New Year, New Word
Written by: Trish Moser
Look back over 2017 and pick a word; a word that represents what your family did last year.
My word for 2017 was SIMPLIFY. I decided that my family had had enough of being run ragged by a busy schedule, I had enough of cleaning up all the THINGS in my house, and I was done with feeling stressed every time I looked at my calendar. I was sad when I saw how tired my kids were, and I was disheartened at all that I felt like we needed to keep up with. I couldn’t figure out how to provide rest for my family.
So I spent all of 2017 teaching my kids what it meant to simplify. They chose toys and clothes to give away to kids who needed them more than they did. I taught them to say NO to things that might be good, so that there was time to say YES to the things that are the best. We cut back on commitments and activities so that we could have time to simply be together as a family. We began taking our kids on our date nights once in awhile and including them in our game nights. We had been a part of couples small groups and separate adult small groups in the past, but this year we worked with some friends to create a family small group. Now our kids worship, pray, and learn alongside us.
By the end of 2017 I had learned to live life more simply, by simply saying NO to things. I had to learn the hard way that saying YES to a good thing doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for me and my family. I was the one mostly at fault for our crazy lives, and I had to be the one to settle it down.
Now pick a word for 2018. Which word is going to represent this new year for your family?
As I spent a LOT of time with my kids over Christmas break, I was dismayed to hear the way that they were speaking to each other. When I decided to intervene, I heard myself speaking to them with the same rude tone. I wanted to cry when I realized that they learned this way of speaking from me.
So, this year we are choosing GENTLENESS to represent our family.
As always, first I must learn to model the word to the family. I have to choose gentleness in my words, in my touch, and in my pace. Let me break that down.
In my words, I must choose TRUTH WITH LOVE. I love to speak truth to people, especially to my kids. The number one thing I say to my kids is, “You are not the most important person in this house. “ That is a good truth, but I also must teach them who IS the most important person here, and that is Jesus. I must use a gentle tone paired with good Truths to show gentleness.
In my touch, I must choose hugs over roughness. When my kids are losing their minds, I tend to throw them over my shoulder and haul them up to the rooms. (Remember how I said my kids aren’t allowed to terrorize our house? That’s still true.) I’m starting to wonder what would happen if I simply pulled them onto to my lap and loved them with that same strength? It might not work, but I can at least try.
And in my pace, I must slow down. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can see on my family member’s faces that I am stressing them out when I move too quickly. For example, when I have something in mind that I want to clean, I tend to move around like a tornado until everything is done. My theory has always been to do it fast, and do it right the first time. I hate cleaning, so I tend to do it on turbo mode. I know that stresses out my family, especially my husband…he’s asking me to slow down all the time! It is time that I finally honor his request and actually SLOW DOWN.
If I model these things, I truly believe that my kids will begin to show the fruit of gentleness as well. I know that a gentle heart can lead to a compassionate heart, which is something that my youngest daughter (my little honey badger) and I both lack at times. I will still correct my kids and not allow them to be mean, but I will also apologize to them when I am rude and will work toward gentleness alongside them.
So choose your word. What word do you want to use this year? We would love to hear what word you choose, so please post your word in the comments on Facebook or Instagram!
We are all in this together, so let’s all show the ways that we are going to make 2018 a better year for our families and our communities.