Tag: resolutions

4 Ways to Help One Word Make a Difference in 2016

If you have chosen One Word in the past I’m curious what your experience has been like. How meaningful or transformative has it been?

Honestly, my experience has been varied. “Fearless” was a good, focused year. “Choose life” was a little too broad.

There is certainly nothing magic about choosing One Word, or making resolutions or having goals with strategies. Don’t do it if you feel it doesn’t work for you. There are different seasons of life that make this practice more or less do-able. Read my friend Maggie’s thoughts on No Word 2016 here.

I love this line I ran across by Alia Joy  : “No resolution will ever complete what grace has already done for me.”

But  we do see in Scripture, the value of paying attention, the value of leading an examined life, of keeping step with the Spirit as we cooperate with God’s transforming work in our lives. How we do that can be as individual as we are, but I’m giving One Word another go for 2016.

This year I have been so captivated by the Message translation of Romans 8:15 and the phrase “adventurously expectant”, that I was tempted once again to choose two words. But as I studied the verse further, it struck me that the only way we can truly be “adventurously expectant” is if we trust our Abba – our “Papa”.  And the only way to trust Him is to know Him.

So I’m choosing the whole verse, AND the two words – “adventurously expectant”, BUT if you force me to conform and choose One Word, maybe I’ll say “Papa”. Call me a rebel.


In the past I haven’t been super clear on how I wanted to interact with the whole One Word thing, so this year I want to put some  commitments into place.

Here are 4 ways I’m investing in One Word that I hope will make it more impactful. Maybe they’ll help you too. Continue reading

Help for One Word

Yesterday I posted on One Word for 2014.  I love seeing the words you’re choosing in the comments section – check them out and add yours!


I asked my mom what hers is and she said it’s a secret. 🙂 Guys, it’s not like this is a nuclear launch code.  And you will not be struck by lightning if you change your word in February.  Ask my brother, David.

If there was going to be One Word for this blog I pray it would be Grace, grace, and more grace!  Part of my goal is that we would take God seriously, but ourselves not so much, so jump in.  It’s safe, I promise.

If you’re considering choosing One Word for 2014 and are having some trouble, here’s some help from the author of the book, One Word, who was on the Today show.  As you reflect, he suggests, look in, look up, and look out.  View the 3 minute clip here.

3 Lessons I’m Learning About Airplanes That Don’t Get Off the Ground

I have a lot of friends who are “high-capacity achievers”.  I look at them and they are wise and talented, and smart, and “tada!” they have a lot of seemingly easy sucess…kind of like Michelle Obama or Justin Bieber.  That would not be me.

The other day I wrote about what it takes to build an airplane (like my friend, Gayle).  You know, like what it takes to achieve any humongous goal that seems crazy and beyond possibility without divine intervention.

Friday morning as I was walking home through our snowy neighborhood from the coffee shop where I write, I got to thinking back over this past year, 2012 and two “airplanes” that I set out to build.  They didn’t crash and burn.  They never even got off the ground!  I felt tears sting my eyes (hoping they wouldn’t freeze on my cheeks) as I re-lived my deep, deep disappointment at these “failures”.


One was a fund raiser for starving kids in Africa.  I had worked with a team and prayed for 200 contributors.  We got about 15.  The other was a writing submission that was important to me.  It was rejected without feedback. I had a bunch of airplanes that soared in 2012, but, like most of us, it’s easy to obsess about those that didn’t.

I had prayed fervently about both.  I thought both would honor God.  I worked really hard, and did my part as best I could.  I had a team of truth-tellers and consultants for both.  I broke them down into smaller segments.  I thought I followed all the right steps.  But they both failed.  Miserably.

So I, like you (if you’ve failed at anything), have been trying to figure out “What now?” Here are some of the questions I’m asking:

Continue reading

The One Word that Might Change Your 2013

I’ve been reading and listening to boat loads of advice in the past two weeks on resolutions, goals, and all things to make the 2013 me stronger, more successful, and more godly (all with a flatter tummy of course).

You too?  Feeling a little overwhelmed?

Some advocate shorter term goals and then evaluation and refinement, instead of setting big year-long goals.  I like that.

Others suggest making a “stop” list.  Yeah, I like that too.

And others admonish us to start and end our goal-setting with prayer.  Yep.  Good word.

But the newish “in” thing seems to be choosing ONE WORD for the year.

Trashing a list of resolutions and instead focusing on one word, one word to live into with God for the year.

Continue reading

How to Build an Airplane

I have a friend who is building an airplane.  Seriously.  Not a model.  A real, live, take-off-and-land-in-a-different-state airplane.

She sent pictures in her Christmas letter and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  It makes me think of those pictures you see of Rosie the Riveter from World War 2 posters.


Well, I’d like to build an “airplane” this New Year.  Sound impossible?  Yep, sounds that way to me too.

I love big hairy audacious goals.  I love the idea of going after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.  I don’t want to let fear dictate my decisions.  I want to take a flying leap of faith.  But that doesn’t mean flying blind.

So I’ve been thinking my New Year’s resolutions and about what Gayle is doing to reach her remarkable goal.

She has a team.  She’s not doing it alone.  She has professionals coaching, guiding directing her.  Her family members are putting in hours of work by her side also.  So ask yourself, “Who’s on my team?  Who are the people who can advise me, give feedback, teach me?” and then go ask them for help!

She has a plan.  And the plan isn’t just “build a plane today”.  Ask, “What are the smaller steps that are going to help me reach this big goal?  How can I break an airplane down into parts?”

If your goal is to lose weight, what are the daily habits that are going to set you up for success?  If your goal is to write a book, how many words are you going to discipline yourself to write each day?

She has a work ethic. Gayle’s plane is being built in a hangar in Oregon and she’s required to put in a certain number of hours of work over a year’s time.  This is not a Bewitched-twitch-your-nose-and-get-it-done kind of deal.

What are the excuses that keep you from setting the alarm an hour early?  I love what Jon Acuff writes…”Sucker punch Monday morning and start your day before fear has a chance to find you.”

Another friend of mine likes to say, “Work like it depends on you.  Pray like it depends on God.”  Building a plane may not sound like a very “spiritual” endeavor, but how sad if we leave God out of any equation.  And how exciting if we set kingdom goals that we can see clearly will honor God, feed the hungry, encourage the brokenhearted, bring justice…

So anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about this morning.  What airplane are you hoping to build in the New Year?  Or what airplane are you afraid to tackle?


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