Groundhog Day and Your One Word for the New Year

Groundhog Day and Your One Word for the New Year

The calendar has flipped the page to February and most have stopped talking about their “one word” for the new year.  The news has moved on to the groundhog’s annual day of predicting how much more winter we’ll have …which only makes me think of Groundhog Day — the movie.

If you haven’t seen it, Bill Murray, acting as a meteorologist, relives Groundhog Day over and over and over.  Each day relived begins to change him …for the better.   And with that in mind, it seemed fitting to reveal my “one word” in February — around Groundhog Day.  Maybe the thought of reliving that “one word” over and over again might have the same impact on me — change …for the better.

My word — REVIVE — as in — I felt lifeless and needed reviving at the end of 2018.

This happened in part by thyroid issues but also by pouring out over and over in loving and ministering to others until I was a straw-sucking-air empty cup.

On a walk one day, I found myself spontaneously singing the old hymn, “Revive Us Again.”  I knew I had met the bottom.  I was dry.  Lifeless.

This was not a matter of not being in God’s Word  for nourishment but more like a mom giving nourishment to her newborn baby while  all her own nutrients are being emptied out.  All the good going in was quickly being poured out.  Anybody relate?

I began to ask myself the question, “What brings life to me?  What is life-giving?  What makes me feel alive …really alive?”

Paying attention as I experience a moment or activity,  I began to make mental notes (and now writing it out) of things or situations that make me feel alive.  This list includes whatever brings me to that feeling of being  truly “awake” or  “alive” — reviving-my-soul-from-the-dead kind of feeling.

Your list may look different, but here’s my TOP 10 so far …

  1. Time in the Word with Jesus in the morning — usually in Mama’s chair in the sun room/dining area of our little cottage …birds outside …cozy corner …with coffee …out of sight from anyone knocking on the front door.
  2. Walking it out with Jesus — especially in the sunshine …3 miles if possible …by a creek or water is even better (Green-ways and our Botanical Gardens are my favs here in this city living but our own neighborhood walks provide interesting conversations with the homeless along the way.  Those always give perspective to life.
  3. Time with my husband, kids and grands as well as time with close friends and family …who know me well and love me anyway…those who remind me who I really am.
  4. Worship — as a participant as well as leading others in meaningful worship.
  5. Snapping pictures — seeing things in ways that are beyond just looking
  6. Spiritual, meaningful conversations with others who are just as excited about the love of God and seeing His activity all around
  7. Sitting by a fire —  good company always making it better !
  8. Music that fills my soul — especially singing harmony with others
  9. Gardening — flowers in particular
  10. Writing and blogging — sharing life in written form to encourage others

While being at the beach or smelling Mrs. Meyer’s lavender-scented hand soap rank way up there, those are things that come and go.   I knew my “list” needed to be a list that could happen almost anytime …anywhere.  Waiting for those life-giving, perfect vacations weren’t going to give me sustaining life.  I had to find something in the everyday or I’d die of thirst in the waiting.

What revives your soul?  What activity  makes you feel truly alive?  Who makes you feel most like yourself?  Ask yourself, “When I’m doing ______________, I feel most alive.”

What if you had a chance to live that activity over and over?  How would it change your life?

Take your “one word” for the New Year and see how and where you might be able to live or experience that over and over again.  Do that.  Put yourself in that situation where you can experience that over and over again.  Write about how that impacted your life.  Talk to close friends or family about how it’s changing your responses and reactions.  Share how it’s bringing life to your soul …how it’s making you feel alive. 

Make your “one word” count …and count your “one word” over and over again.

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.

Revive Us Again | John J. HusbandRevive Us Again | William P. Mackay

*”REVIVE” definition in graphic from

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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