I’ve never been one to create New Year’s resolutions. The only ones I heard growing up were “lose weight” and “quit smoking” and “get a boyfriend” and countless others that didn’t sound like resolve as much as things that needed to get done (or not, in the case of the boyfriend).
Not to mention, no one ever continued in their resolve for more than two days into the new year. I chalked resolutions up as something not worth my time.
I have found through the years that God works in themes for me. I’ve never picked one word to work on throughout the year, but somewhere around December 20th or so one word always picks me. It’s like my inner self starts thinking about the new year long before I’m conscious of it and one word begins to play over and over in my head. I inevitably perk up and think, “Hey! I need to work on that!”
As I’ve become more immersed in the online culture, I’ve learned this – choosing one word – isn’t something that I do because I’m a genius. Choosing one word to focus on throughout the year is something millions around the world do. Pretty cool!
I’ve found myself doing a lot of talking, planning, leading, exhorting, teaching, and analyzing in past months. I’m constantly on the go. I’m frequently rushing off to the next task.
I’ve lost the art of listening.
I need to slow down.
It’s time to listen.
I’m going to have to re-learn this lost art, but I believe it’s imperative that I do.
I need to listen to the Lord daily.
I need to stop pouring out my complaints, frustrations, and needs. I need to sit, be still, and listen.
I need to listen to my husband.
I need to listen to his concerns, joys, and passions. I need to slow down, look him in the eye, and listen.
I need to listen to my children.
I need to listen to my toddler explain to me the parking lot construction of his legos. I need to listen to my newborn coo and babble. I need to kneel, get on their level, and listen.
I need to listen to my neighbors.
I need to listen to my neighbor explain that she’s having a hard time with her baby sleeping through the night. I need to listen to the lady in the checkout line share about the joy of being a new grandmother. I need to listen to the nurse practitioner tell me about the new books in the children’s section. I need to clear my brain, stop rushing, and listen.
I need to listen to the world around me.
I need to listen to the birds singing, wind blowing, and the train engine clickety clacking across the tracks down in the valley. I need to stop, breathe, and just listen.
It’s time to listen.
It’s time to really hear what’s going on around me, in my family, and in my heart. It’s time to be still and listen.
My word for the year is listen.