In the past, I've picked a word to live my life by for the year. I find it a much better idea than a resolution or intention, and I find myself changed when the year is out. I first heard of this idea on Ali Edwards' blog. She runs a yearly class that is full of journaling and creative prompts for each month of the year. I highly recommend the class; it has helped me stay on track and keep my word with me throughout the year.
I don't just pick a word silly-nilly; my word takes about two to three months of thinking. In the past, I've picked words that I thought would build me up, put a confidence in me, make me a big, bold person. My list is as follows:
However, my living in Mexico has changed my perspective. I already was living a larger-than-life existence. There is no reason I need a word to build me up when I was already too high and mighty. I went past being confident to being proud, disrespectful, selfish, and ungrateful. I had an entitlement attitude. I thought I knew God, but He was so far from me.
My word for 2015 is HUMBLE.
This comes from living a humbling life here. The way I thought life was going to be has been so different from how it really is. I imagined living a great life, working a job that paid around the same as my previous job. Instead I've taken a job making half of what I previously made. I thought things in TJ would be cheaper, and while some things are, most are the same price or more expensive. I never thought I'd live without hot water, basic appliances, or a washing machine. I never thought I'd live without a telephone. I never thought I'd have absolutely nothing other than my family, my clothes, and my car.
There were times where, relying on my newly-acquired bravery, I felt like I would not survive. Every time a dish broke, my phone broke, or I lost a piece of my previous life, I felt like I was dying. There were nights of uncontrollable crying, mourning the loss of every goal or dream I ever thought I'd had. I just felt like I'd never make it until the morning. It was in the inconceivable losses that ripped my pride apart, that I began to recognize my absolute necessity for God.
Since Hector and I are not married in the Catholic Church, I cannot receive Eucharist. That itself has been a death in my life. But God replaced the Word Made Flesh with His written Word and have me an insatiable desire for Scripture. And I've learned that this year, God is mercifully cutting away all of the fat and excess in my spiritual life to where it is just God. He's emptying out all of the junk I've accumulated to make space for my relationship with Him (Yes, Catholics do have a personal relationship with the Lord and Savior!).
So my goals for 2015 are simple- to take each day as it comes, and to live more humbly, not to please myself or to have an easy life, but to please God. I am no longer afraid to lose possessions. I am no longer holding onto a past life. I have let go and given God control of my life. He knows what He's doing.
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11