I started choosing a Word of the Year last year, after finding lists of resolutions to come up pretty empty year after year. I do like a fresh start...is there anything more lovely than a blank new calendar? And I am a very goal-oriented person, but let's be honest, as a mom of four busy children, my goals are focused more on my children/family than on personal goals. With the one word of the year, I found it easier to incorporate that thought or idea into my life overall. Last year's word was PRESENT. I worked hard to be PRESENT with my children, to not over-commit to everything under the sun, but to be deliberate with my time, to be purposeful with my energies. I would call it a great success...my word did not consume or stress me. It gently reminded me to focus and plug in to what I valued.
Partway through 2014, I announced that our local Mom's group theme would be JOY and did I ever have fun finding, seeing and basking in JOY! Of all of the nine fruits of the spirit, I would say JOY comes to me most easily. In less favorable situations, where I am becoming a real Negative Nelly, all I have to do is think about the JOY, name the blessings, and my entire attitude shifts and Positive Polly is back. I believe JOY is contagious...so share it! Discontentment robs us of JOY...so be content! If I had to choose one word for the rest of my life, it would surely be JOY.
So here we are ringing in a new year. Many are eager to get started and leave 2014 in the past. Honestly, I had an incredible year. I am thankful for each day and I have a full heart of wonderful memories. I did not walk a path of suffering or pain. I did not bury a child, spouse or parent. I pray that I can find a shred of JOY, WHEN (not IF) that day comes. But in the meantime, I will savor this sweet time in my life. I will make memories of the mundane. I will find JOY in the ordinary.
My Word of the Year for 2015 is KIND. I feel like I am often telling my children to be KIND, to respect one another, to get along. When I began to think about my word for this year, it became abundantly clear that we all, my children, myself, society, we all could be more KIND to one another.
How will this look in my home? With my children, I will talk often about showing KINDness to one another, to parents, siblings, friends. KINDness goes deeper than nice. It encompasses more than respect. To be truly KIND means you are thinking about another person's feelings, you are aware of another's needs, you are seeing the world from another's point of view. Instead of saying, "Stop bothering your sister," I will try to have that child see that what he is doing is unKIND to his sister, explain how that is so, and to impart that other-centered view.
How will this look in me? I will try to stop my terrible tongue from wagging. I will make a conscious effort to speak words of KINDness to and about others. Snobby Mommy land is full of unKINDness and judge-y-pants attitudes and comments. I want that to stop! Moms do not need more judgement, condemnation and guilt, but KINDness, support and empathy. I want to come up alongside a struggling mom of a tantruming toddler and help her, not shake my head in judgement of her. When my cart is full to the top at Aldi and a gentleman behind me has three items, I want to show KINDness and let him go ahead of me. I pray that God will give me eyes of KINDness and will give opportunities for me to show, not just tell, my children KINDness and how to be KIND.
How do I hope this ripples out into the world? I think KINDness, like JOY, is contagious. Kids all over the country are performing random acts of KINDness and I think it is wonderful! Let's all be mindful of our words, thoughts and attitudes...if we make that choice to be KIND, perhaps the KINDness will be passed on...and on...and on.
Ephesians 4:32 "Be KIND and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you; to do justly and to love KINDness and to walk humbly with your God."