Listen ..... yes, I've settled. That's it. My power word for 2012. After reading several articles on the power of focusing my New year's resolution toward one main word, I decided this idea was perfect for me - the one who tends to forget easily. My initial thoughts on this led me to Love but then I began to think a little deeper on this. I feared that to learn and live more love came more from a place of interest all my own and well, sometimes left on my own, I don't always see, hear, or even want to follow my privilege of divine direction. So, in an effort to get this year 'right', I thought I would spend some time reflecting, praying, and asking for my word instead. Continually I am led back to the word Listen.
Now, at first, I assumed I was simply to listen to my God, to be still, and really listen this year. It didn't really tickle my fancy as an exciting word for the year as daily I try to practice this listening. But then, in a intriguing way, I heard more. I heard that listening to myself too involved building confidence in the divine directions I felt I'm being given. And then, I became even more excited when I realized just how powerful this word would be for me this year. This listening would certainly incorporate listening with intention to others also.
This whole thought process began on Christmas Eve. Up until this point , my days spent photographing the homeless and low income seemed to be the direction God had been leading me. It seemed that He, indeed, could take my eye for photography and use it for His honor and glory. Throughout the year of 2011, I felt this movement. Always a little unsure of how the pictures would play into the grand scheme of things, I followed along anyway. But then...
On the eve of Christmas as my homeless friends came through the line for their Christmas portrait, I began to feel something different. It was more than the actual portrait, itself. It was the moment in time where I was able to ask each and every one of the 75 visitors their name. It was the moment when I touched their hand and said sit here , you're beautiful. It was the moment when we laughed and smiled together during our little mini sessions. And it was then, the idea of listening was born in me.
That moment was huge. But not near as huge as the moment I realized this week how God had encompassed it all together. Listen to Him , Listen to Others, and Listen to Myself. I could cry right here. The word which seemingly meant little seems to cover everything I struggled with in 2011. Well, maybe struggle is not the right word. Maybe, this word is simply building onto the foundation He has been laying for me. I don't see the picture clearly but somehow I have a sense of peace with this word. Listen feels like a guide for the upcoming year. So - that's it - in 2012, I'll be listening. Let it be.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
post script: ironically after finding the above photo via internet, I realized that may initial leaning toward the word Love was not so incorrect after all. I can already see I will grow much toward love this year.