MOW Is Not For Wimps

I havent picked my word yet.

Its really, really hard to chose just one area of your life to work on for the entire year. And then you get into the challenge of coming up with a word that has multiple meanings so that you can creatively shove a lifetime worth of change into one year. This is another helpful exercise to prolong the commitment to one word. Believe me, I have excused and stalled so much my head spins.

So here I sit, after procrastinating the writing of this post until I chose a word. Im writing now, not because I have a word. But because I am learning so much more in the process of picking a word than I expected.

Im realizing that I have a lot to work on, hence the dilemma in picking my one word.

As a relatively new believer, I have a lot to learn. You wont find my writings peppered with scripture because, to be honest, I am not well versed enough to know my well, verses. So, theres a word possibility. Educate. Or something a little more inventive.

I also want to make a change this year in the way I raise my two small children. I want them to know the God that I didnt know until I was in my late 20s. Sure, we pray together and we incorporate Biblical teachings into several life moments each day. But I want to do more. I want to be a better teacher all day, every day. Not just when I notice the swift kick in the rear from the Holy Spirit. So, theres a thought. Consistency. Or something a little more jazzy.

Another area that I want to work on this year is being a better steward of His money. After a crazy economy turned our household income inside out and upside down last year, we were forced to make big changes. We are hanging on by a thread but we are hanging on. This year, I want to climb that thread and conquer our new financial situation. I want to make the resources that He blesses us with work for us. Wisely. Consistently. Calmly. Knowing that all will be okay as long as we continue to put our faith in the Lord and act as good stewards of His provision. So, steward. Maybe?

I could go on and on with the words that pop in my mind, stay a while, only to leave because I cant come up with a way to creatively combine them into one. Because I cant come up with a word that sounds compelling or that will garner the oooh, thats a great word from friends. Or because I get stuck in the well, I probably need to focus on something bigger than just that. And the word selection circle goes round and round and round.

Another big challenge is the thought that, whatever word I choose to work on for the year, God will move on. That scares me. If I choose steward, is He going to give me a chance to learn better stewardship by challenging us financially even more than we are already challenged? If I chose educate or consistency, am I going to be placed in a position in which I am uncomfortable in order to learn that lesson?

The answer to my questions, I know. Or Im pretty sure I do. Yes. Yes. Yes, silly, yes. Isnt that the purpose of the My One Word project? Choosing a word that challenges us to grow? To create a vision for our future so that we can improve our character?

Eek. Change? Improve? That sounds hard.

But having pondered this word choice day and night, even sometimes saying I dont need to pick a word Ill just work on everything this year, I have come to a conclusion. I need a word. I need a word to help me focus. To take this overwhelming feeling of a needed all-over change one step at a time. One year, one word, at a time. I am going to commit to this challenge. I am going to commit to change.

Now. I just need a word. I have till February 1, right?

Boy, this project is not for wimps.

Hilary Brady is a freelance writer, marketing consultant and copywriter that has called PC3 home since it saved her spiritual life in 2008. More information about Hilarys journey can be found at peanutandpoppy.wordpress.com and samples of her professional work can be seen at hbrady.com.

  • Julie Mobley

    I can relate to your dilemma. I think I have decided on Patience because I need to work on that alot. I’m sure there are many other words I could choose – similar to your own – but that’s the one I am going to focus on. As a full-time working mother of a 12 year old who is doing poorly in school, I need all the Patience I can get. Thanks for your post and thanks to K Love for turning me on to it.

  • Annette Davie

    Hilary,
    GREAT blog, very open and honest. I too am having difficulty zeroing in on just the right word, although I do have it narrowed down. I couldn’t help but wonder after I read your blog….perhaps FOCUS is a good word for you since you have so many ideas and areas you’d like to see improvement in….as we all do.
    God can and will use ANY word we select. I’m praying and meditating on it, but not stressing over it!

  • Lisa Steen

    Your blog put a smile on my face this morning, very well written! It’s funny to read these blogs and wittness just how everyone goes about choosing their “ONE WORD” . Mine is self-control, funny that all the reasons you focused on in your struggle to choose a word is excatly why I choose mine. I have struggled with self control over my entire 48 years of life. Funny thing is now that I have choosen my word, IT IS EVERYWHERE I TURN! God is our amazing God who wants us to seek him out for guidance. Funny thing is that with self-control being my word, Im realizing that its not about self control at all, its about letting go of self and letting GOD CONTROL over my life and doing what is pleaseing to him. Thanks for letting God use you to keep revealing His mighty plan for my ONE WORD in my life! He is going to reveal your ONE WORD soon!

  • Cindy Moore

    Thank you so much for this blog entry. I to, have been through several words and even just yesterday thought I had one picked out, but upon looking back at it realized that it is one of those words like you spoke of that will encompass too many areas at once. I have always struggled with shame and yesterday I even caught myself feeling ashamed that I was having such a hard time picking myoneword. That is so silly. So, I am not ashamed to say that I don’t have myoneword for this year either, but will continue to seek God and other people in my life for it. Have also had those moments where I just wanted to give up and just not have a word for this year. All the more reason to realize that I need a word. How many days do we have until Feb.1? πŸ˜‰

  • patty Stern

    MOW is peace and I have been praying that the lord makes me an instrument of his peace. Thank you for sharing this challenge and opportunity to get closer to God!

  • Cindy Bruner

    Your post was encouraging to me, as until an hour ago, I had not picked my word yet. This is my first attempt at MOW. And I have gone through many of the same thought processes as you describe. I especially related to the last sentence of the second paragraph. I have learned so much more than I expected in the process of choosing my word. And the word I finally chose is not the first, second or even sixth one that came to my mind during this process. But I know it’s right and I’m looking forward to this challenge and it’s results.

  • Peter Oehl

    My one word came to me after finishing up my quiet time. I read the devotion on the PCIII site and when I was done I wrote the word “tithing” down. It was a sudden burst of clarity to be followed by a thousand questions of where do I now go from here. Whatever word you choose will be incorporated into all aspects of your life. My one word “tithing” is about me giving more to my family, church, community, and less to myself and my needs (okay actually wants). Keep praying and it will probably hit you from out of nowhere…

  • Heather

    Hi there! I am in a small study group and we all decided to pick our one word. God spoke to each of us almost instantly one night! It was so amazing. Just listen to Him and He will make it clear what it should be. (Maybe commitment?)

  • Melissa

    I’ve been trying to think of just the right ‘one word’. I’m wondering if I had been thinking about it a little too hard. None of the words I came up with seemed to be right. However, yesterday as I was taking some quiet time and not really thinking about anything, I heard THE word just as clear as a bell. “Focus”. So…that is my word!! I wouldn’t have come up with this one on my own, I’m sure! πŸ™‚

  • Sherry

    I too have stuggled with MOW for 2011. My husband is heading back to War this time in Afghanistan, my vehicle is 9 years old, we have 4 kids in a 1,000 sq ft home… so many things “I” want to fix!!! So God has laid the word Patience on me…. He will provide if I just have patience to let his plan work in my life. The definition of Patience is the will or ability to wait or endure without complaint. It will be by his will that I have the ability to wait and endure and WOW the without complaint will be a difficult challenge. Praying for patience all year.

  • Kal

    I have read and re-read your post and so many other places. YOUR post blessed me that I am not the only one who on 27 January does not have her ONE word when the “rest of the world” has theirs emblazoned in jewelry even (www.lisaleonard.com). So thank you for relieving my heart of that burden. πŸ™‚ Any luck yet?

  • Elesha

    I have been pondering my one word since the beginning of January. I have thought of many words to use, but while driving to work, God gave me my one word “stripped” I have thought to myself, why this word, and while driving home today He revealed the meaning to me. Have you ever bought a piece of old furniture that had layers of paint, dust, and rust on it and to anybody else it would be a piece of trash. But, you could see the potential for it to be a beautiful piece of furniture. So, you take that piece of furniture and begin dusting it off, removing the rust, and layer by layer you remove the paint until it is finally “stripped” down to the bare wood. Now, it is the most beautiful piece of furniture you have ever seen. Sometimes life seems to pile on the layers. So my goal this year, is for God to dust me off, remove the rust, and layer by layer peel the layers of worldly stuff away. Whether it is finances, daily stress, weight issues, whatever it may be until I become that beautiful masterpiece that I was intended to be.

  • Lin

    Hilary B…. What a great blog………comforting to read that this one-word decision was not easy for others either. I prayed; I rehashed with the Lord the major topics of my concerns in prayer this past year. Seems there’s always so much to do with so little time and energy to accomplish all I want. Lists and lists. Was praying for help in decluttering many facets of my life for many months. Then a friend sent me this website and suggested I choose only one word for the improvements I seek in my life. Went to bed on those prayers. At 3AM I awoke for no reason and felt/heard this word: ‘ORDER’. I was wide awake and felt no need to return to sleep so I went to another room and thought about that powerful message I felt at 3am and thought perhaps this was the Lord giving me my word (sometimes I’m not sure if my ‘pride and self-sufficiency’ is guiding me or it’s the Lord). WOW! what a word! It’s not that I’m going to find a ton of references to that word in the Bible for the help, encouragement, understanding and wisdom I was going to need. But I did sense a longing to get my financial world in order once again (such chaos this past year); then the clutter of 45 years in one house, hanging onto precious things for children, my drawers of craft items; boxes and boxes of years of photos awaiting placement in albums; health issues requiring order in my life so I can maintain healthy cardio-vascular strength levels. Everything I contemplated thru the early morning hours led back to purging, decluttering, reorganizing…… yep order! For I knew at once if I tackled those issues weighing on me I would gain that peace and order in my life so that I could focus on my more important interests: increasing/maturing my spiritual focus, knowledge and fellowship with the Lord and doing His work through increasing volunteerism (one of my gifts being underused). Loss of control due to disorder, clutter and putting-off detracts from the energies needed to set the new course. Purchased a little journal for me to record my thoughts, prayers, Bible verses, learnings and accomplishments towards this one-word life-changing goal. Thanks for the excellent blogs and this helpful website. I love reading others’ word choices and look forward to learning with them as well. Who knows where this will lead?!

  • peggy

    Hilary…I have alot of the same issues you have with picking my one word. It is encouraging to know that so many people struggle with this. I think/thought I had/have my one word. As soon as I stated it out loud God put it into practice…lol. My word I think/thought was positive. My life has never been very positive. I have a very negative outlook on life. So this year I wanted to change that because I thought if I can change that, my whole world will change. But like I said as soon as I said this is my one word, I don’t think I have had much of a positive thought or word since then.. So maybe that is the key. I am on the right track. Now I just need to let go and let God help me on the right track to positive!

  • My one word is “modification”. I will not keep Jesus to myself, I will teach all about Him. I will not eat more than my share, I will give to a food pantry. I will not keep more material things than needed, I will give anything extra away. I will not only pray for me, I will pray for all others. I will not give thanks only when prayers are answered, but say thanks to God, always.

  • Mary

    Great post…what about “release”…release yourself from trying to control everything and let it all go.

  • Arlene

    Hilary, I continue to be blessed everytime I get a chance to visit your blog. I just might have to try this and get Boomers to join me. I look forward to hearing what your “word” is, since Feb. 1 has passed.