My Word for 2013:
1. a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind.
3. a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
4. difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.
verb (used with object)
1. to summon to a contest of skill, strength, etc.
2. to take exception to; call in question: to challenge the wisdom of a procedure.
3. to demand as something due or rightful.
4. to expose an organism to a specific substance in order to assess its physiological or immunological activity.
I have a bunch of friends who do this "Word for the Year" thing and since my New Years Resolution was to NOT have a resolution, I sort of thought this would be a good alternative.
Sidenote: There IS a reason for my non-resolution, to which I will touch on at a later date
As I sat on the airplane from Minnesota to Nashville on New Years Eve this year, I couldn't help but joyously reminisce over my past year. To sound like a broken record, a cliche, unoriginal... it was one of the most satisfying, exciting, maddening, trying, frustrating, amazing, happy, challenging years I've had. The memories I made will be cherished forever. The people I met will all have a deep deep place in my heart now and forever (yes, even you). The lessons I learned, emotions I experienced, and situations I faced have shaped me, even more, into who I'm supposed to become.
And none of it was on purpose...
... So I thought, this year: This clean + new + fresh slate I have in front of me? Let's do it ON PURPOSE. Let's live this year intentionally, wholefully, purposefully. And so it is, my word surfaced:
In 2013, I will challenge myself. I will challenge you. I will challenge those around me and hope to conquer some of life's mysteries set before me with those I love. How? Through 5 different Challenges:
#1. PERSONAL CHALLENGE:
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." -Romans 12:2
I challenge myself to not conform to society's ways and expectations by being myself and being real in any situation I enter, to face my fears and not back down because it's unfamiliar or unknown. To admit my weaknesses and utilize my strengths. To understand an 'empty promise' and work on conquering those strongholds.
#2: SPIRITUAL CHALLENGE:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint." -Isaiah 40:31
I challenge myself to actually live out these messages. To make the quiet time happen. To actually dig deeper when I don't feel I can, to reach out and learn when I don't know the answer. To abandon my agenda and devote my plan to HIS will. And above all else, to pray and find comfort + peace in Him, always.
#3: HEALTHY CHALLENGE:
"Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I challenge myself to not give up. To get back on the healthy lifestyle and habits I stray away from so many times. To stop using, abusing, and treating my body like a ragdoll and start living out according to the temple that lives in. And of course -- DRINK MORE WATER! :)
#4: RELATIONAL CHALLENGE:
"When people are convinced you want something FOR them rather than something FROM them, they are less likely to be offended when you challenge them." -Andy Stanley, Deep & Wide
In a world where fast pace + chaos trumps peace + tranquility, I challenge myself to FIND THE TIME. To BE present with whomever I'm with whenever I'm with them. I challenge myself to really be the encourager I am, to push people to their best, to protect those who mean the most, to say YES more by saying NO more (it makes sense in my head). To pray over and with my friends. And this year, my biggest challenge: to understand my relational currency with people so that I MAY challenge them to go further, dig deeper, be better, and love harder so that they, too, may do the same to me.
#5: PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE:
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'." -Jeremiah 29:11
I challenge myself in finding the peace that he DOES have a plan for me. That knowing I'm here in the now for a reason, and to live: here in the now. In finding hope that He holds my future, and that I can find rest in today's pleasures and joys all around me. I challenge myself to commit to 100% when I'm in the office, to devote 100% of my heart to the future journey, to bring people on board instead of pushing them away, to consult with those who've 'been there'. To soak up every experience as a learning opportunity. And above all.... TO STAY FOCUSED and MOTIVATED for what's to come...These things, my challenges. 2013: You're going to be one of the toughest years I've had to date. And knowing what I know, being with who I know, and trusting what I know... i KNOW it's going to be one of the biggest years. Why? Because: