Monday, January 25, 2016

The Power of One Word

As a writer I love words. Lots of them! When joined together in powerful sentences and paragraphs, words tell great stories and provide inspiration. Two of my writer friends inspired me to think about the power of ONE WORD. In my last blog post I wrote about how I wanted to simplify my life this year and find joy and contentment in accomplishing small things. I am intrigued to think that one word could change my life. I decided accept the challenge and choose ONE WORD to live by in 2016.

My online research led me to a book entitled My One Word written by Mike Ashcraft, senior pastor at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC. Instead of sweeping resolutions that disappear by the end of January, Ashcraft says that choosing one word will help us concentrate on accomplishing something instead of a lot of nothing. I also discovered a blog by Margaret Feinberg entitled One Word in which she encourages people to choose one word to study and meditate on during 2016. 

It took me a couple of days to narrow my focus to just one word. My writer friends chose the words “Confidence” and “Flourish.” All sorts of other words drifted through my mind—all of them perfectly good words—just not for me at this time in my life. I finally settled on a word for 2016 that has the potential to change my thinking and my actions. Here it is!


According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary my word is defined as: “very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause: not changing” Those that know me might say that word already describes me.Yes, I can be opinionated and passionate about what I believe. My area of struggle is in my thinking and about keeping my mind focused on the positive in each situation. I picked this Bible verse for 2016, because it describes exactly what I need in my life—the ability to find peace in every chaotic and stressful situation that I will face this year.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV

There will be plenty of challenges — personal and family health problems, the roller coaster stock market, endless delays in our aircraft business, and the inevitable unexpected events that can turn life on a dime.

Are you up to taking the ONE WORD challenge in 2016?  

If so I would love to hear from you. If you choose to comment at the end of this blog and you use the Anonymous designation, please add your name at the end of your comment so we can pray for each other’s journey.You can also email me at to let me know the word you have chosen. To help you get started, here are the two links I referenced above that will give you additional information and motivation.

What is your ONE WORD for 2016?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's the Little Things

It’s the second week of January and I am still recovering from a wonderful and jam-packed Christmas season. Whew! Dealing with a painful hip and hobbling around for the past month has dampened my usual burst of January energy to bring order back into my cluttered house. Instead I’ve had plenty of time to sit with an ice pack or heating pad (depending on the latest diagnosis of my hip pain) and reflect on the events of Christmas and my thoughts for the New Year.

Celebrating Christmas with both my sons and their families was very special. It’s a normal experience for many families but— because of time, distance, and circumstances— a rarity for me.  Because I don’t want to forget the details, I compiled a list of some memories that made it such a special time. Here are a few:  
  • Ten of us at Stone Mountain Park with me in a wheelchair being pushed over the rough terrain by my strapping grandson.
  • Watching granddaughters decorating cut-out sugar cookies with lots of sprinkles.
  • A row filled with Dixons and Davises listening to Charles play O Holy Night on his harmonica at the church Christmas Eve Service.
  • Working with my daughter-in-law in the kitchen to keep everyone fed.
  • Star Wars gifts under the tree reminiscence of my sons’ younger years when it was all about Star Wars. 

So as 2016 begins, my resolution is to be more mindful of the smaller events of life—those things that give life its richness. I want to take time to talk to someone I meet at the grocery store, pay attention to the birds on our deck, be thankful for a warm house and a hot cup of tea.
Instead of a sweeping (no pun intended) resolution to de-clutter my house from top to bottom, I will tackle my to-do list one item at a time and will be thankful for each small step.  Clean out one drawer in the kitchen, sort one pile on my desk, review and delete 100 old emails in my inbox instead of 1000.

I will find one Bible verse or devotional thought to focus on each day and savor its meaning, and pray for one or two persons each day that God puts in my mind and on my heart. Here is one of my favorite Bible verses and a good one for all of us to think about often during 2016.  

Have a blessed New Year.

Ephesians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”