by Kate McKinnie, Director of Development of The Next Door
For the past 8-9 years, I have chosen a word of the year. I begin praying in December for how I want the next year to be different. I pray for wisdom of what one word of focus could be to help me get there. This year, my word is INTENTIONAL.
What led me to this word was that I felt like at work in my role as Director of Development, everything I do is with great intention, purpose and strategy to achieve the fundraising goals for The Next Door. However, outside of work, I don’t live with much intention. I chose this word for 2019 because I want to be intentional with relationships in my life I want to strengthen, and I want to be intentional with my health, fitness and dietary habits. There are several other ways in my personal life I need to be more intentional, because I believe when you approach things with intentionality, you are more likely to see change that you want in life.
Because I love this annual exercise of choosing my word of the year, I decided to ask our clients about theirs. On New Year’s Day, I put up a sign next to the elevators on each residential floor and asked a simple question: “What one word do you want to guide you and define you in the new year?” During the entire month of January, as new clients have come into the program, I have enjoyed seeing their responses. Here is what they wrote:
- Amazing, sober mother
While I thought, prayed and toyed around with several words that I wanted to guide and define me in 2019, the women in treatment at The Next Door last month most likely came up with theirs in a brief period of time, while waiting for the elevator! The simplicity of their answers was inspiring. To merely want peace, serenity, happiness, strength or sobriety as they look at a new year may seem simple to me, but for our clients, this could be a major shift from the life they are living now.
Each day I work in this ministry, I realize that I have MUCH in common with women of The Next Door. I may not struggle with addiction, trauma or mental illness, but what I do long for – like each woman within our doors – is a new start and moving from weak to strong in some area of our lives. Whether that’s to be more intentional in my approach to relationships and fitness or women simply wanting to wake up sober and productive each day of 2019, we each seek change.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
I hope each of you is having a wonderful start to your new year. Remember: we love to have visitors at The Next Door! If you feel led to be involved in some way in this life-changing ministry for women and find common ground with these courageous women like I do each day, come see us! To arrange a visit, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.