Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Vo-luminous Year 2015

I have a thing for making up words, apparently, or at the very least altering them.  I won't flatter myself and compare this compulsion with Shakespeare's genius, but I will acknowledge that there is much in this life that simply doesn't have words that suffice.

I am overflowing with gratitude for Beth who created this image.
Last year, in my desire to keep an open hand and a healthy emotional inner space, to recognize beauty in the present and see God in everything, I created a word to guide my intentions.  That word was now-full, and it seeped into the cracks of my days and my moods and my frustrations until I couldn't help but cup each golden moment in the palm of my hand.

When I opened myself to the possibility of a word for 2015, I listened to the Holy Spirit as I prayed and as I read.  I asked for eyes to see where I needed to be filled and changed.  The fall was a hard one for our family and I was again struggling with a darkness around the edges of my days.

One word that kept appearing was the word "fullness."  I read it as I prepared a talk for an art journaling class; I came upon it in my prayer times over candlelight; I felt it as I breathed deeply on a difficult day.
"And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all the followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.  Reach out and experience the breadth!  Test its length!  Plumb the depths!  Rise to the heights!  Live full lives, full in the fullness of God."
Living into the knowledge of the fullness of God already present within me takes a certain releasing of expectation and certainty.  It is a mystery that I cannot fully understand, nor do I want to.  Instead I practice breathe-ins, I look up at the stars and I feel the earth beneath my feet, I try to put aside the to-dos in favor of playing and creating.  Maybe this year is the year feeling the fullness of God-with-me becomes second nature.

The other word that spoke to me was "light."  Not the brightness of the sun in summer, but the tenacious, warm glow of a candle in winter.  A hopeful center of a womb-like darkness, always burning in me.  Henri Nouwen talks of the candle of God's presence in our inner room.  That's the light that I want to keep burning.
"What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.  The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out."  John 1:4-5

But "fullness" didn't feel like my word.  And "light" didn't either.  So I thought of the different root and foreign words that meant light, and lumen came to mind.  From lumen came luminous, and from luminous {which means "filled with light"} came voluminous {which means "very full"}, and finally, to separate the thoughts, I added an unassuming hyphen.  And my vo-luminous year was born.

This year I will purpose to live into fullness and I will turn inward to warm my face with the light of Christ's presence.  Then I will turn that glow outward, share that love in the quiet ways that God gives me to do so.


Do you have a word for 2015?  An intention?  A gentle purpose for yourself?  I don't just want to know the word, I want to know the why...  Share with me?

1 comment:

  1. I'm working on this as we speak. I'll let you know what I come up with. :)