In several of the homeschooling communities I participate in, having a word that sums up an area of your life that you’d like to work on is traditional. The idea is that you pick a word that will help you sum up something you’d like to be or do in the new year. From that word you focus on the attitude and reflections of what it means to you. Have you ever heard the statement that One little word can make a big difference?
The thing about that One Little Word is that each and every word is so different, and even when people pick identical words they can mean something so different to each person. I defined my word, for myself, with the intentional definitions that fit what I want to work on and the person I’d like to see myself become based on this one word. Then I wrote them down and framed them, because honestly I need those reminders all the time.
Wanna know a secret? The first year I participated in this I chose the word Grace. I felt it was a word that reflected a lot of things I wanted to work on. I didn’t do so well keeping it as my focus though, and perhaps it’s because I have this absurd perfectionistic streak that screams rude things like: “You messed up and now it won’t be able to start fresh until next year.”
I fumbled a lot that first year, but I also made some interesting progress too. Since then I’ve picked other words, and funnily enough I think they have, in some way, all been spin offs of my very first word. Was it intentional? No, I don’t think so.
I start thinking about my word in November or December and eventually I find myself dwelling on one word that I can’t let go of. You wanna know something funny? This year I just couldn’t let go of the word Grace again. I felt the need to come back to it and learn to extend it again. Some people might find that awkward, but I see it as a chance to learn more from it. To expand myself a bit more.
This year will be different, and not because I will permit my perfectionism to shine. Quit the opposite actually, as I’m often trying to burry that stubborn streak. Instead I decided to leave myself notes all over the house. Nothing fancy or extreme, just a few gentle reminders of what I want to focus on.
I have a long list of goals for my new year, but really extending grace to my family is top. Do you have any idea what the extent of Grace even means? I thought I did, but then I started researching it and was amazed at how far that took me.
It made me aware that Grace is so much more then mercy and forgiveness. Which led me right back to where I meant to be that very first year. Studying Grace through the Handbook that guides me through so much of my life. After all if ones focus is in Him then it’s going to be pretty hard to be led off track, right?
So here I am, at the end of the year thinking about a word I attempted to tackle a few years ago and it dawned on me that I can either embrace it or I can run from it. I’m choosing to embrace it, to make the most of it, to run with it.