Saturday, December 31, 2016

One Word For The New Year

There is something that about a new year that is a sense of starting fresh and a hope for something better to come.  A closure of past problems and complications with renewed faith that tomorrow promises greatness. I stumbled on this book called My One Word by Michael Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen.
Most of us make these lists - perhaps not on paper, or even out loud - but internally in our minds of things we wish to accomplish, change or even things we wish for in the new year.  Personal goals, silent prayers, hopes, dreams and wishes all wrapped up into what we label as New Year's Resolutions.  What we really fail at remembering is that there is so much about our lives that can be out of our control.  While we have power to some extent over our destinies there are things in life that we cannot stop or change, but how we rise to the challenges set before us,  is indeed up to each of us.  How will we process our grief, celebrate our joys, feel the sadness but not so deeply that it paralyzes us, how we make it our missions to leave this world with goodness and light and the legacy that we were once here even so ever briefly.

Disappointment comes all too frequently when we have these expectations and goals in mind without a concrete understanding that we can't just wave a magic wand and fix everything that we wish to.  We've got to work with what we've been given and go from there.  The concept of One Word is really simple.  You pick a word - any word that you hope God will work into your life all year long.

By picking just one word you never have to worry about falling off the New Year's Resolution wagon.  You don't have set yourself up for that inevitable feeling of failure or disappointment.  You get to focus on just one word the entire year.  When you're happy the word is there, when you are sad the word is still there, when you ask God for help that word is still there.  It's there always.  It's one word that won't let you down.  It's one word that you can use for comfort and guidance when all else feels lost. 

Eight years into the special needs journey with Noah, with each new year in some small way I've hoped the New Year would bring about new blessings and miracles for him.  This will be the year he sits, or walks, or self-feeds, or talks... or that I can do more to make that happen - that I'll be able to somehow find the rehabilitation he needs to make those goals possible for him.  But I forget that I'm not in the driver's seat of Noah's life.  And as much as I want those things for him, and all the New Years Resolutions that I attach to those thoughts and feeling can be so destructive to the joy, happiness and the acceptance of what is in front of us.  We're chasing a rabbit we may never reach, and fail to soak in what we have in this moment. 

I don't want to look back with regret and say I spent years chasing a rabbit that I could never catch.  You have to trust and be still and be confident that holding that carrot is good enough.  If the rabbit comes to you it will on it's own.  Don't chase it - just offer the carrot.

Thinking about what my One Word would be was hard.  I already feel like God has given me Hope.  He's given me Faith in the impossible.  He's given me this profound love that I never would have known existed without Noah. H'e given me a miracle.  He's given me humility, peace, joy and strength.  So I sat and reflected on what do I really need this year.   And the word "Relief" came to mind.

I need so much relief from these brick walls I keep hitting in my attempts to help and care for Noah in all the best ways that I know how.  I need relief from all the Medicaid and Waiver denials.  I need relief from the endless appeals hearings.  I need relief from the heavy weight of feeling like I'm failing Noah when it's the system that is.  I need relief from the financial strain of all of Noah's out of pocket medical, therapy and equipment costs. I need relief from idiotic caseworkers and inept government agencies.  I need Relief.  Perhaps more than I've ever needed it.  I've fought for long eight years for this precious human being to make sure all of his needs are met.  I fight harder than most parents are able to fight.  But it doesn't come without consequence.  I know that it is taking it's toll on my health and well-being.  I know that it depleting and draining my own personal battery.  I feel it happening to my body and my soul. I could use a little relief.    So that's my word going into the New Year.  And each time things get hard, I'm going to focus on that word.  The power of intention is real.  You can will so many things in your life to happen if you focus all of positive energy into a certain direction. 

Let's try this one word together.  Let's make this New Year's Resolution simple.  What will your word be?

Here are some options that might be a good fit for your life:


Find that word that speaks to you all year long.

May your New Year's be filled with warmth, camaraderie and kindness that touches the heart of all those you come in contact with.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.