Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Can ya DIG it?

At the end of 2013 I stumbled upon an idea. Honestly, I can't even remember where it was that I found it, but I know it struck a chord within me and I know, too, that it was exactly what I needed. The idea was to throw out the long, goal-centered, highly involved New Year's Resolution and replace it with ONE WORD. Yes, One Word. 

One Word meant to bring everything into a pinpoint focus for the year ahead. 

One Word to keep everything else in check. 

One Word to replace all the gobbledeegook filling space in our minds. 

One Word to remember. 

One Word to say. 

One Word to share. 

I liked it. A LOT! I didn't, however, figure out my word right away. In fact, it wasn't until the last Sunday of 2013 that I received it. 

Did you catch that? I *received* it. That's the way my mind works. I heard this one word and I knew that IT was my word for 2014. Here's how it went down:

I'm sitting in church between my husband and my friend, and the pastor is reading the Christmas Story. That's as much as I remember of the service because, honestly, the word resonated so much within me that I couldn't think of anything else. It came straight from The Gospel of Luke, chapter 2...Mary and Joseph hanging out with Baby Jesus in the barn and these Shepherds showed up....

18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

See it? I highlighted and bolded it for you. It was the word PONDER

Throughout this past year I have returned time and again to that single word. When I was enjoying family time I was reminded to ponder the impact of this time on the future. (yes, it definitely got me to put down my devices more often than not.) When a friend was going through a time - whether good or bad - it was a time to ponder the worth of this time as I sat with them and cried or rejoiced. When my husband and I had to face choices made by one of our children it required me to ponder how to handle it in grace and justice. Sitting here in  front of my computer on December 30, 2014 I can honestly say it changed me for the better over the past year. 

I'm seeing the need to write a separate blog on that, but today is all about the word for 2015. 

If you're looking at that picture and thinking, "what? Her word for 2015 is 'Dig'?" Then we're on the same page. That is *exactly* what I thought when I realized this was my word for 2015. In fact, I believe I tried desperately to think of another word because I could not believe such a weird word would be the word to focus my entire coming year. 

The story of how I received it is very similar to the story of how I received my 2014 word, but this time our pastor was sharing his final message to our congregation as our Senior Pastor. Our family has been attending this church for the past 4 years, and I have come to respect and admire the direction and guidance Pastor Chris has offered. I'm very sad to see him go, but know God is going to do great things with him in whatever vocation He has for Chris and his family from here. His message was, basically, his heart. He shared with us his one wish for us as a congregation and as individuals. A desire for us not to just be healthy, successful, bold in our calling, but to desire more of God and His Word. I have no idea if he, at some point, used the phrase, "I want you to want to DIG IN to God and His Word", but I do know somewhere in what he said the word 'DIG' came to me loud and clear. 

Since that day I've been pondering (see what I did there? :) ) the purpose of such a word. I've asked my friends on Facebook what phrase comes to mind when they hear the word 'Dig' and I've googled images of all sorts of combinations. Here are a few of my favorites and the searches I used for them:

As I've stated - these are simply images from the Google search I did for Dig. I have nothing to do with the content or purpose of any of the images, they simply appealed to me in my quest to unearth this crazy word. If you'd like to see them, you can click on the heading right there and it will take you to the image search (safe search is on for me!!)

(As you can see, I'm a huge Tigger fan! If you like these, you'll probably like this site: Tiggerman)

Then I decided to search for Dig In

Then....inspired by the "Keep Calm" picture above, Dig Deep

Ah! Now I felt like we were getting somewhere! There are so many more....some great blogs I'll simply tag onto the end of this, but for the sake of keeping focus and not digging in too deep to pictures while forgetting to ponder the reason for this word, I'll get back to it....

I asked God what phrases He wanted me to know for this word. WHY was this my word for 2015? The three phrases I googled were the first to come to mind and I thought about them as they relate to me. To be honest, I'm a wimp. I *want* to be a runner, but I have exercise-induced asthma, so I can easily talk myself out of pushing myself through the burn to the victory. I *wanted* to be an opera singer when I was younger, but spending time in the practice room meant missing time with my friends, so I ended up memorizing lengthy arias in foreign languages the night before big auditions. I *want* a clean and organized home where I am able to pursue my creativity AND have people over whenever we want, but I get overwhelmed when I see just how much needs to be done to get there. The list goes on. I'm a wimp who thinks deeply, but lives in a pretty shallow mindset of self-discipline. This was the first idea that came to mind. 

The second was related to why I started this particular blog in the first place - my intense desire to open the Word of God to others. I LOVE GOD AND HIS WORD! My greatest desire is to encourage others to DIG IN to His Word and get to know the character of the Very One Who created them. I have to put off studying until I've gotten some housework done because I can literally spend the entire day unraveling passages and devouring their worth. This was a no-brainer. I need to DIG IN to God and get deeper in His Word this year. 

Then I asked friends and family what came to mind when they heard this phrase. My Aunt shared these thoughts: 
      Aunt Mary:  If manual labor - the movement of earth to create a hole

      Aunt Mary:  If internet research - it is going from down arrow to down arrow and clicking here and there and finding links to get to the desired information

Other friends came up with these: 
     "Personal spiritual growth.... Dig deep to remove those things that separate you from God."
     "Doctor Teeth"
     "Do ya dig it?"
     "A put down or to criticize"
     "Digs - as in my new digs"
     "Search harder for the right answer/explanation"
     "Liking something"
     "TLC's song 'diggin on you'..."
     "Hot diggity dog!"
     "I used to love playing Dig Dug!"
     "Dad bats dig Mom bats, and that's why there's wombats"
     "working in my garden, all I seem to do is dig out the weeds"

When asked my family while we were driving home from a friend's house they came up with these:
     "dig earth"
     "Dig a grave"
     "Dig! Dig! Dig!" (as in, what I yell to my boys while they're running from third to home or to the finish line in a race)

I know not every year will be a good year - that every year has ebbs and flows. I know, too, that it is very possible I may stand at the side of a grave this year, but when he said that my heart lurched. 

So, to end this rather randomized post, that is my word for the year. DIG. 

No matter what it is I'm digging into, deeper for, liking or dreading, I know this one thing for certain...

Digging into God and leaning into His everlasting arms will never fail me....or you. 

If you'd like to find your own One Word, you can find out more information from this site: Get One Word. It's the blog I found after popping up on that one idea this time last year, and there are great resources to help you unearth and dig up your Word for 2015. 

Here's a final picture, too, that happens to be the favorite of all I dug up...

...and the funniest...

Can ya dig it? 

Have a happy, healthy, and wonder-filled 2015!!