It's December 31. Time to review 2018's OneWord. If you're new to this blog or the One Word concept, see my January 3 post.
I've gone deeper in my workouts. Literally. I do deep water workouts at the pool three times per week, pushing myself to target specific muscle groups, mixing cardio with strengthening and stretching.
I've gone deeper into personal health care, pursuing healing and therapy for knee, ankle, foot and eye issues, along with dental work and trying to get to the bottom of the cause(s) of my sleep issues.
I've searched out new creative outlets via workshops and classes (needlework, crazy quilt, banners, embroidery animation, glass fusing, watercolour painting). I made a commitment to writing regular blog posts, usually 3-4 per week, dug deeper into content for My Father's Poems, and have agreed to begin writing again for the local Christian newspaper. I've made an investment in paint supplies and a signed up for weekly (self-guided) paint times with friends in 2019.
How do you go deeper into recreation? You start by relaxing. The idolization of productivity has been so guilt-inducing over the course of my life that I needed to learn how to relax and re-discover the ways recreation can renew my heart and soul. Drives to the mountains. Walks in the woods or by the water. Some of the creative activities mentioned above. Camping. Landscape Photography. Urban walks. Wandering around Heritage Park. Finally stopping at the Cedar Boardwalk near Revelstoke and exploring new places for unique restaurants and shops.
I've dug deeper into history through visiting museums and rather than my previous practice of just doing a visual visit, I take time to read the placards and discuss with Henry how the events and items we are viewing/experiencing impacted local, regional or world history. He is a great resource. I also stopped for the very first time at The Last Spike at Craigellachie.
We have upped our literary education. This was an intentional exercise on my part, both in soliciting input from trusted friends who are more educated in this realm, and in choosing from recommended book lists. Henry reads out loud for us each night and we share different articles with each other. I have also engaged in listening to audio books through the Audible app, especially as I garden or drive.
I've chosen more often to give gifts of experiences instead of consumable items. Often it is an experience we can share, so the value is multiplied. I've committed to a deeper level of personal interaction in my coaching role for small group leaders and have been more intentional with intercessory prayer for each leader, as well as one-on-one contact and team building. This is an area for more growth in 2019.
I have surrendered the need to win. This was a big one. It came after an argument about "how to keep score correctly" during a game. I had to really dive into the depths of why it was so important to me that we "do it right" when it was a simple game. Of course, it had to do with rule keeping and fairness, but it went far deeper for me and the resulting outcome is something far too intimate for me to yet be able to blog about. Let's just say, I used to value winning over relationships and I'm grateful to say this abhorrent attitude is being excised from my life whenever I recognize it rearing it's ugly head.
I drove a stake into the heart of a 17 year old grudge. I'd tried forgiving it countless times, but this year, as I went deeper into the heart of what was driving my tenacious, pit-bull-like grip on this grudge, I was able to surrender this to the Lord and put it to rest. Now when the temptation rises to express habitual resentment, not only can I say "I distinctly remember forgiving that!" but I have also found new power and amazing freedom to let go of other resentments and bitterness. I am free!
I've gone deeper into Bible study, pulling out the concordance and dictionary to expand my understanding, completing the weekly lessons in our group study. In past years, I often skipped out on this, to my own detriment. I've been reading through the Psalms and Proverbs, I'm on round two and plan to keep this a regular practice, in addition to my other Bible reading and study. I've gone deeper into my own personal soul care via a 30-day reflection as my choice for the Lenten season, and used two different Advent readings and the practice of lighting candles of the Advent Wreath in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. I've also invested in the Pilgrim Year boxed set, to develop more understanding of the liturgical church calendar year.
Together, Henry and I hosted a table at our church Alpha night, a place where anyone can explore Christianity and ask anything about life and God. It was a great refresher on the basics of our faith, and brought new growth, including the growth in forgiveness I mentioned above. Our table guests were lovely and we had some excellent discussion, challenging and encouraging each other in our spiritual walk with Jesus. If you're interested, the next session at First Alliance Church starts January 24. Register here.
It's touching some very old pain. Not quite what I expected with this One Word experience, but I think it's a good thing. My sports rehab therapist says, "You have to go to the source of the pain to solve the pain." He's talking physical pain, but emotional pain is solved the same way. Delving into the source of pain can be like diving. You need protective gear, a diving buddy (therapist), and plenty of oxygen. You can't stay down there forever, you have to limit the pressure and take it slow, surfacing to replenish yourself (recreation, creativity, and rest) before diving again. But you see things you wouldn't see if you didn't go to the depths.
To dive well, I need to be calm and still myself. I've discovered that being still is a skill I do not yet possess. I'm always thinking. Or doing. Or sleeping. Or talking. Or writing. To "be still and know" seems counter-intuitive. I learn best by doing. Or so I thought. But it's impossible to "be still and do." So it follows that "knowing" is not the same as "learning." God doesn't say, "Be still and learn I am God" he says, "Be still and know I am God." Translating physical stillness to spiritual stillness will be a continuing part of this journey as I explore what it means to "know" God.
So the idea of "depth" is now a part of the fabric of my life, just like my 2017 One Word, "good." I keep a joy jar where I add notes on events which occur in my life. I have added "good" things and "depth" records this year. I plan to review these later today and will post about that soon.
I have drafted my blog post regarding my One Word for 2019. Sneak preview? The word is "trust." Stay tuned for more.
If you want to pursue creating One Word for yourself, there's a quick quiz here, you can read about it and explore more in depth here or you can really go deep and buy the book or find a number of resources here.
I do believe if you begin this practice and apply it, that you will, indeed, have a meaningful and happy New Year.