Spend more time reading to my girls
Finish my novel
I could go on for pages, listing all of the things I want to change about myself, but the truth is, most of these “resolutions” will probably be forgotten or set aside by the time February rolls around. It’s a little discouraging to think about making these changes, especially when I know I probably won’t be making them, at least not in the way I want to.
Sure, maybe I’ll lose a couple of pounds here and perhaps I will write a chapter or two there, but will I really reach these goals and be satisfied with my progress?
When I was given the opportunity to review My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word, co-authored by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen, my expectations weren’t high. I’ve read self-help books before, only to be excited and motivated while I read them, but taking away very little at the end. But then the authors said it themselves and after reading it, I have to agree:
This is NOT in any way shape, or form, a “self-help” book.
It is so much more than that. This book contains a vision changing, possibly life changing, idea that I am so excited to share. I went into this book planning to review it and came out of it planning to do it.
What’s the Book About?
This book is about a word; your word. It’s about choosing to focus on one word for a year, rather than a long list of resolutions, and allowing God to use that word to transform you. It’s not a magic word, mind you. For example, you can’t choose a word like rich and expect to win the lottery the next day. Ashcraft and Olsen explain that it’s not just about what you expect your word to do for you, but what God can show you through your word. Perhaps you do choose the word rich and God uses that word to show you throughout the year what it really means to “store up your treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:20)
Why I liked it…
The book is filled with humorous anecdotes, and the authors use personal examples of their own to show how God has used their words to change them. Each chapter is filled with sound biblical truths, drawing from scripture everything the reader needs to get going with their word. In addition, you will find actual accounts from others who have joined the movement. Each account gives the word that person picked and what God chose to teach them the year they choose that word.
The end of each chapter provides reflection questions, and at the end of the book readers will find a discussion guide that goes along with a separate video study.
The best part about this book is that it does not merely skim the surface, but invites the reader to dig deep and do the work. The task is not to just pick a word, but to also choose a Bible verse (or several) to memorize to go along with that word. Post the word around your house, in your car, or on your desk at work. Tweet about your word or update your status using it. Tell others about it so you can be held accountable.
Mike also urges those who are willing to commit to this for a year to keep a journal. Don’t just talk to God about what is frustrating you; write to Him about it. This is a very important part of your year and Mike encourages everyone, men included, to take it seriously.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to be done with half-hearted resolutions. If you are ready to go all in and commit to allowing God to do a great work in your life, this book is for you. Pray and ask God what word He is calling you to focus on. It might surprise you what word you end up choosing as well as all that word will end up encompassing.
So what’s my word?
I would be disciplined and lose the weight.
I would be disciplined and go on walks.
I would be disciplined in my walk with God.
As I spent more time reading this book, however, I found that this was not the word God wanted for me (not this year, anyway). The more I prayed and asked Him to show me His purpose for my life this year, the more I saw the bigger picture, or rather the smaller one.
The word I ended up choosing was today. Not only would I stop putting off things until tomorrow (todayI will write and today I will read etc…) but I would also trust God today and not worry about tomorrow. I won’t think about getting published tomorrow, but will focus on what I will write today. I won’t think about fitting into my jeans tomorrow, because I will exercise today. I won’t pray better tomorrow or read my Bible tomorrow, I will have a relationship with my Creator today.
In just a few short days, this word has already had a great impact on my life. Rather than focusing on my long list of to do’s I can focus on one word. I can focus on today.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:7 (NIV)