My Word for 2018

Apparently selecting a word for the new year is a thing?

Many people are selecting themes/words for the year as opposed to making resolutions.  Selecting words for the year are tied to goal-setting, are inspired by a desire to grow and change, are affected by need, and are indicative of life phase.

Have you seen any of your friends or family post their word for 2018 on Facebook?

Words that I have read from my friends include hope, strength, refine, joy, surrender, purpose, blessing, gratitude, and brave. Great words. Great truths. Great inspiration.

If you know me, I chose hope for my word in 2017. I hung onto this uplifting, strengthening, illuminating word all year long. Hope was the word I needed from my God to under-gird me.

As I considered this new year, the word that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind is transition.

Transition is a passage from one stage, state, subject, or place to another.

Transition is all about change. Something is being made different. Course and direction are altered. Lives are transformed. Attitudes shift. Switches are taken from one path to another.  Modifications are undergone to improve, enhance, and develop something for the greater good or purpose. With transitions, life as we know it becomes something altogether different and new – hopefully, better.

For our family, transition is the name of the game in 2018.

We will be experiencing a huge change when our eldest son, Micah leaves for his apprenticeship with Pais Australia in August. Micah is jumping continents to serve in education and youth ministry with Pais Australia for a year. Our son is launching himself into a great adventure. In the meantime, we are preparing Micah for this life change and giving him even more responsibilities to help him grow in confidence and independence.

In just a week’s time, the South Africa school year begins. Caleb and Jake head back to school to begin high school in Jubilant Academy.

High School.

Jake and Caleb.

I can hardly fathom putting these two kids in this school context.

Are we ready for this?

The transition to a new grade level with new, more complex subjects will stretch Jake, Caleb, and me, too. Ready or not, though, this change is happening. We cannot stop the encroachment of transition. We must welcome it. Like their older brother, my hope is that both Jake and Caleb will grow in confidence and independence this year as life in Jubilant Academy becomes reality.

Personally, I am working hard to become stronger. For the past ten weeks, I’ve been setting short-term goals to lift more weight, develop more strength, balance and flexibility and be as healthy as I can be. Believe me, I’m in transition as I work-out and do exercises that I didn’t even know were possible for this middle-aged body! I’m constantly telling myself to be patient with the process. But this strength, balance and flexibility transition is a good thing and,  gratefully, I’m enjoying it!

Other transitions are happening all around me as well. Cataclysmic changes resound like a thunderstorm with new and exciting family dynamics. I’m sure emotions will erupt once we put our son on a plane and then pass by his room day after day after day and he won’t be there.

Developments in our ministry responsibilities flow in with the ocean tide. Nothing ever stays the same with ministry. Nothing. New opportunities arise. Other opportunities ebb away. Modifications are required in diet and health for longevity. I’ve given up sugar – am I crazy? Not if I want to thrive and have this body keep going strong. Cultural shifts are necessary to develop and sustain relationships in our missionary life, too. My Americanisms need to lessen and my southern Africanisms need to expand. To grow myself, I cannot remain as I was or remain comfortable with the status quo.

I must accept and embrace transition.

Now, I don’t know if I’m going to make transition a personal study as I did hope in 2017. What I do know is that I’ll be living, breathing, digesting, and pulsing with transition and change throughout 2018. Transition and I are about to become even better friends.

And so, transition is my word for 2018.

Do you have a word for 2018?

Will you select one?

What is your inspiration, desire and reality for the new year?

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