A Life Contrary

living a life out of the ordinary

Archive for the tag “2017”

2017’s Word – “Light”

I have been doing the “one-word” thing for a couple years now and I have to say that it has totally made a difference.  I’ve written about the concept and how it’s all worked for a while, so I don’t know that there’s a need for that.  

I will say that this year has been a lot more difficult in choosing a word.  In the past few years, it has been pretty miraculous how God has shown me the focus for my year.  This year I was thinking about a couple different ones, but there was no real front runner.

I knew I wanted something Jesus-focused, but ‘Jesus’ seemed a little too one the nose, so I started thinking about his other attributes – healer, redeemer, love.  Then the word ‘Light’ came to me and it really seemed to fit for a plethora of reasons.  Obviously, Jesus is the Light of the world.  But also, Light is pure energy, which signifies power and positivity.  There is also the dual idea of ‘Light’ as a lessening of a burden or load.  Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is Light.

A week into the year and I’m not entirely sure how this is going to play out.  At our candlelight service on Christmas Eve, Light seemed so perfect.  Then a few days later, Nathan was at a friend’s house and the friend turned on his Christmas lights to show Nathan.  He remarked that they looked better in the night, to which Nathan replied, “Well, yes, they light does look better in the dark.”

I have been thinking about this.  On the one hand, things have been getting steadily better in our life and as Nathan keeps reassuring me, “We’re about to turn a corner.”  So, this is the Light at the end of the tunnel.  We’ve also got some major changes coming up.  They are scary, but I think it’s going to be good.  Because of this, I have to focus on the Light and not the darkness.

I’m still toying with the verse to go along with it all, but I’m thinking of John 8:12 (ESV):

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”


Books for 2017

Since last year’s book list was all but a complete failure, I decided to go pretty low-key this year.  Also, since I still kept buying books, even though I wasn’t reading them, I decided to pull from my shelf first for my list.  It’s kind of a light list, but I figure if I shoot through those, then I can add a few tougher ones in later.

So, without further ado, here is my reading list for 2017:

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen*

Out of the Darkness by Kevin Jones*

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

Bride(zilla) of Christ by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Poets & Saints by Jamie George

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

The Curious Christian by Barnabas Piper

A book by CS Lewis (still undetermined)

A book by Wendell Berry (still undetermined)

Fool’s Talk by Os Guinness

The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

Like I said, it’s a super short list right now,  I’d by averaging little more than a book a week, though at my current pace, that may be all I can manage.  However, I am also starting a book club.  This should double my list and also push me out of my comfort zone.  I’ve added some super smart ladies that I’m sure will have some great books for us to read.

What are you reading for the year?  Any recommendations or suggestions?

Goals for 2017

I’m a natural born planner and list-maker.  I love starting my day with a to-list and the joy that it brings each time I can mark another item off that list.  I love a schedule with neat lines and boxes that show me what needs to be done and when.  So, it’s really no surprise that I would begin my year with a list of New Year’s Resolutions.

However, I have gotten to the point where I no longer call them resolutions.  I’m not opposed, they just don’t accurately describe what I’m trying to achieve with my list.  It’s much more accurate to call them goals since I try to list out things I want to achieve or habits I want to instill.  I try to begin from a positive rather than a negative.

I’ve done this in several different formats and in several different ways over the years, but mainly I take the 4 pillars of health and figure out what I need to change or do better within the next year.  I list out the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual and I’ve begun to add a Family and Work list, too.

This year I went to the next level of organization and bought Life Planner from Mary Square.  It has a year in review section as well as a place to list goals and prompts to cast a vision for the next year.  It’s pretty amazing for the super organized, detail oriented folk like me.

Each month begins with goals and tasks then has the week set up with lists.  When the month is over, you have checks to see if you have met your goals and how to review progress.  Will this help me?  Will I fill it out in detail each day, week, and month?  Will it actually benefit me and my family’s 2017?  I have NO clue!  It’ll probably be like most things and I will contribute to it off and on throughout the year.  And after all, it can’t hurt, right?

So what are my goals for 2017?  Well, there are a lot of physical/health related goals.  I am signing up to run a 5K in April so I have to get ready for that.  There is also my cleanse/health stuff that I have to complete.  Seeing as I’m getting a little thick in the middle again, I know that I need to cut out sugar.  I’m also going to try to keep up here on the blog and not go silent again.  I also want to finish my chronological reading of the Bible.

There are just a few and I’m working on my plan of attack for each one.  I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my list for 2016 and realized that I had actually accomplished some of my goals for the year.  I can only hope that 2017 will see even more success.

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