Monday, January 18, 2016

One Word

Long before January 1 rolled around I had chosen my one word for the New Year.

The one word I wanted to make mine for 365 days, plus one for the leap year.

The one word that I hoped would become a revolution in my life rather than just a positive thinking, try-hard resolution.

The one word was, and is. . .


Intentional may seem like an odd word, certainly not very spiritual like many friends I know tend to choose, but this word was so strong on my heart and mind as 2015 was waning to a close, I knew it was the change that my life sorely needed. (And oddly enough, my word for 2015 was change)!

I’ve always been the type of person to live life as it comes and not worry too much about tomorrow. It makes me crazy to have more than two events on the calendar in one week. I think this is partly due to the fact that I’ve been working mostly full-time outside the home since I was 18, so those 40 hours make up the majority of my time during the week and if I have too many other things going on I feel like I don’t have enough time to breathe, then suddenly, it’s Monday again.

It’s always worked better for me to just go-with-the-flow rather than fill up every minute of my day and week with things to do. Well, I don’t know if “worked better” would be the right terminology though, since I’ve never really tried it any other way.

As I look back on my life now, however, I see how this way of living has often filled my days with good intentions, but for so many reasons, (not any good ones I might add), through doing things this way I’ve unintentionally let all kinds of things fall through the cracks and it seems, with them have slipped tiny pieces of my heart.

Much too often I intend to send that card, to clean that closet, to pay that bill, to read that book, to be a better friend, wife, mother, worker, co-worker. . .   I’m sure you get the idea, but I fail to follow through and just intend to do it another day.

And thus, I acknowledge with every missing piece of my heart that has fallen through those cracks filled with good intentions, I need to become more intentional.

I knew this was not going to be easy for me and so I prayed, asking God if this should even be my word for this year. I wondered if He might choose a different word for me, one more spiritual perhaps --- like peace, or hope, or grace, but He made it abundantly clear to me that this was indeed to be my word.

Change is hard, but I also know that regrets are harder and in the end, more painful.

So with God’s help, my intent for 2016 is to be more intentional.

I’ve already found this is not going to be easy. I’ve failed many times in just these few weeks of January, but I will not get discouraged. This is what my Father in Heaven wants for me and He knows what is very best for me. He always wants to bless us and grow us in our faith and knowledge of Him.

And when I think of it, I realize that God is so intentional. Everything He does is for a reason, a very good reason!

So I will pray every day that this year He will help me to be more intentional.

It actually is a really good word

and the one He has intended for me.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is
His good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Romans 12:2

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Linking this post in a monthly blog circle with some fabulous friends!

The theme we are writing about this month is:  Beginnings.

What kind of new beginnings are you discovering in this first month of a new year?

Please click on the links below to visit each of my friends 
and feel free to leave comments.

Connie at: Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Marty at: What Marty Sees

Patricia at:  Pollywog Creek


  1. God's blessing be on you in your desire to be more intentional and purposeful in living life, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much, Marty. It is a struggle for me, but I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.

  2. I can't wait to hear of your transformation of being intentional in December! We will need follow up blogs on our one word's. Great post, Julie.

    1. That's a great idea Connie! It would be so fun to share all that God did through our one word journey at the end of the year. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Stunning photos, Julie. Stunning! "Intentional" is very much a spiritual word. It speaks to discipline, obedience, and purpose; and it can be specific (as in a single task) or over-all (as in living intentionally to the glory of God).

    You might want to read Jean Fleming's "Pursue the Intentional Life."

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words here, Patricia! I will definitely check out that book. I also plan to pick up John Maxwell's new book, Intentional Living. The mention of it in the first few days of January was part of the confirmation that God gave me about choosing that word. I just love how He does that!

  4. Intentional is, I think, a very spiritual word. Desiring to live with intention as you seek and serve God makes it more likely to happen. I recommend Jean Flemings book, Pursue the Intentional Life.

    1. Thanks for reading, Debbie, and for taking the time to comment. Patricia recommended that same book, so there is no doubt now -- I need to get it! Yes, God is showing me how important it is for my heart and soul to be intentional.