A-Z Word of the Year Challenge
Learning to BE
Welcome to the second installment of the A-Z Word of the Year Challenge – B. The series includes 26 posts every other Tuesday during 2019 that include questions, an activity, and a suggested A-Z letter word/s to apply to individual words people have chosen as their Word of the year. There is also a Facebook group where Mary Brack, Bernice Hopper, and I are facilitating “Living your Word of the Year 2019” where you can connect and participate. In the previous post there is a pdf list of suggested words to apply to your individual word. Each person can select one or another one of their choice to explore how it connects with living out their word of the year.
The Word I’ve chosen to focus on for “B” is Be. Being is about being present, to God, ourselves, others, where we are, and in our focus, our Word of the year. Taking time to be alone and quiet helps me be more present, get refreshed and refueled. In other words, quiet time spent with God helps me become more authentic and who I am meant to be.
“For ‘in him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.”
Acts 17:28 NRSV
There is an ancient prayer practice of St. Ignatius, the 16th century founder of the Jesuits, called the “Daily Examen.” It involves getting quiet, and taking time with God to reflect on the day, or specific event, period of time, or in our case, our Word of the Year. It is about inviting God to speak, and responding as we look back and look forward. I have shared it here and in the book Prayerful Doodling. Here is an easy way for me to remember the process:
Be Still – Be Thankful – Be Mindful – Be Humble – Be Hopeful
“Be still and know that I am God!..”
Psalm 46:10 NLT
Trace around your hand and write th 5 BEs on the fingers as a reminder of the following prayer process. Record the experience in a journal or on the background of the page with the traced hand. You can add doodles and messages if desired.
NOTE: This time, before I began the lettering, I took out a favorite font page I made and printed, and store in the back pocket of my journal. I used it as a reference for lettering the 5 BEs. It is a good way to learn to letter in a new style.
I may color this page in my journal during another Daily Examen prayer session. One more reason why I like doing visual prayer in my ordinary everyday journal.
Prayer Process: Being Present to God’s Daily Presence
Get in a comfortable quiet place. Have a journal and writing tool on hand. On the opposite page of your hand drawing, write down what is heard, felt and said during your time with God.
Pray a prayer of gratitude thanking God for the gift of the day and His presence. Write and/or draw what you are thankful for. If you aren’t sure how to begin, you could start with something like: Thank you Jesus for walking with me through this day. Holy Spirit, your presence in my life brings me comfort. Father, you are good. I thank you for the gifts of ____________.
As you think about your Word and/or your day, imagine Jesus being present with you. Ask Him to help you see your Word (or your day, event etc.) through His eyes. Pay attention to your feelings, desires, and disappointments. Write down what comes to mind. Do you now feel closer to God (consolation) or more distant from God (desolation)?
Ask God, What do you see: Then pause to listen. Ask: God when did I listen to your voice? When didn’t I listen?
If you feel like you’ve fallen short, or have done something hurtful or wrong, don’t hide in shame. Confess to God. Because of the blood of Jesus, God forgives us and we can move on in freedom. Respond to God in your own way of praying, in gratitude, sorrow, repentance, and reconciliation. Take action of forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation with others if necessary.
What do you you desire for your Word this year? What do you desire for tomorrow? Be open with God and tell him your desires. Ask God, What do you desire for me? Write, draw, or collage them.
More Questions to Consider:
Ask God, “What do you have to say to me about my Word?”
What does it mean to “be” with my Word?
What is beautiful about my word? What symbols or imagery could express that beauty?
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act….”
Psalm 37:7 NLT
To be present to your word is to get to know it better. One of the first things I do when I know what word will be my focus for the year is look up definitions in the dictionary. I usually make a document on my computer with various definitions. Then I condense the information to include what I think is important, and write it in my journal. This black gesso coated spread is the inside cover of my Leuchtturm1917 journal. More information in last weeks blog post.
Check out the post links below for more inspiration and ideas
for living out your Word of the year!
Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group
Living Your Word in 2019
Bernice Hopper, and Mary Brack, and I share insights through blog posts for keeping an Everyday Calendar Journal. We will be using the journal to record events, experiences and relationships; to explore our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. If you would like to connect with others in creative way about organizing your word, your ideas, thoughts, prayers, events, or your projects all in one place, you are invited to join our Facebook group: Everyday Journals ~ Living Your Word of the Year.
URL for Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/203309083575277/
URLs for Instagram: #livingyourword2019
CHECK OUT THE BLOGS:
Valerie: https://valeriesjodin.com/blog/ (this one :-))