Word of the Year: Flexible


Not only can I not touch my toes, but I also can’t stand last-minute changes or diversions to plans. 

I’m not even close to being flexible. 

For example, I love being in the kitchen. I love making meals. And I love having people gathered around my table. 

But it’s rarely easy for me. 

I get stressed out, anxious, and irritable leading up to a party or dinner that I’m hosting. And it’s hard for me to accommodate changes, especially last minute ones, which often means I end up snapping at my sweet husband or dropping into a seat, exhausted, by the time guests show up. 

But that’s not who I want to be in 2018.  

So this year I am challenging myself to be flexible. And this word couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. 

Right now, everything in life is uncertain. And with planner, sticky notes, and notepads in hand, I’m anxiously tapping my fingers, trying to keep the control demon locked outside of my heart as I wait for what’s next. 

Stepping away from my full-time job was a risk, and I’m not a risk-taking kind of person. I like safety, routine, protection, and expectancy. But at the same time, I have never felt more peace in making a decision than I did with that one. 

So as I sat down to ponder my word and theme for the new year, flexibility hit me square in the chest. I tried to ignore it for a little bit because it scared me. Flexible. . . It’s defined as: 

a. capable of bending easily without breaking
b. able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions
c. a person ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances

None of that sounds easy or fun or lighthearted to me. 

Inside me is a mix of both fear and excitement for what’s next, for how God will bend me without breaking me. But it’s not an angry, stubborn oil and water kind of mixing; it’s a water and sand kind of shifting and swirling that washes away and starts all over again at the turn of the tide. 

The Scripture that has been weighing heavy on my heart in the midst of this searching and praying and planning for 2018 is this: 

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, plenty or little. For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).

So with great anticipation, I look to the horizon of this year, eager to step into the new day, ready to take on the challenges as the sand and water continue to shift inside me. 

And I’ve learned that letting the emotions shift inside me is okay. I don’t have to be completely without hesitation before embracing the future. My excitement and fear can coexist even as I summon courage for step one. 

As you look ahead to what’s next in your day, your week, your year, and your life, I want to encourage you to claim this truth for your own life. Remember, having the courage to step forward doesn’t mean you have to be without fear. Step forward despite your fear.  

Here’s to being flexible, 2018, and new changes,

P.S. I’m in your corner, rooting for you as you begin this new year. If you need encouragement or accountability as you move forward, sign up below to get monthly emails from me. I’d love to link arms with you to make the most out of 2018!