Tag Archives: focus

One Word for the Year

One Word for the Year

One Word for the Year

We recently just finished our first full month in 2018. Statistically, by now around half of people who made New Year’s Resolutions have already broken them. Honestly, I haven’t done “official” resolutions for quite some time now, much for that reason. Instead for the past few years, I’ve approached the New Year in a different way. I come up with one word, kind of a theme word, to focus on for the year.

The idea is to come up with a one word vision to focus on for the entire year. I got the idea from a bible devotional that I read on my YouVersion Bible app, called “One Word That Will Change Your Life”. It was a quick, simple 4-day reading plan. “Change your life” was a bit of a dramatic claim. I can’t say I experienced any life-altering evolutions, but subtle changes, yes. I’m a firm believer that lasting change happens little by little anyway. However, it truly did change how I approached the New Year, and my focus truly did last all year as opposed to a fleeting and failing resolution.

How does a person pick their word for the year? Ideally, God will reveal your one word to you as opposed to you just randomly picking one. However, I think that even if you struggle with determining if your “one word” is truly divinely inspired (as I did one year) or even if you just pick a word that seems good, I believe that God will work with that to teach, grow, mold, and change you over the year. Try to listen for God to speak to you about your one word. 

How I came up with my one word each year

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Keep Your Eyes and Focus on Jesus

Keep Your Eyes and Focus on Jesus

Keep Your Eyes and Focus on Jesus

It’s easy to lose spiritual focus and get distracted when things don’t seem to be going our way. It’s especially true when we see or experience injustices, trouble, unethical behavior or wrongdoing. However, the Bible encourages us that even, and especially in those times, we should keep our focus and our eyes fixed on Jesus.

God has been showing me some of that lately. I tend to get more frustrated and discouraged when I rely on myself and my own strength instead of remembering that I have a God that will give me the strength I need to handle and endure anything that comes my way if I’ll just look to him.

Sometimes things just get under our skin so much that we forget about God’s role and ability in the whole process. For example, state budget cuts and administrative changes have completely affected education where I live. I teach at a local community college, and we’ve experienced some significant negative effects as well.

Take this upcoming semester, for instance…

In my department alone, over half of the classes have been canceled, instructors are receiving fewer teaching assignments but still have increased workloads, and a tremendous amount of autonomy has been eliminated. It’s super frustrating for both professors and students alike. I had a class canceled this semester, and a good friend of mine did as well, even though she was guaranteed a certain number of classes in return for some uncompensated work that she did.

In these situations it’s extremely easy to focus on the injustice. It’s easy to spend time stewing and trying to think of ways that we can make things right, change our circumstances, and/or make people see the error of their ways. What I should be doing instead is just focusing on God and the things that are in my control. I have to choose to shift my focus from the negative to God. 

Park’s tree

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