one word [part 2]

My one word for the year is Self-Control based out of 2 Timothy 4:5, "But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evanglist, fulfill your ministry."

As I said in the first part of this post, I do a lot of things to prep for the new year--like fill in The Little Planner--but the most important thing I do is listen to Small Things, Big Differences, a series from Craig Groeschel.

The series is based on this idea:

It’s often the small things no one sees that result in the big things everyone wants.

The first two weeks focus on a word, verse, and thought, and the second two weeks focus on a phrase and action in order to live out the one word you chose.

He explains that words can be either life-giving or life-taking, and that if you want to change your life, you need to change your words. Beyond that idea, he goes farther to explain that we are what we repeatedly do. So, our disciplines, our actions, our habits, define who we are--they help us choose between what we want now and what we want most.

With those two thoughts in mind, I tried out a couple of phrases and landed on one I've been quoting for a week:

I can only control myself, and I should.

I can't control what happens around me; I can't control other people; I can only control myself. And since I can control myself, I should. 

The action or discipline I think God is pointing me toward is simply praying for self-control before I enter a situation where I tend to lose my self-control, like eating out with friends.

I didn't say this was gonna be super spiritual.

I love the taste of food. But at twenty-eight years old, I realize I don't have the bandwidth, or the jeans room, to eat every food as if it's a main course. And since I can only control myself and not where we eat or what my friends serve me, I should control what I eat. 

But I can't do it alone. Believe me, I have tried.

And tried.

And tried.

I've leaned on calorie counters, my husband, and tight jeans to help me say no, but none of them have worked, so this time, I'm gonna lean on God.

I know, this is so trivial and small, but, ya know what, I think God cares. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that he cares about what the wildflowers wear, so I know he cares about what I wear--or don't wear because I don't have the self-control to say no to one more piece of bread.

Although asking for self-control before walking into situations may seem silly to you, it's deeper than just dinner. I am a total Bible-reader. I love it. I could read the same passage over and over in different versions with different commentaries and just be absorbed in it. I also love to worship--sing at the top of my lungs, cry to words written by other people, learn new ways to play the songs on my piano.

But I hardly turn to prayer.

I mean, I think about God all day long, and I think he's part of my day-to-day, but I rarely schedule coffee dates with him to just hear his heart or pour out mine. And I think this nudge to ask God for self-control is more than just looking to him for another help; I think it's an effort to help me turn to prayer.


What do you think God is prompting you to turn to this year? Is there a phrase you can lean on or an action that will help you accomplish your word for the year? How have you planned to make the most of this year?
If you haven't yet decided, check out the series and ask God to help ya find some direction.

Leave your phrase or action in a comment below!

Jessica LittleComment