I’ve been thinking about it for two weeks.
What one word would lead me into 2017?
What one word can I carry through the completely unknown & familiar of my life?
Part of moving forward for me has always meant looking back in a sense. Moving into 2016 my one word was LEAN. I leaned into so many new things. I spoke for the first time a full message at my church and we became foster care parents. These two things altered me forever. I also leaned into a lot of people’s joys and griefs and embodied alongside them…it’s been brutal and beautiful. “Brutiful” as Glennon Melton says.
I leaned into the hurt of our city, my growing ideals of the world, my husband’s business growth, a tough election, and the unfiltered conversations with my children on death, life, and love.I’ve leaned into conflicts where I felt misunderstood and hurt. I tried to find my words instead of walls.
This year hasn’t been easy, but leaning into things means you lean into both the good and the hard. The light and the dark. Sometimes leaning felt like falling. It was harder to stand back up than I thought it would be.
But I’m coming out of it a lot stronger and braver than I ever thought I was with a renewed sense of surprise of the person I actually am that was buried.
A girl I don’t actually recognize…
…one I’m really proud of
…one I’m getting to know
…one I really want to protect.
And so, 2017. My one word is DWELL.
To DWELL in the house I am in, creating a presence of love and acceptance.
To DWELL in my current reality without rushing, oh how I love to create exit plans.
To DWELL in new ventures with Enderly Coffee and in the broken world of the foster care system.
To DWELL in a space that brings hope for families within my work with our church community.
To DWELL among others, holding space for those I love and not yet have met.
To DWELL in the presence of God and live within and out of these still moments.
To DWELL on my ideas, pushing into my words when I feel I have nothing to say.
To DWELL within myself, to pour into her.The physical-ness of my word reminds me of the physical space I hold just by existing.
Jesus, may I dwell in a way that holds space and builds peace in 2017.
If I’m honest, I’m literally dragging myself into 2017.
I spent the first day of 2017 beside the hospital bed gripping the hand and soaking the pillow with my tears while embracing our frail, beautiful, neighbor and saying what could be our final goodbyes.
“I’m ready. I’ve made my peace. Take care of your sweet girls” she said.
“We’re not ready to say goodbye to you yet,” I whispered.
This wasn’t the way I wanted to start 2017.
But oh what an honor.
To look into her eyes and know her love and ours.
To know we would never had met her had we not had the word INTENTIONAL 9 years ago and chose the house right next to hers.
The power of one word.
May we know our word, live into it, and let the Spirit push and twist it into meanings we didn’t know existed.