A Word of the Year is “intended to be a kind guide that walks along side of you during the year, not a harsh master that dictates a set of “to-do’s” (God knows we don’t need any more of those voices in our heads). It’s a friend that accompanies you during your journey.” (The Dolly Mama)
Three months have gone by. Winter is moving out like a sloth, but 2018 is barreling down the tracks like a freight-train. My Word of the Year (referred to lovingly as WOTY from here on out), “TEND,” silently shouts from my computer screen each time I sit down to send an email, check Facebook or do paperwork (the picture above is my background). There are some days when I stop and listen and others where I just glance and shut it out of my mind and move on with my day.
Because I am an avid to-do list follower (okay sometimes I am a slave to it), “WRITE UPDATE POST ABOUT WOTY” appeared on my iPhone reminders about a week ago. Inside, I sighed a little and thought, “Nah. Not happening. After all, what would I even talk about? It’s not like this “gentle friend” has been happily guiding me and I have this awesome relationship with said friend.
But here it is, my Sabbath, the day I make “room” on my plate to ponder things like this and allow restoration and creativity to enter my soul. And today, I am spending on this word “TEND” once again. Come with me on this journey over the next few hours. Take a peak into my probably not-going-to-be-perfect day.
9:56 am Check out my piece of paper that I scribbled all over on January 1, 2018 in order to find my WOTY. First question at the top. WHAT DO I NEED? Get out another piece of paper. Write “WOTY Update April 2018” at the top. Ask myself the same question. Scribble some things down.
Peace. Wisdom. A house that’s in order. More connection with Allen. Clear direction on next steps with this whole blog/writing/communicating thing. Support from others. The sun. My kids to be okay. To “TEND” to the right things – to find the balance between others and self. Compare notes. Many are the same. Some are different already. I wonder why.
(Take a break and make first cup of tea with cream and sugar in 46 days. (It’d better be all I dreamed it would be.) Be back at around 11. Need to go sit and stare and drink for a while.)
(Tea is okay and I am distracted by phone call from insurance company and FaceTime with Sarah and Broden. Flip on TV and watch CSI for 15 minutes. Tell myself this isn’t what I want to be doing right now. Turn off TV and come back to paper. After all, I am going to write this down and share with world.)
10:43 am See next question. WHO DO I WANT TO BECOME? Add this: WHAT DO I WANT TO BECOME?
WHAT? Wise, gentle, tender-hearted, less judgmental and more gracious. Integrated. Free.
WHO? A better wife. An influential communicator.
(Rachel walks in the door after breakfast with Allen. Have a sweet heart-to-heart for a few minutes. Insurance company calls back. Sabbath is hard to come by.)
Compare notes again. Notice that tender-hearted, wife and communicator are on both lists. They must be important this year. How does “TEND” fit in to them? Hmmm. Let me think on that. No rushing.
(Pee and send a “happy birthday” message to my sweet friend Annie! Make myself a smoothie. Watch more CSI while I drink my smoothie.)
(Didn’t work out so great watching CSI. Sarah needed me for a few minutes. #babiesarehard)
12:26 pm Look at definition of “TEND” again. “To apply oneself to the care of, watch over, cultivate. To stand by something. To take charge of as a caretaker, overseer.” Those three words: tenderhearted. wife. communicator. Am I to tend to these God? Oversee them? Take charge of them?
The phrase, “GO DEEPER BEFORE YOU GO WIDER” keeps coming into my mind and heart. I can’t seem to shake it. How does that play in? Half-thought: Roots of plants need to go deep into the rich and nourishing soil (see pic above) before they go wide and bear fruit. I want so desperately to bear fruit, but I probably need to “tend” to receiving the rich nourishment from God Himself in the deep places of my soul first. Sarah had that whole phrase in college from Colossians 2:7 about this very thing. “BE ROOTED (in Christ).” More hmmm.
(Call insurance company back. Check in on Sarah again. All is well there. Lay down and finish this one dang episode of CSI.)
(A friend texts. Ask her if she can wait a little while before I call her back. Head back to process.)
1:41 pm Review my final notes in the process of choosing my WOTY. Rewrite all the “tend” things that I don’t want:
preTEND – ingenuine
conTEND – try harder (doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this just does not work)
disTEND – enlarge from internal pressure (this goes along with try harder…ugh!)
hyperexTEND – expand beyond a safe point (this is the hardest for me)
Also, rewrite the things I do want:
atTEND – be present
exTEND – make wider (Be careful on this one. Deeper before wider.)
inTEND – direct mind on
I think I am done for this quarterly check-in. My heart is directed to these three: tenderhearted (oh my goodness, that even has the word TEND inside it), wife (be present, go deeper and direct mind on this one), and communicator (write to “express not to impress”). I believe I might just be friends again with my WOTY. I need to take a nap now (but first, that phone call with a friend who needs some tending…I know it’s my Sabbath, but I’m not the most perfect at keeping it as you’ve all just witnessed). Then a much-needed nap.
UPDATE SAT 7:38 am
I am glad that my iPhone reminder app did its job this week. I needed the little kick in the pants to stop avoiding my WOTY and check in (as scattered as it was). I want this to be your kick in the pants (I mean tender push) to do the same. Some of you are thinking, “I never chose one.” It’s not too late for this kind of friendship. With winter slowly fading into the background (please God, let it be so), there’s never a better time than spring for new thoughts and renewed hope! You could do a WOTM (word of the month) or even a WOTQ (word of the quarter). Just follow the steps I outlined for myself in January by clicking HERE. And if you are renewing your relationship with the one you’ve already chosen, I hope this post is your gentle guide as to a super realistic and very “not-so-perfect” way to approach it. I would love to hear from you what happens, from your heart to mine!
Do me a huge favor and go back and “Like” my post if you came from social media! It’s one of the ways I can get more views (I guess only do that if you actually like it…LOL)!