Following our Compass

So last week I shared that my One Word for this year is “Follow” and I promised more details on what that looks like. Because seriously… ambiguous much? As much as I’m excited for this year and what it holds, I also know it requires a lot of intention on our parts. Because if Jesus is asking us to follow, then it’s unlikely we’re going to end up in the same place next December as we are right now – even if I have no idea exactly what that means.

As I was praying about all of this earlier this month, one thing became very clear: if we’re going to get where He’s telling us to go, we need a pretty good compass. And so that’s becoming the theme for this year. Following Christ by setting our compass. 

Follow #oneword365

Last year the hubster and I had a serious case of yes-itis. We said yes to everything. Everything. Seriously. Every little thing. Between his demanding work and Ph.D. schedule and my crazy work and helping him with his Ph.D. schedule, plus a little bit of social life, plus getting out of town, plus the day to day work of making a home function, we were wiped.

We were trying too hard to cram in what we wanted to do on top of what we “needed” to do, and it became a full plate. Even our genius idea of Just Say No June didn’t really take off. By summer we were fully into travel season swing and by the time that wrapped up we were preparing for the holidays. We ended the year in almost the exact same place we began it.

And here’s the deal about yes-itis. If we’re saying yes to everything people invite us to, or every idea we have, or everything people ask us to do (at work or home or anywhere we go), then we’re bobbing around without a compass. Jesus’ brother James called it being “as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” Amen. We’re literally all over the place but going nowhere.

When we set our compass on Christ we give ourselves a plan and a direction. We’re going somewhere.

So this year we’re setting our compass in two ways. We’re looking at what God’s asking of us and also at what dreams He’s planting in our hearts. And then we’re asking what do we need to do to get there. 

And I’m making a list and putting it in a frame and it’s staying in plain sight as we follow through 2014, and we’re going to do our best to avoid detours at all cost.

I’ll share that list and how I’m framing it soon. What about you? Have you ever “set a compass” toward something so to speak? Any good tips or stories to share? If you were to set a compass this year, what would you be walking toward? 

p.s. Prefer to sing along? This one says it all…

Original photo of Where Do You Go by ~Martin~ from Flickr Creative Commons. Adapted for this blog post by Stephanie Oh.



  1. Sounds like you have some great adventures ahead of you, Kim…following Jesus.
    Used to sing a song in the seventies…before you were born of course….”follow Jesus I will follow Jesus. Follow wherever He may lead me”……great song…challenging task. But you are up to it my friend! Look forward to hearing more from you on this….


  2. I can’t wait to see that list! We’re doing a series at church right now on the pursuit of Jesus — same idea, opposite imagery, I guess? — and it’s really making me examine what pursuing him (or following him) looks like, and wonder why I’m not doing more of those things. 🙂


    1. Coming soon! We’re pretty-fying it as we speak.

      That sounds like an awesome series! I think we’ll always have areas to grow in, but it’s exciting to be able to set our sights and follow Him on that path. 🙂


  3. Well, first off, I’d say that a one word name for the year is supposed to be a bit ambiguous–I mean, how else could we personalize a word and make it our own if it wasn’t a big, partially undefined starting place? But exactly as you are saying, if we really want that one word to shape our year, we’ve got to dig into it and figure out what it means for us personally and how we’re going to explore and live out that word. So–yay! I’m glad to see you’ve already started diving into defining what Follow means to you right now and what you hope it means for the year ahead. Which, honestly, is a lot further along than me–I’m still in the somewhat nebulous, grasping-at-the-fragments phase of this year’s name.

    I think it’s hard when our lives are significantly limited (whether by illness or by unfavorable jobs or by really hard life stages like the pursuit of a PhD) because like you said, we want to be able to do the “want to” things and not just the “have to” things. But the reality is that we’re limited–and honestly, that’s always going to be the case this side of heaven. And you’re so right on the money–if we don’t come from the right center (Christ) when making decisions about what to do or not do, we’re just running around like crazy trying to make our life work. Not that I would know anything about that. Ahem. So I guess what I’m saying is that we’re in similar places–we’re just taking slightly different approaches. You’re trying to suss out where God’s leading and follow Him there–and I’m just trying to be with God, right here, right now, right in the middle of this whole messed up life of mine. I think our words, Found and Follow, are going to complement each other nicely this year, and I’m excited to journey with you, wherever God’s taking us.

    I think you’re definitely on the right track–defining the places you want to go and then coming up with a plan on how to get there. I think the only thing I would add is to maybe pre-schedule regular check-in points throughout the year–times to come back to the plan and reevaluate the progress you’ve made and where you’ve strayed and where you want to adjust the plan to better reflect how you are learning and growing. Can’t wait to see your framed up list! Love you, Dear Friend.


    1. As always, I LOVE what you bring to this conversation. Found and Follow are def going to complement each other this year. And we both know that no matter how much we dig into it, God’s definitely got a few surprises up His sleeve for what’s ahead. 🙂

      I love that idea of pre-scheduled check ins. Totally running that by the husband and putting those on the calendar. Steph just designed a really cool printable to use in the frame, so I’m sharing it soon!

      Love you back, friend!


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