On Twitter, someone asked, “When do we stop saying Happy New Year?” My response, “Since God rested on Day 7, the year is no longer new on Day 8.”
As I write this, it is January 6, 2021. Check the news from this day. It’s crazy. But I digress.
Last year, I was recovering from what I am now convinced was a bout of Covid-19 when I posted my Happy New Year message on January 15. I did not discuss my word of the year at the time and, after reviewing my blog posts from 2020, I did not mention my word of the year until May.
Leading into 2020, I was convinced it was the year I would purchase a home because the word in my spirit was ownership. Well, I am still in an apartment with my family and I am okay with it. Over the past twelve months, I have come to understand that ownership is so much more than the physical items we purchase. I had the hard lesson of reaching an awareness that true ownership starts with the acceptance of yourself—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m a beautiful mess.
It wasn’t my time for a new home, yet. When it happens, it happens. And I’ll be ready to receive it.
Life is a continuous cycle of learning and developing. Acknowledging who I am and how I need to fully embrace my purpose requires both hard and heart work. At one point, maybe July of last year, I felt like God had dangled a carrot (the idea of a new home, specifically home ownership) in my face and snatched it away when it was time to take a bite (sign on the dotted line). Had I pressed forward with my idea of ownership; I would have been settling for something just to say I had my own home again.
The doors God close are as good, if not better, than the ones he opens. Closed doors save you from heartache. I’m at a place where I am okay with not breaking down doors with my own strength. If I get anything—even a piece of gum, I want it to be God-ordained.
Speaking of things being God-ordained…
You can barely flip through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—any social media or blog, without seeing a reference to purpose. At times, it seems like the word is overexposed. And I’m one of those people who use the word constantly. I believe we all want to know why we are here so that we can make a mark on the world. Because we want to know, it is always up for conversation.
I’m in a place where I’ve embraced my purpose and work towards it. I do the hard work for my purpose daily. If I were being graded on work, I’d have a solid A.
Heart work is an entirely different score. If I’m being completely honest, if heart work were a class, I’d get a C minus. This is where my word of the year comes in…
In the human body, a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables is recommended for a healthy heart and body. Fruit and vegetables are called produce, grown from seeds planted in the ground. For the seeds to produce food, the garden or farm must go through a cultivation process.
I’ve been planting seeds without nurturing what I’ve sown. According to Miriam-Webster.com, cultivate means to improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study: devote time and thought to (definition 3). Cultivation is heart work.
As I go through 2021, I am laser-focused on doing the heart work alongside my hard work. I was created in God’s own image and need to pay better attention to my entire self and the people, places, and things for which I’m responsible. I want to be like God so as he cultivates growth in my life, I need to tend these things with the same fervor. That is why this year’s guiding scripture has more to do with how God’s example of cultivation manifests in our lives.
Isaiah 58:11 – 12 (NLT) says, “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”
I want to be like him, tending to the people I love and serve in my family, church, business, and community in way that produces good fruit and builds up others.
What’s your word of the year?