This is what I said about my choice: "Why did I choose the word joy? Because, daily, I want to choose joy in my life." It was a very fitting choice for the year that 2011 turned out to be - I was given many opportunities to decide whether I would choose to be joyful or frustrated. This hasn't been an easy year for my family. There have been many surprises, some of which were good but many that were very difficult.
I can't say that I always chose to be joyful. There were times that I complained - lots of times, really. Overall though, I think that I have been able to find greater joy in the circumstances I've experienced than I might have if I weren't focused on this idea that it's a choice.
Even though 2011 is over, I hope to still choose joy in my circumstances. James 1:2-3 - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."
I'm now faced with a new choice - will I have a word to focus on this year?
As I begin to think about possibilities for my word of 2012, the list goes on and on. Ali Edwards, who started One Little Word, has a list that her followers have sent in, sharing their own words. I particularly like 'hokey-pokey' - more dancing?
So, here are some possibilities:
I love this verse from Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. What a great reminder that God gives us peace - that we don't have to worry because we have a savior who will take care of everything for us. I don't handle stress well, and I would love to spend the year focusing on finding peace in Christ.
I am not a very disciplined person. In many ways, this would be a good word for me this year. I'd like to become more disciplined in how I spend time in the Word, our family eating habits, how I spend my money, how I parent Micah, and many, many other areas. I've set myself a goal already to be more careful with our money, to be more disciplined about not buying things I don't really need - like Starbucks - it's so expensive!
Recently, I have really felt a call to show compassion to others. I volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center, and we support a child through Compassion International, but I want to do more! I know that we live in a culture of excess where we have way more than we need and I've really been reminded lately that many, many people live in places where that's not the case! I want to use our abilities, talents and even our money to show Christ's love to others who could really use some help. I'm not really sure what that looks like for me, but it's something that I have been and will be praying about in the next few months.
So, I'm unsure. Can I have three words? Do I split the year into trimesters and focus on one at a time? I'll have to think about this for a little bit and see what seems right. I don't know if it really makes a difference if I have more than one word - it's not like there are any rules here!
What I do know is, these are three things that I want more of in my life!
And to bring a smile to your face - Micah wearing his daddy's new t-shirt:
I guess my word for the year won't matter - I just died from his cuteness.