One Word

We were recently challenged with reading the book One Word for work to prepare ourselves for 2014.  I had no idea what to expect when sitting down to read this book.  I knew that it was supposed to be motivational and that you could finish it in 44 minutes.  What I didn't know was the profound impact it was about to have on my life.

The book says that you will discover your word through listening, prayer and paying attention to things you notice throughout the day.  Some people find their words quicker than others.  The book is full of motivational stories of how this book has changed people's lives.  I am a big fan of motivational reading but I just wasn't sure I was buying into this process the first chapter.  The concept of the book is picking one word to live by for the following year.  A word that can apply to all aspects of your life and that encompasses the main things you want to accomplish in 2014.  My family nickname is Radio and these people expected me to pick ONE word?  Oh jeez.  I knew this was going to be a struggle.  I prayed before reading the book that God would show me my word.  I wanted to ensure that I was going through this process with an open mind and heart that would help me discover His plan for my 2014.  

When reading the book it challenges you to think of what you need, what you want to accomplish, what's in your way and what needs to go.  When thinking about 2014 my answers were:

Stronger relationship with God
Focus on what I wanted for my future
Improved relationships
Healthier lifestyle
Patience, understanding and peace

Discover God's next steps in my life
Stronger relationships with God, family & friends
Dedicate myself to improved health
Greater understanding

In my way:
Lack of dedication to health and personal life management
Bad sleep habits
Taking on too much
Not giving everything to God and thinking I could handle it myself

Unnecessary time consuming activities
Excuses for not taking better care of myself
Expectations of being able to handle everything I wanted to take on

I spent quite a bit of time in prayer over the above and put a lot of thought into this exercise.  My word came to me through song.  I love gospel music.  I enjoy modern Christian music but nothing is better than old gospel :)  The song I Surrender All was stuck in my head.   Even though I love that song, I hadn't thought of it in forever!  I immediately went to YouTube to give it a listen and found this.  Listening to Oprah tell her story and then Faith Hill sing this song, tears literally started pouring down my face and I realized that was it.  My word had come to me.  Surrender.  So many times I think that I am in total control of my life and I can handle it all by myself. I needed this in my face reminder from God that He is the ruler of my life and that I need to turn to Him to guide my footsteps.  

I committed in that moment to surrendering it all to Him.  I would follow the steps He laid out for me and try not to question or doubt because I do not know what is best.  I knew that I could  no longer try to handle it all by myself and needed to lean on Him to find success in all areas of my life.  It was amazing how many changes began to take place.  I could feel a greater sense of peace almost immediately that is still present.  I find myself going to prayer in moments of doubt, frustration, happiness and joy when before that wouldn't always have been my first step.  I am working hard to follow what I feel like God wants me to do and it has taken some very rewarding turns.  My next blog will focus on one recent major life event that tested my commitment to this word.  Below are the lyrics to I Surrender All.  In moments that I doubt my ability to commit to this word, I remind myself of these powerful lyrics and the even more powerful God who is guiding my footsteps.  I plan to document important moments of this journey throughout the year so that I can fully remember and share the profound impacts of this one word.  "I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation,
Glory, glory, to His name!

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

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