My New Year’s Resolution: “One Prayer” 2014

by Monday, December 30, 2013 28 Permalink

Hey there, fellow Earthling. I don’t know what your week has been like, but can you find a minute amidst the work to-do list or family visits or party prep to take a breath? Grab a hot drink. Find a quiet corner wherever you are. Make space with me to reflect on your year and think about upcoming 2014. I’m gonna share about my “one prayer” New Year’s resolution, and I’d love the company…

It is certainly cliché and oh-so-overdone to talk about fresh starts and resolutions on New Year’s Eve, but that’s for good reason. Hello… what other time is more appropriate to seriously consider past choices, proposed changes, future hopes or fantastic dreams? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate the way our lives are going and make plans to change trajectory if needed. Which is why, of course, the web is all abuzz with the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions (complete with apps to help you keep your goal!). Oh, and then there’s these five weird New Year’s resolutions, listing things like “yarn bomb trees more often”.

I suppose we all want to find ourselves in a better place at the end of each year. But the funny thing about resolutions is that they are mostly carried out in our own strength, or that of our smart phone’s corresponding app. The New Year’s resolutions I tried in the past for a couple of years just plain disappointed me. So I knew something had to change. If I couldn’t make the alterations I wanted to see in my own life, maybe Someone could do them for me. After all, God is in the business of creating beauty out of nothing and making old things new (2 Cor. 5:17).

The Compassion International community, along with other major Christian organizations, have endorsed the “One Word” idea for several years. (Here’s an entry for this year). “One Word” is a spiritual discipline of choosing one word—noun, verb, adjective, whatever—as a promise for the year and asking God to create a theme in your life centralizing around that virtue. 

The One Word idea transforms a mere resolution into a revolution. It omits the “I can do this” and interjects a much more robust “God can do this.” The difference may seem miniscule, but the results can be sweetly staggering. In a way, our life here in our tiny Shoebox is a result of a similar request.

In 2010 I took One Word one step further and chose one prayer to ask of God. Of course, I asked also for daily things but when I thought of it, I repeated the request: God, increase my faith. That was the year we became pregnant with our darling Red and downsized from our normal suburban home into this basement apartment. My faith blossomed on a path I couldn’t have picked for myself but am so grateful that we walked.

Following years’ prayers were equally revolutionizing, which is why I’m excited for what 2014 has to offer. My One Prayer for the upcoming year is Lord, give me wisdom. I sense that this is a year Caveman and I will need increased wisdom, and God has already promised to give it:

“But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you.” James 1:5 (NCV)

I have no idea what is going on your life at the moment or if you even believe in God, but my guess is that maybe you are tired of powerless resolutions. Perhaps you’re ready to see a revolution headed by the One who made you and is faithful to complete the good work He started in you (Philippians 1:6).

Can I challenge you to join me in One Word or One Prayer for 2014? Let’s trust that God can create wonderful changes in the next 365 days. Already on board? Comment below and share your word or prayer, and maybe consider sharing this post with your friends.

Happy New Year, small living friends!  :)

…Oh, and if this is your first time at Smallish, WELCOME! Take some time and browse through the archives. Leave a comment and say hi, or even subscribe to posts through email if you like what you see. Glad to have you here. :)

 

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28 Comments
  • Kristin
    December 30, 2013

    Love this. Am I allowed to have the same prayer as you? :)

  • Anastasia Linda Valentin
    December 31, 2013

    Count me in :) one prayer for 2014

    • Evelyn
      December 31, 2013

      Great, Anastasia! Glad to have you here. :)

  • Dorina Leslie
    December 31, 2013

    Love this idea for 2014! Your choice, a prayer for Wisdom, is perfect…I must have been meant to read this, for sure. Thank you so much, and may you be truly blessed in the upcoming year. :)

    • Evelyn
      December 31, 2013

      So happy to hear that, Dorina! I hope your year brings unexpected blessings too.

      • Dorina Leslie
        January 14, 2014

        Did you have your little girl yet, Evelyn? I saw your beautiful family picture and you mentioned two boys and one baby girl…God bless you all! for consciously living “smallish”…I love it! Well, I wish you all the best…I am a mom of two boys and then a little girl, so I know how amazing and beautiful it is to be blessed with three little ones within a very short period of time. You will be one busy girl, but I have faith you’ll be way more than fine at juggling it all and with a smile on your face. Take care.

        • Evelyn
          January 14, 2014

          Hi Dorina,
          Thanks for asking. :) I’m about four weeks out from her due date, so we are officially in the final weeks of preparation. (I just made five freezer meals and stuffed them in our tiny freezer for when she arrives!) You’ll know when she gets here–hopefully I’ll get a post up to announce, but honestly it will probably be more like I just don’t post anything for weeks and weeks. ;) I do anticipate being pretty busy and exhausted, but I know the blessings will overflow! Any tips for me as we head into three young ones under 4?

          • Dorina Leslie
            January 15, 2014

            Yes! Don’t be afraid. Just do it! I remember being so proud of myself after Mom had left and my husband had returned to work, and I was left ALONE for the first time with two young boys and a baby. What was different with having a third child to care for, is that they just don’t really make strollers for walking with three kids, so I had to change my game plan. I packed everyone into the minivan and headed to the park down by the lake. Julia was born in April, and we had a very warm spell, so it was great for the boys to be playing and for her to be outside in the fresh air. It sounds ridiculous, but this little day by the park, complete with tricycles, balls, Frisbees, and the good ol’ diaper supply bag, helped me with my confidence. It’s a lot to manage the three in a store, so I would go grocery shopping in the early morning or the evening when I had “coverage”. Because I walk every single day, I got up extra early, too, and made sure I took time for myself, walking 2.5-4 miles every day, rain, snow or shine. So, take time for yourself, ask people for help, get the boys involved, and take lots of pictures. I wish I could tell you my scrapbooking is up-to-date, but I am proud to say I have a huge album for each of the three kids and a full 13 years worth of family albums, filled to the brim with memories. Unfortunately, the age of digital cameras made scrapbooking a little more overwhelming for me. And, of course, my kids are not changing so rapidly, so I take less pictures and take the stress out of my life as much as I can. I started asking the kids to make their beds, take out the garbage, clear the dishes, and vacuum…because one person cannot take care of a house of five all alone. I think that alone is a huge part of being successful at managing the three kids and their schedules, and it teaches them good life lessons, too. Anyway, good luck…I was thinking about you just this morning and wondering how you’ll do it all in such a small space, and then I reminded myself that God only gives you what you can handle. You’re going to be amazing! Have a great day…;)

          • Evelyn
            January 15, 2014

            Thank you for your helpful wisdom and kind words! I’m making mental notes now… “don’t be afraid, just do it,” “get outside,” “ask the boys to help.” :) I don’t really think there’s a big difference between raising children in 450 sq. ft. and a larger home, but I wouldn’t know the difference. I’m so grateful to be able to spend the days with them… now I just need to remember that I am thankful during the hard hours! :)

  • Kim
    December 31, 2013

    It is hard for the scatter-brained such as myself to come up with one prayer focus. So, my prayer word is simply “pray.” So, I commit myself to just doing that. Thank you for all of the great posts over 2013, fun, encouraging, thought-provoking, and inspirational. Happy New Year!

    • Evelyn
      December 31, 2013

      That’s a wonderful thought, Kim! Thanks for all YOUR wonderful support. Happy 2014!

  • Lois
    December 31, 2013

    One word for me would be “more” More smiling at strangers. More of my own food grown at home. More time with loved ones. I think you get the idea. Nothing too difficult but will make life better than it already is.

    • Evelyn
      January 1, 2014

      That is beautiful, Lois. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • asoulsoiree
    December 31, 2013

    Love that thought about one word being transformed from a resolution to a revolution. Nice to find your blog :)

    • Evelyn
      January 1, 2014

      Hey, so nice to HAVE you here. :) Blessings in the new year!

  • Júlia B.
    January 1, 2014

    I so need One Prayer! I guess mine will be “I believe; help my unbelief!”

    • Evelyn
      January 1, 2014

      Julia, I love that. Praying for you!

  • MAP
    January 1, 2014

    Lord, show me Truth. Psalm 25:5

    • Evelyn
      January 1, 2014

      That.Is.A.Good.One. So, so needed these days! Thanks for chipping in. :)

  • Judy in CA
    January 1, 2014

    My word of the year is favor. Second choice is hopeful. (I can never stop at just one)

    • Evelyn
      January 1, 2014

      Two is great, Judy! Thanks for chipping in. :)

  • SarahW
    January 2, 2014

    “wisdom” is a beautiful prayer for your family this year! The LORD has been laying the idea of “generosity” on my heart. A cheerful, giving heart will be my prayer this year! Love you. Keep on Mama! :)

    • Evelyn
      January 2, 2014

      Love that, Sarah! Not that your heart needs any help with being more generous… :) xo

  • aunt marion
    January 2, 2014

    thanks evie, faith will be my prayer.

    • Evelyn
      January 2, 2014

      That’s a good one, Aunt Marion. I’ll be excited to see how that prayer is answered over the year! Love to you.

  • Dianne
    April 3, 2014

    This isn’t exactly related to the point of this post, but I just found your blog after doing a search on Lemongrass Spa products. After reading your review, I started checking things out on your blog. I’m always up for downsizing, though it’s an uphill battle for me.

    However, I was excited to realize that you live in the same city that I do and I used to be a westsider, which I assume is where you live, given the Victorian house. My parents are still there.

    Then I get to this post and your picture is from the same Bible as mine! Crazy. And it’s James. Probably my favorite book of all. The one that’s falling out of my Bible.

    Anyway, nothing else really to say, other than “Hi” and I look forward to checking out more and following your blog! :-)

    • Evelyn
      April 6, 2014

      Hi Diane!! Thanks for saying “hi”. I LOVE all your little thoughts. :) Hope to see you around and continue chatting!

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