Can you believe that we are already a week into a new year and a new decade? As I am sure most of us do at the start of a new year, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the past year and what I want out of my life for this new year. I shared with you last year that I am not really one to make new year resolutions. I just don’t think that they are ever very effective for me. I tend to have all of these grand ideas and plans of things I want to accomplish and am so gung hoe for them. Then by February or March, it has all fizzled out because life just took over. Resolutions just aren’t meaningful enough for me. I decided last year to try something new. I decided to choose a word that I wanted to be a representation for my year. It was to be something that I focused on all year and it was something that I wanted to improve about my life. Just thinking about that word and reminding myself of it on a daily basis was supposed to have an impact on every decision I made throughout the year and really impact how I lived my life. I wasn’t sure how it was really going to play out throughout the year or if it would fizzle out within a month or two like past resolutions had, but I was determined to give it a solid go. As I have shared many times since starting this blog, I have been on the road of self-discovery over the past 2 years and have really been putting in a lot of work into what I want out of life and the kind of person I want to be and the example I want to be for my kids. All of that went into my choice of word for 2019. I thought long and hard about it and one word kept coming up over and over. That word was JOY, and an idea began to take shape. I realized that joy was something that had been sorely lacking in my life for a long time. I didn’t feel joy. I think I had really forgotten what real joy actually felt like. I decided that choosing joy in every circumstance in my life was something that I desperately needed. I had gotten to the point where everything in my life was a chore. I was always negative and didn’t do anything with any sense of joy. It was time for a change. I began to believe that if I chose joy in all circumstances, my life would begin to make sense and I would begin to experience true happiness again. I set out for 2019 to be the year that I chose joy above all else. Now, I will tell you that I didn’t always choose joy 100% of the time. There were times that I got knocked down and needed to remind myself of my goal. However, I truly believe that my life is better and much more joyful than it has been in a very long time. Having that reminder to choose joy staring me in the face every day, really did have a positive impact on my life. There were some really hard things that happened in 2019 that could have could have turned my life upside down and really broken me had I not chosen to rise above them and chose joy. I chose joy in the difficult times and in the sad times, and that alone made the biggest impact. Did I shout joy from the rooftops? No, I did not. This was something internal for me. It was a mindset that I had to work on. People weren’t aware of the battle going on inside of me to fight the negative and put joy at the forefront of my mind, but it wasn’t about anyone else but me. It wasn’t easy and sometimes I failed, but choosing joy in all circumstances is something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life.
Now 2020 is here and it is time for me to choose a new word to focus on this year. I have really put a lot of thought into this year’s word. It actually came to me on the 10-hour drive from South Carolina back home after Christmas. I do a lot of thinking and praying when I am on long drives. It was just my oldest and me in the car, and she pretty much puts in ear buds and doesn’t speak the whole time. Needless to say, it gave me a lot of quiet time. I had put on the music that I have downloaded on my phone partly because I was tired of changing stations every hour or so when we lost the one we were listening too and partly because I think better with music for some reason. I have a lot of contemporary Christian music on my phone that I like to listen to when I want to get the in the right frame of mind. Anyway, I was throwing a lot of words around in my head, but nothing was really sticking. I was trying to find something to represent what I wanted this year to look like for me. Then this song came on that I have heard a million times. It is by a guy that used to be the worship leader at one of our old churches. The song is entitled, “Relentless.” It talks about how God’s love for us is relentless, endless, never changing, and unstoppable. It got me doing a lot of thinking about that.
It was like a brick hit me upside the head, and I instantly knew that my word for 2020 was going to be RELENTLESS. It was like God placed the word right there at my feet. That word truly encompasses what I want for my life this year. I want to be relentless just like God is in his love for us. I want to be relentless in all I do. I want to be so focused that nothing can stop me. I want to be RELENTLESS IN LOVE—love for my family, my friends, and every person I come across. I want to be RELENTLESS IN FAITH—ever growing in my relationship with Christ. I want to be RELENTLESS IN WORK—fighting for injustice and making a global impact with the work I do with Trades of Hope. I want to be RELENTLESS IN DREAMS—doing everything in my power to make all of my dreams come true. I want to be RELENTLESS IN GROWTH—continuing to work on growing and becoming the best version of myself. I want to be RELENTLESS IN JOY—seeking joy and choosing joy in everything I do.
The Oxford dictionary says that relentless means “oppressively constant; incessant; harsh; inflexible.” While some may think that relentless can be a negative word, I do not see it that way in this instance. For me being relentless means that I am not going to give up, and I am not going to stop. Failure is only a bump in the road and not the end. It means not letting anything stand in the way of achieving my goals and dreams. It means continuing to push forward until I am victorious. It is an endless pursuit of what I want for my life and the person I want to become. It means putting God first before all other things and letting him guide me through this journey of life in the way he has set it out for me. It is getting up every day with a purpose and doing whatever it takes to fulfill that purpose. Just like waves crashing on the shore, I am plan to be relentless in my life this year.
Anchored and Relentless,