Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20
Do you have your 2016 “word” yet? For readers new to the site, you might not be familiar with the “word of the year” thing here at Joyful Words so let me bring you up to speed. The word of the year is something someone WAY smarter than me thought of but for the third year now many of us have joined in the fun. It’s pretty simple really; you pray for God to give you a word that will guide your discipleship throughout the New Year. It’s been kind of fun to see how he’s made my words clear as a bell and many readers have shared the stories of how their words came to be and how they made a difference in their walk with Christ. Simple, cheap, powerful, fun and prayerful…who can beat that combo!
SO…dut ta da daugh…my word for 2016 is…drum roll please…you know how I’ve been hoping for a good uplifting word for three years now…the word is IMPERFECTION! What??? Are you kidding me with this one God??? Believe me, I’ve tried to think and pray my way out of this one for three weeks but it’s pretty clear it’s here for the year. Again, I was hoping for something like happiness or joy or friendship; ya know something sweet and fluffy and maybe a word even on the edge of sappy but no…IMPERFECTION is my word. If words were dogs, I guess you could say I was hoping for a cute little fluffy, animated, cuddly puppy but instead I feel like I got a giant, slobbering, cumbersome Saint Bernard! After the appropriately allowed period of pouting I began to pray for the grace to accept the word picked for me and try to figure out what in the heck it was all about. As usual, when I finished pouting and let God into my thoughts and heart, I got some surprises!
My life right now is a bit jumbled. God has me busy with lots of different things, teaching my middle lovelies, writing, Joyful Words Ministry speaking, Catholic Hospitality Institute trainings and several other parish ministries, so my life is kind of messy I guess you’d say. I’ve promised him everything he asks without fussing. In spite of the Godly thumbs up I get along the way there are many days I still feel so unqualified and unworthy to do what he’s asking me to do. I have waves of jealousy and pridefulness sometimes and I get so frustrated with myself for that. I sometimes forget it’s his work I’m doing and I don’t trust as much as I should and I get a little overwhelmed. Honestly there are days I tell him he has really picked the wrong girl! I have that same pesky list of sins I’m working on and I still judge too quickly and talk to those I love most with a little extra sass. I still need to grow about 3 feet taller to balance out the extra padding I’ve been promising him I would take better care of myself and loose. I still don’t pray as much as I should or love as hard as I’m asked to. I can think of a lot of words that would have brought encouragement to those areas that separate me from him, but I didn’t get one of those words…or did I?
After three weeks of prayer I am beginning to realize he gave me the perfect word! Imperfection is what my life is all about. I don’t think it surprises him one bit that my life is messy in the middle of my attempt to love him harder and serve him better. Instead of an insult or a burden, my word is almost like permission and invitation. I think he’s telling me perfection isn’t required or probably even desired. Perfection is a human notion not a Godly one. I hope he’s sweetly inviting me to meet him in the middle of my failed attempts, my shortcomings, my weaknesses, my sinfulness and my dozens and dozens of imperfections. I believe he’s asking me to offer him all my imperfect stuff and let him make them perfect in his eyes. After sitting with my word several days it’s beginning to feel like a great big nod and a wink from the Father who loves me enough to lovingly accept my imperfect mess of a life as long as I give it to him with love and invite him in to shore it all up just the way he needs it to be. My 2016 word is a giant hug from God that says, “I love you anyway” and all I can say about that is THANK YOU!
A Seed To Plant: What’s your word. If you haven’t asked for one yet, take it to prayer and see what comes. If you do have one, please share it with us.
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com