Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The One Where I Choose A Word 2017 edition

Although I've continued to choose a word or a phrase to focus my thoughts on during the year, like making a resolution, I haven't updated the word or my thoughts in subsequent years.


2014 - Trust
2015-  Progress (not perfection)
2016 - Hope and Worth

On an odd day in December as I read The Greatest Gift and listened to Pandora a familiar favorite, what I consider to be a comfort song.  Hope Now by Addison Road played.

If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life 

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free 

When my life is like a storm
Rising water all I want is the shore
You say I'll be okay
And make it through the rain
You are, my shelter from the storm

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free 

You've become my heart's desire
I will sing your praises higher 
Cause your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

I needed that comfort on that odd day.  It was the salve for wounds that still require healing, scabbed over places not exactly closed.   In that moment, there was hope.  Hope now.  And it's true, everything rides on it.

Day 19 of The Greatest Gift has some poignant words that got right to the point, to the heart of the matter of the things that matter.

"We lose every single person we love. There is never another way.  Think about that too long and you find it hard to breathe.... Fear is always this wild flee ahead.

Olives fail.  People fail.  Dreams fail.  You feel like you fail.  A thousand things mount.  Somedays it's hard not to panic.  You can feel it - we are driven by the fear of failure.  For all our frenzied running around, could it be that we are actually fleeing - trying to escape all the fears? All this pain? All this failure?  We all live in these lives of quiet terror.  Of soundless, hidden grief.  You could just bow your head in the quiet and weep for all that isn't.  For all that you aren't.

In the barrenness of winter, Habakkuk offers this gift to always carry close:  rejoicing in the Lord happens while we still struggle in the now.   Struggling and rejoicing are not two chronological steps, one following the other, but two concurrent movements, one fluid with the other." (Chapter 19, Page 188-189, Ann Voskamp)  

and hope now plays in the background, if I listen closely, it has always played in the background of my life.

There is hope, now.  Hope in the now, in the present, for the future, for this life.  

HOPE.   A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.   Hope differs from a wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired or the possibility of possessing it.  Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

Worth or Worthy

A few friends and I are reading Savor by Shauna Niequist.  It's a 365 devotional type book with recipes.  Recipes, Y'all!!  The type of recipes I refer to as "food of love".   Anyway, it begins with an entry January 1st; this paragraph jumped off the page at me.

"You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of the super and the natural."

Worth.  Know it.  Know your worth.  Your desirability, excellence, importance, the weight of your intrinsic value, worthiness.

WORTH.   Value, that quality of a thing (a person) which renders it useful or which will produce an equivalent good in some other thing (or person).    Excellence. Dignity.  Value.