much less to do the things I wanted to. It was challenging enough to find the time to cultivate my relationship with the Lord. Almost impossible to cultivate any creative areas in my life. I felt like I was just hanging on.
But, the cool thing about creating an album like this for myself is that it gives me a place to record my thoughts about the cultivating process. And as I began to sit down and really think about the last few months I realized there indeed was some cultivating going on that I hadn’t really been aware of.
In my Bible study I was learning about cultivating an ear that can hear the words of the Lord. Along with that comes cultivating an obedient heart. Because it’s not enough to have a listening ear. One must have an obedient heart to be willing to follow what the Lord tells us to do.
Our Bible study is a study of the life of King David and how he had a heart after God’s own. It was good to dig deeper and take a closer look at the heart of David. By studying the Word of God and digging deeper into a man who loved the Lord so passionately I am also learning to cultivate a listening ear and an obedient heart.
Not only was the Bible study a great way to grow in my walk with the Lord, but it has helped me to learn to know some other women better. Hearing their hearts and listening to them, learning from them, has developed a closer relationship with other women, some of which I hadn’t really known before. Cultivating relationships like that is definitely on my list of things to cultivate this year.
So, looking back over the first few months of the year, when i thought to much cultivating has been going on, I realized I indeed was cultivating areas in my life. Specifically the following:
Cultivating faith: Through the Bible study and more in depth study of His Word, in praying over specific needs in our lives and watching God move and provide in those areas, in spending time in worship (even if it’s just during my time in the car), in choosing to allow God to work in my heart and make it more like His.
Cultivating friendships: I’ve had many opportunities to connect with beautiful, special friends over the last few months. Some fun days of spending time with girlfriends. But also, having a schedule that was full made it possible to interact with others more and get to know some wonderful women better than I did before. I feel blessed to have gotten the the chance to know them better. If my schedule would have been routine, I would have spent lots more time at home alone. That full schedule was a blessing in disguise when I look at how I was able to connect with others because of it.
Cultivating hospitality: In spite of my busy schedule, I was able to cultivate hospitality a time or two. I hope to be able to do that more as the weather turns warmer, but I was glad to look back and feel like it hadn’t been entirely neglected.
Cultivating trust: There were some opportunities in the past few months where we just had to learn to trust. That everything would work out. And if it didn’t, that God knew what He was doing. That He is good, no matter what.
There are a few other ways I’ve found myself cultivating the other areas I’ve wanted to focus on, some in small ways. But I was encouraged to feel like all had not been lost. In looking back I felt I was able to see specific ways that the Lord has been working on me when i wasn’t really aware. Isn’t that often how it is?
I had to think that perhaps the cultivating process goes through seasons too, just like everything else in life. And sometimes we can’t control what season we are in. I’d like it to always be the season for cultivating my creativity, but maybe sometimes we need to put some things aside so that other areas can receive the attention they need.
Maybe we won’t know what cultivating has been going on until sometime later. In the middle of a really tough time it may feel like there is no cultivating, just ugly weeds spring up all around us. It may look like our lives are being destroyed. But even in those season there is an opportunity for cultivation. Faith, hope, courage, trust, dependence on the Lord, humility, patience. The tough times are prime times for cultivating those kinds of things in our lives. It’s important to remain focused on God and allow Him to work in us, no matter what the season.
Thanks for joining me today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what God has been doing in your life. Or your progress on your One Little Word and how it has impacted you so far this year. Or anything else you’d like to share or any questions you may have about this post. I love reading your comments and hearing from my readers!