A year ago, not far from this time, I heard on K-Love about choosing one word for the new year. They were all doing it, and I thought it was weird and cheesy. I most particularly didn't want to choose a word theme for the new year. And yet, I was strangely attracted to the idea of having a theme for the year, and kept pondering that if I WERE to name the year, what would a good name be?
Then I came across Ann Voskamp's blog. She names the years. At the time, she had just named the new year the year of "Yes". And that was her theme for the year. (She had names past years "Eucharisto" and "Communion" if I remember right. I might be wrong....) Anyway, she must be much more stylish than K-Love in my mind, because I instantly wanted to name the year.
And it's name became "Rejoice". I knew that God had been telling me to learn to rejoice in now, not just grit my teeth and try to get through now in anticipation of "someday" being better. And so I learned. Or at least tried. I learned to savor moments with my kids now. I learned to put the effort into making my house a pleasant place here. And I learned to enjoy my tasks, especially the parenting related ones, in a whole new level. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
A few weeks ago, it became time to think about naming the new year. It was mid-December, and I was feeling distracted with so much do to -- gifts to make, projects to finish, cookies to bake, so that we can all enjoy this special time. I felt like I was on a rat race going nowhere. And what was really important was becoming second to finishing projects.
As I thought, the only word that really presented itself to me was "relationship". Relationships are to be my priority, not getting things done. Since when is it okay to ignore my kids in order to catch up on my friends' Facebook statuses? When did all my marriage conversations become the type that just communicate information: "I have meat in the fridge thawing for dinner". When was the last time I really felt like God was my friend?
I didn't want to name the year "relationship". It felt too convicting. But the word kept getting reiterated to me. Sunday sermons would focus on showing grace to each other as we relate in this messy world. My kids would demonstrate that they really wanted my full attention, not mutters in the middle of something else. I missed my husband.
So, after a while of resisting, Relationship is has become. I want to treat my relationship with God like a real relationship -- making sure to spend time with him (either in prayer or reading or writing or memorizing or all of these). I want to think about Him and have conversations with Him. I want to play with my husband, not just work all the time. I want to really be here with my kids, not distracted by the internet. And I want to spend the time and effort to develop friendships, honest friendships that help me grow, rather than always being too busy.
It's a tall order, I know.