So it’s almost the end of January, and it’s only now that I’m blogging my 2017 word. Talk about late? I don’t have any excuse, except that it’s a combination of laziness, busy-ness, and part wondering if I should even keep at blogging for the nth time.
This always happens, you know?
ButÂ okay, better late than never.
So 2016 was the year ofÂ bold prayers. At the start of the year, I held onto this, in the midst of all my complaining (and believe me, I complained like crazy), prayers held me up and accompanied me in all my struggle to be still. Of course, sometime in the middle of the year, I struggled with prayer itself. Not that my prayers were ever empty, or that it felt like no one was listening to me. It just felt like I wasn’t prayingÂ bold prayers, and that was a crucial part of my word/phrase in 2016. It took me a while to hit my stride again, and by the end of the year I realized that maybeÂ the point of praying bold prayers is not so much in me making those bold requests to the Lord but having the wisdom and the grace to notice when He answers.
Because let’s be honest: more often than not, we don’t notice those answered prayers because we don’t make ourselves aware of it.
Sometime early last year, when I was going through some sort of personal crisis in my day job, I had one prayer:Â Lord, teach me to be grateful. It wasÂ so hard to be grateful when all you want to do is complain, when everything feels so unfair, when you want to quit (but can’t, for some reason). It’s hard to be thankful when you have to do something uncomfortable, something you didn’t choose to happen to you, or when everything at work, in your life and in the world feels like a never ending source of stress.
And yet, we are called to beÂ grateful.
So there’s my word/phrase: 2017 is the year toÂ be grateful.
Gratitude is a word that has made made its way into my life in the past years, but I never really paid much attention to it. It felt like an extension, an effect of whatever word I chose, butÂ now this year I want to live that word. In my year of bold prayers, I discovered that gratitude is the one integral part that is often overlooked. And now after 5 years of choosing a word for my year, it feels just right to giveÂ gratitude the attention it deserves.Â Gratitude deepens the faith, brings you joy, requires your courage, and opens you to love.Â
Here’s to a grateful year ahead.Â â¤
â€œAnd whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17