1 Word Plus 1+1+1 = 4

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Wonderful ideas happen when I jog a walk with the Lord. Many things run faster in my mind than my legs. I find that time helps me commune and listen clearer to the holy spirit’s gentle prompting.

This time I was wondering how to teach the kids to grow in their character more effectively. A lot of times I see the weaknesses and wish for the improvements per say. After my personal One Word for 2018, the book reminded me on how we should live life not propelled by regrets, and trying to change for the better. This will yield only focus on the hole in our lives. An e.g he gave was an alcoholic guy who woke up to make ‘Not drinking’ his goal.

Instead of the above, we can live a full life when we have a Vision as our mission.

I thought, why not pray over 1 word for each of my kids? As a parent, we are responsible to train and nurture our children in the Lord. Therefore, I asked for a word for each of them and then discussed with each child. After deciding on the 1 word, we searched for the concordance for that word. The child then selected a scripture that speaks to him or her. My One Word helped simplify yet strengthen the whole process of growing in God’s way. It was a decluttering of the lists of goals and zoomed in on the core of the lesson for the year.

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1) Think

The funny part about the discussions with them, their first reaction on listing their ‘weakness/poor habits’ is a classic “I don’t have any or I don’t know?!”

Until further probing, they came up with a list. It was interesting to note he included ‘not thinking before I act‘. For A, I had an impression on the renewal of his mind for his 1 word. Next, we covered what he wants to become. A more self controlled and a happier person. It was amazing how the Lord works in us! I suggested a few words for him to choose. Renew/ Think/ Pause. After pondering, he decided on Think.

To think before acting or speaking. Think by replacing negative thoughts with God’s words and praying.

Scripture reference : Isaiah 44: 19a

19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,

谁 心 里 也 不 醒 悟 , 也 没 有 知 识 , 没 有 聪 明 , 能 说 , 以赛亚书 44:19a

The context of this verse is on making God the Lord instead of carved idols. Here, the line of thought is on how such acts of idol carvings are illogical. On a personal note for A, he needs to stop, think and pray before he acts or speaks if he were to have true understanding from the Lord.

2) Assured

J often begin with ‘I cannot/ I sure lose / It’s too hard’. Then the whining and complaining cycle will set in. Sounds familiar at any point?

He hopes to be like a soldier, brave and confident. Like his papa, having great confidence and humour. Happier too.

We played with a few words. Loved / Assured / Secure / Ok. He chose Assured. He wished to be surer and make sure of what he is doing. I was pleasantly surprised as this was the word that came up in my prayer. In other words, he wanted to grow in confidence.

Scripture reference : Hebrews 10:22

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

我们良心的邪恶既然被洒净,身体也用清水洗净了,那么, 我们就应该怀着真诚的心和完备的信,进到神面前;希伯来书 10:22

This verse resonated with J and I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate verse for him than this. He can be confident that God loves him and know that no matter what failures or mistakes he makes, he can have assurance of God’s forgiveness. He can approach God because of Christ.

3) O.K

E too, has this fear of making a mistake and being scolded by teacher. Also detests darkness. She hopes to become braver and more confident.

I gave her Brave / Strong / O.K. She made the o.k sign. I also reassured her worth in God lies in Christ’s love and not how well she does something.

Scripture reference : Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

我 岂 没 有 吩 咐 你 吗 ? 你 当 刚 强 壮 胆 。 不 要 惧 怕 , 也 不 要 惊 惶 。 因 为 你 无 论 往 哪 里 去 , 耶 和 华 你 的 神 必 与 你 同 在 。约 书 亚 记 1:9

It is OK if she makes mistakes and gets scolded by teacher. Because her worth is in God’s love and our love. It’s OK when darkness surrounds, she need not be afraid, she has God right beside her. She may not see His presence, but I pray she can feel Him and also have an image of His angels protecting her with huge wings as she prays in Jesus name! She can grow in courage and boldness in 2018.

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Creating One Word Reminders

The beauty of writing and drawing My One Word lies in the act of it. This effort ensures attention is paid to the scriptures and meanings of the Word illustrated.

From the left, Think by A. He drew this mechanism that sucked up thousands of marbles. His logic? Like this mechanism, it requires a lot of complicated thinking to work and suck up the marbles. Assured by J. He wanted the chinese translation to stand out. Lastly, E painstakingly copied everything by herself despite the long and challenging verse. A smiley face to represent it is O.K!

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Why the visual reminders?

Coming up with the One word was not too difficult. The challenge is to remember this word and constantly allow God to speak to us through the lens of that word while remaining open to every angle the Lord leads you in it.

This requires discipline to memorise the scripture verses and hide it in our hearts and heads. By setting this One Word Visual reminder, we can then start living our lives in pursuit of the vision God has laid in us and allow God to transform us accordingly.

I find our living area the best place for our daily reminders as we gather at the sofa to read or relax many times a day. I also have my One word Emmanuel on my lockscreen. It serves as a constant call to refocus on the Lord.

ONE Word became a Fruitful Transformation of FOUR

I had been using their One Word to remind them in situations that rendered such a need. It not only helped them to have hope in that vision, it empowered me to look beyond their weaknesses and encouraged our hearts! e.g. A was upset about something and I simply say ‘Think’ and left him to do that. For many instances he recovers much faster than before and exercised more self control. J started complaining and I assured him that he could do it, in the midst helping him more patiently. This led to a more receptive heart to learn. Lastly, E woke up afraid of the nightmare she had. I gently covered her with blanket and prayed ‘it’s O.k, for God is with her’. Amazingly, she nodded in comfort and returned to sleep on her own.

Personally, their One word rubbed off on me in ways beyond my imagination! I think more carefully especially when handling A. J’s One word beckoned me to take time and patience to assure him of our love so that he can be assured. I react slower and began to respond more gently towards him these days. E’s word heightened my awareness to her needs of encouragement and assurance of worth in Christ.

How about One Word for your child or children too?

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