Well hello again January 1st! So many times we have met over the last 50+ years. I am so ready for you this year! My word for 2020 is going to be REMARKABLE. When someone asks me how I am, I will respond, “Remarkable!” When I am asked how work is I will say, “Remarkable!” When I am asked how my faith is, I will respond, “Remarkable!” Why am I choosing remarkable as my word for 2020? Let me explain.
The 2018 word of the year according to Oxford Dictionary was “toxic”. The definition of toxic is containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation. How awful is that? We have forever ingrained 2018 as a poisonous and debilitating year. Could we get any more negative? This really turns my stomach because 2018 actually was a very good year for me! Maybe because I turned off the news and started my ministry. The words of the year for 2019 depending on what you read is either, “they”, “existential” and “climate emergency”. All these word invoke confusion and can be very ignitable in discussion. I am just more positive than that, no disrespect for these words and what they mean.
That being said I am choosing remarkable for several reasons and I will share with you how I am planning on being remarkable. The definition of remarkable is something unusual, extraordinary or worthy of attention. I am not saying that in 2020 I am striving to be famous, far from it. I am striving to be unusual in the sense of sharing my love for God and His Word freely. I want people to look at me and say that they can tell how much I love God by serving others. I want to be remarkable as His child.
There are many remarkable people in the Bible we can pattern ourselves after to also become remarkable. I personally love Ruth because she didn’t leave her mother-in-law when it was common place in that time to do so to benefit oneself.
After Naomi’s husband dies, Ruth pledges to stay with her mother-in-law, despite the fact that she would not have the opportunity to remarry and have a better life in her own homeland. Ruth pledges faith to Naomi and God by saying, “For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” Ruth completely sets aside everything with her decision not to abandon Naomi even after death. I want to be like Ruth, loyal and kind thinking of others before myself.
I also would have to say that Noah was definitely remarkable. Can you imagine the badgering and harassment he received because he was building a boat when there was no water near? Or did you know that there hadn’t been rain until after the arc was completed? How do you wrap your head around building a vessel to protect you against something that didn’t exist? The Bible says in Genesis 2:5-6;
Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.
It would be very difficult to convince people a flood of rain would come for forty days and flood the land since they didn’t know the concept of rain. Also, Noah build the arc according to God’s specifications and Noah was not a ship builder. He questioned nothing that God asked. I want to be faithful like Noah.
You may ask me how am I going to improve my life to be remarkable and I will tell you a few improvements I am planning on in the New Year.
First I am going to continue my journey of being more respectful to others. I have struggled with being more patient and kind to others. I sometimes think I know all the answers and can solve anyone’s problem (not true) and I have been working on this. I now take a full deep breath when I meet someone to allow my brain to hear them speak and make eye contact with me before I start to size them up. Opinions and first impressions are formed within a few seconds of meeting someone. I don’t think my brain can even translate messages that quickly which is scary because that means I am forming my opinion without reason.
Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
This year also leads me to practice more love towards others. This means to have a kinder heart and to listen instead of speaking. My heart is softer when I truly listen to someone to hear their words and not my thoughts. This takes practice since we tend to want to fill in the blanks and draw our conclusions occupying our brain and not hearing the person speaking. I am making more eye contact and holding it because it helps me to focus on the words and not my phone or people walking by me. There are so many times my conclusions are not how the story ends.
Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
I am also planning on being more resilient this year. When things become chaotic and out of sorts around me I will remain calm. The more I remain calm and quiet the more clearly I can help find a solution. It is proven when you are practicing mindfulness you become more calm and when you are more calm you are more effective to yourself and others. I am going to always choose joy and peace.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Lastly I will be more honest and truthful, more reliable and dependable. I want to specify that it’s not that I don’t have these qualities currently but I am going to strengthen myself in these areas. I will keep commitments, speak when someone asks me for words that may be hard for the other to hear and make sure all confidential information is kept. I once heard that if you listen to gossip you are just as guilty of being a gossip. I have told people in this past year I don’t want to hear any gossip and it’s tough to avoid. I do just have to walk away a lot.
Always remember that we don’t have to wait for a New Year to become an new person. Change happens immediately with God’s help and a change of heart. We are all good but just brought down by society. Ask God to guide you to your remarkable life changes this year and always remember; you are remarkable in my eyes. My love-LoLo