Happy March 1st and finally I have my 2017 Word for the Year!
Since 2010 I have come up with a “Word for the Year” to frame and focus on. I would share it with you all on my blog and Happy First emails and social media and you all shared your words with me too! I featured some of my friends’ Words on my blog over the years (just search Word for the Year in my blog search button to read some of them).
Well as many of you know, we lost our 20 year old son Dan on July 25, 2015 (See my post on Grief and Art Therapy). I did not post a Word for the Year for 2016. I did share with my eloquent friend Leigh that if I were to choose a word it would be “Endure”. I just wanted to survive each day. Well Leigh just wouldn’t have that! So this is part of what she wrote to me last February 2016.
“I am praying a higher calling for you and Randy than just “endure/survive.” Yes, you have suffered a tremendous loss. God has you and Randy here for His plan and purpose. Perhaps, this is your ministry now? To come alongside others who are grieving just as you are grieving to give them God-given hope in your positive and bright way? God does not intend for us to simply “endure” even though I am sure you wake up some mornings and wish it were all just a bad dream. God desires you to live abundantly and be faithful until we take our last breath here on earth before our eternal life with Him. So, I am praying God will resist your desire, at all costs, to simply “endure.” I know you are hurting in month 7 just like you did on day 1. I am praying for you to carve out ONE memory that causes you to laugh hysterically. Focus on one happy memory instead of inserting pain into it. Focus on his cherub face and how Dan was “on loan” by God for just awhile to bring you joy instead of heartache. “Show me YOUR ways, O Lord, teach me your paths” (Psalm 25:4).
Embrace it…do not just “endure.” God wants you and your servant attitude and heart to stay alert and continue to be Light for others.”
I have to admit that I didn’t like that word Embrace when she sent it to me. I wondered how could I ever Embrace anything ever again? I wasn’t ready for that word. I just couldn’t get there. For almost a YEAR. But that word kept creeping up on me, wouldn’t let go of me.
In these past 19 months I have met so many incredible people that have strong faith and some have suffered great loss. I know that God has placed them in my path. They have helped me heal and grow. They have become good friends.
One friend is Marcy whom had lost her husband a month before we lost Dan. We got to know each other better that summer. She said as hard as it is, she knows she still has a good life. She had 2 wonderful kids in high school, close friends and family, and many things to be thankful for. She is so uplifting and positive.
Another person placed in my life was in October 2015 when I struck up a conversation with the man seated next to us on the airplane named Barry. We were not supposed to be on this flight. We had missed our flight the night before with international travel and had to spend the night and take this new flight. I don’t think it was a coincidence. Barry had just lost his stepdaughter, and he had inspiring words for me. One thing he said that stuck with me was that he said after a while instead of asking God “Why me?” he started to say “What next”? As in what was he supposed to do with his life from there? He has since emailed us a couple of times to check on us.
I have so many stories of people I have met that are such an inspiration to me. But I don’t want this to get too lengthy in this one post!
So now I am ready to say that my word for 2017 is EMBRACE. I am still grieving for sure. But I know I must do something with my life with the time I have left.
I have talents that I must and want to use. I love to draw. I love people-making friends, connecting people with others. I’m so thankful for my husband Randy of almost 33 years and my 26 year old son Nick and his wife Katie. We have such a strong support network of family and friends that are always there for us.
I looked up the word EMBRACE and got a few definitions-to take or receive gladly or eagerly, to avail oneself of, to take in with the eye or the mind. I’m going to EMBRACE life, be thankful and use my talents.
I am working on filling my life with COLOR. I bought some bright Lilly Pulitzer clothing recently. I am going to decorate my house with color and hang up my art! And share my art! And I love flowers and my friend Stacy is going to help me plant colorful flowers that I can draw! I, like Marcy, do still have a fun life that I can EMBRACE!
So Embrace will be my word to focus on for 2017. I am framing this picture and will look at it every day to remind me.
What is your word for 2017? I would love to hear. I am making this design available for free download for you to print out and color with your word. Just join my email list to get the download on a pdf.