For the past few years, I’ve seen people picking a word for the year. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love that idea, which might be a little surprising for someone who gets paid to use words.
Then, a few days before New Year’s, a friend was talking about her nutrition and said, “I’m disciplined in my eating.”
Usually when I hear people talk about their eating habits, they use the words willpower or self-control or giving in to cravings. So the way she talked about her eating habits struck me as unique—and stuck with me.
Now, discipline is pretty much the last word that you would associate with me and my personality. I usually call myself a cork in the ocean, adaptable and flexible and content to go whatever way the waves take me. I have never really set short- or long-term goals, preferring to see what God might have planned for me.
So, in an old-dog-new-tricks kind of thing, I decided to use the word discipline—not so much about eating, although that’s part of it. This is more about how I spend my time, how I focus on one task at a time, how I stay focused. I’ve started to apply it to the way I look at my schedule. The word discipline helps me work in time shifts. Instead of calling my Bible reading and prayer time a habit, I call it my discipline. And I’m working at being disciplined in calling or texting friends who need encouragement.
I realize I’m starting to like the word discipline because, as Jesus’ disciple, I need discipline in how I use my time, what entertainment I consume, the words I choose, the friends I have, the thoughts I think.
Now I can’t guarantee that this word will be my word of the year. (I’m not sure I’m that disciplined.) But I do like the concept of having a word to ponder, to see how I can apply it to different aspects of my life and to different aspects of my faith.
Do you have a word of the year? If so, I’d love to know what it is and why you chose it.
If you don’t have a word of the year but want to consider the idea, here are a few to get you started:
Content Happy Joy Humility Wisdom
Forgiveness Kindness Hope Trust Intentional
Peace Trust Thankful Faithful Service
Love Honesty Confession Mercy Grace
Perseverance Generosity Obedience Determination
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who is surprised still that she gets paid to use words.
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