Do you have a word for 2018?
I'm not sure when the tradition started but I love beginning each new year with a word. It's a spiritual practice to let my intuition take the lead and hover in a particular place.
I can remember one year when my word was "abundance." I was coming out of a long, hard season and abundance was God's invitation to me to accept goodness in my story again.
I can remember one year when my word was "surrender." I'd been struggling for a long time with some very clear ideas of what I wanted my life to look like. And the word of surrender was God's invitation for me to stop all my planning and just be.
But what about this year? What will my word be?
For now, I'm leaning into the word "connection." I think connection will be my word for 2018.
I believe I arrived here because the final months of 2018 have been filled with lots of frustration about the difficulty of creating community.
I've felt frustration with how complicated schedules keep local friends of mine from ever actually seeing each other. I've felt frustration with how following each other on Facebook becomes the only way I "keep in touch" with people I love so much. I've felt frustration with how hard it is to do life with a group of people besides those who actually reside in my house.
And as much as I love doing life with the two awesome people who share my last name, I want more. I want more authentic community.
I want people to show up as big for me and my family. And I want to do the same for them.
I want our home to be more of a gathering point for more laugher and rest for those who need it the most.
I want more friends with whom have regular dates, traditions and "come hell or high water" we will hang out with one another evenings no matter if we have kids at home or not.
And I don't think this feeling I'm noticing is unique to me.
Back in September, I took on a new pastorate. I'm currently at the helm of a Washington, DC church. Such a role gives me a front row seat to people's lives, schedules and values related to community building.
And I have to tell you, what I'm finding all over again (as I did in other congregations) is that it's not just my household that struggles with connection. The temptation to isolate ourselves in our over stimulated age is very real especially in the Washington, DC area where I live.
We travel a lot.
We work a lot.
We have extra commitments that ask a lot of us.
And, in all of this: we're exhausted. Working on deepening our relationships just feels like one more thing. Showing up regularly for community building is something we don't have time for . . .
But as for me, I want to chart a different course. I wan to say to the universe, to God and to any of you reading this blog post right now that I want more connection in my life.
I want to host more weekly dinners around my dinning room table. (Who wants to invite themselves over?)
I want to be more intentional about hanging out with those who want to be intentional with me.
I want to open up my heart to new relationships that are full of soul-ful connection.
I want more.
And I want more for the church where I'm serving too. I want them to know and love each other in deeper ways too. I want them to be community that becomes even more committed to each other in 2018.
What about you?
What's are you hoping for in the year to come? It's ok to long for more!