Thursday, December 5, 2013

"My One Word" revisited

"Kind words are like honey; sweet to the soul and healing for the body."  Proverbs 16:24

If you have been reading this blog or received an e-mail from me in the last 9 months, the verse above will be a familiar one.  It's the verse I chose that includes my word in a way that is significant to me.

My word is HONEY!  I know, it's kind of an odd word, but I'm kind of an odd person when it comes to words :)  I love everything about this word: from it's literal state of a food to it's symbolism in Scripture.  I even like that there is a not-so-nice side to honey, because, well, there's a not so-nice-side to me.  But I am getting ahead of myself... let me go back and tell you how I chose that word.

When I first heard of My One Word, by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen, I went onto the website (click here to visit it) to see what it was all about.  I decided I would choose a word before I read the book, based on what I read and listened to on the site.  That didn't work out too well - I completely forgot the word I chose!  To this day, I don't remember what it was.  For me, that was a confirmation that what I thought was something I had to 'work on' wasn't what God had in mind.  I chose a word based on what I wanted to fix about myself and it was a good one (I do remember that), but without God's Word to build upon, it wasn't going to stick!

So, I started reading the book during our study.  I followed the advice of making lists and refining my list, though again, I didn't quite do it in the order suggested.  In the end it was the word honey that appeared.  My description of honey (and it's makers) was everything I felt I should be/wanted to be: translucent but not transparent, natural,  slower moving, sweet, healthy, useful, food for others, rely on God (scientifically, bees shouldn't be able to fly, but they do by the grace of God).  I want to be like that!  Even the not-so-nice things about honey spoke to me: chewed up-spit out & still beautiful, made & protected by bees that can sting, a hidden treasure, it's not for everyone.  Discovering my word was a process (just as making honey is) and I felt drawn to this idea of being like honey.  I was surprised by the number of times the word appears in scripture, but my area of need was in relation to words.  I use them, I love them, but too often I misuse them in hurtful ways.  THAT is not what God intended.  God intended that I use my gift with words in a kind & nurturing way.  Armed with my one word and it's corresponding Scripture, I started moving towards the person God created me to be.

As Mike suggests in the book, I put my word in front of me daily.  At first I ate a spoonful of honey every morning.  I added it to my tea and on my toast.  This was a very physical way to ingest the Word and make it real.  Soon after that, I added it as my e-mail signature.  This has served to remind me with every e-mail I write, to be kind.  One of the ways my word has morphed (chapter 7) is that I am also reminded to be kind to myself.  When I am dealing with someone who has hurt me or my family, I am as kind as I can be, without being false.  I guard my heart by saying how I feel without being cruel.  How others choose to interpret my words is up to them.  And in the same manner, I squelch that critical inner voice that can be my biggest opponent.  Using kind words to heal myself has been a soothing balm.

Here's a few more ways My One Word has influenced my life:

It causes me to rethink how I respond to people & situations.
I choose a slower path when making decisions.
I rely on God to change me.
My view of how others use words & react has been enhanced.
I choose my words more wisely.
I try, really hard, to be kind.
When I am overwhelmed or at a loss for ideas, I focus on my word, and I am inspired.

Am I completely transformed?  Do I never say mean things?  Am I unendingly supportive & encouraging?  Do I control all my reactions to people & situations?
Not by a long shot!!  It is an ongoing process.  But I am moving forward, improving how I use my words every day.  Even when I have a moment, day, or week where I seem to be going backwards, I am reminded through my word, that there is beauty in things that have been chewed up and spit out, as long as those things are created and nurtured by God.

How has your word changed you, your view of the world, and your faith journey?  I am sorry to have to miss our gathering this Friday and hear how your One Word has worked transformations in your life.  I would love to know how this is going for you - please share in the comment section below.

"The eyes of our heart, once enlightened - to borrow a phrase from Paul - show us a reality that our physical eyes cannot see.  A reality based on the words and promises of God. "  Mike Ashcraft, My One Word p. 107

"Change is possible.  Focus is required.  And depenence on God is absolutely foundational." Mike Ashcraft, My One Word p 40-41.

Your Partner in Ministry,

"Kind words are like honey; sweet to the soul and healing for the body."  Proverbs 16:24