I like beginnings. And words. And lists. And goals. But not like, “I’ll be a successful businesswoman one day.” I’ve never been good at those kinds of goals. More like, “I want to change in [this] way” kinds of goals.
Which is why when my friend Stephanie asked me and a few other friends the challenging question of “What will your word be for 2014?”, I got pretty excited. And nervous.
I’ve never made a new year’s resolution in the form of simply one word, but I’ve heard of others doing it. There are no rules really. It’s just a matter of focus. What do you want to focus on this year? Maybe the word is about God, like one of His attributes, like “provider”, or maybe it’s an action word, like “pray”. It can be anything.
After about two days of not too deep reflection, I decided my word for 2014 is laugh.
I’m so excited about this!! I don’t even know exactly what it’s going to mean for me, but I know it’s right, and here’s why I picked it and what I’m hoping for 2014 (and the rest of my life…):
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 31:25 – Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Some versions say, “laugh at the future”. I most certainly do not laugh at the future. I have always been a worrier, for as long as I can remember. A phobic child. A “preventative” analyzer of future social gatherings, tests, trips, conversations, dates, etc. etc. Let me just think about upcoming situations and moments to death before actually living them. Because that will make them more special and fun and free of harm and awkwardness. WRONG. Over-thinking/pre-analysis has done nothing for me except serve up a pretty pile of disappointment while simultaneously killing any spontaneity I might have.
I’m not that girl who can think up something fun to do on the spot. “That wasn’t in the plan…”
But I want to be. I want to be that girl. Provy 31 woman laughs at the future, at the beautifully written “time to come”, because she knows who holds it. She’s free. To laugh, to enjoy, to live. She moves beautifully through life, smiling and dancing and working and loving. She retains her responsible nature, yet she’s laughing all along the way. I’m guessing that worrying is never a part of her plan.
Also, I just want to laugh more. Literally. I have been told I don’t laugh enough. It’s true. I’ve never had too much of a problem making people laugh. I love making people laugh. But several factors contributed to me developing an early cynicism, a biting criticism, a worrisome spirit, a constant seriousness about life…and it just killed the laughter in me I guess. Thank the Lord, His Spirit is more powerful than we can imagine, and He has changed me a lot. But I’m still fighting to be at ease, to enjoy Him, to reflect His joyful character in my daily life. He has, and is, a lot of fun, you know. I want to be fun, too.
One of the few pictures you’ll find of me in a true mid-laugh. Auburn, 2006, among friends in the dorm.
I am determined to laugh this year. Laugh in the face of fear, laugh in the face of uncertainty, laugh in the face of stress. Laugh with friends, laugh with family, laugh with God, laugh with (and at) myself. Oh and with strangers, too. I’m just going to laugh in a whole bunch of faces this year.
All of this is rooted in enjoying God, knowing who He is, loving who He is, and spreading that love and joy around so everyone can laugh too!
To God be the glory in this “word goal” of mine. May it be a lesson in learning to delight.
So what’s your word? Yes, if you’re reading this you have to think of one.