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One Word: 2012

I’m not good at New Year’s Resolutions. Well, let me rephrase that. I’m really good at making them. I’m just not very good at keeping them. I’m betting a lot of you can identify with that, huh?
Last year my friend Alece continued her One Word campaign, and I joined in. I decided that rather than focus on a long, overwhelming list of resolutions for 2011, I’d focus on just One Word. That word?
FAITH.
When I chose that word, I had no idea what God had in store for me and my family in 2011. I had no clue how He planned to make me cling to that One Word.
FAITH.
For me and my family, 2011 was a very difficult year. When it started, I was unemployed. My job had been eliminated and for the first time in, oh, about 20 years, I didn’t have somewhere to be every morning.
But what I did have was FAITH. And by February 1, I also had a new job. And not just a new job, but a better job doing something that I love.
God is good. All the time.
But later months brought family crises and mountains to climb, obstacles to dodge, illness, and death, and at times faith seemed a little hard to come by.
But God really is good. All the time. Even when life isn’t going the way we planned.
It hasn’t been easy, and if I’m being honest I have to admit that the difficulties of 2011 may not be entirely behind my family yet. There may still be some rough waters ahead. But when I stop and remember that He has a plan for us, I know that we’ll get through it. We could also use your prayers. 
FAITH. In 2011, against all odds I found it, and I clung to it, and it’s gotten me through.
Now it’s time to select a new One Word for the New Year. I’ve had several in mind, but I finally settled on the right one. It fits perfectly with the mission of my new blog. It’s what I’m committed to doing, in 2012 and beyond.

Simplify. 

Over the coming year, this blog will be my platform for tracking my progress and making me accountable. I’m going to need your support, so I hope you’ll hang around!

And Friend, won’t you join me by choosing One Word for 2012? What will YOUR One Word be this year? I’d love it if you’d share in comments below, or leave a link to your One Word post!

The Joy Dare: Week One

For the last nine months of Mondays, you could find me counting to One Thousand Gifts with sweet Ann Voskamp and her followers.

I’m so inspired and challenged every day by Ann, so it shouldn’t be surprising that in 2012, she’s bringing yet another challenge for her readers. She’s calling it The Joy Dare.

 
Ann is asking that we start over, all the back at one, in our counting. The goal is to count 1,000 gifts in 2012.  That means living with eyes wide open, looking for the gifts every single day of this year.
 
In the last week, these are the gifts I found:
 
1. Morning coffee, brewing ever so quietly.
2. The sound of the school bus outside my window.
3. A big orange morning moon hanging in the western sky.
4. Rain in January, instead of snow.
5. A phone call from my son.
6. My memory foam mattress and soft comfy cotton sheets.
7. A warm car to get me to and from work.
8. A job that challenges me and pays the bills.
9. Hot water in the shower every morning.
10. Affirming words from someone I respect.
11. Playing Words With Friends every day with people who challenge me.
12. Warm snuggles with a big red dog.
13. Peach colored roses for my 21st wedding anniversary.
14. My iPad.
15. Facebook messages from my 10 year old niece Rebekah.
16. A new, very much needed vacuum cleaner.
17. Stuffed french toast from IHOP.
18. High school basketball games.
19. Sunday dinner and football on television with my family.
20. A nice hot bath.
 
I’ll bet you were blessed with a few gifts this week, too, weren’t you? Won’t you share a few in comments? Or leave the link to your own gift-counting post below.
 
Have a great week, Friend!