A Last Word on Less {Goodbye 2012}

I remember the initial challenge. One. Word. A word that sets your intention for the year. I am not one who struggles to find words. Words are the chariots of fire that roll through my mind in the dark of night. Words are the fuel that propel me onward through days that become one in a never-ending story. Committing to one word for me was like asking a kangaroo to lasso a great white shark, from a boat…during a blizzard…at night. On another planet. OK, maybe I exaggerate. Just a little. I think knowing that others were setting there intention and focus through these communities helped me feel less alone. But still…when God whispered to me in that still small voice the word Less, I was really not thrilled  exactly open to the idea. Yet, I knew there was wisdom in it. Though my flesh did protest, I listened and accepted this One Word for 2012. Less. 
He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30
So I pondered, prayed and wrote up that post and joined my one word with many one words and became one with a whole bunch of others…and asked God to answer me the question Could Less Be Best?
Because you know I tend to be a little slow and sometimes I don’t hear so well…that is when God is talking to me anyway. Fortunately He is fairly patient with me. I mean sometimes I get a little nervous and think He might just have the earth split and swallow me, but so far He shows me grace and mercy despite my stubborn sheep tendency. He does faithfully lead me beside the still water but occasionally He will also Take Me To The River  (so I can hear him better). 

I’d like to say I have it all together after walking a year with this word looking back at me from my desk, blog and heart. Instead I recognize it is this Living Word, very real Savior and Faithful Guide who leads me to His ultimate destination His way, in His time and by means that amaze and humble me. I know not the way He goes, but I know that there is no turning back. In all of it I learn to yield, trust, submit to that which I still do not fully grasp. In this process there is transformation, reconciliation and true salvation. All being worked together without my effort, acknowledgement or often, awareness. This holy path from which I will not depart but walk at exactly the right pace, as He allows it to widen or narrow before me. 

I still have much to learn…but this year as I pondered how much more Jesus needs to reign within my heart I was led to the verses which exemplify what love looks like so well. The timeless verses of 1 Corinthians 13. The Love chapter. I realized that less of me and more of Jesus might mean that love would be magnified in me. That Jesus would reign and be revealed. 

My paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 with the help of “The Message” Bible:

Never gives up.
Cares more for others than self. 
Doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Doesn’t strut.
Doesn’t have a swelled head.
Doesn’t force itself on others.
Isn’t always me first. 
Doesn’t fly off the handle. 
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.
Doesn’t revel when another grovels.
Enjoys truth’s growth.
Is never offended.
Trusts in God completely. 
Always sees the good.
Does not look back. 
Perseveres til the end.

This is a portrait of Christ. He lives within you and me and ultimately He will have His own look just like Him! Oh, Lord, I have so far to go. But I do hope in you!

The pursuit of Less led me to Love and authentic Love always leads to the One who is love and that is God. (1 John 4:8)

The Women’s Bible Study I participated  in wrapped up in December, and when I missed a class the leader  made sure to save me a special “challenge” card that each lady had received. On the front there was a bible verse and theme; on the back a specific directive to follow. It was no surprise to me that I got Ephesians 5:21. Submit to One Another. On the back: “Specifically this week consider where you fit in in the body of Christ or in family relationships. We are not always #1!” Ouch. Less of me Lord, more of You. I have always struggled with the fitting in. As a matter of fact, I mostly go through life feeling pretty much like I don’t fit in! But God says we all have a place and it comes in the submitting one to another that begins with considering where we fit in, only after we submit to Him. If we are not submitted to Him, we will not be ready to submit to those we love or others in a healthy, balanced way. Selfishness  reigns and He is dethroned. But if we submit ourselves to Him, He enables us to submit to one another. He is glorified.

 “Submit to one another<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: 'Charis SIL', charis, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; text-align: start; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> out of reverence for Christ.”
Ephesians 5:21

Less of me and more of Him…
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Still learning.
Abba, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit, as I learn to fly…
I thank you for these lessons, your patience and your promises. 

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly
 All your life 
You were only waiting for this moment to arise…”
Paul McCartney

A special thank you to Bonnie @ Faith Barista, Alece @ One Word 365, and Melanie @ Only A Breath who make this Bloggy World a whole lot smaller in a really BIG, wonderful way! Thank you, Ladies!

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

10 thoughts on “A Last Word on Less {Goodbye 2012}

  1. Oh yes Dawn; we need to be more concerned with pleasing Him rather than pleasing ourselves or others around us. We have to focus on His voice instead of the other voices that tend to try to distract and hinder.Blessings and joy for a New Year full of love and His grace!Denise


  2. I love when you wrote:”Words are the chariots of fire that roll through my mind in the dark of night.”My favorite movie of all time is Chariots of Fire so I perked up when I read that. I was singing along to the video and smiling. Thank you for that Dawn.Yes, less of us and more of Him. That makes all the difference in the world. So glad I've been getting to know you through our blogs and Facebook and our writings. I have been praying about my one word for 2013. I will write about it today or tomorrow.Blessings and love,Debbie


  3. Deb,I was just thinking of you! I have never seen Chariots of Fire but have heard so much about it…I will make it a priority for 2013! Looking forward to reading about your one word! I also am trying to figure a blog post schedule…so hard. I MIGHT join you with the weigh in Wednesdays with Kim…(I saw you and Barbie over there!) but am praying about all as I really need to prioritize carefully, as we all do! SO many good things, but discerning the things He wills for us takes careful consideration. I tend to want to do it all, and have learned that is not always His will! Love and Grace to you, my friend!


  4. In your year of challenge to become “less”…I have grown “more” in my relationship with the Lord and in writing about that relationship…partially by listening to what God was saying through YOU. You have been an inspiration in so many ways. May God continue to have preeminence in your and my lives in 2013…so that others will see Christ living in us. Thank you for being so transparent and real. Keep up the good work!


  5. Pam, you bless me and I so appreciate your well timed words, wisdom and input. I am humbled and grateful that God can use me this way despite…well you know despite my me-ness! It is all because of His Him-ness! Love and Grace to you throughout the New Year, Dawn


  6. Dawn- I agree your commitment to less has turned into the more of Jesus! I see Him peeking in and around and through your blog…keep shining for Him! See you in 2013. I look forward to more Random Journal Days and Beneath the Surface posts! Happy New Year adventures! Kel


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