‘Mama, What is your Word? Last year was Anchor, what’s your Word for this year?’ A asks inquisitively. I gave a blank look. I was hesitating if I should continue my One Word and if my 8yo son asks, I better take it seriously.
DIG was my initial word. Bewildered I was by it. After asking the Lord and looking at the definitions and synonyms, I was attracted to its cousin- CULTIVATE. (Dictionary.com)
verb (used with object), cultivated, cultivating.
1. to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
2. to use a cultivator on.
3. to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
4. to produce by culture: to cultivate a strain of bacteria.
5. to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine: to cultivate a singing voice.
6. to promote the growth or development of (an art, science, etc.);foster.
7. to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).
As I laboured through for a few hours and returned to cultivate, I asked the Lord for any confirmation. The following night, I continued ‘French Women For All Seasons’ (I got it because it costs only $8). I read in disbelief –
‘Cultivating a positive emotional outlook is vital, too……. Indeed, cultivation of outlook, as of taste and proportion- of all aspects of self, really – is the key to (the art of living). ….. But the secret to pleasure is cultivation: a life of ongoing exploration, experimentation, practised enjoyment, and – most important – self-discovery.’
Apart from my disagreement to -self discovery (since as Christians we are on a course of Christ Discovery instead) seeing this word 3 times sealed my 2016 One Word. In retrospect, I observed that a very tangible way of how God is real and living in my life lies in the specific words He impresses in my heart and then confirms it through people who speak the phrase out or through the bible or in print like this instance. This is sufficient in building my childlike faith in Christ my Lord and Saviour.
So What do I Cultivate?
1. Cultivate Good Habits:
a) Read aloud the Bible to E, A & J to read independently (10mins daily)
b)Dig deeper into the Bible by studying it, preparing it well when I lead our Cell group, meditate on the verses that impress upon my heart during sermons or devotions.
c) Eat S l o w l y and try to Enjoy my food ( Most of the time I feel like I’m dumping food down a rubbish chute!)
Ensure kids chew their food well instead of chomping big mouthfuls .
d) Regain their attention span in lessons (e.g writing).
e) Paying full attention to us when we speak (e.g. looking at our eyes instead of mumbling yes with eyes glued on the book)
f) Speak s l o w l y and calmly
g) Return things to where they belong
2. Cultivate the Joy of Teaching and Learning
a) Stop Sighing instead, breathe in through my mouth and breathe out through nostrils to thank the Lord for this breath! (I realised I’ve been heaving out loud sighs of relief due to tiredness/frustration way too often and I’ve to stop this poor habit.)
b) Take time to establish a good routine and order in the classes I teach so that real learning can take place in a conducive environment.
c) Maintain a Visual Journal (it’s a new project we’re embarking on)
3. Cultivate my Relationships with Others
a) Set Apart time for each child – Fun dates out and 10-15mins of special chat time before bed for one child per night.
b) Maintain an intimate relationship with my husband
c) Make more contact with my kins and friends
Meanwhile, I will continue to wait and search for the key scripture and illustrate it before I update from this post.
Are you inspired by a word? 1, 2 or more? Whatever the case, it is to get a key idea from the Lord in your life for this phase in your life. It might even be a continuation from last year’s lesson?
What is Your Word/s? Feel free to share in the comment box below.
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