For the past few years (4? 5?) I have made it a practice to choose a word for the year. I love how words can be so powerful and so meaningful, that I think one should always be careful of how they use them. But that's another story.
Last year, the word was 'Cultivate'.
I made a point of getting out of my comfort zone, and well, cultivating. Cultivating new relationships, cultivating new plants, cultivating chickens (kind of) and remembering during my quiet time with GOD, to focus on what that word means.
This year's word came to me through an unexpected manner, and it was watching a youtube video someone had posted, of an Oprah interview with Will Smith and his family. Odd, isn't it? I'm not one to really watch interviews, I mean, when the boy was younger, I'd throw on 'Kelly and Regis' while cleaning the house, but it really isn't appropriate to leave on now. And of course, Regis has been replaced. I like Will Smith, and I like his wife who seems very fearless, and I'm all for fearless women. It was a very interesting video; they discussed how they handled raising Will's son from his previous wife, how they have business meetings to discuss their goals and how to achieve them, and how they push through the pain and injuries to get done what needs to be done. At one point, they were discussing Will's grandmother and how she firmly believed that she was put on earth to make things better. To make a point of making everything better that she encountered, whether situations or people. And I thought, 'Huh.'
Yesterday, I was flipping through my Joyce Meyer devos on my Youversion bible app, and she talked about how because she had grown up with abuse, it made her a negative person, that she always looked for the negative in everything. And in consequence, everything happening around her and to her, was negative. She said, "I decided I wanted positive things to happen to me, so I started believing positive things, and over time, received positive results!" Now, of course this sort of sounds like those crazy speakers who tell you that if you really truly look for love and money and health, you'll find it. But then during the prayer part, Meyer said, "...and start believing for better things."
I'm not totally sure if I am making sense in all my rantings. I want very much to clarify that BETTER doesn't mean to me that I am going to look for better things and put myself into better situations. What it does mean to me is that I want to be in control of making things BETTER. Because we all have control over our own behaviours, actions and words. So how can I, make it BETTER?
Well, after a lot of thought and prayer, I have decided to try and leave things better than they were found. I will purposefully make each situation better, whether through serving better cookies at a coffee date, or encouraging someone so they feel better, or putting on a bigger smile when I don't feel like it - to better a relationship, or clean my house a bit better or put more effort into meals so they taste better or ...so on.
I want to be able to be a blessing to what I encounter. I want to be that person who can make people feel good about themselves. I want the confidence to look back in one year and say, 'Yeah, I made it better'.
And this isn't because I can do it. Oh, good grief, no way. I am not a normally positive person. I'm introverted, I prefer my own company, I am prone to whining when I don't get my own way. I am the first to look at the downside and to wonder immediately what someone wants when they say, 'hey, let's have coffee'. I always try to control the situation and I have moments where I hide in bed. I'm so pleasant.
I'm only doing this because GOD can make me do it. Only He can tell me what to say, what to do and how to behave, in order that I can bring a smidgen of His awesome Light into someone else's life. Because I firmly believe that as I am a child of GOD, if I'm not even trying to be like Him, what use am I? Jesus makes everything better. And I ain't Jesus. But I can try to be like Him. Because He's 17 kinds of awesome.
So. Here is to BETTERing the year.
Now I'm curious though. Does anyone else have a word?
May GOD bless you and make you feel like your heart is going to explode with love.
Jenn Kelly is a writer. This is a picture of a cat. She was looking for a photo to upload and came across a bunch of pictures that somehow ended up in her hard-drive dated for August. But she didn't upload any of these photos. And she has no idea where these photos were taken or by whom. Especially the photos of televisions in garages and bathtubs and lamps. No idea. So if anyone knows who this cat is, let her know.