My Life Giving Word of the Year

by Andrea Kolber


Last January, for the first time ever, I chose a word as a theme. The word was notice.

Sort of a simple one, it seems. But for me, it was unbelievably refreshing. (You can read more about it here.) I've been grateful for this #OneWord prompt because it was a constant reminder. Instead of my instinct, which cries: “Work harder! Be more productive! Go quicker!” Notice was like an anchor, it simply whispered—be here. Pay attention. Look around; grace abounds right where you are.

And so I did.

At times, I fought to notice. Sometimes I would totally forget about it, but always it called me back. No pressure, Aundi, just notice the details. Don’t miss them, this is your life and it’s happening.

Am I done yet? As in, did this cure me of a heart that is perpetually leaning toward striving?

Not by a long shot.

I think I could have the word notice tattooed on my arm and it would still be helpful, but I think it’s served it’s purpose for now.

And so, we move on to 2016. With great hope and expectation we look forward to this new year. After many internal dialogues and prayer, here is where I stand: 

Celebrate.

You see, if last year was a call to stay in the moment, then this year is a call to see the goodness in the moments and to make much of them. It also strikes me as requiring incredible courage to celebrate when life is hard or scary or difficult.

And if I’m honest, 2015 had some very difficult moments. I’m certain 2016 will too.

But I have become unwilling to sacrifice the beauty of moments for potential pain that may or may not come.

It’s easy to do, isn’t it? Avoiding joy so we can also avoid pain. It’s so tempting to idolize safety and control over honoring a moment. And yet, I am continually brought back to the value of celebration. In my most clear moments, this is what comes to me: I don't think I'll ever regret my joy over something in my life, even if it's temporary. 

Will I grieve, when and if it leaves? Surely. 

But my pain would not be lessened if I had not celebrated. It may even be greater, for I may have to live with the reality that I didn't value the full extent of it's goodness. 

And so this year, as we go about the daily rituals of life, as we drink, and eat, and play and sing-- I hope to celebrate the glimmers of joy that are tucked into each and every day.

I hope to push against my nature which naturally waits for the tough things to happen and instead plant a flag in my field of uncertainty. On the flag, here's what it reads:

This moment is valuable. Stay with it. Hunt for the beauty. Celebrate it big.  

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How about you? Have you chosen a word for the year?