I earnestly prayed for a word to guide my year. I honestly expected to get that word early in the year to help formulate a plan, or prepare for the work my Lord was going to have me do.
The word didn't come.
In the past five years the word always came, like clockwork. As a new year began I could count on the clear message of God indicating what to hold strong to that particular year.
By January 1st I was able to write my "word of the year" on the inside cover of my Bible. I couldn't wait to write "2012 - (insert word of the year)"
No such luck.
Instead, we're more than three months into a new year, a wordless year, and I've yet to receive "the word"... and then I realized something BIG.
The word isn't coming.
Not because I'm not listening well enough. Not because I'm not praying enough. Not even because God isn't ready to share the word with me.
The word isn't coming, because it's not a word He's providing for this year. It's an overall command.
Intentional — be intentional.
I'm getting the command clear as day.
It's so much more than a simple word or phrase to me. It's a direction in my interactions with my daughter, my family and friends, and myself.
Adoptive parenting is a multitude of challenges, but first and foremost it requires intentional parenting.
My choice of words affects who my daughter becomes.
My reactions to each of her meltdowns will help shape how she deals with conflict.
My ability to teach her in those moments when it's hard to even tolerate her will show her that unconditional love means being firm even in the face of emotional overloads.
This year is about being intentional in my choice to love and support her through everything. Through mistakes, bad grades, the loss of a teacher, poor choices, and times when she's downright unkind to me as her mother.
This year is about being intentional in my choice to celebrate with her. Through good grades, small victories, mature choices, a crush on a boy, her big confidence boost, and when she's so sweet I could get a cavity from all her love and affection towards me as her mother.
This year is about being intentional in my marriage. Through the choices we're making to set our family up for a strong future, the time when we don't see eye-to-eye, the times when we have very little time for each other, and the times when I can't help but smile at how much my husband loves me and our daughter.
This year is about being intentional in my walk. Through the days when reading my Bible is the last thing that crosses my mind, but knowing there is some message of encouragement Christ wants to give me, and the time I spend with Him will never be empty.
This year will no doubt be an exciting and challenging one for me as a mother, a wife, a Christian woman, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a writer.
I've got my marching order - be intentional.
I've got my encouragement - be intentional.
I've got my mantra - be intentional.
And now, I've got to go be intentional...