anxiety Encouragement

My Word for 2019

Although I have focused on a word each year since I graduated from college, I haven’t started documenting my words until last year. My word for 2019 is commit, based on Psalm 37:5

“Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.”

I was going to explain to you what the word “commit” means in the original Hebrew, but it has a pretty obscure meaning. I’ll commit to doing more research on it, and I will get back to you!

First and foremost, I want to commit this year to God. Whenever I put Him first, He provides, guides, and blesses. I want Him with me in 2019!

When praying about this year, I realized that I mentally put my life on hold. In particular, my husband and I have been saving for a house. In 2018, we made incredible progress, but I spent a lot of time wishing that we had a house so that we could have parties or have more space. We have also pushed off going on vacation and other fancy adventures because we are saving every penny. For the majority of the year, I believed that my life wouldn’t start until we had a house.

The truth is: life is too short to wait to live. God gives us waiting seasons, but He doesn’t call us to stop living until we’re done waiting. Waiting in the Bible is active. People who waited prayed, worshiped, met with other believers, and kept living their lives. And that is what I intend to do in 2019.

The last couple of years have been crazy. I’ve been asking since 2014 for a chill year. You all know about my instant push into adulthood, from getting a full-time job to getting married and moving into two apartments in two years. This year may finally be my chill year! During this year, we can focus on living our lives to the fullest while sticking to our financial and spiritual goals.

In 2018, I decluttered all the stuff that wasn’t producing fruit in my life. In 2019, I am now holding onto what is producing fruit and making room for those ministries, relationships, and habits in my daily life. Yesterday, I wrote a list of what I wanted to commit to this year. I won’t be sharing that list in public, but now I have a vision for the rest of 2019. What I will share is what has inspired me to commit:

  • We are losing our connection with our friends and family through our busy schedules and our addiction to social media.
  • We are losing our ability to discipline ourselves and practice self-control due to the instant gratification offered by technology and quick commercial services.
  • We are losing our need for commitment because we have so many options. You don’t like your spouse? Get a divorce. You don’t like your family? Disown them. You don’t like your friends? Ghost them. According to the world, you can have a hundred superficial friendships in order to replace the few meaningful relationships.

I fully admit that I have fallen victim to each of these points I’ve mentioned:

  • Due to my busy schedule, I find it hard to make time for my friends and family. This year, I have committed to do a better job of keeping in touch with them, and even inviting them to our apartment. I don’t have to wait to get a house in order to see my friends.
  • Due to the difficulty of eating healthy and fitting a workout plan into my schedule, I have been very bad at sticking to my fitness goals. This year, I have committed to a workout plan, and I intend to keep that commitment until the end of the year.
  • Due to the pain of conflict and emotional abuse from others, it is difficult for me to keep lasting relationships with others. It is much easier for me to cut them out of my life than for me to deal with conflict or to go deep with them. This year, I have committed to be intentional about attending church, being present at my small group, and participating in the community where God has placed me. Although I have been committed to my husband, I have committed to dig deeper into our marriage and grow even closer together.

I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching about abiding in the vine. This past year, God has pruned the areas of my life that have not produced fruit. This new year, God is making space for me to produce more fruit and to flourish where He has planted me. I cannot wait to see what 2019 holds for me and my husband. We’re ready to commit!

What word has God placed on your heart for 2019?

Photo by Oscar Ivan Esquivel Arteaga on Unsplash


Write Down to Calm Down

It’s no coincidence that I have anxiety and I love to write. When I’m anxious, I could spend hours writing in my journal, processing my thoughts, making sense of the world around me. I can articulate my emotions and better communicate them to people when I write. As a result, I’m able to maintain my anxiety. I’ve noticed that when I don’t make time to journal, I’m more restless and I’m not as in tune with my emotions.

Truthfully, I haven’t journaled in the past couple of days, so I’m finding it hard to sit still as I’m typing this. My mind is also swimming with ideas to a point where I don’t know what’s going on up there. So maybe this advice is just as important for me in this moment as it is for you.

Make Time to Write
The #1 response I hear to why people don’t journal is, “I don’t have time.” The truth is: We don’t have time for everything. Life is busy, but I believe it’s because we want to be at all places at all times, but we can’t. God gave us twenty-four hours in a day, no more and no less. If journaling is something you want to try, you should make it a priority to carve any amount of time out for your day.

Think about the things that consume your time. You say you don’t have time, but you unwind by watching Netflix or scrolling any one of your social media sites. You make time to spectate other people’s lives, and yet you don’t make time to process your own. If you want a better life, make time to assess where you are now and make measurable goals of where you want to be later. Journaling is the perfect first step for that.

Face Your Fear of Yourself
Before I had a dishwasher, I used to dread washing the dishes. Days would go by and my dishes would pile up. At the end of the week, I wouldn’t want to know what disgusting crusts and smells would arise when I would finally turn on the hot water and start rinsing off my old plates. Although the process was nauseating and painful (I would often burn my hands in the hot water), I would get through washing the dishes and would have sparkling clean dishes.

Similarly, I don’t want to journal when I know I’ll be confronted with my depression or anxiety. I have this fear that I’ll process my feelings for hours only to find out that I’m overreacting and that, overall, I’m a mess. I’m comforted by the fact that God doesn’t look at me that way. God does not despise my broken and contrite heart. He accepts me with my mess, and He helps me sort through the murky waters of my emotions.

If you are afraid of what you will find when you journal, start by affirming yourself with Scripture. God has a lot of great things to say about you in His word. Psalm 139 has been my anthem lately as I’ve struggled with truly feeling beautiful in God’s eyes. God had me in mind before I was even born, and He crafted me to beautifully reflect His glory. Knowing this, I feel less disgusting as I search the depths of my heart.

Journaling Prompts
Pinterest has plenty of prompts to help you start your journaling journey. I’ve taken a few and created my own list. Keep in mind that I assume you’re journaling in the morning when you first wake up, because that’s when I normally do so. If you journal at night before bed, replace “yesterday” with “today,” and “today” with “tomorrow.” Let me know which prompt resonated most with you, and which one you want to try! I think I’m going to try a few of these!

  1. Where did you see God show up in your life yesterday? How are you expecting Him to meet you today?
  2. What success happened yesterday that you would want to achieve again today?
  3. What makes you feel most loved? When was that need met/not met recently?
  4. If you knew God would give you whatever you requested, what would you pray? (Forget what you’re not “allowed” to pray for, like a million dollars or for your ex-boyfriend to break up with his girlfriend. This is your journal, and if the desire of your heart is to win a million dollars or to see your ex-boyfriend suffer, God wants you to be honest with Him. I’m not saying He’ll answer your prayer, but He will give you clarity in how to align your desires with His will).
  5. Write a letter to your past self (at any age, or at a point during a traumatic experience in your life).

Your turn:
-If you’ve never tried journaling, what is stopping you from trying? Is it intimidating or boring?
-What prompts would you try from this list?
-What prompts would you add?

Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash