2015 Word of the Year: Relational

I used to sit down on December 31 or January 1 and make goals, not resolutions- because I’ve never really liked that term- but goals. I would list in various areas the things that I wanted to accomplish that year. But a few years ago, I caught on to the idea of having a Word for the year, instead of a set of goals or a checklist to accomplish. I also like the idea that this Word comes after much thought and prayer. Because, ultimately, my unspoken goal is always to glorify God and further His Kingdom. So whatever my Word is, whatever I’m striving for in the year should be for Him.

This year I’ve been seeing Word of the Year posts for a few days now. And I’ve been keen to join in. But I’ve had a hard time coming to a Word. I’ve thought about the last year and the things that were good and bad. I’ve thought about what I’ve hoped to accomplish in the new year. And I’ve prayed for some clarity. And today, as I was emptying the dishwasher- isn’t that always how it is for moms!- my Word came. The Word for this year: Relational.

Why relational?

Here is the definition of relational from Dictionary.com. It’s pretty basic: “indicating or specifying some relation.” But when I looked up the word “relation” to break it down a little more, I found the meaning I was looking for. Relation: “an existing connection; a significant association between or among things; the mode or kind of connection between one person and another, between an individual and God, etc.”

I want this to be a year where I am intentionally relational. I tend to be an introvert. I have a pretty good relationship with my husband and with my kids. But when it comes to “making friends” or just trying to have a real, authentic relationship with other people, I don’t do so well. I keep quiet out of fear of rejection, out of confusion at exactly how the “social rules” work and people get along, and, honestly, out of a self-centered philosophy that says, “I have too much going on in my life to care about yours.” Most of the time, I’d just rather avoid relationships.

So what needs to change?

I want this year to be a deliberate time of building relationships with people in real life, even if it’s hard. I want to strengthen the relationships I have with my husband and kids by making sure that I show them by my actions that they are more important than the other things I have going on. I want to build relationships online with my bloggging and communities that I am a part of. I want to truly invest in the lives of you, my readers, and in the lives of fellow bloggers with whom I am a part of communities. I don’t want to just post “at you” or “at them”, instead I want my posting to be relational.

Most importantly, I want to build a stronger relationship with God. For various reasons, I’m not as involved in worship as I was- corporately or privately. I want to truly worship, not just squeeze in Bible reading so I can mark it off of a list. I want a deeper relationship with Christ, that draws me to look at Him and not at the trappings of “worship” around me that confuse and frustrate me sometimes.

I need help.

I know that on my own, in my introverted self, I need help. My natural inclination is not to care. It’s to be be more self-centered and self- conserving. I need help, God’s help, to change. 

This passage is one I’ve had the kids memorize and ponder many, many times. I use it to point out how they should treat each other. But, truthfully, it should serve as a reminder to me also. It’s a reminder that I need to work on relationships:

if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any
comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

I am committing to pray this year and to strive this year to be relational. Please let me know if there is a way that I can build relationship with you, my readers. I’d love to pray with you or reach out to you in a way that you need. I don’t even mind if you just hold me accountable and ask me occasionally how my real life relationships are going.

In 2015, I want to be relational– with my spouse, my kids, people I know in real life, people I can reach through blogging and social media, and most of all with my God. 

I’m linking up with several Word of the Year linkups because I think it helps when we share these ideas together in community. It’s relational! You can read more or link up below.

Schoolhouse Review Crew 


A Glimpse of Our Life

Tots and Me: Growing Up Together


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