Each year I chose a word to focus on throughout the year. I'm not a fan of resolutions - because I break them in about 30 days - nor am I the best goal setter in the world. I'm an extreme Type A perfectionist, which means if I'm going to set goals, I best complete them, and in record time.
Last year's word was contentment and I can say that the year really proved out as a great learning ground for that word, especially the last three months. As I prayed and thought about what my 2017 word would be, I decided upon the word Renewal. The definition that rung true to me for this choice was "the replacing or repair of something that is run-down, worn out or broken." See the last three months of 2016. That was me.
Life is always busy, and with my full-time job, ministry roles at my church, and maintaining some semblance of a social life, this introvert gets a bit overwhelmed and overstimulated. The word Renewal seemed to be the perfect word to focus on for 2017. I need time to renew myself spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. If I don't do these things, then I'm of no good in all those roles I outlined at the beginning of this paragraph.
How would I accomplish this? One of the things I've learned over time is saying "no" when it's hard and I want to say "yes." Even when something is a good thing, it may not be the best thing for me. I can easily get overextended and over-committed of my own doing. When I was getting my MBA, I did a much better job of saying "no" because I set boundaries to be able to continue my life as normal as possible and still do school. Now that I don't have an educational degree to help me keep that boundary, I've lost it. In 2017, if I tell you "no" don't take it personal. Remember that I'm looking to recharge and renew myself.
The other thing I wanted to do was declare a day of renewal each month. I'd choose a day - preferably not one when I'm working my full-time job - where I'd only do things that renew my spirit. I would also fast from all social media that day. I have done this for January and may I say it was an absolutely glorious day. I started the day off having breakfast with a sweet friend, Martha, who I adore. Any time with her fills my heart with joy, so this in itself was a time of renewal. The remainder of the day I listened to podcasts, colored (I'm an adult coloring book fan), read, and watched Netflix. I started The Crown on Netflix and had no idea how much I'd love that series. I may need to write a post on that at a later date. All the while, no matter what I did that day, my phone was used only to play podcasts, make/receive calls, and receive/respond to texts.
What were the results of that day of renewal? It was good to listen to sermons, and other spiritually-focused podcasts to refresh me. Pulling away from social media honestly wasn't hard. What I discovered was social media doesn't keep me focused on my here and now, but divides my attention to include others' goings on. I may take daily social media breaks more often for the benefit it provided.
I'm already excited about scheduling my day of renewal in February and looking forward to what God is going to teach me this year. God can use a broken person, but He doesn't want us to be so broken down we're no good to others or ourselves.