Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One Little Word

So many of us have accepted the challenge of finding 'one little word' for 2009 ala Ali E here. I've been pondering what mine might be. Ali's encouraged this on her blog for the past few years and I always mulled it around for a few days and then got busy with life without setting aside a word for the year... a word to think about as life happens and come back to throughout the year...

So this year I want to give it a go - I've thought of several words: Simplify - to remind me to slow down and not add extras that do not matter in the long-run, but then realized that as an 'empty-nester' my life really is so much simpler than it's been in years; Contentment - a place to be no matter what my circumstances. I look around and see people who live their whole lives never being happy and contented - always feeling they deserve more - and then I also see people who are content in the most meager of circumstances. After giving it some thought, I feel I am content in life; I try to live my life depending on the Lord, and my contentment doesn't depend on the things of this world; Another word that came to me was Joy - a word to remind me to look for the joy in the everyday. I love this word and think, if chosen [and maybe even now since it's on my mind] it would really help to change my attitude in those times when things may not be going my way. Joy can be found all around us if we only make the CHOICE to see it.

Choice is my word for 2009
. The idea of free choice came to me way back as a freshman in college when I was sitting in my dorm lounge surrounded by girls who believed very - very differently from me. We discussed choice to the extreme and how God gave each of us free choice - to believe in Him, or not; to accept the beliefs of one religion or another; to surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ, or not...God gave us the ability of choice -and the consequences of making the wrong ones. As a social worker I've talked and pondered on choice my whole life - one of the saddest things to see is a child who has never been allowed the freedom to make choices [could be as simple as a child in the hospital who was coloring a page with a flower and picked up a yellow crayon when the mom said 'no, that flower is red' and took away the child's choice] or see the consequences of choices ['if you hit your brother you'll be in time out' - and having the child in time-out when they make the choice to disobey.] And while I do try to mull over those important choices [and often list those pros and cons, and may tend to 'over-think' them] I also know that I often make choices without much thought -

I've been reading Choosing Happiness lately [marking quotes and already planning to do a re-read on it.] Recently I read the section on The Invaluable Moment of Choice [page183] and they are discussing how we sometimes 'give ourselves permission' to make the wrong choices - and how can we stop this? And I love this,

"Whatever you tell yourself - no one can force you to behave badly...the moment that you recognize that your behavior is hurting yourself or someone else - you can stop. Awareness of consequences is the key to conscious living. It is so empowering to know this.... in the moment before taking action resides our power to do good, as well as prevent harm. In less than the time it takes to think a thought, we are directing ourselves - and choosing."

So for 2009, my one little word is CHOICE and I want to be more aware of the choices I make, big or small, life changing or inconsequential. Each choice is important and deserves some thought...

Word Art was done by Stephanie over at Homegrown Hospitality. See how to get yours done and donate to Autism Speaks as well.


Lee said...

Wow. What a great post. What a great word! This year I've chosen "balance" but I'm thinking I like "choice" for next year - though, it really defines 2008. Wonder if I can choose my year word retroactively? :)

Have a great day!

Hope said...

Love your word! So glad you took the time to 'choose' your word...

I have already in this new year meandered away from my 'word' only to be pulled back by the Lord. It was so encouraging to have that word to go back to, to refocus, and to be reminded that I am on the right path.