Just Life

Choose | January 2021.

Choose made the short list of OLWs for this year at Thanksgiving, when I read Diana Butler Bass’ prayer and post about Choosing Gratitude (I even blogged about it). but I resisted. because I’d already done that word … way back in 2014. and then … as any of y’all who do this whole OLW thing know, the word kept showing up. I started thinking about how the choices I make every single minute shape the life I’m living today and the lives of more than just me for tomorrow … and how even having choices is a privilege that I need to recognize responsibly. Late in December, I read Anne Lamott’s Stitches; this quotation pretty much sealed the deal:

Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurrection, the place of newness, freedom, justice.

I finally ordered the mug and it arrived just after Sara left. It’s now My Mug. I love that ever-present reminder with every cup of coffee or tea that my choices matter and that they are mine to make.

Along with choosing a not-so-new word, I also spent time with my intentions. I’ve been making a short more/less list for a few years and this is the first one that felt right to be just moreOnly the gratitude stayed … although I did have to move it up a row to balance everything out 🙂

Now I find myself again at the point in this journey where I am paying close attention to where the word shows up. It seems like it’s everywhere! and this one, from Pastor Steve’s newsletter on Inauguration Day is the one I pasted into my journal

A people as one rise from fear and grief
and choose hope and justice.
People do rise.
People get up from familiar nets
and follow a leader into a future
unknown but trusted,
a new day— a gift of God
and the work of the people.

Every moment
we’re invited to leave the familiar.
Clouds still hover, the dawn comes slow;
but in the receding darkness
we bear no angry torches:
we raise candles of hope, the light of love.
We become the future we choose.
For a new day we give thanks
and and follow in a new way,
knowing for it to be a new day
we must become new people.
We celebrate, getting up
from what we know
and walking step by step
into what we don’t know
with the One
who knows us.

We become the future we choose. Let’s make it one full of joy, gratitude, and hope.

Thank you, Carolyn, for hosting this monthly check-in. This reflection process is one of my favorite things about the process!

 

13 Comments

  • Carolyn

    Mary, it feels like Choose, in all the ways you ‘ve shared and shown, point to a brighther way. A way of light. And I love how the word sort of…followed you around for a few months, in the guise of some fantastic faith-filled writers…how it ‘chose’ you!
    And, oh, that mug! Looking foward to hearing about your word throughout the year.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I love that you’re revisiting a word – I am certain that it will either take you on a new journey or will deepen the one you were originally on. And how powerful is it when we recognize that we have choices in our lives?! I love that my word – stillness – is one of your intentions for 2021. I’m looking forward to learning from you this year!

    Also – sorry to be a pain – but where did you get your mug? It’s lovely (and pink!)

  • kym

    What a lovely way to begin, Mary. I look forward to watching “choose” unfold in your life this year. XO
    And LOVE your mug. I got one last year for my word (mine was a teal color), and it was such a great reminder of my word every morning with my coffee. (Still is, this year, of course. Even though I didn’t get another for my this-year word. . . )

  • karen

    you are so CUTE in the photo! I love your mug and your intentions. I have three mugs that I rotate in the morning and when I get to the favorite one I squee. It’s funny because it was the second favorite but now it’s the first favorite. In the evenings I have three mugs for my green tea and again, I have a preference over who is the most favorite of all. It’s the little things…

  • Sarah

    When a word is the right one, it’s the right one. I think Choose is an excellent choice (ha!). We should always remember that we have agency in our lives and while we don’t have control over everything that happens to us, there are many instances where we do.

  • Kat

    I agree, I like how this word “followed you around”! It looks like choose and you are off to a wonderful start! And, I am with Katie… where did you get that cute mug?!

  • Carole

    I see nothing wrong and everything to gain with CHOOSING to repeat a word! We are always changing and growing and you will have a completely different experience than you did before. I, too, love the mug.

  • Lydia

    Great word for the year. My word/phrase is “be” as in be aware, be active, be involved, be present etc., etc. May need to add be careful [while riding a bike or motorcycle?!]

  • Karen

    It’s a wonderful word, and well worth repeating! How did I ever miss “Stitches”? Off to remedy that now!

  • Jane

    You have chosen well. You look so lovely in your photo with your new mug. What is it about mugs? They have to be just right. I have a few for morning tea or coffee and a few just for evening tea. These words bring new meanings into our lives. What a wonderful idea to revisit a word.

  • Alexa

    Such a wonderful post, Mary. (And you look beautiful). Choose clearly suits you :). I felt my spirit rise, just reading your words. I especially like the first seven lines of the second stanza: it seems so important right now ‘to bear no angry torches’. I haven’t come across Pastor Steve, so thank-you. May there be many more radiant moments for you during the year ahead …

  • Honore´

    Some words just linger in one’s life and lexicon and I certainly agree that “choose ” for 2021 is the right choice. I am looking forward to your choices… like Karen, I too missed Anne Lamott’s Stitches so I adding to my TBR…source please for your mug? Thanks.