cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh My Word

I chafe under the yoke of formal New Year's Resolutions. Nevertheless, I am an ardent supporter of focus words. Resolutions never surprise me. They are a complete fabrication of my own vision and goals; Goals which are limited to the scope of my own imagination. Each year, however, these lil' focus words transcend my feeble ambitions, leaving a sense of expectancy and wonder in their wake. Their impression on my soul is profound and extends beyond the boundaries of a single year. Sometimes I anticipate greatness. And sometimes God throws a smokin' curveball.
This year is no exception.


Well, that's bizarre, God. I'm pretty sure I've been at this relationship thing since ohhh...about birth.* Relationships? That's nice. Placid. Unassuming. No one will be wowed or judgmental. It'll be like potted plants at the restaurant or unobtrusive art in the bathroom: Pleasant, but not why you're there.

Thirteen letters penned across the top. One pristine notebook embarking on its maiden voyage. Twelve months of question marks. Ten days in.

And. I. Am. Floored.

If the first week and-a-half of January is any indication of what lies ahead, I'm ordering a spare five-point harness, because this is going to be one heck of a ride. Knocking on a neighbor's door because God is pressing in on the heart of our oldest.** Sitting in a faded diner booth, looking into the face of my dearest childhood friend for the first time in 15+ years. Answering a phone call that will most assuredly rearrange our year. Meeting with the intent to be vulnerable.

I really don't care if you have one word for the year, four, or a new word every month. There are 346 days left in 2014. We are neither guaranteed one, nor all of those days, but every single day we draw breath is chock-full of beautiful, heartbreaking, challenging possibilities. What words will empty your timepiece and fill your soul?

Feeling Watchful,


*Granted the younger I was, the less I contributed to the relationship, but STILL.
**Oh, did I mention WE DON'T KNOW THEM AT ALL? Yeah, that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Resolutions Of Weakness

January seems to bring out the best in us.

Then February pulverizes our good intentions into dust.

With Spring comes the guilt, and by Fall we cancel the gym memberships.

By then we're back to the Season of Perpetual Munching, where we prance around with low-fat pumpkin lattes and roughly 14 million cookies.

We lament another year gone as we step on the scale, peeping through our fingers just like we did when a gun-toting Travis began walking toward Old Yeller.

And we berate ourselves as if nothing changed over the past 365 days. As if we accomplished bupkis. All. Year. Long.

Dear ones, I want to scoop you all into a great, big (and slightly awkward) hug, pat your head and then with love shining in my eyes...

...smack us all upside the head.

Because just SERIOUSLY. We are waaaaay too hung up on ourselves and our accomplishments. We prioritize, memorize, theorize. Then we berate ourselves when we don't live up to our ridiculous expectations. Yes, when. Not if, but most assuredly when. You already know how I feel about resolutions. We have been created with much longer vision than a singular year can afford. We are marathon runners trying our hand at the 100 meter dash, and finding ourselves winded, frustrated, and icing a torn something-or-other. This need not be. Each year is building upon the previous, is building upon the previous, is building...and so on and so forth. 

We are being refined. We are in the process of shedding the old. A new number on the calendar is fairly insignificant when viewed through the lens of a decade, a generation, a lifetime; Even less so in view of eternity. And it turns out, it's really not about us. After all, no one looks to the crafted and marvels at its self-made greatness. We look to the crafter and congratulate them on such impressive skills. Perhaps this is why Paul boasted of his weakness. That's where the real power is. Abiding, holy, undiluted power. That's where refinement takes place.

 And that is rarely packaged so neatly between January 1st and December 31st.

A Work In Progress,