Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Word for a New Year

A New Word for a New Year

As I sit here at my computer on this last day of 2014, I’m looking back over all that it has brought to my life. There have been some incredible highs and some difficult lows. But thankfully throughout the year there has been more joy than sorrow.

In 2014 God placed upon my heart the word “intentional” as my word for the year. You see, I gave up making resolutions a few years ago and instead I choose a word that I believe I need to focus on. On January 1, 2014 I wrote this: This year I pray that God will help me to become more intentional in my life journey. To be more intentional in my relationships with family and friends, in how I spend my time (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), in my ministry and in my time spent with my heavenly Father (in scripture, meditation and prayer).

Over all I believe I was intentional in many areas of my life. Relationships that were broken at the beginning of the year are now healed or in the process of healing and I am so grateful for that. My work in ministry at Rustin Ave. UMC turned from being assigned as pulpit supply to being their appointed pastor and with that brought new challenges; leading confirmation and developing new opportunities for worship. At Grace UMC, I took off my Administrative Secretary hat that I had worn for 11 years and became the Minister of Small Group Ministry, a new position at the church developing small group opportunities. I was intentional about my health as I began exercising and eating healthier. I had a mammogram, a physical and dental work done that I had put off for a few years.

But there were those areas that I was not intentional. Spending time with family, friends and God fell short. Reading and writing for pleasure were non-existent. And as I thought about this and why it happened I came up with the same excuse I used all year long. I was so busy I just didn’t have the time. Unfortunately, I did seem to have the time to watch reality T.V. shows, scroll Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s so easy to say I don’t have the time but in reality I just didn’t use my time wisely. It’s easy to make excuses and pretend that ministry and work have consumed all my time, but that isn’t the true reality of my life. The reality is I didn’t make the time, and because of that God has placed upon my heart the word “time” as my word for 2015.

Time; we can use it, make it, take it, gain it and lose it. We either want it to slow down or speed up. I love the line from the movie Steel Magnolias where Truvy says to Shelby, “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.” How true! The wrinkles around my eyes prove it. And then there is this saying, “Take time to stop and smell the roses.” And that is also true. But this year I don’t want to just stop and smell the roses I want to plant, nurture, prune, water and enjoy the roses. Using my time, planting new ideas, cultivating relationships, nurturing growth, pruning away the senseless & useless and enjoying the bounty of time well spent, is what I pray for this New Year.

Being overwhelmed is no excuse to procrastinate and lose myself watching T.V. or scanning the internet. It means taking the time to plan, prepare and pray so that I will have the time to enjoy this life and all that it has to offer.

As 2014 comes to a close and 2015 begins, I pray that God will help me to use my time wisely, efficiently and intentionally so that this year may be filled with less anxiety and stress and be filled with more joy and happiness and time spent in the presence of the One who makes all things possible.

And I pray that each of you have a year filled with God’s blessings. That time will not slip away from you but that you will grasp it and live your life to the fullest. May 2015 bring to you a year filled with love, joy, laughter, and peace.

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Blessings & Happy New Year!

FYI - To help remind myself of my 2015 word “time”, I purchased a necklace that I will wear (pictured above) from Kashoan Ward of Krafty Kash. I hope you will check out her beautiful line of handmade jewelry at,, or @KraftyKash on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.