As long ago as I can remember, my dad had a love of cultivating flowers and plants. In addition to being a minister, in essence “cultivating the souls” of those around him, Dad became a master gardener; spending countless hours teaching others how to nurture plants. As our sons became old enough to help him with gardening, he even poured his passion and knowledge about growing things into them. It is through his inspiration that I have chosen my “word of the year” for 2023: cultivate.
When I think of cultivation, I think of things flourishing and growing. Improving. Learning. I think of cultivation as a way to encourage living things to be their absolute best selves. Cultivation starts with a strong foundation and builds on that. Whether a farmer is cultivating soil through rotating crops and fertilization, or a teacher is cultivating minds through challenging students and expanding their knowledge, the process is ongoing and constantly changing.
In that vein, there are several areas of my life that I will attempt to cultivate this year:
• My writing. This year I am determined to be more consistent with my blog. I am also helping to write my Mom’s story through a gift that one of her grandsons and his family gifted to her. I am journaling more during prayer and Bible study. And I am attempting to do some coursework online to help me hone these skills further.
• Health. I know, I know. I say it every year. And every year I do make some headway with a healthier lifestyle and habits. This year I plan to cultivate my exercise habits, cooking and eating habits, and even plan to grow some of my own microgreens and spices.
• Relationships. I’ve said it a million times, but great relationships don’t happen effortlessly. They take intentionality. They take work. They take cultivation. This year I plan to make extra effort to connect with friends and family.
• Bible study. Although I attempt to read the Bible every morning, sometimes it is simply reading and nothing more. I would like to actually spend time this year in study of some of the scriptures that I read.
• Positivity. It seems as if the world around us is becoming more negative by the day. It is so easy to fall into that pattern, expecting the worst and seeing the bad. This year I am going to cultivate my “glass half full” side, which will take a great deal of perseverance. Positivity starts with gratitude, grace, and determination.
What about you? What is your “word” for 2023? What are some of the steps that you are taking to cultivate that word throughout the year? I would love to hear from you!