Instead of goals for the year I’ve chosen a theme. I’ve been doing this since at least 2014 and it has been such a beautiful way to set an intention for my year. I write the word out in gold calligraphy and frame it on my desk so I see it often— a constant reminder of the kind of person I aspire to be and where I want to focus during the year.
I find the theme, appearing as a common word, has a way of finding you. It’s one thing to sit and think of a word— to reflect on the year past and see what theme would be of benefit to you in the coming year. It’s another to let it come to you— to hit you while you’re talking with a new friend about yoga, God, energy and connection at Starbucks on a frigid Thursday night.2
When it hits, you just know it. You know it’s the one. You know it’s where God wants your focus. You know it’ll benefit Him. At least, I know this to be true. While having conversations centred around the beauty of faith in a world that all too commonly tries to fill the void with anything and everything, the word popped into my head and I immediately knew the purpose. The word itself wouldn’t have imparted any significance to the conversation at hand— if spoken, it perhaps would have derailed the already flowing listen and respond of conversation. But I knew, at that moment it appeared, it was the word for 2019.
I had been thinking to myself, “I really need to take time to look at this past year and figure out my theme for 2019.” Especially with all the noise bombarding me through Instagram— voices echoing the ‘year of me’ of ‘working with the universe to manifest all my dreams’ or of ‘hustling to make 2019 better than 2018!’. Thankfully, mindful ingestion of social media means I also come across beautiful sentiments of people proudly declaring it is the ‘year of Him’, of ‘connection’ and of ‘praise’. The rich truth provided by bringing the focus back to God was one thing I knew I wanted in my theme for 2019, but I hadn’t had time to sit and think and write and read and really ‘thoughtfully come to an answer.’
If you know me, you know I’m a thinker. I think about something, learn about it, write out my thoughts to process what I’m learning, think about it more, pray about it, and eventually, maybe, come to a conclusion. When I share my Alice in Wonderland adventure down the rabbit hole of thinking and dissecting with someone I’m chatting with, I most often still don’t have any sort of concrete answer and still want to “figure it out” more.
This part of me always wants to ritualistically set time aside for these grand moments of discovery— to sit in an inviting space with a candle or palo santo burning, inspiring music playing in the background and my Bible beside me during time devoted for the process to unfold…
Reality— I’m in a Starbucks in Transcona drinking tea and talking about why Yoga isn’t from the devil, women’s events and how aromatherapy fits into Christianity. POP! God moves and it’s as clear as it could be that my head and heart don’t even need to question the truth of it… the only thing left to do is write this blog post and spend time (perhaps in my beautiful zen space of contemplation) seeing how this theme will infiltrate my every breath of 2019.
This is my theme for 2019.
I want to be fully immersed in a truly experiential form of worship in all I do. I want every breath to be one that gives God the glory, that recognizes His ways full of wonder and gratitude for the miracle that each breath truly is. I want my words to worship, my thoughts, my heart space, my actions, my intentions and even the subconscious details that so commonly define my uniqueness to be acts of worship.
Near the end of 2018, I’ve learned more about experiential worship, which is worshipping with your whole self— heart, soul, mind and strength. Commonly, we portray worship as singing together on a Sunday morning but true worship can be experienced in every single little moment of your life.
This is where I’m at as we enter 2019…
I’m craving the intentionality of looking at each moment as a means of worship. The authenticity, the vulnerability, the “letting go” and the “being all in” that come with this perspective of my very life as a form of worship will radically change… everything. It’s less chaos and more intention, it’s less packed to-do lists and more being present where I’m at, it’s more focus on things that matter and less on filling space with things that aren’t life-giving…
And I’m probably not ready for it.
It’ll be hard and messy and I’ll have days where nothing I do drips with intention and is more a dessert in drought. That’s okay. Claiming the theme and the word means it’s a work in progress— it’s what you aspire to bring to your year.
I look forward to how God will move in 2019. I look forward to more POPS of insight and less meticulous and cycling thoughts. I look forward to more recognition of each moment as an opportunity to worship and give glory to the one who created me. For I am His and He is mine and 2019 is just another step closer to living out a path I never thought I’d walk, with visions greater than I could image, with a
God always one step ahead— reaching back to take my hand and guide me along the way He knows I can conquer because He is already there living in the truth of possibility.
Here’s to 2019.
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I still plan to review 2018 and acknowledge the moments I most saw God, the times I didn’t, to pinpoint moments growth was obvious and look to spaces where I see an opportunity for growth. To set intentions of things I’d like to do but allow them the space to adjust as the year passes. Here are 10 of the questions I’ll be contemplating. Feel free to use them as your own guide to reflect on another year.
1 – What moment was God most real to you?
2 – What moment did God seem most far away?
3 – What areas have you noticed growth?
4 – What areas do you still want to experience more growth in?
5 – List 5 things you are grateful for in 2018.
6 – List your 5 most meaningful relationships in 2018; why are they the most meaningful and how did they grow over 2018? How will you intentionally water these relationships to continue to grow in 2019?
7 – What do you envision yourself doing in 2019? Be bold and grand with the visions of your year! 365 days is a long time to make magic happen! Are you okay if these visions do not come to pass? How can you become more trusting of the unknown future to a known God?
8 – What do you have planned for 2019 (trips, events, etc?)
9 – When you look back over 2018, what theme was most evident?
10 – When you look forward to 2019, what theme do you most want to invite in?
Write out a prayer for 2019 that encompasses all your hopes and dreams, and hands over all your fears to God. End your prayer with gratitude for all that has yet to come.
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