generosity.

I thought I had narrowed down what my word of the year would be this year.  I was leaning toward courage or brave.  Stepping out into what God has put on my heart to do.  The last two years my words have been rise and illuminate (shine).  I don't know that I fully walked those out, but I do know that it's time to really embrace my purpose and take action.  Do you know the children's song that goes, "Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory..."?  I want to keep rising to the call, shine His light and glorify Him as I draw closer to Him and encourage others.  I want to have the courage to step up and be brave in sharing.

But something about using one of those as my word wasn't sitting right with me.  I wanted to take the focus off of me being brave or courageous and instead move my attention toward the action of just walking it out.  

I was looking at Timehop one day and saw something I saved a few years ago, that said:

This year I will

speak gently

forgive freely 

and love relentlessly.

I really want to live like that.  

My sister and I were talking one day, and she shared with me that her word is generosity.  When we were younger, we used to get annoyed when one would copy the other.  But not so much anymore.  I guess we're more generous now. ;)  

Right away when I heard her word, it clicked.  I want to be courageous and brave, yes.. but it's about giving generously of my time, gifts, words, forgiveness, love, everything.  

Do you know about Andrea Schroeder?  (Side note:  if this was 1983, I'd be totally jealous of her last name.  I really wanted to marry Ricky Schroeder back in the day.  Silver Spoons anyone? I had posters from Tiger Beat, 16 and Teen Beat magazines all over my walls.)  Anyway, Andrea has a whole website about nurturing your creative dreams: creativedreamincubator.com.  After reading one of her newsletters or posts last year, I began to see my creative dreams differently.  

God has carefully knit each one of us together and given us our interests, passions and talents.  I imagine it like a snow globe.  All those parts that make us unique are gently placed in a glass ball (and He even adds some sprinkles to make it extra special!).  

snow globe.jpg

 

That snow globe is our gift.  

But He didn't create that gift just to have us keep it hidden away in a box or in a dark corner of a room because it feels safe there.  

Our purpose is to share that gift.  To allow others to be blessed by it.  It takes courage and bravery, because we want to protect it.  It's scary to be exposed and vulnerable.  

It's time to step up and stop worrying.  I want my focus to be on others.  Who will be encouraged if I share?  Who might experience healing if I pursue what I feel God is calling me to?  I know the dreams in my heart are not just for me to sit and dream about.  They're meant to minister to someone who needs hope.  I want to be generous in sharing.  No more shrinking back.

Beyond my creative dreams, I want to live more generously in my day to day life.  Generously giving attention to my kids, affection to my husband, patience and encouragement to coworkers. Love and forgiveness.  Kind words.  Smiles.  Tithes and offerings.  Time.  A helping hand. Generous with compliments.  Generous with gratitude and praise.   Lots of grace.  Giving generously.

So this year, I'm a copycat.  I have the same word as my sister.  It's kinda great though, because we can share how we're pursuing generosity and what we learn and discover throughout the year.