Sharing my faith and my life one day at a time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One Word 2012: GENEROSITY

If you are curious, visit this website

It says: 

 One word can change everything. 

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap the long list of goals that you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway. Choose just one word

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012. 

One word that you can focus on every day, all year long. 

It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment. But if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow. 

Discover the big impact one word can make. 

One word. 

365 days. 

A changed life.

When the last week of December 2011 was unfolding, I searched. Searched my heart. Looked for the voice for my Father. I needed to make sense of the toughest year of my life.

2011. Hard. Tough. Difficult. Painful.

Moving to a new city unexpectedly required so much out of me.

Not being able to say goodbye to family and close friends.

Leaving everything I owned behind.

Missed my spiritual family -- people I shared my life with intimately for years.

Awkwardly trying to build new relationships.

Yearning to fill an empty new home.

Losing two grandparents in a matter of three weeks and not being able to be with family during this time.

Juggling the demands of a full-time job, building two different ministries (middle school and high school), staying on top of running a household and managing finances that seem to keep on declining over time.

My conversations with God pretty much consisted of cries and selfish declarations of feeling forgotten.

I knew in my mind that I had to "consider it pure joy" when I faced these different trials. And yet my heart ached with pain rather than with hope.

And then one morning, as I was asking God "Why is this season so difficult?"

He spoke to my heart so loud and so clear. He lovingly responded back.

"If I made this year easy for you, then you would not have seen the depths of My faithfulness."

His voice was undeniable and my heart started leaping at the thought of how deeply faithful He truly was.

We got blessed by a car. Found an apartment in a safe location. It was once empty and yet today we have everything we need. Skype. New friends who took time to get to know me. Having that one friend I can run to in times of heartache. Craigslist. Outpouring of support (in finances, gifts, words, and prayers) to help us stay encouraged. Travel opportunities. Our marriage is the strongest it has ever been and it just keeps on getting better and sweeter.

 Barbara Mouser in 'Five Aspects of Woman' said it so beautifully:

"God is good, & life is worthwhile in spite of its pain. I am regaining the joy of giving by accepting the pain & struggle. I do all I can to alleviate my sufferings & those of others. But even when pain & death do hold sway, I am not utterly quenched or without hope. At the depths of suffering, I keep finding Christ who is there before me."

The second sentence kept on resonating in my heart.

I am regaining the joy of giving by accepting the pain & struggle.

I am certain that God is challenging me this year with this one word:


And I humbly accept the challenge.

Sowing and giving sacrificially have never been personal struggles. But I am certain that God wants me to take it to a whole new ridiculous level. 

The kind that hurts. If it is not painful, then I am not giving enough.

The kind that leaves me hanging by a thread and only God can make a way to provide.

I sincerely desire that even when resources seem to be scarce, I will give crazily.

He wants me to be generous with my money, my things, my time, my words, and my acts of service.

"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB)

Please pray for me that this verse rules over my heart every single day of this year. I cannot do it without Christ's grace and without your prayers.

Share with me today:
What is your 'one word' for 2012?


T Todd said...

Inspiring, Samantha! Thanks for sharing. I am challenged.

Jonnique said...

Wow! Thanks!

irmaloveslife said...

I admire you sharing your life this way. So inspiring! My one word for 2012 is FORGIVENESS.

November Tan said...

Prayers are with you on this journey, Sam! We miss you tons back here, but I understand you are where God wanted you to be.

My word for 2012: Discipline.

Love you!

Samantha Johnson said...

Thank you so much for leaving comments dear friends!

Travis, hope to see little Georgia again soon :-)

Jonnique, thank for always being so encouraging!

Irma, I love your one word. FORGIVENESS is a big one! Praying that this will define your 2012.

Ember, always great to hear from you! I love your one word too. I need more discipline in my life, especially in the area of health and fitness. Thank you for the reminder.

Love you all so much!!!

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