What’s Your Hundred-foot Journey?

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Q_Idelette

When was the last time you watched The Hundred Foot-Journey, she asked. Dorothea came and stood next to me at the kitchen island at my in-law’s house. I was packing up with the kids, getting ready to de-Christmas and head home.

My whole body smiled. I love that movie.

I have an assignment for you, she continued. Read Mark 5:1 and ask yourself this question: What is my Hundred-foot journey?

Dorothea once invited me to the first ever Women’s Power Breakfast in Taiwan and with that one simple question—an invitation—she helped change the trajectory of my life. She’s the one who showed me a present Jesus. The one God has used to direct my path time and time again. She’s my Nathan. My Isaiah. Now she also happens to be my aunt. And sometimes my Holy Spirit with a martini in her right hand at happy hour.

Nothing like a good, piercing question to get the juices flowing. I told her—as a matter of fact—that this whole month on SheLoves, we are hosting a series on the questions that have changed us, pierced us, directed us, moved us, freed us, healed us.

Dorothea is one of the people in my life who asks divinely-inspired questions. The kind that pierce you and set you off on a journey that lead to new life, healing, often also revelation. A few months ago, she asked me, What are you most afraid of?

My honest-to-goodness from-the-bottom-of-my-belly-answer was right there, as I sat next to her on the couch: success.

With that one question, she sent me off on a good soul-searching and a prayer. And yes, a healing.

So, I’ve been mulling her most recent question: What is my hundred-foot journey?

What seems so far away and yet is here, close, maybe even right across the street?
What good is waiting for me, just beyond the front door?
What community, what fulfillment, what joy is close enough for me to reach?
Where do I need to get over myself and just surrender to the what-is?
Where do I need to open my eyes to the gifts, the people, the destiny that is right close?
What is waiting for me that may look different than what I imagined and yet is exactly what I need?
What seems really really long off and yet lies really really close?

There were two more words in her assignment. Two words in Mark 5:1 (The Message): “They arrived …”

Where do I need to arrive? What short journey do I need to take? What is right here, close by, where I need to arrive at?

Maybe even more honestly: Where do I want to arrive?

This question settles deep into my soul and I know the answer. It’s the book I have been writing for months now. It feels so close by—like it’s right across the street—and yet also a thousand miles away.

With her question, I sense this: It’s time. This year, I want those words to be fulfilled: They arrived.

She arrived.
I arrived.

It fits right in with our annual question: What is your One Word?

Leading up to this new year, my enthusiasm had faded around my One Word a bit. It’s one of the best practices I have, but for some silly reason, it had lost its sizzle.

But I know there’s good fruit in this practice, so I leaned in and asked God: What is my One Word for 2016?

This one didn’t come with fanfare or a swoosh of the Spirit. It was just right there. So mild, yet so true. I let it simmer for a few weeks. I had almost forgotten what it was. Then when I was getting my heart ready to move into this new year, I wondered again: What is my One Word? It helps propel me toward the new, helps me focus on what I sense is priority and it becomes a prayer for the whole year.

In 2015, my word was “Gather” and we did just that. We gathered in March and we Dared to be Dangerous. We gathered in a smaller circle in June to report back on our dares and then we gathered again in November to be “Paused and Present” and hear from Tina and Michaela. I gathered with our life group on Thursday nights and we gathered with our editorial team on Saturday mornings. This year, we added the events team and some of my favourite little gatherings, were on Shaley’s couch, leaning back against soft pillows, belly lauging and sometimes crying, praying and also planning.

As a family, we gathered with our church on Saturday nights, always remembering here how we are part of something so much larger than ourselves. How God is at work in ways that are too vast for me to understand and yet, I get to be a part of this working and making and resting and even blessing.

On my own, in my quiet days and kids-off-to-school moments, I have dived deep and I have gathered the words I have written and I have written more and even more. I have gathered the thoughts and ideas and stories that have spread around my life. I have gotten swallowed whole and I have walked up a mountain in the dark. The journey is continuing and it is right.

This year, my One Word is “write.”

(I think my agent will shout a huge, Hallelujah.)

I have been writing—but sensing this is my One Word for 2016, feels like permission. Like this is a priority the Heavens have assigned. It feels good and right. It feels solid, like a rock I get to stand on this year. Like it just is.

In a way, this writing has been like a Hundred-Foot Journey. Right here. So close. And yet so far.

This year, I want to arrive. I want to sit under the lights of doing the task and bask in the blessings it will bring. I want to be stretched by it (some more) and also know, It has been here all along.

The journey has been long and it has been only a hundred feet.

This year, may we travel where we hope to go. And let it be said of us, They arrived.

__________

So, dear Lovelys,

What is your Hundred-foot Journey this year? Where do you want to arrive this year? What feels really really far off and is possibly really really close?

I look forward to walking this journey with you.

LOVE,
idelette + the SheLoves team
xoxo

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Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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Comments

  1. And then you shared your OneWord and I felt it too. Permission. Standing with you, love. And writing.

  2. oddznns says:

    November 2015 I came out as a praying woman with a book of prayers – When Heart Meets Spirit. For too long, I’ve separated the different parts of me – wife, mother, daughter, businesswoman, feminist, writer, woman of faith, woman of prayer. This will be a year of gathering myself, becoming transparently whole, being the all me to all. So my word for this year is BE. Hugs to you

  3. Sandy Hay says:

    It seems that God is moving me a bit further into leadership with a small women’s group I’m part of. And to taking a theology class way at a level way beyond what i would have thought I’d say YES to. Hmmmm…..I hadn’t given much thought to a word this year. Yet as I’m writing the word YES something’s twirling in my mind. You do this to me Idelette…and I love it…and you xoxo

  4. my #oneword365 JOY in the waiting for the Lord

  5. Megan Gahan says:

    I love that so many of the commenters pulled out different questions from this piece that resonated deeply with them. It’s so beautiful to see the unique place each of them are at. I am nowhere near figuring out my “one word” so I’m thankful your piece gave me a little exhale on that front, a little more room to ponder and settle in and embrace what God wants. And goodness, your writing-your voice-is as beautiful and inviting as ever, and making me positively giddy that your word for the year is “write”. Standing with you. xx

  6. Hannah Kallio says:

    My one-hundred foot journey has been a journey toward belonging. Having been rejected again and again, and then forced out of my native country, I felt exile so deep in my bones. I could tell where that feeling lived in me. God has been speaking legitimacy, belonging, and arrival into my spirit. I know there’s more work that needs to be done here, but He is doing it.

  7. I have never even heard of the movie! Is it Canadian?

    And yes… I need to write! Three books all begun…

    Happy New Year dear friends across the oceans. You are dear to me and I’m so glad to know you. May 2016 be all that you believe for and even more, full of courage and grace and forgiveness and empowering love.

  8. Julie Cochrane says:

    So great to read this today Idelette! Being home alone on New Years Eve (day), I decided to watch, for the 3rd time, The Hundred Foot Journey. I love so much about this movie! Then later as my husband and I prayed the Old Year ‘out’ and the New Year in, we each pondered what our words for 2016 might be. Waking the following morning the words, “something old, something new” declared themselves to be the theme over my life this coming year . . . gleaning wisdom from the past to create a new pathway into the future. Not sure of all the implications just yet, but I love the image of collecting stepping stones from the past and laying them on the path ahead. . . thinking I might watch The Hundred Foot Journey again today for more insight!

  9. one word is a struggle for me; i have been waiting for the next steps for 3 years after college. i’m now starting year 4. what is the breakthrough God is waiting to give me or is He waiting for me to do something? i am i going from waiting to seeking Him in the quiet, read of His word? is that where i am supposed to be listening in the quiet?

    • then where does the one hundred foot/mile journey to come into that?

    • Hi Joni,

      As I read your comment today it reminded me so strongly of something my pastor said on Sunday. He told us about a time when we desperately wanted to minister to college kids. He had the education and he sent resumes and applications out to over 70 churches. While he was waiting he had to work somewhere to pay the bills and ended up working at a car rental facility at the airport. It was far cry from his dream. He said that at the time he didn’t notice that he was surrounded by college kids. They kept asking him questions about God and he told them he didn’t have time to go for coffee because he had these applications to fill out. He said it was several years later that he looked back and realized that the thing he wanted was right where he was it just looked nothing like the way that he wanted it to look.

      I don’t know where you are right now. I don’t know what road you’ve walked, but I can imagine how hard it’s been. Waiting is brutal work (that much I know from experience). I don’t know if the thing you’re looking for is in your life somewhere right now it just doesn’t look the way you wanted it to. I will encourage you with this: God does not waste our time. I cannot tell you why you are where you are, or what day God will reveal his purpose to you, but I can promise you that you are not there because God lost track of you or because he hasn’t quite gotten around to you yet. You’re not there because he forgot. I am also in a time of waiting, so I’m not telling you this from the finish line, I’m telling you from the trenches. God sees us. The wait is really, really hard, and its exhausting and it feels like foolishness. Refuse to believe the lie that it’s foolish or that it’s leftovers or that you are in any way less than. (Does Satan whisper that to you? It’s what he whispers to me.)

      Stay close to God. Hold on to the hope that something is coming and in the meantime, do the next thing that is right in front of you. (And if you’re anything like me, fight the urge to self-isolate. Find a community even if community is the very last thing you feel like you have energy for.) I’m praying for you today that God will show you at least part of what he has planned and that he will give you the continued strength to walk this road.

  10. Heather Miller says:

    Thank you so much for this Idelette. I’m not sure what my hundred-foot journey might be, but I believe that my One Word for 2016 is Delight. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression and this word feels like such a gift of hope to me. I know it is not necessarily easy but I think this year is about delighting myself in the Lord, enjoying the presence of the Spirit
    in my life, delighting in the good gifts God has given me. I know this could actually be a really big challenge on the hard days. I don’t often view myself as worthy, so I also wonder if my One Word might be about accepting myself, trusting that the Lord does delight in me and is not disappointed or angry. (Although I am ready to be surprised – I started doing the One Word thing last year and my word was Ripe, and yet so many things turned out to be unripe.) Thank you again Idelette for this beautiful post to start the year and for this beautiful space here at SheLoves. How wonderful that your word is Write!

  11. Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Thanks for an insightful and inspirational post, Idelette. You write beautifully and passionately, so I’m thinking it’s birthing time. That baby has incubated long enough, right? 🙂 When I read this, my first thought was “Do we ever arrive?” I want to ponder *that* question for awhile. But I also know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And I am thinking so does a hundred-foot journey. Maybe the journey’s length is inconsequential. It’s the starting that’s important. Somehow that first step, no matter the length of the journey, is always where I stall. And having had a real disappointment w/ my last book (eleven years ago), the writer’s journey seems daunting, and I keep delaying a fresh journey. But somehow, some way, step by single step, I’m thinking I need to start. Or maybe, I need to LEAP. Thank you again for your encouragement, and I can’t wait to read. that. book.
    Happy New Year.
    Lynn
    PS I’ve not seen the movie. Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. “Maybe even more honestly: Where do I want to arrive?” Hmm. I will ponder this. May God bless you on your journey. And I can’t wait to read your words.

  13. Helen Burns HeleneBurns says:

    As always your words deliver such a beautiful invitation and land on my heart creating expectation and joy. I am forever grateful for the day our worlds connected. Yes! to WRITE… we are waiting with joy-filled anticipation my friend.

    Hundred-Foot Journey is one of my favourite movies and it wonderfully presents such poignant question ‘What is your Hundred-Foot Journey?’ xoxo

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    Grateful for reminders. The one word – how did I forget about that? For me, clearly, finishing also with the book. Mid way can feel like a long way from done! I may have found my word in your post, along in the side paragraphs. 😉 Best to you this new year!

  15. “Where do I need to get over myself and just surrender to the what-is?” Yes. That. Lord, get me over myself. Lovely post. Praying you on as you write.

  16. Such a good question. I always like to spend New Years Day journaling and thinking, this is an excellent question to get me started. (Also, just reserved the DVD from our library because I have NEVER seen the movie. I remember wanting to see it, but as so often happens, by the time it hits DVD I have forgotten it. So, something to look forward to doing this weekend!)

  17. This is incredibly layered and hopeful, and I’m so looking forward to all this month’s questions. Let’s pray for this kind of God-light to energize our 2016!

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