One Word 365: My Autumn Check-In

One Word 365: my succinct “theme” for 2012. I began this year with the declaration that these 365 days would be courageous. A year of leaps and bounds like never before.

I checked in this spring with an update on my courageous moments. Not as a chance to puff myself up, but rather as a valued venue for accountability. This spring I ran a half-marathon, met/interviewed one of my favorite writers, got baptized, and even spoke at my church — like, during church.

It was a courageous spring.

With all my hustle and bustle at camp, I never got a chance to “check in” with an official One Word 365 summer update. But I’d say the summer recaps speak for themselves. I’m proud of myself. Blessed beyond measure because of the countless courageous risks I took this summer.

Now it’s autumn, and I’m back on the west coast with another One Word 365 check-in. Truthfully, this season feels like my most challenging attack on courageous yet.

Courageous hand

The Move

For six long weeks I debated the decision over and over: should I move back to California? In my last post, I detailed the decision in four distinct phases, eventually settling on that final one: yes, moving back.

An easy decision for the incredible church and life group I’d found this last year, but an overwhelmingly difficult decision for the plethora of unknowns facing me:

Nowhere to live.

Nowhere to work.

Limited savings.

My incredible roommates from the past two years had moved on, my old job at the middle school was no longer available to me, and my bank account wasn’t exactly rolling in Benjamins.

Driving across the country was long, daunting, and often uncertain. But I did it; I courageously completed that long, daunting, uncertain drive.

I’m back. And by God’s grace, it only took me four days to find a place to live.

Did I intend to move 2500 miles back across the country to live on the upper floor of a middle-aged couple’s house? Not exactly. Can’t say that particular thought was bouncing around my head as I drove for years through Texas.

But God works in mysterious, financially doable ways.

The Money

I’ve had to trust God with finances before. It’s never a fun stage of life, but I’ve been here multiple times and, well, I’ve always remained fed, clothed, and sheltered. Alive.

Admittedly, my current situation appears to be my biggest financial crunch yet. I hear the money-clock ticking viciously, but I’m grateful for some interviews lined up in the coming days.

Praying courageously that just one of these positions pans out by week’s end. And that my dear sweet Mitsy isn’t seriously injured when I take her clicking/groaning self to the shop today.

The Mission

When I pare down my life to one pivotal mission, it’s this: impacting others through the written word, empowered alone by the Master Storyteller.

Now that I’m finally settled into a semi-permanent living situation again, I’m striving to blog with more frequency than in recent months past. The posts probably won’t flow quite as frequently from before the summer, but I’m aiming for at least two or three per week.

Ideally, I’ll find more work to occupy my current over-abundance of time. But also ideally, I hope to break ground on a sweet new writing project.

It will be my most courageous writing project yet. Perhaps my most courageous leap in 25+ years. Let’s just say it’ll be like Struggle Sunday on steroids. I’m stoked/scared out of my mind, and hopefully I’ll share more as the months progress.

Just getting back to California was a courageous (and expensive) jump in itself. But I don’t wanna simply coast now that I’ve finally returned.

I want to finish this year strong. Desire to grow further.

Need your ongoing prayers now more than ever.

Do you have a One Word 365? How is your progress after 9 months?

  • Rebecka

    I’d forgotten about your One Word 365 but when I was reading your last post I kept thinking “Wow, that is so courageous!” It’s great that you found somewhere to live, God is good, and I pray the other things will work out as well.

    • TMZ

      Glad my year brought that “courageous” theme to mind. That’s super encouraging. Praying the other issues fall into line soon too…

  • MLYaksh

    My word, Surrender, has been going well. Like you, not quite how I thought it would pan out. I didn’t expect to be living with three undergrad students, two of whom I met AFTER I moved in; I didn’t expect to be giving up performing flute for close to a year; I didn’t expect to be still living in Athens, working as an unpaid intern at my church; and I DEFINITELY didn’t expect to be dating the wonderful girl who is now my girlfriend.

    Honestly, it’s still a daily battle. Every day, I have to remind myself that I am surrendering everything to God. Everything- strength, weaknesses, sins, works, friends, family. It’s all I can do some days just to even say the words, “I surrender to You, Jesus.” I feel like it’s gotten harder as the year has progressed. Maybe that’s just me. While your courageous steps have gotten bigger, my surrender has faced more opposition. I think that’s a good sign though- it means we’re doing something right.

    All that said though, I am kind of excited about where God is leading me. The next few months might be rough, but He’ll be with me. And I’m excited about where He’s taking you, man. Praying for you daily- you’re not alone by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m honored to be a witness to that.

    • TMZ

      Thanks for sharing man. Truthfully “courageous” has taken on such elevated meaning this year. Never would’ve expected my year to turn out this way on January 1. Both from a positive and negative standpoint. It’s been awesome to see God work through both facets of my year though, steadily bringing out the courage in me. Many thanks for your prayers; you’re in mine as well.