This will be my fourth year to pick one little word to exemplify what I hope for that year. I'm learning that it's often something that I'm lacking, something I hope to see more of in my life, as opposed to something I'm already good at. At the end of each preceding year, I spend some time reflecting and praying for God to help me see my word, to help me see what needs to be addressed in my life (sins, misplaced hopes, etc). He always delivers, which can sometimes be hard, because who wants their weakness and sins exposed?! It isn't all-encompassing at times, because God isn't put into a box and doesn't only work on one aspect of my character each year. Yet, the word does dip into every area of my life.
For 2014, it's DELIGHT.
I always try to pair a verse with the word: "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
I'm no theologian, so feel free to correct my interpretation of this verse, but it seems to me that we don't delight in the Lord so that he will gives us our heart's desires, but that in the process of delighting in him (truly delighting, enjoying, seeking Him), He molds and shapes our hearts so that our desires match the will He has already set out for us.
This brings back last year's word of JOY. Living with a heart of gratitude for His particular care in our lives. Joy doesn't equate happiness, necessarily, but a deep-seated contentment in the One who cares for us and in the events he brings our way, knowing that He is working our good out, even if our good is not the easy and happy that we long for. We can choose to be joyful even when it hurts. Therefore, we can also choose to delight, even when the days are long and the kids are whiny and you feel like you are beaten down and worn out.
Because, let's face it, as mothers of young children, we are in the trenches. Our days can utterly suck, but at the end of the day, we can't help but recount the tiny moments that did delight us. The funny thing the four-year-old said, and the crazy mess that the two-year-old got into that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. The way the older helped the younger with a task, without your prompting her to do so. Sweet little gifts that show us that God is working in their young hearts as well.
So, this year I choose to delight in Him, and I choose to delight in the day-to-day moments that He brings my way. I will stop and take a deep breath and laugh more and yell less. I will put aside the phone and engage with my children, delighting in their silly antics. I won't do this perfectly, but by His grace, may December of 2014 look better than January.
See previous years here: 2011 (and again), 2012, and 2013.