Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Word Search….

MY ONE WORD.  Starting in 2011, I heard about choosing one word to guide/lead my year instead of the list of resolutions that I would give up in one month.  In 2011 my word was renew.  In 2012 I chose prepare and started a blog which I believe helped me to live my word out loud.   In 2013, I chose the word intentional and had over 20 people join me in choosing a word (10x the year before).  Through this past year I have seen people “live their word out loud”, have received personal messages of how their word changed a moment or day, and encouraging messages when they saw things to encourage me.

I have already been having conversations with people about their word for 2014. I have started to think of some words and I will likely do several blogs over my thoughts and ideas for my word.  It is a work in progress, and more importantly, I really have to pray over it.  Listening for the whisper that I found “the one’.  I can’t wait to hear the stories of how / why people chose their words.

In order for me to live my word and be reminded of my word so it becomes part of my daily living I have done the following:

  • Placed it on post-it notes in my calendar, my car dash, etc.
  • Have made magnets with the word (that I also sent to people who shared their word)
  • Put the word as my phone screen saver when it was a little harder to be intentional
  • Make it a password (combined with other symbols – lol) for a website
  • Made the song I chose as an alarm song
  • Wrote a blog.

What I am happy with in 2013 with INTENTIONAL

  • I started strong and ended strong – got a little relaxed with it in the middle
  • I was intentionally grateful almost every day to count my many blessings
  • I was intentional about reaching out to others with their words
  • I got intentional about getting my garage clean
  • I became intentional about my relationships with my peers (rough one)
  • I got intentional and did my first 5K in honor of Sam.
  • When I got stuck in a rut/mood/emotion, I would be intentional about a solution
  • I am intentionally NOT focusing on the areas I didn’t do what I hoped

For those who shared their word, I want you to know how much it means to me.  I loved reaching out and sending a note when I could, thinking of you even on vacation, etc… To me the ONE WORD is so personal!  I have everyone’s word with me every day on my phone.  When I go places and I see your word on an item I stop and say a small prayer and smile.  I have all your addresses so I can drop a note no matter where I am.  SO thank you for letting me part of YOUR ONE WORD!

The process of finding my word:

It is so funny for me when I start talking about a new word, all these words are in front of me suddenly and I think “That is a great word!”  And start a list with them.  This year my list started when I saw or heard a word:

  • The word list all started this year for me when I was finally intentionally cleaning our garage and came across a block of wood with the word SIMPLIFY on it.  By the way, today as I was going to let the dog out I looked down and saw the word SIMPLIFY as a title of a book I own (and didn’t know I had).  I put a second check by that word because I feel like maybe that is a second whisper for that word.  It is like I am taking a tally of how often I have thought of a word.
  • I listen to Elevation Network and a sermon I listened to recently made me add a very simple word.
  • I heard a song by Laura Story and thought that would be a great word and a great theme song.  I will share more about my words when I do a little more evaluating (that is a good word too!)

I also like to look back at previous years.  So, looking back at 2012 Prepare and 2013 Intentional, I think I was stronger with Prepare and here is why.

  • I realize one of the biggest difference is Prepare is an ACTION VERB – I had to do something.  Intentional is more of an adjective or a thought, and no action required.
  • For 2012 my blog titles included my word PREPARE in the title.  For 2013 I got a little more relaxed about writing and didn’t even include intentional in every blog.
  • In 2012 I put PREPARE at the top of every to do list in CAPITAL LETTERS, wrote it on every month of my calendar.  In 2013, not so dedicated (Oh, another good word – see what I mean, every word can become MY word).

However, I have no regrets about my word, it was where I needed to be in 2013.  In fact, I have truly used it a lot the past two months taking care of things that have been issues for years.  So even if it didn’t impact my life daily or weekly, it has made a huge difference overall in the areas I applied it.   I had a conversation with a friend and she only saw her word become alive only in one area or her life.  My reply was maybe that was the area God wanted you to be in, and not have your word cover your whole life.

So here are some guidelines so far for my selection, because I realize the power of a word.

  • I am leaning more towards an action word (for example, instead of commitment I may choose commit.  Instead of determination, I may chose determine).  Of note, I have a few in the running that are not action words.    But I think an action word in comparing the years is a little easier to LIVE OUT LOUD!
  • I also want to make a list of things that I have struggled with this year to see if I can find a powerful word to lead me passed those things this year. Also, look at areas of service, community, etc.. that I want to participate (another great word) in.  Please note this not resolutions of I will loose 10 pounds.. I will exercise everyday, but health is an ongoing issue for me.

So, I am INTENTIONAL about finding the best word for me in 2014.  I want a word that is like an invisible tattoo that I can see when I look in the mirror and people can see living out loud in me.  Or maybe I should start getting a tattoo with all of my words for a reminder!  ( =

I can hardly contain the excitement of hearing what other people decide!!!

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Where will I be this Christmas?

My take on Christmas – I must admit I have a love / hate relationship.  Not for the meaning of Christmas but all that it has become!

It makes me miss people who I loved to celebrate with.  I loved making hard tack with my mom.  As children, we pulled taffy with my Grandma and Grandpa Frazee.  Christmas wrapping paper was reused every year at our home.  It was cut off the packages and flattened out to use next year (the first year I dated Jim and I was gingerly taking off the paper they said to tear it and I thought they were crazy!  I had never ripped paper before – seriously!!).  The presents were hid in the attic and my brothers would have me be a look out so they could play with the Legos in advance.  I remember… and sometimes it just hurts because my mom and Grandma, my rocks, are not here to see my children.  I still have a million things in my home that have “To Sheri, Love Grandma Frazee” hand written in them.   It will be our first year without Jim’s Grandmother… I may just have to eat a chocolate covered cherry in her honor!

It is the season when all the homeless, needy, poor, shut ins are remembered with gifts, cookies, and money.  However, the other 364 days of the year we don’t pause to even think of them.

So, I have all of these memories of Christmas from my childhood, and wonder what memories my children will have.  I am too afraid to ask Mary.  Sam could tell you the gift he got each year.  But, I lack on traditions here )=    Every year I say it will be better and different.  Sometimes Christmas makes me realize all the things I have robbed my children of because it is such a crazy season.  So worried about making enough money to buy “the gift”.   So rushed getting to the next event.  The days of the month disappear and at the end I look back in a daze wondering where time went!

I worry about company and cleaning our crazy home that it is crazy the other 364 days of the year and I am acting like I just found out Christmas was here so clean frantically to try to impress people who may come to our house that will still not be impressed. (p.s I know that was a really long sentence but if you read it really fast and get out of breath that is exactly how it feels!)   Either they will have mercy and look over my many flaws and love me anyway or they will focus on the children and feel the love that fills the walls or they will walk away knowing our house is still crazy, needs a paint job, and some things will never change.  I still remember the year that Mary came down the steps so excited and said “Look Mommy, the elves cleaned our house!”  That elf was some superwoman with a cape wanting everything hid for Christmas pictures that made it appeared “perfect”.  But why does she come by just once a year?

The tree!  Oh the years of the trees in this house!  The first several years we bought potted trees so we could replant them.  They are in our front yard to this day, despite the couple years that our dog dug them up in the pot to find the tree crashed the next morning.  I remember the year of our miscarriage and I wasn’t putting up a tree.  The church friends brought the tree from the church to our home.  Steven Lint played the violin and we sang carols – I still cry when I think about the true love that went into that.  I remember the year that I just used Grandma Frazee mini tree in the burlap sack put on a piano bench for Mary’s first Christmas.  I was too busy to get a big one.  Or even recently, the year I just went out and bought an artificial tree and ornaments with no meaning just to have a tree.  While, in my boxes are stored away a village, ornaments from patients, and ornaments my mom painted.

It is the season when we squeeze in extra church programs, caroling, decorating, baking, Christmas parties for school / work / church.  We squeeze in so much stuff that by the time Christmas comes we are exhausted.  We have put on weight.  We have drained our bank accounts.

Let me not forget shopping, now even on Thanksgiving.  Looking for the perfect gift for people we may only talk to once a year.  I have to delete about 50 emails a day about “specials” I must have.

It is the season when families should get together to just be together.  But, it becomes a huge feast of more baking.  We try to fit a date in the calendar when everyone can meet, and someone still can’t come, because our calendars are too full of “stuff”.  Even worse, it becomes the one time I am reminded that our family can’t even get together for the time of the year we should!

I have a love / hate relationship with Facebook now too. I see all these people who have it all together and are ready for Christmas.  It sometimes makes me feel guilty that I am not in that place.  But, I have to sit back and realize how much I have going on in my life and know I am in a different place.  At church they asked who was ready and I said I was because I could be ready in a day, if everyone removes their expectations and set aside mine and just celebrate the birth of Christ.  I do have children, so would still like to get a few gifts, but I could be ready now.  I could decorate a tree in our front yard and celebrate out there with a little bonfire and smores and family – then I wouldn’t have to decorate our home, bake cookies we don’t need,  buy gifts just to have them.  WOULD LOVE THAT KIND OF CHRISTMAS!!!

So enough gloom and doom, but I had to spill my guts and tears are on a special with me these days!  As my friend Johnetta would say, first today I need to wrap a GRACE BLANKET around myself. So, I have resolved this Christmas to be INTENTIONAL and end 2013 with my word lived out loud!

I will be careful with events that are added to our family calendar.  In fact, I have erased many.  I will NOT be attending many extra functions – Christmas parties (except Jim’s work one – it is our yearly date!), extra school days out, caroling, etc.   I will not be donating extra money at this time of the year, because this is the time of the year I have the least to offer.  I will however, remember the charity in April or June, etc… when everyone else has forgotten them.

I will try to find the perfect gifts for my children, because I love them.  However, I will not be worrying and ordering extra gifts because I am afraid I didn’t get enough (that is often my tendency and Amazon makes it too easy to order with 2 day free shipping).  I have been intentional and did NOT subscribe to the newspaper this year.  I did not look at Black Friday ads nor am I looking at the weekly ads to see what “I must have”.  If I don’t look I won’t know and then won’t buy.  I have done a few spontaneous purchases on Amazon, so I have stopped opening the site up.  I have my list and I will be sticking to it and not consuming myself with constant intake of the “deals”.

Christmas is NOT going to be about my clean house.  It is going to be about managed chaos, doing what I can do, and putting my time into memories and not impressions!  So, if you are brave enough to come here, please call first… second, leave all expectations outside the door,… you may want to leave your shoes on for all the pieces of legos (they are dangerous to your feet and language)… and know you will be greeted with love.

I do have some things I really want to put special intentions into, but they are all negotiable and most can wait until after Christmas if possible.

I want to buy some little gifts for people in my life just because, but I have put that list in my tablet and will do after the first of the year.   I will do it after the chaos of Christmas.  Surprise them when the depression and the exhaustion of the aftermath hits.  Send them when a hard winter day just makes it hard to get out of bed.  Everyone is well taken care of Christmas.  I want my friends to know I think of them through the year.

I had intended on a Christmas card this year, but that is not likely to happen as it hasn’t for many years.  However, I will NOT be beating myself up.  Instead, I think for Valentines Day I will send cards of love.  People will have time to actually read them.  I want to give more than just a signature in a card.  I want to tell you about how blessed we are!

God is one of perfect timing.. I saw a picture of a stray German Shepherd pup up inside the manager at an outside nativity scene at a church (I guess the original story was from 2009) – the post read “We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus’ lap from time to time. No one mentioned that the dog breed is a “shepherd.  So if you don’t see me at a function you thought I should be at, or a church service you thought I should be attending, etc… I want you to know I am being INTENTIONAL this Christmas.  WHERE WILL I BE THIS CHRISTMAS???  You can find me curled up in Jesus’ lap, finding mercy, grace, and peace (the three gifts I want this Christmas)!

p.s.    I have printed that picture for my reminder