Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Power of a Word

The trend in the blogosphere has been to choose a word to focus on for the duration of the year.  I have a bit of a stubborn streak (perhaps it is the red hair) and I bucked the trend the first few years that those posts showed up.

This year, though, as those posts started showing up in my Google Reader, I have to admit that one word always came to my mind. It seemed like, whether or not I intended to participate in the Word of the Year, I was being given a word.

Ironically, that word is


As thoughts rambled through my mind, I realized just how many ways this word could apply to some changes I’d like to make, not just for the year of 2012, but also beyond.

Truth is, I can be pretty selfish.  Perhaps it is human nature.  Sometimes I put more time and thought into what I  want than I really should. I want to focus more on what I can give.

Give… Time. As I headed into the Advent season with the idea to plan special time with my girls, I didn’t realize what a pleasure it would become.  Yes, I can spend all day with my girls, but the opportunity to share a special craft, story or game became a highlight to our days.

Give… Attention.  Like above, some days speed by like a blur and I find myself moving so fast that I miss opportunities to slow down and really interact with those I love.  A question can be met with a frantic, “Not right now!"  A simple request can be met with an exasperated sigh. How many moments to I miss when I fail to slow down, get down, establish eye contact and answer that little question or request.

Give… Encouragement.  A pat on the back, a kind word, a short note sent through the mail. It really doesn’t take much effort to give a little encouragement to those in our lives. I hope to do this more.

Give… Compliments. I know how a genuine compliment can lift my spirits and I hope to be mindful to look for things in people that I can compliment and build up.

Give… Service.  This is a big one for me.  I have felt such a pull to find more ways for our family to get out there and serve.  I hope that opportunities open up for our family and I am able to find new and different ways to volunteer.

Give… It to God.  The truth is, our family is currently going through one of the most painfully heartbreaking seasons yet. I’ve shared a bit about it here in the past, but as the time goes on and things just continue to grow into a bigger mess, the pain weighs so heavy on me.  Some days, I feel like I am barely hanging on. I hope to keep my focus on giving my pain, my worry, my heartbreak to God.  When I am at my breaking point, it is God who has something to give to me.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Give… Thanks.  In all circumstances. A reminder that this is God’s will for us.  I do find myself reflecting on the many blessings in my life, but it is when it comes to pain that it becomes harder to be thankful. Looking back in my walk with Christ, it is the times that bring me to my knees and the very end of myself, that I cling to Him the most.


I’ll be doing my best to keep this word in mind as I go through my days.  I’ve printed the picture above off in various sizes and have placed it around my home where I hope that I’ll be reminded regularly.

Have you joined the Word of the Year movement?  Please share your word or the link to your blog post below!