One Word small, insignificant, powerful …
One Word to focus on, think about, reflect upon …
One Word … One Year.
2011 … Change
2012 … New
2013 … Focus
2014 … Anything
2015 … Eucharisteo
This will be my fifth year choosing one word. But this year I’m doing it a little bit differently. I’m inviting my family to join me. This year’s word is our family word.
Several years ago, five to be exact, I was introduced to a new book … and a new challenge. A dare to live fully, right where I was by counting One Thousand Gifts. by Ann Voskamp. I remember the day I started reading it for the first time like it was yesterday. I had tucked it in my purse as my son and I were heading out the door to an orthopedic appointment for his ankle. I knew we would be sitting in the waiting room for awhile, and just about anything would be a better read that a two year old edition of People magazine. I wasn’t prepared, though, for what these pages contained. I had no idea that within the first five minutes of reading, I would be brought to tears as I read.
“What does it mean to live full of grace? To live fully alive?”
“Can there be a good God?”
“How do I fully live when life is full of hurt?”
Can I find grace?
Can I choose to be thankful … all the time … in the good and the bad?
Is there joy … even in the pain?
Last year I began to count gifts … blessings. Some expected, some unexpected.
Some days easy … some days hard.
Some days simple …
1. A roof over our head
2. Food to eat
3. Clothes to wear
4. Cars to drive
5. A good job to provide for the family
Other days random …
57. Sunshine and its warmth to take pictures outside
58. Chance encounters at Sam’s Club
59. Productive opportunities
Some days fun …
90. Indoor soccer with the boys
91. A surprise snowfall
92. Snow day for the kids
93. Surprise birthday parties
All moments of gratefulness.
Most days it’s easy to come up with two or three things to be thankful for. But some days, it takes some serious brain work. It’s those days that I find myself wondering … with everything I have, all the things in my home, an awesome husband, amazing children, wonderful friends, how could it possibly be so hard to find something to be thankful for?
And then I realize … I’ve become so desensitized to all the stuff in my direct line of sight, I can’t see past it. I can’t look deep. I miss the wonder of the beautiful sunset, or the rainbows in the soap suds as I’m washing the dishes. My mind is racing in so many directions of what to do next, that I don’t see the precious little girl smiling at me with her big brown eyes as I’m standing in line at the grocery store.
I don’t want to miss the wonderful … the miraculous … the every day … the ordinary. I want to SEE it all … and I want my family to see it to.
And I want us to count … count the goodness … count the blessings … count the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.
I want 2015 to be different. I want us to not get caught up in always looking for the next thing to buy or achievement to attain. I want us to pause each day and give names to what we already have. I want every day to be Thanksgiving Day. I want my kids to learn and realize that we already have more than we need and abundantly more than we ever wanted.
I want them to choose joy, because in the choosing comes the giving. When our hearts are filled to overflowing with gratitude, our hearts can’t help but to spill over with joy.
I made this simple clipboard and mounted it in our kitchen, right by the coffee pot and the silverware drawer, and next to the refrigerator … the busiest spot in the house. There’s colored pens and slips of paper ready to be named with blessings. Nothing fancy. But hopefully … prayerfully … purposeful.
And yes, I have my notebook … all ready with a clean slate to welcome a new year. A clean slate ready to fill with abundant blessings.
How about you?
I challenge you this year to grab a notebook … physical or digital. You can even use the notepad on your phone. Each day, find something new to be thankful for. When life spins a storm in your life, find the silver lining and name it. Write it down somewhere. Be thankful for it … because the sunshine and the joy will come in the morning.
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Visit these 41 bloggers as they share their tips and ideas for making 2015 the best year yet.
1. How to Set and Keep Goals to Make This the Best Year Ever | Jen @ Girl in Garage
2. 15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015 | Elizabeth Harrin @ A Girl’s Guide to Project Management
3. How Personal Style Will Help You Achieve Goals Faster in 2015 | Cherene Francis @ Aura Image Consulting
4. Completing Those Unfinished Projects in the NEW YEAR | Angela Lerew @ Unexpected Elegance
5. 42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything | Amy Garro @ 13 Spools
6. Easy Exercises to do on a Cruise Ship | Amanda Woods @ Adventures All Around
7. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year | Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health
8. 31 Days to a More Fabulous You | Julie Bonner @ Mom Fabulous
9. How to Make This the Best Gardening Year Ever | Kendra Spencer @ a Sonoma Garden
10. 5 Ways to Make this Your Best Monarch Season…Ever! | Tony Gomez @ Monarch Butterfly Garden
11. 12 Scriptures for Goals and Guidance | Julie @ Loving Christ Ministries
12. How to Build a Starter Emergency Fund in 30 Days or Less | Jackie Beck @ The Debt Myth
13. Family Verse of the Week Challenge for 2015 | Jamie Yonash @ Life is Sweeter By Design
14. Hot Work at Home Jobs for 2015 | Holly Hanna @ The Work at Home Woman
15. A Year of Intention | Hilary Bernstein @ Accidentally Green
16. 2015: Our Best Year Yet | Ashley @ Leaving the Rut
17. Create a Better Life Story | Bronwen Warner @ Tummy Time and Beyond
18. Get Ready to Get MDfit | Tom and Anne @ Eat & Be Fit
19. 5 Free Ways to Learn Something New This Year | Sarah Fuller @Earning and Saving with Sarah Fuller
20. Healthy Leek Soup | Mirlandra @ Mirlandra’s Kitchen
21. Health Resolutions: Baby Steps to a New You | Ellen Christian @ Confessions of an Overworked Mom
22. 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Motivated to Work Out | Diane Nassy @ philZENdia
23. Be Prepared for the New Year | Jennifer Dunham Starr @ The Memory Journalists
24. 3 Steps to a Healthier Life in 2015 | Joe Goodwill @Average Joe Cyclist
25. New Year’s Resolution: Cook More Often! | Kim Pawell @ Something New for Dinner
26. I Should What? 28 Ways to be Happier | Karen Young @ Hey Sigmund
27. 9 Ways to Get Healthier In The New Year | Amy Maus @ Home and Farm Sense
28. In 2015 Resolve to Take Control of Your Money | Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet
29. Eucharisteo: A Year of Thanksgiving | Lani Padilla @ Simply Fresh Vintage
30. No More Tears at IEP Meetings: Make This Your Best Year Ever! | Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes
31. Learn to Save Money on Groceries | Melissa Buckles @ Everyday Savvy
32. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution – For Real This Time! | Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies
33. 52 Weeks to a Better You: Week 1 – Go to Bed Early | Mindi Cherry @ Moms Need to Know
34. Food Street: How a Community Has Joined Forces to Start a Street Farm | Sam Walker @ Bubble ‘N Squeak
35. Organizing Coupons with the Binder Method | Sara Steigerwald @ Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String
36. How to Make This Year the Happiest Yet | Shambray @ Shambray.com
37. A New Year, A New You | Sharon Rowe @ How to Get Organized at Home
38. 5 Ways to Get Paid for Losing Weight This Year | Anna @ Real Ways to Earn Money at Home
39. Tips for Successful Whole30 | Deanna Michaels @ From This Kitchen Table
40. 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015 | Maryea Flaherty @ Happy Healthy Mama
41. How to Make 2015 the Best Year Ever! | Jennifer @ My Boys & Their Toys
Fashion Resolutions: How to Add Style to Any Outfit | Ellen Christian @ The Socialite’s Closet