Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Word of the Year Update

Some of you, like me, chose a word to be your inspiration this year, a mantra or focus for your attention. This morning, I had to look my word up. I forgot what it was. When I discovered my word was Learn, I thought, "Oh, good. You're doing that every day!" See how smart it was for me to choose a word that is a part of my life each and every day anyway? Guaranteed success!

Here's the list of people who shared their words this year:

Me: Learn

George: Relax

Mom: Practice

Starla: Leap

Sue B.: Celebrate

Francie: Appreciate

Sue: Satisfied

Susan K.: Bigger

Lisa: Free

Linda R.: Enjoy

Claire L.: Delegate

Mickey: Acceptance

Cheryl L.: Create

Karen L.: Reflection

Marilyn: Believe

Amy: Positive

iriseyes: Act, Kind

Mari: Expand

Susan: White Space

Angela L.: Nature

Courtney L.: Write

Ginny: Focus

Nicole: Unrepentant

Janet: Trim

Kathy: Redefine

So, what have I learned this year?

I've learned that magazines are like bacteria: they multiply exponentially if you let them. Last week, I gathered up all the unread and half-read magazines and put them in one stack. I've been plowing through them ever since, learning all sorts of cool things about black holes and the human brain. As I dove into the Scientific American Mind and  Discover issues, I realized anew how little we really know about the universe and the human mind and pretty much everything else. So much of what humans thought they knew 100 years ago in science has been found lacking or outright wrong, which leads me to wonder how much of what we think we know now will stand the test of time. Not much, is my guess.

I've learned that even though dogs take forever to heal from patella surgery, they don't whine or complain. In fact, they pretty much ignore their injury and try to have as much fun as possible. There's a life lesson in that, if only I can remember it when I feel like whining and complaining.

Stephen Ministry continues to fuel my learning. Our current study is on spiritual gifts. I've learned what my spiritual gifts are and the next step is to figure out how we can develop our current gifts more fully and deploy them in the world. Good stuff.

I've learned to buy my boys' back-to-school supplies in July. The day we went to Target to get everything, I left the lists at home and berated myself as I stood there in the middle of the boxes, bins, and shelves of supplies. Suddenly, I remembered that the lists are posted on the school district website and that I had the technology to access the website right there in Target! I pulled out my Blackberry, Googled the lists, and did the shopping. Needless to say, I'm learning to love my smart phone!

I've learned that bodies need to move. Mine hasn't moved enough in the past few years, and I'm fixing that. It feels good to move again.

Now it is your turn. How is your Word-of-the-Year project going?


  1. I'm working on it! Suzi Blu says that living BIG means celebrating small moments and making them big events. I just read that a week ago, but I often ask myself in the morning "How can I make this day special?" Not mastered by any means, but definitely working on it.

  2. I'm also working on it. I'll forget it for awhile and feel sorry for myself or complain, but I'm trying to remember to appreciate what I have. It sounds like you're doing very well with "learning."

  3. O dear . . . sort of forgot. So thanks for the reminder. Yes - still need to trim many things . . . craft supplies, love handles, hours on the internet!

  4. Acceptance has become a way of life for me this year. I knew that I would be faced with many challenges and that to succeed I would need to accept that the challenges must be faced head-on and addressed as quickly as possible so that they didn't pile up and become overwhelming. For example, one week last month I dealt with the unexpected death of our 7 yr old Golden Retriever, having to admit my mother to a rehab facility to deal with a variety of issues (largely driven by her transition to living alone after the death of my father a few months ago), the final flight of the Space Shuttle (my day job), and my own transition to unemployment; all from a hotel room in Salt Lake City. I'm really hoping for a challenge that involves some quiet time. Maybe next year.

  5. Whoa, Mickey. That is a LOT. Big hugs and prayers that you get at least little pockets of quiet time to process long before next year. Keep us posted, please.

    And have you checked out Jon Katz's facebook page about losing pets? It's pretty amazing. Search "Going Home Finding Peace When Pets Die" on FB and grab a box of tissues. It's a very supportive page with lots of stories of joy and grief. Somehow, it helps to realize that you're not alone. I posted about Hoover soon after the page got started. It's a lovely online memorial.


  6. I need to subscribe to this blog as I always enjoy reading it. Thanks for the reminder about my "word" for this year - Celebrate. I do think about it now and then but for some reason, this year, I'm less focused on my "word". I do know we have celebrated this year in many ways - large and small. We will celebrate tomorrow afternoon after the Auctioneer takes away many items for the Auction that is in 9 days. It may take my husband a while to celebrate, actually, though because all of this "letting go" and "change" is tough on the old guy. It's 2:30a.m. and he has yet to sleep.

  7. How would you like to have the gifts of Prophecy, Discernment and Exhortation??!! Yup, that's me! (followed closely by Teaching/Encouragement). Not the easiest gifts and ones that put you on "the fringe" due to your seeing things most others do not hear.

    This past year and a half I have been called upon to use those gifts in our church through talking to the Board repeatedly about our Sr. Pastor and many other ministries not towing the line...what a year it has been. Probably most difficult because I'm a female saying the words, and yet never in my life have I felt more driven, called, challenged and fulfilled in my obedience. I could type for pages, but what is wonderful is learning that I was created, for "such a time as this". I have had to Speak the Truth even though my voice shakes at times but nothing feels better than standing for the Truth : ) Reflecting back, I think my word for the past 1.5 years has been "obedience" and what a ride it has been :)


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!