Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year of Practice

I am going to copy Ann Voskamp.  I'm naming the new year.  2011.  I've never named a year before, though I have made countless New Year's declarations and resolutions.  I like the idea.

I always end up looking at my resolutions like some sort of check-off list.  While I like lists and they have a place in my life, a list of resolutions seems never to be able to get "checked-off".  So it bugs me and ends up feeling like failure... even if I've done a relatively good job of keeping a resolution.  Naming the year, now that is something I can live with peacefully.  When my dear Tobitha wrote Impact, I knew then what I would be naming 2011.

Practice.  The Year of Practice.

You see, I am one of those little people that like to flit from one thing to the next.  I am going on to the next thing before I have even begun to master the last one.  I'm not proud of this.  Some people think I have a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects.  It's not true.  In reality, I know a little bit about a lot of things.  In a way, I am a quintessential Jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none.  I'm a curious soul, interested in all sorts of things.  I don't stay on one road for too long.

But I wouldn't characterize myself as flaky.  :)

Anyway, I feel compelled by none other than the Holy Spirit Himself, to rest in the solid and un-shifting for awhile.  For me, it's a shift in from creating and pursuing to practicing.  Practicing what?  The stuff I already know.  This year is one for me to focus on God's perfecting work.

Lest anyone think I really am flaky, and have no clue as to how to actualize this grandiose idea, I will list some practical areas of practice:

remembering my many loved ones on their birthdays and anniversaries with cards and calls
choosing recipes from one of my many cook books as opposed to finding them from the internet
studying scripture
exercising my body daily but not legalistically or obsessively
making music in the way I know how
deep breathing
speaking sweetly
counting blessings

See, I know how to do these things.  I don't have to research how to do any of them.  I just need to practice them.  There is nothing wrong with books that challenge us in a new way, like Radical for instance.  But I don't need to read a book right now about how to arrange my life in a way that will prove what Jesus really means to me.  I know what Jesus means to me and I have at least 19 ways to show it everyday.  This is my basic training, my boot camp.  Anything beyond that is like special ops training, and I'm just a foot soldier.

So I probably won't be learning a new art form this next year.  To be sure, there were some creative endeavors I had in mind that are now on the back burner.   No self-help or how-to or sweeping, this-is-the-new-big-idea books.
There's too much old wisdom I have yet to crack.

I can learn to be faithful in the small and ordinary.

Productivity will be birthed through practice.



  1. That is a good one!! One I could sure use to 'practice' ;-) Thanks for sharing

  2. Love your honest heart, my sister! I love that you know what you want to practice, enjoy and perfect! You inspire me! He is pleased! Enjoy the practice! I will be joining you! Love you!

  3. The Year of Practice.

    seeing it here, it is even more perfect than i imagined. so perfect it's difficult not to want it for my own :}

    i think on Philippians 2
    Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

    something about practicing what you know makes me think on continuing to work out your salvation with fear and trembling :)

    I love you, Dear One. my prayers for His blessings to continue to abound in you. may you be richly blessed in the practicing, in all things :)

    as iron sharpens iron, so you sharpen me.

    Thank you,

  4. Hi, I found you from Ann’s.

    Before getting into your word – have to share with you that my mom always warned me about being “a jack of all trades and a master of none” – moms are wise. I have long shared your “flitting” nature.

    The year of “practicing” – this is perfect. To learn better what we already know – so on target – because we forget.

    I’d like to let you know that I have prayed today for your year of “practice” for your being faithful in the small and ordinary. And that your productivity to be birthed through practice.

    My word was “connecting” – coming here is a humble start :)

    May God richly bless you, and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

  5. I'm loving the idea of your word! Thank you for sharing this. There is beauty in the standing still and planting your feet deeper - right where you are. I LOVE this. It seems all too often as moms, and maybe just as humans (or maybe it's our culture?), that we're always off and on to the next thing.

    May the Lord use your year to deepen with Him and to revel in all He has done and given you!

    And thank you SO much for your kind words on my blog today. You have no idea just how much they were a balm to my soul. =D So glad you dropped by....