Well, it’s been pretty quiet around here for the past few weeks. Last week I took a little break from the internet while Bryan and I spent a week soaking up the sun in Hawaii! We had such a wonderful time, and I’ll definitely be sharing more about our trip here soon. We came home to snow and ice (sigh), so we’ve spent most of the past couple days curled up at home watching Netflix and snuggling Finley. For now, though, it’s back to real life. Today I’m sharing my one word for the year—the word I want to meditate on as I go through the coming year and the word that I hope becomes a bigger part of my story. This is my word for 2017:
As I thought about what I needed this year, what I was truly longing for, I kept coming back to the word grace. For me, it means grace for others—withholding judgment, offering forgiveness and understanding freely, and striving for compassion. For so many of us, this year has been difficult and divisive. We’ve had to bite our tongues about issues of great importance and swallow our anger when friends and family members make remarks that are hurtful or cruel. It’s a painful time in our country and most of us are struggling with how to respond. I have to admit that my first instinct in these situations has been judgment or anger or even disgust. But if we’re going to move forward then each of us must learn to show grace…even when we disagree.
It also means grace for myself. It means letting go of perfection and hustle in favor of a more present and content way of life. It means accepting that things may not always turn out exactly like I hope, and that’s ok. It means relaxing my grip and expectations and living with gratitude for the life I have, just as it is. It means cutting myself some slack when things don’t get done and learning about the beauty that exists in the imperfections.
Finally, this year I am praying for grace for our world. We are hurting and broken, but God offers us grace freely and unconditionally. My prayer is that we would accept and live into that grace, extending it to one another and working towards a different way of living.
So, what are you hoping for this year? What is your prayer for 2017?
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
1 John 1:16