Since I joined Twitter, I have become aware of the hashtag #myoneword. At the beginning of 2015 there was not a particular word, which stood out for me. I decided against joining in.
This year I have been nudged by a number of things I have read to pick a word. One was Amy Boucher Pye’s book, Finding Myself in Britain. It was after reading that at the end of December that I picked my word for 2016.
Before Christmas I found that I was very tired. I was trying to carry on with my busy life, but I was irritable and struggling. I bought myself a colouring book, Images of Grace by Jacqui Grace and began to use it. Even colouring was a problem with my competitive streak. I was doing it for hours so that I had achieved something! The corn on my middle finger (from years of holding pens and pencils incorrectly) began to trouble me again. (The book is intended as a way of meditating on scripture and connecting with God.)
Earlier I had tried drawing again after several years break. While I enjoyed this relaxing activity I chose a colouring book to relieve me from having to decide what to draw. Using someone else’s ideas means that part of the project has been done. There is also scope in this book for adding one’s own doodles and text.
I had intended to go to the Christmas Eve service of Holy Communion, which began at 11pm (with choir practice at 10.15pm). Instead I had an early night and went to the Christmas Day service at 10am (no choir).
That is why I have chosen the word, REST.
For me this word has great significance. It is connected with the idea of Sabbath from the Ten Commandments. Keeping a day of rest in our modern (or is it post-modern?) 24/7 world is very difficult. As a member of a Church choir, I do not find Sundays restful. I have to be ready for choir practice, which involves a form of work as we learn new anthems and rehearse others with which we are more familiar. Then the service requires concentration, being ready to sing at the correct times and join in with the spoken parts of the liturgy marked in bold print.
Afterwards I meet with others over a cup of tea and we discuss and plan all sorts of things. This is interesting and enjoyable, but not restful. For this reason I try to keep Saturdays as a free day. It doesn’t always work, especially if I travel to the writing group. In any case I find it difficult to stop being busy. I fill my time in with knitting or doing puzzles, reading or writing, checking my social media, playing the piano…
Another aspect of rest is connected with peace (of mind.) Worry is not restful. A few years ago I studied whole of the Old Testament and the New Testament with a group of wonderful women. We used The Amazing Collection for Women from Big Dream Ministries. One book of the Bible where rest was important was Judges. The course drew out the idea that the people went through a number of sin cycles. They rebelled against God (and life became difficult), they repented and they had rest. So rest requires a closer walk with God.
A famous saying of Jesus Christ is, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. This is the KJV version of the quotation on the opposite page from the one I have coloured in and photographed.
Since choosing my word, I have read a post by Sarah about her words for 2015 and 2016.
Another blogger I follow has announced her word for 2016. On the More than writers’ blog (to which I contributed two guest posts last year) a regular contributor has also written about her word. I am sure you would be able to find many more similar posts using your favourite search engine.
Have you picked a word?