What does it mean to bless? As I've pondered what my focus should be for this new year, this brand new opportunity in my life to make a difference, this unopened package of minutes, hours, days, weeks and months that make up 2014, the word that has resonated through my spirit is ...
Last year I discovered an initiative to chose just ONE WORD, instead of a list of resolutions, for the new year. There are two websites that I am familiar with that advocate this focus, that give suggestions on how to choose your word, that share words others have chosen and provide a forum to share your word. These are http://myoneword.org/ and http://oneword365.com/
For 2013 I choose the word, "Aware"...unfortunately, it never really became part of my daily thoughts and actions. In considering a word for this year, I decided that I wanted a word that was more intentional, more demanding of action on my part, a word that would embrace both my relationship with God, my interaction with others, and also daily gratitude for God's gifts to me. This will be a year long study on the meaning of what it means to bless, to be a blessing, to be blessed, but here are a few of the ideas that I am beginning with as I seek to implement the rich tapestry of all that is included in living out the word BLESS in my life in 2014.
This year, I will intentionally BLESS THE LORD everyday....that is, I will praise Him, exalt Him, acknowledge His attributes and His activity. I will also bless Him by seeking to live as He desires me to, to love Him more passionately, to bring Him joy.
This year, I will intentionally BLESS OTHERS. I will seek to encourage, to uplift, to praise, , to speak grace, to give a hand up, to share my material blessings with those in need, to use my buying power to help and not hurt those who are producing the goods I consume. I will look for God to lead me in making a difference in the world, in not turning my eyes from problems that seem too big, but engaging in activity that produces change for those that I can affect, and to advocate for other people to also get involved in becoming world changers...for together we can take small steps that lead to big changes for individuals, one person at a time.
I will intentionally BLESS MY FAMILY by my words, attitudes, and actions, and will seek to be the wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter and grandmother that will please God and bring blessing into the lives of those most precious to me. I will be intentional to BLESS MY FRIENDS and express to them in tangible ways the appreciation that I have for the blessing they are in my life.
And I will continue a practice that I began in November, with 30 days of thanksgiving, to each day deliberately open my spirit and mind and heart to embrace the blessings that God lavishes on me, blessings that are so easily taken for granted, left unnoticed and unvoiced, blessings that are undeserved and unearned but that are graced on my life by a loving and bountiful God. For I can only bless others out of the fullness with which I have been blessed. All is from God, all is for God, all is to His glory...I have no ability to bless apart from what He has poured out into me and into my life.
So, by the grace of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the praise of Jesus, my Savior and Friend, I embrace the word BLESS as my word for 2014 and commit to live each day with this question as my focus......
I would love to hear from YOU.....what is your understanding of the meaning of BLESS? How have you put into practice blessing the Lord, blessing others, or being aware of God's blessings to you?
How about your ONE WORD? Have you chosen a word to be your focus this year? I would love to hear what it is and what it means to you. Please leave a comment!