January 03, 2015

A Theme for 2015 - Steph Beth Nickel

Some people choose a word for the year.

Personally, each of the past few years has been marked by a theme. These themes include The Year of Encouragement, The Year of No Excuses, and The Year of the Great Declutter.

All of these carry over from year to year to one degree or another, but the focus for 2015 is slightly different. I feel this is to be The Year of Taking Responsibility.

This theme has applications in all area of life, but my specific focus is to take spiritual responsibility more seriously than ever.

I have committed to reading through the New Testament twice as well as reading selected Old Testament books as well. (Kudos to those of you who read the entire Bible at least once per year.)

One of two things can happen when rereading familiar passages. If I'm not careful, I can skim over them thinking, "I know this." But the Bible is the Living Word. What happens if I slow down and take the time to really think about what I'm reading is that I am overwhelmed by a sense of amazement and wonder. It's like rediscovering treasure I'd forgotten I had. And God's Word is always applicable, no matter what circumstances I am facing.

I have also signed on again for the 1 Minute Prayer Facebook group. (The idea is to pray one minute per day the first week, two the second week, etc. By the end of the year, participants are to be praying for an hour each day.) I joined in 2014 but fizzled out part way through the year.  I do better if I prayer journal or pray aloud. Otherwise, I admit, I get distracted. So, I've begun again.

Not all of my grown children are walking with the Lord. It's understandable that I look back and see what I could have done differently as they were growing up. I can't change the past, but I can learn from it. Whether it's sharing my faith with my own family or with others, this is another area in which, with God's help, I will take more responsibility.

I have the privilege of working alongside other believers, for which I am tremendously thankful. Because of my day-to-day responsibilities, I have many opportunities to learn new truths and grow spiritually. I am blessed abundantly - and have the opportunity to bless others. I pray that I will faithfully do so more in the new year than ever before.

Of course, I want to take responsibility in other areas as well ... as a writer, an editor, a doula, a church member, etc., etc., etc.

Like the picture above depicts, sometimes the way is steep and challenging, but when it comes to walking in obedience to God, the rewards are phenomenal.

Do you have a word or theme for the new year? I'd love to hear about it.


  1. I'd never considered a theme for a year before, Steph. It makes sense, but it's much bigger a single resolution on one topic. Being a Christian should be both the foundation and the umbrella for all aspects of our lives. Focusing on a theme within that context might actually affect character, not just a single activity. Balanced growing? Concept!

  2. I also enjoy journalling and writing my prayers down.

  3. All of your goals are very commendable. I have always chosen a verse for the year (or tried to). This year I feel God gave me the word 'Believe.' I have a lot that I am believing for right now and focusing on one word or one promise from God helps me. Enjoyed your post.

  4. Stephanie, I love that you wrote, "But the Bible is the Living Word". So true! It makes reading the Bible year-after-year a true joy.
    I don't have a word for the year but now I feel led to pray for one.

  5. Thanks for this, Steph. Makes me think about ALL the commitments I have made to God for this year. Somehow I don't think one word will cover it. Is that bad?
    I love it when I read scripture and then something that I have read many times suddenly pops out and has great significance. Truly a treasure - you are correct!

  6. Right now as I am working on closets, your year of the Great Declutter sounds like an excellent idea!
    I have focused on themes as opposed to resolutions for a number of years as well. Your commitment to your scripture reading, is commendable-should we ask for a report in August? :)

  7. Steph, you have so challenged and inspired me with your commitment to Bible reading and praying with a community. Thank you so much for your honest sharing!

  8. I started doing a word for the year last year, Steph. This year's word is 'less'. Check out my post here: http://notesfrominnisfree.blogspot.ca/2015/01/word-for-year.html

    May God go with you as you take responsibility this year.

  9. Steph,
    I do have a theme for the year which I will write about on the Jan. 11th blog. I never know what the Spirit is going to press upon my heart from one year to the next--but I LOVE how when we wait on Him, He always brings something to the forefront to focus on. He is good.


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