Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why I Love One Word 365

A note: since I changed my blog name and address, I had to create a new Facebook page.  Please go like the new page here:

As you, my lovely readers, know, this month I celebrated my seventeenth birthday.  Therefore, birthdays and the things associated with them are forefront in my mind.  (I promise this is going somewhere one-word-related.  Hang with me.)

Kids a few weeks before Christmas or birthdays start to spend a bit less time outdoors or in a book or on a video game and instead sit quietly in bedrooms or on sofas, studying glossy photographs of the latest and greatest in the toy industry.  They dog-ear pages to come back to, circle or star favorites, write numbers to help themselves prioritize.  Once they've memorized the color options and included accessories of all their favorite toys, they pull out a piece of paper and carefully record the best of the catalogs in their neatest handwriting.

When the big day rolls around, the anticipation of which presents they got and the excitement and glee upon unwrapping is evident.  You can't help but be happy for them and even laugh at some of their extreme, exuberant reactions.

But you're older now.  You've outgrown the days of toys and impatience.  And most likely, your Christmas and birthday presents are ones you've chosen yourself, with some gift cards for those who just weren't sure.

That's not to say Christmas and birthdays aren't still special.  But I'm sure teenagers and adults alike can all agree that the excitement and joy of these events is no longer centered on the presents most of the time.

When Christmas and my birthday are coming up, each year I find it harder and harder to know what I want. I try to make wishlists and realize just how much I already have and just how little more I would actually use.  My parents take me shopping and often ask me to choose my presents myself, wanting to make sure I get the things I prefer.  While I understand this and might do the same thing myself in the future, I've never been a big fan of this.

I like surprises.  I enjoy the anticipation, the not knowing, the mystery and secrecy of it all.  I was never the kid who would sneak into her parents' room in search of the Christmas presents - and if my brothers ever found any, I would refuse to hear a word they said.  I love the build-up.

That's why I love OneWord365 so much.  Traditional New Year's Resolutions, with lists or categories or "This year I will..." sentences feels to me a bit like choosing what you're going to learn or how you're going to grow that year.  But with OneWord365, you tune in to God and the areas in your life that need changing - and then spend the entire year discovering all sorts of wonderful things you didn't see coming.

It's hard to completely explain, but I like to think that living out OneWord365 is a bit like having several birthday presents from God spread throughout the year - the anticipation and surprises are never entirely over.

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