Thursday, January 7, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - 2016 One Little Words

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!

Happy New Year! I'm so grateful to all of you who read and link up each week.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the 2016 spiritual journey brings!
(Thank you to David Etkin for the OLW graphic!  Feel free to use it - he's given permission!)
For those of you who read my Slice of Life on Tuesday, you know that I've chosen my One Little Word this year (if you're not sure what a OLW is, you can read about it here.)  Today, though, I'm going to write about the word I almost chose, CHILDLIKE.

Our Children's Ministry Director gave the message on Sunday at our church.  It was wonderful.  If you have time, I would encourage you to listen to the whole thing:

If you don't have time to listen to it entirely, let me give you the three main points: 
1.  Children long to be in the presence of their parents.
2.  Children live life - including their faith life - with abandon.
3.  Children understand the heart of the matter - spiritual truths.
As I was listening, I thought about my life and my attitudes.  Do I long to be in the presence of God?  Do I live life and faith with joy and abandon?  Do I understand Biblical and spiritual truths and live by them.?  Do I even really want to do and be all those things?  It's so easy to be distracted, cynical, and reserved.  It's easy to retreat.  Compromise.  Withdraw. 
Yes, of course I want to live by those three standards.  No, I don't always embrace all of them all the time - at least at the same time.  However, Jesus urged his disciples and us to be childlike.  The enthusiasm and earnestness of children are something to be emulated.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  - Matthew 19:14
Jesus valued children and knew we could all learn from them.  He wants us to have the same desire to love and be loved, hold out hope and faith, and live life to the fullest.  In 2016, I'm going to pay attention to the qualities of children and see what God sees - a key to the Kingdom.
I thought for sure I was going to pick CHILDLIKE as my 2016 OLW after hearing that message, but for various reasons, it didn't quite fit.  Instead, I chose WAIT, but there are childlike qualities inherent in that word that will come to light.  WAIT also incorporates the concepts of my previous OLWs, JOURNEY and FOCUS.  I look forward to exploring my new word this year.
Last year, a group of Spiritual Journey Thursday writers wrote about the spiritual aspects of each other's OLW.  (If you'd like to look back at mine, read here.) I thought it was such an enlightening experience, that I asked if anyone wanted to do it again.  Many from last year said yes, and we also have some new people!  I'm excited to see what awaits us!  Below I have made a schedule.  If I've forgotten you, or you would like to join us, just Tweet me or leave a comment telling me your word, and I'll add you in!  Each week we'll each write about the spiritual aspects of the word that is scheduled, and the person who has claimed that word will write about it as well.  When my post is published that morning, link up!  Let's see what we learn and discover!
January 14:  Carol Varsalona - BELIEVE
January 21:  Margaret Simon - PRESENT
January 28:  Michelle Haseltine - SELAH
February 4:  Justin Stygles - (Blind) FAITH
February 11: Leigh Ann Eck - INTENT
February 18:  Irene Latham - DELIGHT
February 25:  Violet Nesdoly - MINDFULNESS
March 3:  Julieanne Harmatz - ADMIRE
March 10:  Holly Mueller - WAIT
March 17:  Linda Kulp - SIMPLIFY
Did I forget anyone?  If so, please let me know!!  Let the writing begin!

Like a Little Child from Lebanon Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.


  1. I would like to embrace the simple wonder of being a child. Everything is new. Like Irene's word delight, we should live in joy every day. That is hard to do. Thanks for leading us to discover more of our spiritual wonder through these words.

  2. Thank you for another inspirational post. I need to review, more than once, the trilogy of children's qualities you so generously summarized for us. Unfortunately, I find it's more instinctive for me to be childish, and takes more grace to be childlike. God bless you for choosing such a spiritually nourishing word for today's post!

  3. I believe the attraction of that joyful state is why I teach. As teachers we just have to make sure we nurture this in ourselves so it lives on in our children. Thank you for this post and for including me in the list OLWs to ponder.

  4. Holly, I listened to the video with ears opened. I love the questions you asked of yourself and agree with Bobbies' thought about the grace needed to be childlike. Living with open, unquestionable faith is an ultimate goal that waiting calls upon us to do. Thanks for the OLW journey that we will all begin.

  5. Holly, if it's not too late, I'd like to join in the Spiritual Journey Thursdays. My OLW for 2016 is SIMPLIFY. I haven not written about it on my blog, but I have already started to apply it in my life. : )

    1. Linda,
      I'd be happy to add you to our list! SIMPLIFY is a great word!

    2. Do you have a Twitter handle? I added you to March 17th!!