As I wrote in December, my One Word for 2013 was "abundant" and it really didn't work out so well. In that post, I quoted from Brene Brown's book The Gifts of Imperfection where she quotes theologian Howard Thurman:
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (page 115).
I realized that one can't really have an abundant life until one actually starts living first. So, my One Word for 2014 will be "Alive". I am going to find and do those things that make me come alive, and stop doing what doesn't. I decided to quit going to a Bible study I've been going to for over a year and told them:
"I feel like for the last year or so I've been mainly existing in life, but not really feeling alive. I feel like I've been drifting from one thing to another trying to find a place where I belong and nothing has really and truly fit me, and even when something does seem to fit, it then kind of falls apart because of so many responsibilities and activities (I read something in a book the other day that might explain this but the quote is too long to put here. In short: spiritual warfare)."
The quote that was too long for there was from She Can Teach by Jackie Roese. She wrote:
"The more prepared we are ahead of time, the more we will be able to roll with the inconveniences or spiritual attacks that may come. I have learned to expect spiritual warfare when I teach. Let's suppose I were invited to speak on a Monday or Tuesday. Well, as long as my kids were still at home, almost every Monday or Tuesday was when chaos erupted at the Roese household. It seemed that those were the only days my kids got sick, my dog got lost, I locked myself out of the house, my car wouldn't start, or there was a medical emergency. For example, there was the time I was heading out to speak at a women's retreat, and my older son broke both of his arms. We just need to recognize that when we're about to preach the Word, Satan would dearly love to derail us. The better prepared we are, the calmer we are when the unexpected happens. Take a deep breath and assume there must be some 'punch' in what you're about to say; otherwise, Satan wouldn't bother." (page 110-111).
While I've never really read much or paid much attention to the idea of spiritual warfare, that quote did make me pause and wonder if that is what is happening here. I know so little about it that I can't really say for sure, but I thought it was something to think about. I have heard over and over again that being busy is a great way to keep a person from working on her relationship with God, and that is quite true. I am still going to be busy, I think, but the busyness will (hopefully) be more focused and organized now.
And, I'd like to hear from YOU. If you have a story about how you have "come alive" I want to hear it and feature it here on Sundays. I'm choosing Sunday for what I hope is a pretty obvious reason: it's the day of Jesus' resurrection. What's more "coming alive" than that? If you want to write your own story on this topic on your own blog, feel free to do that too. I don't think this only happens once, so each week when I post with this topic, I'll post it as a linkup so you can feel free to add your own link to your own blog--regardless of whether or not it is an old or new post you have written. Please feel free to grab the graphic at the bottom of the post to use when you blog on this topic. On days that I don't have a guest post, I'll be searching out stories from the Bible that illustrate some way of coming alive. You do not need to be a blogger to do a guest post for me; you just need to have a "Come Alive" story of your own. Let's use the hashtag #ComeAliveSeries to track all of the thoughts about Coming Alive.