Word of the Year: Rest

4 years ago

As we turned the corner into 2013, I noticed a lot of internet attention on picking a word of the year. Post after post about how people felt about the word they'd chosen the year before, and what word had settled in their hearts this time. I'm not really into doing big, new things at the beginning of a year. No resolutions or anything like that, it's just not my jam. So I had no intention of picking a word.

But the idea kept crawling back into my head.

If I were to pick a word, hypothetically, what would it be?

And why would that matter?   

Would it matter?

 

I played with the idea for a few days, and decided that my hypothetical word of the year would, hypothetically, be REST.

 

And then I explained why. To myself. In my head.

 

- I know that last year, Duff and I didn't always rest well. God built rest into our schedule, for our good*. For most families, the weekend provides a day or days of rest, and for most church-going families, the emphasis of that rest is on Sunday. But for pastor's families, and especially church-planting families, Sundays are the busiest, hardest day of the week. And Saturdays are spent, at least in part, preparing for Sundays. So without a plan in place, real, restorative rest gets pushed to the side. I want to be better about this. We need to be better about this. To guard our rest and make good use of it. This is the practical aspect of picking rest as my hypothetical word of the year.

 

It's starting to feel less hypothetical, isn't it? I know.

 

- I dealt with some depression and anxiety for the first time in 2012. I was in a state of "everything's fine, but something's wrong" for a couple of months. I'll write more about it later (really, I will). I think some of the onset was tied to feeling that, as a church-planter's wife, parent of two under three, oh-and-also-plain-old-person, life is full of what-ifs. What-ifs can be totally overwhelming if they aren't kept in check. We have so many examples of God's faithfulness to us, and right now, the word rest is a powerful, meaningful, one-word-way to remind myself of that. Of the truth. Of how good he is, and how little I need to worry. "Rest in my ultimate goodness," he says. "I am, and I will," I want to say. "And also, help." This is the spiritual part of picking rest as my word for the year.

 

After all that hypothetical thinking, I realized I'd picked one. And I'm kind of excited about it.**

 

 

 And now I need a nap.

 

 

* Mark 2:27 "And he (Jesus) said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." The ESV Study Bible notes explain that "...the Sabbath is given as a gift to mankind (for spiritual and physical refreshment)."

**I told one of my friends about it. (Have I mentioned that I don't blog anything I haven't said to a friend, either in a conversation or email?) She said she thought my word of the year should be "woof" instead, which was hilarious and awesome. I hope you all have a smart-aleck friend like her. 

 

Cross posted at

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