Last year’s word of the year for me was Be. Upon reflection, Be was the perfect word that fueled my spiritual growth and cultivated my peace of mind. Flash back to last February. In my journey to understand love, the way our Creator intended, I stepped away from a 35-year career to support my husband through his lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Little did I know, we would be contending with COVID the following month to add complexity to his immune compromised state as well as facing a grueling year of multiple complications from the transplant. Hiring in my field of philanthropy slowed down as well and positions of interest were and continue to be on hold. Since much of my time prior to the transplant and COVID was focused on working, it was hard to be still and just Be. Being is an uncomfortable space to find yourself in after years of doing. Through faith and trust, I learned what it meant to Be and was blessed with many gifts through this surrender. By being still last year, I was able to see and understand God’s grace and His goodness. I started writing about this goodness which I hope inspires you in your journey. Have you taken some time to reflect on how God has worked in your life this past year and written a few key moments in your spiritual journey and identified your hopes for the new year?
St Benedict said, “Whatever good work you begin to do, beg of God with the most earnest prayer to perfect it.” I am taking some of my dreams to God this year and asking for help to sort out what needs an action plan. Dreams will never come true if I do not take conscious steps towards making them a reality. It is the intention of my actions. What are your dreams?
A few years ago, I started setting a word of the year when I felt called to pay more attention to my spiritual life. The Spirit always reveals the perfect word when I take notice through specific themes, images, songs, scripture, prayer, or meditations.
Action is my word this year. I am excited to see how this theme plays out through my year. I feel this word will create the conditions conducive for the spiritual growth God desires for me. I am praying for the courage to take action on what I am called to do and fight the bad habits that sometimes get in my way. At times, I get lost with distractions and do what is urgent rather than what is important, this keeps me from moving towards my goals and the big picture. Recently during my holy hour, I found myself spending two hours reading daily meditations, in addition to the daily mass readings and prayers on my phone. Although these can support my spiritual growth, it did not feel productive. My spiritual growth is about strengthening my relationship with my Creator which I do through prayer and spending time with Him. I had the realization, it is not necessarily about what other people’s interpretations are, I need to take action on what I hear in the whispers of prayer to bring to the world. Contemplation and action are both important and I am looking forward to a flow between the being and doing this year.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.Focus on His truth, Proverbs 16:3
Planning is deciding what to change today so tomorrow will be different from yesterday. Our plans help us construct a vision of how we would like the future to be, but only actions will bring these things about. With confidence in the rightness of our desires, we can be assured that God never gives us a dream we cannot reach. I want God’s grace to take root in me this year to continue to see His goodness and take action to share this goodness. I will need to ask for His help and guidance, not carry the weight of doing things all myself and saying no to being comfortable. This will position me well to fully receive what God has for me in this new word and say Yes!
I’d love to hear your Word of the Year.
Smitten with Goodness,