March 26, 2013
Today I’ve asked my friend Tracie Miles to share her one word for 2013 with us, because she chose such a challenging word! Tracie is a women’s speaker and the author of Stressed-less Living: Finding Peace in Your Chaotic World.
What is your one word, Tracie, and why did you choose it?
I spent six weeks praying for “my one word,” asking God to make my word clear to me. I had lots of thoughts about what it should be – like love, patience, trust, etc. Those all sounded like good traits to focus on.
But the word “selfish” kept popping up.
I didn’t really like that word. So I kept praying about it, expecting God to reveal a feel-good word instead. But as time passed, my thoughts continued to gravitate towards selfish.
Yet, I didn’t feel like a selfish person. I do a lot for other people; I volunteer at two different ministries; I serve at church; I wait on my family practically hand and foot. Me, selfish?
Then I heard a friend share a message about how God had whispered to her heart that she was at times selfish. Not all the time, but some of the time. So she asked her husband if he thought she was selfish (now that was brave!), and in complete loving honesty, he answered her question with a gentle “yes.” It was then that I really began to question my own selfishness. Maybe God was right.
I later came across random bible verses in my quiet time about putting other’s needs ahead of our own, and giving sacrificially with a loving heart. All verses about not being selfish.
So, reluctantly, I asked God to help me see myself through His eyes. I prayed for Him to convict my heart when I was being selfish – even if inadvertently. And I soon began to see.
Can you give us some examples of what you began to see?
Sure. Like the times when I expect my husband to be perfect and care about my every need, and then when he falls short, I harbor negative thoughts about him and question our relationship – resulting in me not wanting to meet his needs. Selfish.
Or the times an extended family member asks me to take them to a doctor’s appointment – again. And although I agree to, I feel resentful and maybe even bitter because I had a lot on my to-do list. Selfish.
When my teenage daughter chooses to spend time with her boyfriend on a holiday instead of with me. And I feel rejected and unimportant after all I’ve done for her. Selfish.
Or the times when my friend got an opportunity that I was hoping for. Although I celebrated with her, I secretly felt unfairly treated, as if God hadn’t acknowledged my desires. Selfish.
God has made it abundantly clear that I need less of me, and more of Him. God is calling me to make a change. Calling me to be SELFLESS. So that is my one word for 2013.
Did you choose a key verse that goes along with your one word?
Philippians 2:3-4: Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (NLT)
How has your one word impacted you so far?
God has made it clear that I am going to have to sacrifice this year to people I love. My mother recently suffered serious injuries due to a bad fall. My dad is having surgery for lung cancer. And my sister has a chronic debilitating illness. All of whom will be looking to me for help with doctor’s appointments, physical needs and ongoing care giving. All this in addition to meeting the needs of my husband and three teenagers. My vow for selflessness has already been tested as I am in the throes of dealing with all these situations and God has convicted my heart several times, helping me to curtail my emotions, my frustrations, and my tongue.
That’s a powerfully challenging word, Tracie. I can imagine one of the disciples, or maybe the Apostle Paul choosing SELFLESS as their one word. What’s your latest ministry project? … how might your one word shape your approach to that?
I have a very busy speaking and writing schedule this year, in addition to all the pressures of my personal life, so it will take a lot of God, and a lot of less of me, to do that all that He is calling me to do. I am praising God for convicting me about this heart issue, and confident that His grace will be my guiding light this year.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and Mike and the blog readers today about your one word. I can’t wait to hear towards the end of the year how this SELFLESS year turned out for you.