I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Word for 2013

By Heidi Larson Geis


On the first day of this new year, Lisa Jordan wrote a blog post about having the courage to step away from the shore in order to discover all of God’s blessings. Two weeks later, I’m still thinking about it!

My husband and I haven’t spent New Year’s Eve alone since we rang in 1996 when I was seven months pregnant with our first child. This year both of our teenage boys were at the church youth group party until after 1AM. It was weird. They were out on one of the most dangerous nights of the year, without me. Talk about losing sight of the shore!! My husband and I caught a glimpse of our empty nest and of letting our sons grow up and away from us. We caught a glimpse of change.

Over Subway sandwiches (we’re big spenders, lol!) we talked about the coming year, and we joked about making a lengthy list of resolutions. I remembered Beth Vogt’s alternative to resolutions (here, and here) choosing one word to embrace and live for the year. I suggested we try it. We took a serious look at what we might put on a resolution list, and in doing so, realized just how many projects—home, ministry, writing, etc.—we’ve started, that remain only partially completed.

It quickly became obvious that our word for 2013 should be COMPLETION. 

So our focus for the coming year will be figuring out what God wants us to complete, and looking to Him to help us do it. (This will hopefully include the completion of our kitchen remodel project!) For me personally, I know this means 2013 needs to be the year in which I write “The End” on a manuscript. Good, bad, or ugly, I need to complete something. Since I began this journey in 2009, I’ve found too many reasons not to write. But, as I see the face of a man emerging in my firstborn son, I also see how quickly the years have passed since 1996 and I realize I need to stop wasting time. 

What about you? Have you thought about choosing a word for the coming year? Do you have a project that you’ve been putting off completing? Any ideas on how you might make it happen?

Heidi Larson Geis  

18 comments:

  1. Oh, Heidi,
    I love this post. I love the heart of this post ...
    Completion.
    What a wonderful word!!
    And how wonderful that you and your husband are embracing this word together.

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    1. Thank you, Beth! I'm excited to see this word play out over the coming year. I'm believing for some amazing things. Thank you, my friend, for sharing your heart about resolutions and in doing so, helping to change the way I look at the resolution process. I've chosen a word every year, but this is the first time it has been a family word, as we have shared it with the boys and they love it. It is such a great way to go about setting goals for a new year, and I especially like it as a governing system for making decisions...when asked to something, or deciding on a major purchase...we can ask ourselves if it fits with the goals implied by our word. I look forward to the blog I get to write in January of 2014!!

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  2. Heidi, Completion is a great word for so many, especially me. (But sleep would be even better.) I pray that next New Year's eve, wherever you're spending it, you have a complete novel, a complete kitchen, and a complete sense of having accomplished wonderful things.

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    1. Roxanne, sleep is part of the reason we needed to choose the word completion, lol!! I would rather sleep than almost anything else. So, instead of making the resolution to get up with the Sun (it would take a miracle, as often I am just finally falling asleep!) to be a Proverbs 31 woman, I am simply committed to finishing what I start, no matter what time of day. The kitchen thing is huge because we started the remodel five years ago. I've had these gorgeous, brand new, still-in-the-box-since-2007 appliances out in the garage just waiting. We finally put them in (new dishwasher, new stove) so we could enjoy them, even if we haven't gotten the new cupboards and countertops to match. We are REALLY good at starting things; we just sometimes struggle to finish. It is amazing to me how fast time is racing by...it seems like it was just last week that we were standing at Home Depot trying to decide on a dishwasher!! Crazy! And it seems like yesterday that I was attending my first ever writing conference (ACFW) but it's been more than three years! So yes, it's time. And I am optimistic that 2013's word will bring with it a sense of both accomplishment and obedience!

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  3. I like Subway sandwiches but it's the people together enjoying them that makes them even better, & you & Craig are great. Kitchen remodel? Hoping you're in the same home where I visited you (& enjoyed your cooking) and that all has worked out. A completed novel? Yes, you go, girl. Many blessings . . .

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    1. Dee, I LOVE Subway!! (Almost as much as Panda Express, but we were feeling like lighter fare for New Year's Eve, lol!) And yes, we are still in our same house; it appears we will be staying, praise God! That uncertainty is part of why our remodel was on hold. But now we can move forward, and I am excited. I'm actually excited to complete a lot of things that we've started, including a novel. I want a reason (besides seeing my friends!) to come to ACFW this year!!

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  4. Yea, Heidi! What a beautiful post. I love your heart and the way you and your honey came to your One Word. I can hardly wait to celebrate with you when you write The End this year! After my first The End last year, it's such an amazing feeling.

    I hope you also get your kitchen remodel completed this year. ;)

    My word for the year is Perspective. God has some teaching and healing to do in me this year. I'm looking forward to it. :) Can't wait to hear how God works completion in and through you.

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! It's funny--this post actually started out as a response to Lisa's blog on the 1st. It was getting a little long (I tend to do that, lol!) and I thought to myself, "this is practically a whole blog!" I realized it was perfect for January, so I copied it into a word doc, posted a different comment to Lisa, and came back to this for today. I'm so happy that you reached your goal this year. I look forward to the happy dancing upon completion of my novel. I think the subtitle word for my year needs to be "discipline" or "focus" because I have the beginnings of probably five novels...I need to just pick one, put my fanny in a chair, and finish it!! Perspective is a great word, and I'm glad you are looking forward to God teaching you in the coming year. Too often we fear that teaching because it doesn't always feel good. I look forward to sitting down with you over coffee at a conference or retreat some day and swapping our "One Word" stories from 2013!!

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  5. Yes, Heidi, Completion. As in a novel. You're too good of a writer to let those words languish. :-)

    Love this story of Subway sandwiches and New Year's Eve...my kind of night. Great post. And will be celebrating with you this time next year!

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    1. Aw, Pat, thank you!! Too often I question my abilities (thank you, Satan) and that has made it easy to drag my feet. As I wrote in this post, I don't care if it's good, bad, or ugly...I just need to finish something. It was a fun night, albeit odd, and a great opportunity to give some serious thought to what we want from the coming year. We have a laundry list of things we need to finish (including laundry, lol!) so it will be good to have all of us on the same page. We are realizing we are quickly coming to the end of our oldest son's childhood (he's turning 17 in March) and our younger son, who turned 14 in July, isn't far behind. We feel like we're running out of time! So we need a focus, and this word, completion, feels like the right fit.

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  6. Heidi, enjoyed your thoughts on beginning a new year and choosing a word to keep with you as you travel through 2013. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thank you, Jo. I think choosing one word is so much simpler (and doable) than a lengthy list of resolutions! In fact, I'd venture to say that the resolutions of previous years are part of the reason we have so much unfinished business. I've chosen words before, but this is the first time my husband and I have chosen a family word. The coolest part is that our boys really like the idea too! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  7. Good thoughts, Heidi. Sometimes I think for the past couple of years my word has been "survival"--in the literal sense. But I'm choosing "revival" for this year. Spirit, soul, and body.

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    1. Amen, Teri!! I know what you mean about survival...that was my focus for the first couple years after our car accident. It can be exhausting to get to know your "new" self! But the beauty is in allowing God to redefine you...that's definitely a revival!! Once I got used to the changes, I actually like how God has changed me. But getting to that place wasn't easy. Your testimony is awesome, and I can't wait to see all that God has for you this year!!

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  8. Awesome post, Heidi. It really has me thinking deeper about my word for the year: SUBMISSION.
    That's a painful word for me. More on that later. Just know that I so appreciate your posts :)

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  9. Ouch! I agree with you, Ginger.. submission is a tough one! I'm sure I will most likely need to pick that one at some point! One thing we are doing as part of our Completion Plan is reading through the Bible frim cover to cover. I can't say that I've ever completed a Bible reading plan! So we are doing the YouVersion chronological plan and listening to Max McClean (Audible) read it while we follow along. We've read Genesis through Noah, and we're almost through Job. It's great family time at the end of each day! So far, so good!

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  10. Heidi --
    How awesome that you and hubby came up with the same word. Your looking into the future and planning. Yes, I too am realizing just how quick time is flying. I look at my two boys and see exactly that..the face of men emerging. My husband rolls his eyes when I say "my babies" but to me they are.

    My words are a continuation of last years. I haven't gotten the green light to change 'em. Discipline and diligence.

    I'm looking forward to your praise report, to writing "The End". You can do it.

    Blessings!
    Alena T.

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  11. Heidi, I'm late in replying, but I love your word for 2013. We will cheer you on as you strive to write The End.

    My word for 2013 is Freedom. I'm not exactly sure where God is taking me this year, but I'm putting my hand in His and allowing Him to lead me.

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