Monday, January 16, 2012

One Word :: Seek

I tried to make myself believe this year that I didn't need a resolution and that I didn't even need a word. You know the ones - the "pick one word and focus on it all year long" ones. I figured I had enough to focus on. I didn't need one more word.

Also, I purposely like to jump off band-wagons. It's a long-standing inclination of mine.

The problem is, I just really like words. I like love them. I love the way I can fit them together in a way that tells myself how I feel about an important thing. I love that I can butcher them up at will and they still take my calls the next day. 

At first I thought my word was "Surrender", because I've still got a lot of crap I need to let go of.

But on further review, the choice was obvious. Seek.

It's phase two of surrender, or at least it is for me. I feel like I've taken up surrender over the past year in the very same way I took up the saxophone in fifth grade. I  picked it up and started practicing, but mostly I kept it in its case. I lugged that blasted thing home most days just for the sake of doing it, because it was expected. Of course, the real expectation was not to haul it to and from school every day. I was supposed to pull it out, dust it off and really get to know it. I was supposed to fall in love with it. Instead of falling in love, I did just enough to do well. I missed the possibility of a sweeping affair.

At first letting go of things and ideas and the house of my dreams felt like a lynching. But then it started to feel exhilarating. And now it feels lost, somedays. How does that happen in the span of a year?

I think I'm just hauling it around. I think I'm saying, "Alright God. Come and find me. Send people my way. Give me some great ideas. I'll hook it up." I'm lugging it around and yeah, it's still cumbersome enough to make me feel like I'm doing something. But it's heavy and I don't like the way it bangs against my knees. I'd rather save myself the trouble, some days.

Surrender only gets you so far when all it is is a willingness, a good girl thing to say and think and believe. It's the slightly edgier cousin to "I'd go...but I'm not called." Surrender is giving - not just saying that I'm willing to give. It's active, not passive.

So now I look all around and I still see people with the capacity to smash me open and drain me out. They're out there. They're around town, even if they're not landing conveniently on my doorstep.

If I give a rip - and I do - I'll find them. I'll hunt them the heck down. I'll pull surrender out of the box and play it.


I'd like to seek the heart of God more. I'd like to go there first, for a change.

I'd like to stalk the little glimmery bits hidden in what have been long stretches of hard, gray days.

I know for sure that when I go looking for things, I almost always find them.

So here I am. I'm looking.

The Lettered Cottage


  1. I, too, am a bandwagon jumper offer. You won't catch me doing whatever the trendy thing is this year - be it fashion, reading material, goal-setting, whatever.

    But sometimes I think maybe I'm not so much a jumper as I am someone who likes to take her time ... and eventually I come around to see the good stuff everyone else has been enjoying all along.

    You chose a great word. :)

  2. Amen. It's so hard, that stupid saxophone. I hear you!

  3. "I'm lugging it around and yeah, it's still cumbersome enough to make me feel like I'm doing something. But it's heavy and I don't like the way it bangs against my knees. I'd rather save myself the trouble, some days."

    Not that I need to quote you back to you... but wow. I re-read this a bazillion (well, not really) times. "It" definitely is cumbersome, and it hurts like crazy and leaves some nasty bruises too. But "Grace...Girl" reminded me this week: An encounter with God results in action. Sometimes my action isn't quick. Sometimes it isn't pretty. Sometimes it isn't enough. But it is something. And it is more than I did before.

  4. i'm squirming you should know. squirming. and i only squirm when there is truth a foot. gosh dang it. it's so darn stretching though. the part where my heart and my big mouth actually connect with my feet. oh my you bless me. you should know though that i have shortened you to the FPFG while quoting your wisdom which somehow comes out as the BFG... you know.. the big friendly giant?? which refers to the size of your heart only --not the claw hands. :)

  5. when you first said you're not a resolution type girl, i was so thrilled. because neither am i. it feels like too much effort for a list to live up to. but this one word, this seeking, this grabbing hold of surrender... you're on to something.

    dag gone it... now i feel forced to choose a word, too. since you are like my hero.

    please, bring me on this seeking journey with ya. i need the prodding.

  6. Wow. I'm right there with Yah ...... I have a lot of practicing to do too. Not only that, I need a good tune-up and we all know how uncomfortable that can get. You encourage and challenge us all.

  7. Great word seek. Really like this post and your blog!!

  8. i enjoy jumping off the band wagons, too. i love your word. i adore you!
    funny how i get this. it's like i'm telling myself that if i don't write a word down, or declare it or anything, it doesn't exist. the dang thing is chasing me down.
    i simply can't hide from these lessons i know lurk in my future. usually i run to learn. but right now, learning hits me with a bit of fright. some learning isn't fun. you know?

    he is here though. and HE is the teacher. so i am praying that fright away. i want to want it. to learn.

  9. Funny isn't it- how God seems to connect things in our lives . . . just last night I was talking to my oldest about that very word, seek. And just how active that is. 'Ask and it will be given to you, SEEK and you will find-' It isn't just holding out our hands and say, 'Okay God- fill them up', sometimes it's taking those hands and using them to wildly search out what that voice from our hearts is hungry for. His response to that? 'But that's so much WORK!' Uh, yeah- It sure the heck is!

  10. Missy, that's what I'm calling you now. Not sure why, but it seems to fit.
    You rock an analogy like no one I've read before.
    I loved each and every note.
    Plus you made me think, and consider and want to do better.
    Now I have to go and find myself a word dang nab it,
    because before this I too was refusing to get on the word bus.
    I kept joking mine was "cake".
    And now you've gone and blown that all to get out.
    Off to percolate... and I mean that in a good way : )

  11. Those who seek me find me was my assigned reading this morning. thought I needed to share it with you...

  12. I was the kid that was jealous of the ones lugging home an instrument. The big black case that seemed to say," I've got it all together. I guess I never noticed the bruises on the knees.
    My word is DO, I need to get out of my comfort zone and be a doer. You are responsible for this decision. I always had a million reasons to stay where it was cozy and comfortable,even as a Christian. I was too busy concentrating on what I wasn't doing instead of rolling up my sleeves and doing. I'm even planning on enjoying it.

  13. Dearest Friend, why must I check in just before going to bed?... Because I adore you. My older sister played a mean saxophone, first chair all through her school days, it only seemed natural that I would too. It was the instrument in the house, but it was not to be. I'll never forget sitting 4th chair in, there was nothing natural about it at all. I wanted to play Hello Dolly, I hummed it well enough, but it always came out flat. Lugging that black case with purple velvet lining cured me for life. My cure, letting others do what they do well, and being happy for them. So I have no word, I'm more excited to read what you find during your search...

  14. I'd like to seek out God more as well. Our church is holding a prayer and fasting week to help with that. It's a good way to start this new year.

  15. Great resolution. It's hard to stick by them sometimes but when you do it does wonders.

  16. Surrender has its purpose but you will never find until you seek.
    A good word choice.

  17. Seeking isn't easy, at least not for me. It isn't easy because sometimes God tells me to wait. I don't like to wait, I like to do! I'm in a waiting period right now, while it is growing me spiritually it can be frustrating. I'm not sure how long I am to wait, but I find that as the days go by, I'm settling into a peace. I'm learning and I'm's amazing how much I accomplish when I simply wait. It's amazing the contentment I feel as I wait on God to reveal his plan.
    I pray your seeking leads you to a place of contentment and peace, no matter how long that journey takes.

  18. Once again you inspire me. Seek is a great resolution. I never realized the power the word seek has behind it until I read it in your words.

  19. I too am averse to the bandwagon. But I jumped on two of them this year. I picked a them word and do you know what it is? "Simplicity." I'm terribly original. I mean really, is anyone not talking about simplicity these days? Anyone out there with "excess" as their theme? I doubt it. Anyway, I love your word...and your post about what it looks like to you. And I LOVED "Broken Beauty." Mercy, I was a teary, blurry mess by the end. How amazing, to have friends you're rooted with like that.

  20. Wow, what a great idea, one word can be so simple yet so profound. I think I may need to jump on the bandwagon...Lauren

  21. I was never very good with "surrender" so I like "seek" more. I even had an ex (and let's be honest, this is part of the reason he IS an ex!) tell me "You just seem to want to resist everything!" needless to say..surrender + me = Unh Unh. <----That's some classy language there, yes?

    I didn't have a word until I read this post.

    I'm going with "Release" for this year for many reasons.

    We'll see how that turns out. ;-)

    Your writing is lovely, as always.

    I think I have yet to utter it- I think about it and am going to say it:

    I can't wait for your book!



  22. it's an odd thing to live out isn't it, that surrendering business. I'm starting, slowly, to learn how. Wanting to do it, and thinking about it is always easier that actually doing it. sigh.
    I want to be in awe of God this year. To experience what it feels like to actually be in awestruck, awesome awe.

  23. I'm somewhere in the middle of rebelling against the band wagons and jumping into the deep end of trends like nobody's business!!!

    love your word and your heart.

  24. i just adore you. and love words too. and really think it would be good if we could go out for cokes and chips and salsa. :)

  25. That was me in the 5th grade with my flute. I did just enough to squeak by and that was it. I still do the same with big people stuff. Sigh. I'm working on that.

  26. I love words too, I especially love the way you have with words.

    "Surrender only gets you so far when all it is is a willingness, a good girl thing to say and think and believe. It's the slightly edgier cousin to "I'd go...but I'm not called." Surrender is giving - not just saying that I'm willing to give. It's active, not passive. "

    your getting to me today, that's a good thing.


  27. Love your word!-I am your newest follower from Layla's party-Stop by for a visit!