I cannot believe it's been a year since I wrote a blog post! Can you say BUSY? Yes, I guess life has become rather hectic with schedules and activities for four children, in addition to my jumping back into the world of speech-language pathology after thirteen years.
As I mentioned last year, I started choosing a Word of the Year in 2014, after finding lists of resolutions to come up pretty empty year after year. I do like a fresh start...is there anything more lovely than a blank new calendar? And I am a very goal-oriented person, but let's be honest, as a mom of four busy children, my goals are focused more on my children/family than on personal goals. With the one word of the year, I found it easier to incorporate that thought or idea into my life overall. 2014's word was PRESENT. I worked hard to be PRESENT with my children, to not over-commit to everything under the sun, but to be deliberate with my time, to be purposeful with my energies. I would call it a great success...my word did not consume or stress me. It gently reminded me to focus and plug in to what I valued.
My Word of the Year for 2015 was KIND. I had felt like I was often telling my children to be KIND, to respect one another, to get along. KIND ended up being a wonderful word for us. Are we always KIND? No, but thinking about being KIND, seeing the word KIND on the chalkboard near our dinner table, and being purposeful about KINDness helped the overall tone of our home and our relationships. Also, thinking before speaking, "is this KIND?" helped filter our speech.
My Word of the Year for 2016, after much deliberation, is TRANSFORM. I hemmed and hawed for weeks, vacillating between "change" and "TRANSFORM." My children commented, "Aren't they the same thing, though?" and as I pondered, I realized that no, they are not exactly the same. Change can happen quickly or slowly, but TRANSFORM conjures more of a process.
So why on earth did I pick this word? Several key reasons come to mind:
1) We are always TRANSFORMING...kids are growing and, much as we resist it, our bodies are TRANSFORMING - aging every day. In our family, September of 2016 will see our first child head off to the big high school! I am seeing TRANSFORMATIONS with my work, as I take on more speech therapy clients, juggle my Etsy Shop, my Mary Kay business, as well as my roles as wife and mother.
2) I am hoping to TRANSFORM my body back into the shape/condition it was in 2013 when I turned 40. Back then, I was dedicated to eating healthy, whole food. In addition, I was committed to intense workout plans. The hard work paid off, and I was in the best shape of my life as my husband and I headed off on a cruise in June 2013. So far this year, I am starting my TRANSFORMATION by eliminating grains, dairy, sugary junk and as much processed junk as possible. I have also begun 20 weeks of TurboFire, an at-home workout program that I LOVE! Stay tuned for a (hopeful) TRANSFORMATION story in a few months.
3) We have had a lot of changes at our church recently, including a new name, and although I tend to prefer consistency and sameness, I also see the need for TRANSFORMATION. Our new name should eliminate various barriers for guests. We have some members moving away, one pastor leaving to plant a church, church-wide life groups beginning, and a number of other TRANSFORMATIONS. I can sit alone and be upset, resisting TRANSFORMATION, or I can see that God can use all of this for something wonderful.
4) Romans 12:2-3 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." How awesome is that? Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." How we need clean hearts! And 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." What better TRANSFORMATION could there ever be?!
What do I expect or hope for as I focus on the word/idea of TRANSFORM in 2016? That, with God's help and grace, I will be TRANSFORMED mentally and spiritually by His Word and teaching, that with His strength, I will TRANSFORM physically, that with HIS love and guidance, our family will TRANSFORM into new seasons together.
Resting in this comforting knowledge: "I am the Lord, I change not." - Malachi 3:6