I chose a different word, you know, awhile ago for my word of the year 2015. But something wasn’t right. It didn’t encompass everything that I want to be and do in 2015. I did not like the way it sounded which, I know, I know, is lame. But I am a writer and the way a word sounds, what it means, and what it means to me specifically, is important–especially when choosing a word for an entire year. I can’t help it.
When I was little, I decided I wanted to play soccer because all the cool girls played. I was not good my first year. In fact, I was horrible. Most of the girls had been playing together for a few years and we would later find out, I was accidentally playing a year up. Meanwhile, even as I felt awkward and uncoordinated, I fell in love with the sport I knew I wasn’t the best at. But I had heart. That’s what people said; and that’s why the coaches kept me on the team that first year. At least people could say that about me. At the time, I didn’t have the talent or the knowledge but I worked as hard as I possibly could. I ran as fast as I could. I threw my body around like it didn’t matter if it meant making a play. Playing with all the heart in the world eventually led to talent and success. (I’m not claiming I was Mia Hamm but I was a starter and my team depended on me to perform.) As I continued to play and improve, that heart, that burning thing inside me to do it all at any cost, no matter how dumb I appeared or how awkward I felt, stayed with me and served me well. I was never the most talented on the field but because I played with heart, I went farther than I ever would have on talent alone. When you combine heart and even the smallest amount of talent, there is success.
No one will ever say, “Nina, you are the best blogger” or “You are the best writer.” Even if someone did say that, not everyone in the world would ever agree. But that’s okay. Because this year, it’s about heart. It’s about me doing the things I love, be it writing or blogging or photography or anything creative, because I love it. It’s about the hustle behind it, working my butt off, not because I am the best or because I am in competition with anyone but for myself. It’s for the love of the game. It’s about playing with heart.
I am willing to make sacrifices for these things that make my soul happy. When heart, talent, and passion come together, there is nothing like that. Your soul simply sings. At the end of 2015, I want to be able to say, no matter how things end up, “Man, Nina, you played with heart.” People can try to measure your success or your talent. They can count the money in your bank account. Or the number of followers on your blog. But they can’t measure heart. That’s between me and God. And this is the year I am putting it all out on the line. For the love of the game.
There is more to it too. I am not a hearts and flowers girl (maybe that’s why I started with a sports metaphor). But I’ve got to open my heart to people again–to a church, to a community group, to the possibility of love and yes, even hurt.
And finally, I’ve got to examine some parts of my heart, parts I’ve been ignoring. I have to take the steps towards healing that atrophy, take my part out of my box. I want to be unafraid to share my heart and to show it others. I don’t want to be afraid of the damaged hearts but instead believe that if I hand them over to God, He will be heal them in a way I cannot even imagine
I am trusting God for big things in 2015. And I mean, BIG–things that are between me and Him and my journal and lots of goal setting. Meanwhile, I will be doing my part, putting my heart on the line and running this race with so much heart (Hebrews 12:1).
Are you choosing a word for 2015?
Heart. For love of the Game,
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