Obedience – My Word of the Year for 2018

I didn’t learn about words of the year until early 2018. It seems odd that I didn’t know about them, as I’m a pretty regular user of social media and seem to keep up to date on such trends, but for some reason, I missed out on this one until recently. Come on Pinterest!

I started thinking about my word of the year and almost immediately, landed on obedience. It’s a word I’ve struggled with my whole life. A wife is supposed to be obedient to her husband, according to the bible. That’s just not what a modern woman believes, according to my education. Kids are supposed to be obedient to teachers, parents, and adults in general. There are so many archaic applications of obedience. It wasn’t until 2017 that I fully embraced obedience and something I should strive for in my day to day life, instead of fighting it all the time.

Obedience to an exercise routine can produce a healthier body. Sticking to work projects and getting them done on time produces better outcomes for your work life. Reading the Bible daily grows your faith and understanding. All these things are amazing outcomes of obedience. Showing up for yourself every day in simple, structured ways can take you places that slacking off will never lead.

I’m a former habit hater. I was fully committed to despising habits and loved just seeing where the wind took me day today. After my year plus of obedience discovery, I’m now completely devoted to developing and cultivating helpful habits.

The following is a list of practices that I’ve built in 2018.

  • Reading through the whole Bible in 90 days.
  • Keeping a food journal.
  • Keeping a pain journal.
  • Keeping a thankfulness journal.
  • Picking a laundry schedule and sticking to it.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Searching for, interviewing and accepting a job.
  • Starting a new job.
  • Going to work every day.
  • Writing regularly.

During prayer and meditation this past year, I realized that my motivations were off.

The reason I couldn’t settle on something or keep going with an idea is that my motivations were not God-pleasing. It is so easy for me to be motivated by self-gain and fulfilling dreams that I thought sounded good to others.

The parable of the talents in the Bible teaches that the master (God) hands out the talents. The servants (us) use them to gain more (glorify) the master (God). I had always been more interested in trying to make myself look better in other’s eyes, and I didn’t even know it. Now I believe our goals should be to discover our talents and stay in prayer to discover the best way to use them. Work on what you can control, discovering your God-given talents. Let God work on the outcome.

My word of the year has been obedience. Deeping my faith through obedience. Aligning myself with His will. Working and striving to lessen my own selfish ambitions. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl teaches that we need a purpose to feel meaning in our lives. Daily, tangible actions or work to give us the motivation to keep trying. I am going to strive to take my ambition and continually look to God for direction. Only by using my God-given talents in a God-pleasing way will I align myself with His will.

What’s next is a complete and total mystery. In a good way. God will show the way in His time. And I will follow in obedience.

 

1 Samuel 15:22

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

 

Lions Watercolor
Lions Watercolor

 

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