If you’ve spent any time with me since September you’ve probably been subjected to my gushing about my small group. In September, I left an ‘on campus’ group I had been leading and brought a few of my girls into my home, to dig deeper.
If you’ve talked to me in the past four years you’ve probably heard me start a sentence with ‘ I just finished this book….’ As luck would have it this is actually always a safe way to start a sentence because in the 5 years since graduating college I have read over 300 books. Curiosity may have killed the cat but for me it’s just improved my words with friends scores.
My Dad gave me a book while I was in Indiana over Christmas by a gent who had recently spoken at an Indianapolis Colts chapel. The book was called ‘one word that will change your life’. I know what every single one of you is wondering now: is she going to tell us what the word is so we can skip the book and still be in the know? Sure sure that’s what I’m here for.
The crazy thing is that you pick the one word that will change your life. Then in a year, you pick a new one. You pick a theme word for your year and live by it. You do not have to run your year along with the calendar year, btw.
I spent some time mulling this over and I chose the word: intentional. Most of my goals for this year involve my health, my finances, and my relationships (not in that order). What I will have to be to accomplish them? Intentional.
Sunday night my small group came over for our first meeting of the year and we went over the first few chapters of Hebrews and stuffed our faces as usual. I love these women. Our group grew from 4 in September to 8 in just four short months and honestly, each person’s joining had been a divine appointment for them and for us. So we wrapped up with time to spare this week and I had decided I wanted to have each lady pick her word.
As we went around and everyone either knew their word or we helped them iron out their concept into one tidy word summary, I had to marvel at how God had prepared us all in advance for what ours should be. I would have literally picked each girl’s word for her, had I needed too. They were so perfectly self aware they didn’t need me but you know what I mean.
Next we went back around the same misshapen circle of women in my living room and we all shared one thing we’ll have to let go of to live our word. Of course I can’t share everyone else’s word and release with you because what happens in small group stays in small group but I can share with you a little about mine.
As I think about being intentional I thought of something to let go of for each category. For being intentional in my relationships I decided I had to eliminate distractions and time wasters. This applies mostly to my growing relationship with The Lord but really to all relationships. People over tasks or things – always. That’s being intentional in my relationships. Also, I may have to cut some tv time or lord forbid maybe even some reading time for this.
To reach my goal of living in financial freedom I have to be intentional as well. In this area I wrote that I would need to eliminate emotional spending. I know that sounds bad but actually I spend more when things are going well. Something new to wear on date night. Buying friends lunch because getting out of the office sounds like such a great idea. You get it. I can’t just spend on emotional whims.
I will tell you – living my word is already working. After writing out what I just shared I realized that I had done just that over Christmas. I was out with my mom having fun and shopping and had bought a Rebecca Minkoff bag. It was a beautiful yellow leather bag but truth be told I have 2 other yellow bags and lets just be real here: more than enough bags. Period.
Not an hour after I wrote that down on my page about my one word – I returned it. I took the bag back. I said to myself if your goal is to be intentional with your money and your priority is to pay off your house and live truly debt free – then this bag really just isn’t getting you where you say you want to go. So, I put my money where my mouth was. Or took it back? That reverse analogy is a little awkward but I bet you’re tracking with me.
My last goal had to do with being healthier. And one thing I wrote I had to let go of in order to achieve better health? Food with no value. Simple enough. If it has no value nutritionally – I don’t really need it.
Now hear me when I say I am not going all rogue extremist on this. I’m sure I will buy a thing or two I don’t need this year and will probably eat a bag or two of skittles. But the point is that I am filtering my actions through the lens of intentions. And it actually is slowly but surely, changing my life.
If you decided you love this idea and want to live it yourself – shoot me an email and tell me your word. I would love to encourage you along the way.