Adventure. Explore. Refine. Trust. Joy. Engage.
Relationship. Insight. Focus. Kindness. Tenacity.
Renew. Transform. Pursue. Persevere. Build.
Live. Brave. Free. Faithful. Passion. Become.
These are some of the words that flooded my Facebook feed on January 1 as my friends, my family, my tribe declared their words for the year. As I read their thoughtfully chosen words, I was filled with hope and encouragement … and envy. Envy because I had no word to share.
In the past, my word as come to me so gently and so organically that I’ve hardly notice it until it was on my lips. The words I have declared at the beginning of the past several years have proven to be absolutely divinely appointed for the year that followed. For instance, 2012 was a year of Surrender. It was also the year I faced and conquered breast cancer. And 2015 was the year to be Available and, it turned out to be, the year I quit my dream job to support my mother in her time of grief. 2016 was the year to Ease-In as unimaginable opportunities presented themselves to me.
Each year that I have had a word, I have found direction and strength of purpose with this word. It has been like a whispered promise and a lighthouse in a storm. It has framed my year and reassured me in my decisions. It has also been challenged and tested which has caused me to rise up with tenacity and boldness to stake my claim in the promise of this word over and over again. Each year, my word has been a gift but this year not so much. This year, the prospect of choosing a word has been a struggle. Each word I have tried on has been too small, too constraining, too limiting. No one word has seemed to fit this year.
In November, when I was at Gather:Women’s day of prayer and vision casting in Toronto, I had a mental image of cupped, open hands. Hands, not tightly gripping or grasping for anything but, relaxed and open to an abundance of everything. I’ve not been able to shake that image since. It’s changing the way I approach life, how I view my place in the world. It’s also setting me free from a world of ‘shoulds’.
I have lived a life full of should. I’ve done what I should, said what I should, felt what I should, served as I should, sacrificed as I should. I have stayed silent when I should, forgiven as I should, loved as I should and obeyed the rules as I should. I have been all the nice, predictable, Christian-girl things I should be and I have lived the nice, predictable, Christian-girl life I should. No regrets.
But now, deep within, I can feel its time for something other. Something more than just all the things I should. It’s time to open my hands, its time to offer my life, my heart, my pen, my words to all that is beyond should. I want a life of abundance. I want to surround myself with deep colors, rich fragrances and endless possibilities. I want to be dangerous and fearless and legendary. I want to cup my hands and feel the water, the earth, the wind and the fire overflow from my palms and slip through my fingers. I want to be as the prairie grass on a summer’s day … dancing in the wind yet rooted in the Source of my very life.
I want more than I should and all that I dare.
I want a life of strength and abundance and offering. I want words of healing and encouragement and hope. I want actions of courage and peace and invitation. I want love that is gentle and fierce and all-in. I want it all.
I want it all.
I rise up and call it mine.
No one word but all the best words.
Not for one year but for all the years of my life.
Not just for me but for all.
For all. For always.
This is my declaration.
This is my battle cry.
This is my love song.
This is my heartbeat.
This is my hope.