Monday, January 3, 2011

One Word

It’s hard to choose just one word to launch myself into 2011, but being an intentional person (or at least hoping I am), I think I should try. I’ve noticed lots of bloggers doing this—choosing one word for the year. Looking ahead with intentionality. Filling their hearts and minds with who they would like to be.

I think it’s a good idea, this intentionality. Kind of like being prepared for something you don’t know you will need yet. Or focusing on an attribute you just might need a little more of in your life.

Which is why I’ve been mulling this over for a while. What do I need more of in my life? What do I need to give to the people around me? What do I lack?

And so I’ve come upon a word that humbles me, not because I deserve any of it, but because I lack it so much, especially with the people who are closest to me.


It’s my youngest daughter’s middle name, and sometimes I think I haven’t taken the time to really think about what grace really means. I have been showered grace upon grace in my life, and I am so thankful for it, but as I’ve been thinking about choosing just one word for 2011, I have realized how short I fall in showering grace on others.

All 5 feet 9 inches of me falls so very short.

With this word in mind, I want to make 2011 a year in which I give just a little more grace to those around me every day. How? I’ll try to make 2011 a year in which I stop and take notice of those around me. A year in which I don’t rush to judgment. A year in which I choose gentler words over harsh ones. A year in which I try to see through another person’s eyes.

A year in which I hopefully learn just a little bit more about what it means to be a person filled with grace.

I’ve been given so much of it, grace, but do I freely give it myself? And the more I’ve been given, the more I should give it away.

Lots to learn in 2011, that’s for sure.

* * * * *

Gratitude Journal

I’m still going to try to list 1,000 things for which I’m thankful as Ann Voskamp suggests. With that in mind, I’ll be adding them to each Monday’s post.

Numbers 21-32

- my parents
- Christmas with the fams (both of them!)
- Ina Garten’s Pan Fried Onion Dip (oh, it’s SO good!)
- How our dog does her happy dance when we get home from a trip.
- Rob, who takes care of our dog while we’re gone.
- Good driving weather
- Making great memories in the car
- Reflecting on old memories in the car
- Farkle
- Bowling
- Great times just being together
- Cousins Christmas


  1. 1Peter 3:18
    Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    I think it is easy for us to grow in knowledge... but we forget the 'grace' part. And knowledge without grace just puffs us up like a big fat tick.
    I think you hit the nail right on the head. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Thanks, Bev. What a sweet encouragement. And I'm going to remember that "big fat tick" comment! :)

  3. Shelly, I too want to grow in grace-giving this year. I have a feeling that grace is one of those divine paradoxes - the kind where you feel justified and "bigger" for NOT giving grace, but indeed are only silly and smaller when you withhold it. On the other hand, when we give grace, even if the giving of grace results in mud in our face (didn't really mean for that to rhyme...), we're actually more like Christ and oh so much more beautiful in the end. Grace, it's a good thing.

  4. What a great word for the year. I was thinking as I read your post . . . don't forget to give yourself lots of grace, too.

    I love your gratitude list!

    I am posting my word tomorrow. This is my fifth year to have a word for the year.


  5. What a wonderful attribute of God's character on which to focus. I love grace. I need grace. I want to extend more grace, too. Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

    Love you and am so thankful for you this year.

  6. OOOOOH really good word. I think I could probably benefit from more of this in my life and attitude, too. That and mercy.

  7. As I started to read this and before I got to your word, I thought, my word would be grace.

    We all need it so much and I need to give it so much more than I do now.

  8. I can't wait to tell you about what God did through my one word. Which is of course, Grace!

    Let's learn together! I think it is a journey that never ends to be truthful!

  9. Found your link via Stacey with Grace Notes.

    Grace was my word for 2010. However, even after a year of focusing on it, I still have SO much to learn about it.

    Although I have a new word for 2011, it is so closely linked to grace that I am eager to see how God is going to mingle and mold the two.

    Eager to journey with Grace Notes and see what God has in mind for each one of us!