Messy House

As far as I can tell, only one downside exists from going on vacation and that would be the chaos you return to when you get home. Lost in the excitement to go on your journey, little thought is often given to the current state of your house. It isnt until you open the front door a week or so later that you come face to face with the messy reality. To make matters worse, your luggage, dirty laundry and mementos you collected along the way only add to the clutter.

Maybe it is just me, but I dont do well with a house in transition. To put things in perspective, its January 3rd and my house is just now getting back to order after the Christmas vacation rush. I remember coming home to chaos all around me and not knowing where to begin. It literally halted me in my tracks. I felt paralyzed. Part of me wanted to figure out a way to live in the midst of the chaos and ignore the reality of work that stood before me.

Im pretty sure some of you are experiencing those same types of emotions in regards to picking one word to define you in 2011. The idea of narrowing your focus to one aspect of your character which needs improvement can be an intimidating venture. After all, in your mind there are numerous bad habits, character flaws and struggles that demand your attention. However, fight the urge to push the disengage button. It is better to do something about one thing than nothing about everything.

Just like tackling a messy house, you need to start somewhere. When it comes to the process of deciding what your word will be, the first step towards growth is to take inventory on the past year and see where God has moved in your life. Before moving forward, one must look backwards. Take a few moments to reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you feel that in the past year you have progressed or regressed in your relationship with Christ? What shortcomings have you observed in your character over the past year?
  • What emotions and baggage are you bringing into the New Year?
  • If someone were to ask what God had taught you this past year, how would you answer them? If you were honest, would your response be just lip service?


We know that there will be some of you that have put the wheels in motion towards growth and have already selected your One Word. It encourages us to know that you see the benefit of this experiment and we are excited to see how God will shape you through this experience. Utilize these first few blog posts to find your pace. Each post will include an exercise or question to prepare you for the journey.

Todays exercise is a reminder to anchor your One Word with Gods word. If scripture is not the basis for our change, this experiment will be nothing more than a practice of our fragile human ability to evoke change in our lives apart from God. When times get tough and discouragement sets in, you can keep going back to the truth found in these verses for reassurance and reflection.

  • If you havent done so already, take a few moments to select a few core verses that inspire and support your word.

Regardless of whether youve picked your word or not, the truth is we all have apprehensions about the road the lies ahead of us. Wed love to hear your response to the following question: What are your fears about picking a single word that defines you in 2011?

18 Responses to “Messy House”

  1. Kayla says:

    My fears about the word I’ve chosen (care) are that I will see it as a chore, instead of a joy to serve God by caring for others. I’m afraid I’ll see it as something I’m doing to have people say, “Isn’t she awesome?” instead of “Isn’t her God amazing?”
    Those are my two biggest fears about attempting to define my life by the word “care”.

  2. Kevin says:

    My only fear about choosing one word is that I won’t live up to that word again.

  3. karen says:

    My fear about picking a single word? That I won’t be able to live up to it.
    Yes, my relationship with Christ is stronger this year than last. However, I still have a long way to grow! I enter this new year in the midst of much turmoil and as I look forward, can only see that this coming year is going to be one of struggles. I look forward to seeing where God’s blessings will be in the midst of the storms.
    I chose strength as my word – physical strength, emotional strength, and most of all spiritual strength for the trials I must face.

  4. Tony, you ask what are my fears of picking my word, consecrated, that would be that God would test me in it, and truly seperate me for His purposes and I am not sure what that could mean, to travel to the ends of the earth, be lonely? Not sure. but that would be a fear that I would be tested and experience trials and not be able to pass the test.

    I also wanted to let you know that the homework is not linked to the 2011 My One Word sheets so we can respond to the questions you pose on our pages. At least mine is not. Thanks so much.

  5. Rose says:

    Every time we go on vacation I pack ahead of time. Then on the day of or the day before I start putting dishes in the dishwasher and try to pick up as much as possible so I don’t have the welcome that you are talking about. So when we come back I only have to deal with the luggage that we have.

  6. Alexa says:

    My fear is that I will lose my motivation. I have grown closer to God over the past year, but still not as close as I want to be. So I choose to gain strength in all areas of my life.

  7. Lynnette Rutledge says:

    I want the word I pick to change me. I have picked a word that will challenge me all year long. Looking forward to it.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    In our small group yesterday, we discussed a few reasons why we’re afraid to pick one word. One of the answers: fear of being tested! If our word is PATIENCE, will we be tested with situations to try our patience? If we choose FORGIVENESS, will there be more offenses lobbed our way that we have to forgive? We admitted fear of inviting those situations into our lives. BUT, we also discussed seeing those issues as opportunities to build a better relationship with God. Can’t wait to see what the year brings……

  9. Sariah says:

    I don’t know if I have a fear about picking a single word for 2011. If anything, my only worry is becoming discouraged and forgetting to apply my word to my life. The word ‘Thankful’ was put on my heart and I decided, with God’s help, that that would be my one word for 2011. After going between compassion, understanding, patience, faith, and thankful, I felt that with thankfulness, the rest will follow. I now already have started to open my eyes and realize everything that I truly have to be thankful for! I pray that even during the storms that are to come in 2011, I will remember to thank God for what He is doing! I will remember to thank God for the lesson that I will learn and the experience that I will go through. I will remember to thank God for being there and for carrying me through the storm. I will also remember to rejoice and thank Him during the great times as well. I pray that when I am tested, I will have the strength, courage, and faith to say “Thank you God!”

  10. Kelley says:

    My fears are mainly about failure – I’ve told my family and many friends about my word so I fear failing in front of them as well. I’ve already had many challenges to staying focused on my word – beginning with the very next morning at church! I also have doubts about whether I chose the “right” word – which makes me realize how much I have fallen back into perfectionism, which has robbed me of joy and cheerfulness – which has led me to choose “cheerful” as my One Word. So I guess I did pick the “right” one!

  11. Debbie says:

    That I won’t live up to the word, that I will be a failure and I will not be fearless for Jesus.

  12. Kelly says:

    My word this year is REVIVAL. I am seeking a major revival this year where the Lord completely unleashes His glory and awakens me to Him. Last year, my word was restoration and after a full year of trials, surgeries, and hospitalizations for breast cancer, my restoration didn’t come until the last 2 weeks of the year. My heart was hardened during the process of desperately wanting things to work out and I am scared to death that my revival will not come soon. I know it’s a process, but my restoration took SOOOOO long. I can see now that I had to go through all that I did so that I could be restored to health and a growing relationship with Christ, but I fear what revival will mean for me. Being stripped of everything so as to start as “clay” again? What will that look like and will it mean another set-back in my health?

  13. Mary says:

    I, too, hesitate to embrace my word for fear that I cannot live up it. I also hesitate because I know that I will find that it takes a strong person to recognize that what others consider the status quo for embracing an idea is not always the truth. Standing alone is frightening.

  14. Jay says:

    My fear about just one word is that there are SO many! As I was “stressing” about which word to choose, one of my favorite verses came to mind, “Be still and know that
    I am God”. So then I thought…well which word there? It wasn’t until driving to work this morning that it “hit” me…in traffic…worring about being late…about undone work…about my many illnesses….and I said to myself…STILLNESS. So each time stress appeared today, I thought of my word….I think! Could it be FAITH….for God knows I believe in Him, but I don’t always want to believe He can do ALL things….even those things that seem impossible.

  15. Mary says:

    I am having trouble picking a word because I don’t want this year to be about failure. Therefore I am waiting on God to hear from Him what my word should be. I can think of so many things I need to change its overwhelming. Picking one thing to work on this year is actually a relief. I know God will lead me to the right word for this year.

  16. Mickey says:

    I wouldn’t say I had a fear about picking just one word. I love the idea of having one thing to focus on throughout the year. Each year I look forward to picking a new word and start thinking about it around the beginning of December. My word this year is patience. When I chose the word I expected it to take a much different direction. I was thinking more in terms of dating. Suddenly it has taken a totally different direction. I had no idea I was going to have to jump into this thing with both feet right from the get go. Yesterday I lost my job. Having patience when it comes employment is a terrifying thing for me. Right now I’m ok. Six months from now? Hmmmm….. I guess thats where patience comes in.

  17. Autumn says:

    I chose the word “health” first seeking spiritual health which in return will affect the other aspects of “health in my life, emotional, mental and physical. All being the positive products of God moving in my life.

  18. jamie says:

    My fear is that I already feel abandoned by God and everytime I pray for help it never seems to come, and I can’t seem to change by myself. I feel if I pick a word I’ll never be able to do it. I’m under much stress from many situations including health problems, I really need some peace, every time I try to be calmer I can’t. The hardest part is praying and getting nothing but silence in return, you read ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened and I have been doing that for so many years now and getting nothing but silence, so it must be my fault. I’m afraid picking a word will be more of the same and it is emotionally more than I can take many times.