My one word for the year is generosity. This word sprang into my mind when I contemplated how God was working in my life. All my life, there have been two things that I have been extremely protective of: my time, and my money. I was raised to value both of those things highly.
With regard to my money, I was always encouraged to save and invest. Save and invest. Save and invest. Both my parents work in business, and a majority of my high school friends work in finance, so the notion of investing with expendable income was second nature to me. The problem was, I decided to go into the lucrative business of ministry! My first job in ministry was as a campus missionary where I barely raised enough money to eat a meal a day. I knew God wanted me to be generous, but when it came down to paying for someone else’s meal or paying rent for the month, the choice seemed obvious. Then I decided to get married, move to Texas, and enroll myself and Emily into graduate school. But I feel God calling me towards a greater obedience in generosity. Not just with my tithe, but in peripheral activities in my life. Tipping better, gifting more, being of financial help to other friends in need. Giving out of my lack of resources, because God can do a lot through a generous heart.
With regard to time, there is actually a Chinese proverb that goes something like this: shí guāng liú shì, bù kě fù dé. It means, “time lost cannot be won again.” I’ve realized that over the past two and a half years since beginning my time here at Arapaho Road Baptist Church, I have not been very generous with my time. The demands of school, two jobs, and marriage have made me very stingy with my time. I schedule everything out, my homework time, my work time, my friendship time, and my family time. At the beginning of each semester I actually chart out all my class reading by how long it would take me to read. For instance, if a book is 300 pages, and I read at a 20 pg/hr rate, then I know I somehow have to find 15 hours to read that book fully. In such a way I segmented out my life to the minute. Anything that drove a wrench into my plans would throw me into a fit! This is an area of my life that I want to grow in because relationships are built in those unplanned times, that disrupt our plans!
So generosity is my word this year. Generosity with my time and money.