One Other Woman and Her One Word

I’m soooo excited to bring you a guest post today from Helen Jenkins!  We have become good friends because we are both heart-deep in World Vision – her from Windsor, UK, and me from Minneapolis.  I love her passion, her authenticity and her wit.  Today she shares her One Word experience.DSC00021

It all started when I began to live vicariously through Laura’s word from last year – FEAR or rather, FEARLESS. Brilliant idea I thought. I loved Fearless Friday where she blogged how her word had impacted how she had interacted with life that week. There were sometimes guest bloggers sharing THEIR word and how it was helping them grow and meet challenges that crossed their paths. Very inspiring!

I never came up  with my own word but I did begin to feel like one of the men in the Muppets – the ones that sat in the balcony enjoying the show, occasionally throwing in their two bits worth. Kind of felt like somehow I was participating … kind of … sort of …

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 Well, I couldn’t believe it when early on in her word challenge, if Laura didn’t up and step way out of her comfort zone and sign up for a half marathon – and she is/was NOT A RUNNER!! Whoa, I thought, from my armchair, this should be interesting! To top it off, she wasn’t even doing it for herself, but to help raise money for a clean water project for World Vision!!! Sure enough she huffed and she puffed and she trained for months and SHE DID IT!! Maybe I should get a word or maybe not … somebody might ask ME to run a half marathon.

Truth is, three years ago I moved to a new country, away from family, friends and my entire community. It was somewhat of a shock to my system and it has taken a while to recuperate but (did I mention it was three years ago?!) it is definitely time to get a move on. Perhaps this could be one of my steps to getting back in the swing of things.

Well, January 2014 rolls around and there it is, Laura’s new word AND her challenge for all her loyal readers to choose a word for themselves. I began angsting over this concept of finding a word to ‘own’ for an entire year.

Once, many years ago, I had a word, BOLD. I loved it. I put it on the mirror and it sustained me for a while, but, I confess, I didn’t really let it propel me forward. I decided I shouldn’t do that again because I wasn’t disciplined enough to get good use out of having a word. In fact, it made me feel guilty and then, a bit like a failure.

I am not sure why but I decided I wanted to take up the challenge.  I found my word! It took sixteen days. I was about to give up. Oh, I rolled around a few words like, ‘JOY’ and BOLD’ (after all, no one knew I had already tried using that word), but I really wanted God to give me one, to  inspire me and if nothing was obvious I decided I would have to wait until next year. I didn’t want to dream up a word just so I could whip it out over coffee and awe people with my spiritual discipline.

January 16th…I got it!! EMBRACE!!! Yes, embrace: to seize eagerly, to lay hold of, to receive or take with willingness that which is offered; as, to embrace the Christian religion; to embrace the opportunity of doing a favour. As I thought about my life I realized I needed to :
Embrace joy
Embrace trials
Embrace discipline
Embrace learning
Embrace God
Embrace technology
Embrace … well everything in my path!

It’s early days, but already I am aware of how much more intentional I am as I go about my day. I am finding verses in the bible that help me accomplish this.  One from The Message Bible is particularly good, 1 Peter 3:10-11,’ Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do, Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good.  Bite my tongue!  

What’s more I have already had a writing and a speaking request and it’s only January. Although I am really hoping I don’t get asked to run a half marathon for a good cause…

So, what have you put in place this year to help you live more intentionally? It’s not too late to take up the word challenge – you can borrow mine if you want but, whatever it is you do,  I encourage you to get out of the balcony and join the show! 

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