Choosing a Focus Word for the New Year


What word would you choose as your focus word for 2014? Would it be ‘survive’, ‘simplify’, ‘save’, ‘family’, ‘gratitude’, ‘service’, ‘inspire’…?

My word will be ‘choose.’ I discovered it in a pool while water walking. Typically, just getting to the gym is a huge accomplishment for me. It involves ignoring the aches and pains of my multiple sclerosis.

Recently, however, exercising was more grueling. Shoveling snow off our cars had to be done. But my arms were sorer than normal. The whole ordeal got worse when I got into the pool. I heard an annoying sound coming from a nearby utility closet. Steady whirring added to the agony of my exercise. Ugh!

It dawned on me that the bothersome sound had a beat. So I chose to embrace it by matching my steps to the rhythm. Imagining the sound as a metronome distracted me from feeling pain. Synchronized jogging helped relax my mind.

Then I realized that, similarly, I can choose to have more peaceful thoughts in 2014. Romans 8:6 tells me how to accomplish that goal.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

The Holy Spirit can help me drown out the droning of my concerns about mental illness (MI). I can ignore the bombardment of ugly thoughts. Fears, worry, frustration, self-pity, and anger will not batter my brain as long as I remain focused on His presence.

I can also choose to have an eternal focus. With the knowledge that in heaven there will be no more tears or suffering. No more MI.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).”

So my word for this New Year will be ‘choose.’ I’ll choose to accept whatever comes my way. I’ll choose to view circumstances with a positive perspective—filtered through the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the hymn: Finding It Home.

I love to reflect on the words: “Just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven. Of touching a hand and finding it God’s. Of breathing new air and finding it celestial. Of waking up in glory and finding it home.”

2 thoughts on “Choosing a Focus Word for the New Year

  1. Hi Vicki,

    Its been a while since I’ve been able to read all my mail. I am trying to catch up and just read your last few. What can I say!! My little brain is spinning! I listened to “Finding it Home”. I cried and still have tears in my eyes. I also watched your video. I love that song and your pics. You did a great job! So beautiful.

    I lost my best longtime friend and sister in Christ Oct. 25th. So Christmas Day was a tad (really more than a tad) hard for me as we were both only kids and were the sisters we never had and spent 39 years together, camping, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, etc. So, this song really touched me as I could see her stepping on shore(she was a native Floridian and loved the beach) and finding heaven and touching God’s hand. The words did me in and I think released some of the tears I have been trying to hold back. I know she is in Gloryland and free from all pain and with our Father. But I miss her so very much.

    I have never chosen a word before but started thinking about a word for me after reading on RM about praying for our own special word. And then I read about your word just today!! I love how God works!! I had hardly prayed about it till the word Hope a few days ago came to me. I think that is so so right for me this year!! I am so excited as my HopeKeepers group is only 2 months old and this new year brings so much hope that God will use me to do whatever He wants in my group to learn about Him and them and use us all!!!

    So, thank you so so much, Vicki.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!



    • Dear Patty,
      I remembered about the loss of your dear friend. In fact, I’ve been praying for you regularly-especially around the holidays. I’m so glad the words of the song touched you. Sounds like God used that song to minister to your grieving heart.
      ‘Hope’: what a great word to select for your focus word. Perfect for you because of your new HopeKeepers group. I’m sure God will use you mightily this year. You’ve been through a lot, experienced His faithfulness, and can share the hope you’ve found in Him.
      One of the verses God led me to when I was first diagnosed with MS was Romans 15:13. I’m sure you know it. I’m passing it along as my prayer for you.
      “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
      Blessings, dear friend.

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