Looking Back, Forging Ahead: 2012 In Retrospect, & My One Word for 2013

randomlychad  —  January 8, 2013 — 17 Comments

'oneword rip' photo (c) 2008, Jem Stone - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Last year was interesting one for me. I both ascended to some of the highest heights, and hit some of the lowest lows. After having God, at Bootcamp, show up so amazingly, I (like Elijah after Carmel) bottomed out, turned to man for something I could only get from Him.

At the age of 43, I’m only just now confronting some of the ugliest parts of me.

I’m often:





Yet I can be:




Thing is, I’m more often the former three at home, and the latter online. There is a disconnect, a dividing line know as “hypocrisy,” all too frequently crossed.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been pursuing success here in the
blogging arena, and all the while mostly flailing around in life. I keep looking to things, people, stuff for significance. Which is really an Adam and Eve: looking for validation apart from God. Which, to be perfectly honest, is idolatry.

But God, Who must really love me, keeps pulling down my idols, smashing all my golden cows, and grinding them into a fine powder. As He should. There can be no other before Him.

I would venture so far as to say that the root of all sin is this desire we inherited from our famous forebears to achieve something, to be something, to be significant apart from God.

In my pursuit of success, I gave up something I never should have: my integrity. Which lead me to places where I should not have gone (at least in my heart and mind). The irony is that this is no way to succeed.

That’s why I’m laying down my dream, and exchanging it for the one God
has for me. If I’m to be successful in anyway, I want it to be on His terms (not mine), in His way, and in His time. I only have a finite amount of time/energy/resources to invest. And I don’t want my family on the wrong side of “my dream.”

I want it to be our dream, and I want us to invest together.

Which leads me to my One Word for 2013: integrity. I want to be the same in public, and in private. Consistent in my actions, my life laid bare before those close to me. This word was not chosen by me, but rather (I believe) for me.

By God.

I am telling you, my faithful, constant readers for the sake of accountability. I’ve laid my heart bare in the hopes that it encourages you to do the same (not necessarily here, in this forum, but in your life–with those closest to you). The point of looking back is to learn, and by learning not to be ensnared again in the same way. That is the way of wisdom.

Which goes hand-in-glove with integrity.

Thank-you for reading, and make a great 2013!




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • dude! such an amazing post. you really are one of the truest, most honest writers i know, chad. it certainly shows in your words.

    i am glad we met and became friends this past year. certainly one of my highlights.

  • Jo Malone

    It’s a hard one -- we are at our most honest with those we are closest to. We act without filters, we speak without backspace, cut’n’paste and thesaurus. I mean this with the best possible intentions -- blogging tends to bring out another persona, and sometimes it’s that person who we strive to be. I’m not sure you can be who you are with family online.
    Compromise -- be more of your blogging self at home, and let us see more of your home persona on here and see how that goes.

    I’m still working on my OneWord365 -- I’m torn between ‘honesty’ and ‘trust’.

    • Hmm.. hadn’t thought of it that way. Think I’m just going to dial back, live, store up experiences. Focus where I need to, and leave the rest in God’s hands.

  • great post -- I had the same revelation regarding my own online efforts and I’ve dialed WAY back on my writing as a result. For me it was vanity, which is merely self-idolatry. Thanks again for your obedience and transparency bro!

    • Tor,

      I appreciate your candor. For me, it was that, and a desperate need for validation, and affirmation, too. I wanted to be liked, to be known--but not by the right people.

      • oy! the pursuit of validation, affirmation, and wanting to be liked has been a lifelong struggle for me. i think it is for everyone though some are more willing to admit it than others. not to pimp my work or anything, necessarily, but i have a guest post coming up at a friend’s blog where i talk a little about this.

        and tor -- if you can cut back on your blogging and still maintain a domain with the word ‘daily’ in it, then i know i shouldn’t feel bad about not posting every day at my similarly named ‘daily’ blog. thx for the inadvertent relief. 🙂

  • Gerald

    Awesome blog Chad, it’s pretty amazing how God works. I was actually just starting to read a book called the power of habit by Charles Duhigg. It made me think of you and our conversation at the airport about how discipline in one area of your life promotes discipline in all other areas. I am only reading the prologue, and its talking about how scientific studies prove this. Best of luck in your word for the year, Think the integrity word goes right along with the whole poser idea from [email protected] As always I’m here for your brother.

    • Thanks, Gerald! I appreciate you so much!

  • I pray for you often, my friend. I will continue as you journey closer to the heart of our Lord.

    • Thanks so much, Larry! So thankful for your prayers.

  • Epiphany is my word for 2013. I’m excited to see God revealed in new ways this year.

    • Epiphany is a great word, Jon! I pray for many in your life--and mine.
      I’m excited as well. “Forgetting that which lies behind, I press on to the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

  • Larry_Shallenberger

    Chad, your online friends are incapable of holding a persona accountable. Make sure you build a team of flesh-n-blood for that!

    • Thanks, Larry! I’m working on that, and indeed have a great group of guys I get with on Wednesdays.

      Btw, Great article at Relevant, man!