By Lisa Huddleston

“Let Israel celebrate its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King … Let the godly celebrate in triumphal glory” (Psalm 149:2, 5).

My dear friend, Lisa Kent, loves to read and is always sharing with the rest of us new thoughts or ideas she has uncovered.  I love it when she gets excited over a fresh concept or a new perspective on life.  We can go on for hours about it—and often do just that—or when something really sticks in our craws, we can discuss it for days, weeks, or as in this case, months.  Yes, this one, by nature of its definition, is a year-longer.  Here it is:  rather than picking a resolution or one or two goals to accomplish in 2010, pick instead a Word for the Year that will color everything you do throughout the next twelve months. One word to shape an entire year.  Naturally, I was excited as soon as I heard about it—I love words, and I believe in the power they hold.  What a great and efficient idea!  I was hooked.

The problem came with choosing The Word.  After all, I was going to have to live with it for a whole year.  What word would adequately express all that I hoped to accomplish in the coming months?  I pondered it for weeks and actually felt discouraged that when New Year’s Eve rolled around it still had not made an appearance.  My husband and I, both natural introverts, had decided to stay in for the evening.  Sweet friends had invited us to their homes, but we were generally worn out from the holidays.  So there we sat curled up on the couch in front of our warm fireplace, munching on goodies, and watching a movie.  Chuck was still a little worried that I felt disappointed with the evening.  It was New Year’s Eve, and we were doing absolutely nothing.  But, no.  It was sheer bliss.  And then it hit me!  My Word for the Year was celebrate.

Okay, I do see the irony in it.  Staying home and missing the parties led me to choose the word celebrate.  But that is the whole point.  After the past few years of soul-searching and self-discovery, I have come to realize that the best place I can be is in the center of God’s design.  And He designed me as one who needs time alone, introspection, even occasionally isolation.  A quiet life.  I am happiest at home.  And that is what I am celebrating in 2010—being the person God has made me to be.  I laughed when one of my extraverted friends exclaimed when she heard my word, “Yay!  That means you’ll party more.”  No, it may mean I’ll be more of a party pooper than ever—but I will be happy about it.  Like the Israelites in the Psalm, I plan to celebrate my Maker by being who I am in all my triumphal glory. 

Several more have followed Lisa’s lead by choosing Words for the Year for themselves, and it has been interesting to learn their choices and to hear their explanations.  So, yes, my challenge for you is this:  give serious thought to choosing a Word as a theme for your year.  Pray about it.  Search your heart.  Think about how it could flavor everything you do, and then share it with someone else.  I really believe it will make a huge impact in 2010.  And, yes, drop me a line and let me know what you pick.  Part of what I’m celebrating this year is my burning desire to learn everything I can!  Thanks.  Happy New Year!

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