Word of the Year

There appears to be a trend for people to choose a word of the year. A personal word that has meaning for themselves. This idea intrigued me.

As I mentioned in my disappearing post [another story for another day] I am anticipating a great adventure in the near future. Whether that comes to pass or not I am in the mood to reduce. With that on my brain, I thought maybe my word of the year could be “reduce”. In talking about this with my very smart sister (well, one of them), she suggested another word; a word that has more than one meaning. My intention to reduce (clutter, weight, stress, etc.) is definitely a positive thing, however the word itself carries a negative connotation~especially in our consumer driven, materialistic world.

I want to carry into this year a word that will not be burdensome, but that will give inspiration; not just to me, but to those around me.

photo credit Zhenya S

photo credit Zhenya S

What is that word?


A few of the definitions of lighten are:

to relieve of a burden in whole or in part  
to reduce in weight or quantity  
to make less wearisome
to become less burdensome
to become more cheerful
to shine brightly
These are the characteristics I wish to portray in 2014

My New Year’s Intention . . . One of them, anyway

It has been a while since I’ve written anything. And while January 1st is the day that many people commit to new habits that are generally short lived; and while I typically choose not to start things on January 1st here we are.

What makes this different? We will have to wait and see. I am anticipating a major adventure in my life this year, one that if it happens, I would like to record.

So we’ll consider this practice.

This is not a commitment to be perfect . . . I’ve already failed that. This is a decision to be more intentional.



4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.

5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven, or by earth, or anything else. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no,” no, or you will be condemned.
James 5:12b

There seems to be a disconnect in our society as to what “yes” and “no” mean. In my life I have seen too many times where “yes” means “if I feel like it at the time” or “if I don’t get a better offer”. Or just as frustrating, when you offer an invitation and get no response until the last possible moment. I’m not sure if these are people who don’t plan events and don’t understand how difficult it is to plan when you don’t know for how many guests you are planning. Or if they are just rude.

I am certainly not perfect, there are times when I have made a commitment to something and had to back out. Those occasions never happened on a whim. Occasionally they happen due to physical illness~which is completely understandable. And for me, sometimes I cancel due to depression.

Which brings me to another level of commitment.


Last Wednesday was a perfect example of the commitment to community in my small group. I had really been struggling with depression for several days. On Friday evening I had plans with a friend~canceled. Saturday evening dinner plans with another friend~canceled. Long time plans with a friend to go to Six Flags on Monday~canceled the week before. Made new plans to go to Six Flags with another friend on Monday~canceled. Add to that the effects of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically PMS increased exponentially) and all I wanted to do was hibernate.

On Monday I made the good decision to let others know that I was struggling. Specifically I sent an email to the women in my community group asking for their prayers. On Wednesday I wasn’t doing any better so I sent an email to our group leader letting her know that I would not be attending that evening. Apparently that was not an acceptable answer. Just before our Bible study should be starting I received two phone calls and a text message. Basically, I could willingly join them for ice cream and fellowship or someone would be waiting on my doorstep to drag me out when I got home. So, mostly willingly I met my sisters at Bruster’s for ice cream. It may not have been what I thought I wanted. But it most definitely was what I needed. (Perhaps I didn’t need the Key Lime Pie ice cream~with lots of crust).

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity”
Kahlil Gibran
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