Her word for this year is "gentle:"
I want to be gentle with myself. I want to be gentle with others. I'm probably not - okay, definitely not - going to stop being idealistic or perfectionistic, but I can at least practice some gentleness in the midst of all that endless striving.
One of the reasons this word calls to me is because gentleness - along with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control - is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and it means a great deal to me to hew close to the Spirit when setting this intention for the year.I find this concept simultaneously inspiring and terrifying. I wrote the other day about some of the things I want to strive to do this next year, and in some ways I think it can be summed up thus:
I was very drawn into myself in 2013. I could really trace it further back than that, but due to all the transition, some strong natural tendencies, and some stuff I was processing related to some ministry experiences at my previous stop, I was very much in a spiritual cocoon for much of the year. The positive moments came when I picked up the phone and reached out to people, whether to talk over some of the stuff I needed to get through my system, to catch up, or just to get out for a night.
On top of that, it took me needing to tell people I needed to talk; they weren't going to read my mind. Being able to share a Five Iron Frenzy concert with an old friend was good for my soul. Even sharing books off of my bookshelf with people whom I thought would enjoy them was important for me to do.
So, the seeds are planted. Now for this year, I plan to nurture it further, to share myself more with others in a way that I really haven't for a long time.
So this is my word for 2014: share. To share more of who I am, what I need, and what I have.
May it be so.