discipline and intention

Posted: January 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

Early in 2014, the leadership team gathered at my church.  The pastors challenged them to spend some time in prayer and reflection, and work with God to arrive at a one word theme for the coming year.

I wasn’t on the leadership team at that point, but the friends with whom we lived were.  They shared often about their word and what the Lord was showing them.  At some point, one of them turned to me.  “What’s YOUR word for 2014?”  I laughed, and assured him that since I wasn’t on the leadership team, I didn’t have to come up with a word – and had no intention to do so.

I guess God laughed, because soon enough I came to understand that He HAD chosen a theme for me:  SPEAK OUT.  I watched Him work it and weave it and grow it and deepen it in many areas of my life, as the year unfolded.  He has done great work in me in 2014, and I look forward to seeing what other ways He teaches me to SPEAK OUT in the coming year.

Still, it’s a new year and time for a new word.  Actually, upon reflection and prayer I have TWO words (cuz apparently I can’t just boil it down to one – always gotta be “special,” you know?)


As I pore over what I’ve written and pondered the last few days, clearly both are needed.  All the places where I feel like I’ve failed/fallen short are about a lack of one or both.  I could make up some rigorous list of things I will do daily/weekly/monthly, and I could create checklists with great and fervent hope that I’ll finally turn this bus around.  But I’ve been there and done that, probably even hundreds of times in my 48 years of life.  It never works out.

The theme of SPEAK OUT (and letting God lead on that) really worked.

My previous theme of LETTING GOD TEACH ME TO LOVE MY BODY worked for multiple years.  Yes, I derailed, but even in that, I can see the places where I lost both discipline and intention in the process, and how that wrestled the whole darn thing out of my grasp.

I sat down and looked over my blogs of the past few days, and did some further thought and reflection.  Some items that need addressed fall pretty firmly under DISCIPLINE: exercise, writing, paper files at work, electronic files at work, study for my administrator license, and health stuff.

Some of the stuff falls pretty squarely under INTENTION: rest, family, friends, letters, cards, emails, calls.

Some of it falls in both camps:  eating, finances, meditation, fasting, travel, garden/yard, home.

So rather than making resolutions and lists of things to do (thereby setting myself up for the usual old failures), I shall purpose in 2015 to daily measure how I’m doing on DISCIPLINE and INTENTION.  I have an easy place to track it, right here on the blog, and that builds in a layer of accountability.  I’m a huge fan of accountability, having experienced the profound differences between utilizing it and not.

If you’re someone who stops by here, you’re invited to challenge me on these two words.

You’re also invited to come up with your word or words.  And share it.  Come on…you KNOW you want to have this fun!


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