As the new year approaches, we will start setting our new years goals. Some people find a word for the year to focus on. My friend Beth does just that. Please help me welcome to the table this week, Christy Award winning fiction author, Beth K. Vogt. She has some wise words on this topic. She also has a gift to give for Christmas! There of course will still be a recipe for you at the end. Enjoy the conversation today and enter to win the gift!
“Words have the power to make things happen.” Frederick Buechner (1926-), American writer & theologian
I believe in the power of words, both spoken and written.
The words we speak can either encourage or alienate other people. As an author, I want the words I write to do more than entertain my readers. I pray over my novels, weaving in truths and threads of hope.
But in the past 13 years, I’ve discovered the power of one word to change my life.
The New Year used to be a time for making my list and checking it twice – a list of New Year’s resolutions, that is. I’d plot out my do’s and don’ts for the coming months, all in hopes of becoming a better me by the time the next New Year rolled around.
The only problem? I always lost my oh-so-carefully-thought-out list within a few weeks of writing it. All my good intentions gone, leaving me feeling like a failure, year after year.
And then I discovered the idea of focusing on one word for an entire year. Just a single word, instead of a numbered list. It’s hard to forget one word, right?
My steps for determining my One Word each year are simple:
- Each September, I start mulling over my One Word for the coming New Year. No decisions … just tossing words around in my head. And yes, I pray through this process, too.
- God uses a variety of methods to help me decide my One Word. I watch for a repeated word to rise up, possibly through what I’m reading in my Bible, or through the books I’m reading, or songs I’m listening to, or maybe a sermon series.
- Once I know what my One Word is, I look for a Scripture verse to go with it.
- I also look for some sort of visual to go with my One Word: a graphic or a photograph.
My One Word becomes my focus for the next 12 months, something I concentrate on, allowing God to deepen my understanding of the word and to change me – how I act and react to people and situations.
Some of my One Words have been:
- gratitude– I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.
- forgiveness– I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness, praying through broken relationships.
- collaborate– Collaborate means “to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.” I focused on collaborating with God in my writing life.
- kind– Ephesians 4:32a encourages us to “Be kind to one another.” In 2018, I started each week with a quote on kindness, sharing it on Instagram and Facebook, and looking for opportunities to be compassionate and kind.
My One Word for 2019 is “anchor.” After compiling a series of my anchor verses – key Scripture verses that have helped me through the years – I’m going to focus on where I anchor my thoughts.
What about you? Are you a New Year’s Resolution kind of person or do you focus on One Word? Never heard about choosing a word for the year? You can read more about it the book My One Word: Change Your Lifewith Just One Wordby Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen.
BIO:Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A Christy Award winner, as well as an ACFW Carol Award winner, Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released May 2018. Moments We Forget, book 2 in her “Little Women gone wrong” series releases May 2019.
Want a chance to win a copy of Beth’s book, Things I never Told You? Comment on this post and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a copy of her book! Complete rules can be found by clicking Contest Rules
Now, for this week’s recipe:
Sloppy Joes with Cheesy Tomato Macaroni
1 lb. ground beef/turkey/chicken
1 can tomato soup (condensed, no water added)
Approximately 1 Tbsp. Mustard
Approximately 2-3 Tbsp. Ketchup
2 Tbl. Brown sugar
Dash or 2 of season salt
Brown ground beef/turkey/chicken in a large skillet. Drain. Before returning the meat to the pan… empty contents of tomato soup, add mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, and season salt. Stir together until well blended. Add additional of any of the ingredients (except tomato soup) if desired. Return meat to skillet and heat through on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. MMM MMM Good!
Cheesy Tomato Macaroni:
1 lb. Spiral noodles (or noodles of choice)
1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
4-6 oz. triple cheddar shredded cheese
4-6 oz. mild cheddar shredded cheese (this depends how cheesy you like it)
1 stick butter
In large crock pot, place butter, crushed tomatoes, and cheeses. Turn on high with lid on to get things melting. Meanwhile, cook noodles as lable directs. Drain. When cheeses and butter are mostly melted, add noodles and mix well. Place the lid back on and continue cooking on high about 30 minutes to infuse flavors and finish melting. Comfort food for sure!