I sit here at my writing desk quietly viewing the snow just now blowing in from the northwest. Light and fluffy flakes slant toward the ground like little drifting feathers and whiteness is covering the ground. I am sorry we didn't have a bit for Christmas but today makes up for it. I love to dream about the possibilities for beauty as the snow descends. I'll be out with my camera tomorrow. Because it is in the first week of January, it seems appropriate to be watching out the window. It is right and pleasant to be gifted so and thankfulness wells up within me. Come on snow! Keep it up. We have longed for your appearing. Several years ago a dear friend, Kathryn, asked if I could give her a single word that she could pray for me in the coming year. The question felt so big! How could I pick just one word? But over the past three years I have picked words and have found them to be helpful and insightful.
In 2012 I gave Kathryn the word DELIBERATE. I was very intentional in my quest to know myself better. It was grand for me to finally come to grips with my strengths/weaknesses, my personality type, my core beliefs and values. I dug deeper into the affects of my childhood through The Ultimate Journey by exploring themes of inadequacy, shame, and fear. It was exhausting and amazing at the same time. I have come to a place of no longer fighting against myself (most of the time), but rather consider myself a comrade of sorts. Deliberate helped me.
Next, I picked FLOURISH. Surely, if I was deliberate one year, I would grow and flourish the next! Flourish guided me in a big year. I became a grandma for the first time and established a kid-lit book club. My early-morning-rising got underway(and continues), several friendships grew, I left my job at House of Hope, and turned sixty!!! I can't say I totally flourished as in a garden mid-summer, but several flowers opened to the sunshine to nurture and grow me, especially that grandma rose.
Then last year, so eager to grow and flourish as a writer, I chose the word WRITE, thinking that if I kept it in front of me, I would certainly do it! After becoming a grandma and leaving my job at House of Hope, wanted to be able to spend more time developing this passion. I voraciously devoured books on writing. I read some memoir and continued my children's literature reading. Brian often commented, "You are always challenging your brain!" amazed that I was beginning yet another book to teach me more about the craft of writing. In the midst of this reading frenzy, I discovered Julia Cameron's The Right to Write, where she described the practice of writing Morning Pages. I found my first spiral notebook (it was pink!) and have been faithfully scripting three pages every morning since June. It was and is a great way to write, to journal, to listen to the soft whisper of God and to pay attention to this heart of mine.
2015 is here now and after a fair amount of thinking and working through Susannah Conway's Unravelling the Year Ahead, I have chosen the word EMBRACE. I had a discussion with my kids after Christmas about picking a yearly word and they were very helpful. I appreciated their quiet and careful feedback. I don't know anyone else in my circle who writes and at times I feel discouraged that there is no one to dialogue with me on this. They helped me, all of them being good writers themselves, although, four of the five do not blog. Our daughter blogs her photography business and you can visit her here: http://blog.hannahwhite.biz/ Our oldest son, who did some intense sports blog writing a few years ago, offered me a listening ear and some experienced advice:
- Blogging is not easy.
- I need to not be shy. Advertise, mom.
- I need to believe them when people compliment my writing. No dismissing, mom.
- I need to write. I'd rather complain and fuss than actually write. But really...I need to write.
- Finding some fellow writers/bloggers would be very encouraging.
My word rose up from those conversations. EMBRACE. I want to take in and hold close that which is life to me. Savor. Taste. Believe. Know. Accept. Adopt. Embody. Receive. Welcome. Bring in. Include. Hold on to. I want to more fully EMBRACE my faith, our dear family, friendships, our home, my writing, my personality, my health, my role as grandma, teacher and mentor and probably much more.
So Kathryn, I offer you the word EMBRACE. Thank you for starting me on this One Word journey. It has grown my faith, my confidence, my writing and my joy. That is quite a gift!