Month: January 2017

Seek the beauty in the storm

So … winter.
 
I’m not a big fan.
 
I’ve lived in warm areas and I’ve lived in cold areas. And given the choice between 100 degree weather and 20 degree weather, I’d choose the 100 degree weather almost every time.
 
Something about snow makes me nervous. Driving on snowy roads and walking on icy sidewalks, plus the fear of being snowed in, has me stalking the weather forecast, desperate to see when I can expect above-freezing temperatures to melt it all away.
 
So, naturally, we moved to Colorado this year. Because life.
 
This week, I knew a storm was coming. I braced myself for the cold and the snow. I made my grocery list and planned activities that could be done in the house if the roads were unsafe for a day or two. And yesterday, I headed out to buy some fresh produce as the snow was rolling in.
 
I made my purchases, loaded my groceries into the trunk, jumped (shivering) into the car, and saw this.
 
And it took my breath away.
 
Somehow, in the midst of my fear of the storm … I forgot to look for the beauty.
 
What a shame.
 
I am so grateful for the lesson that I was taught yesterday.
 
Friends, even if you are in a stormy season of life … even if you find yourself desperately wondering when the sun will come out to melt your troubles away into nothingness …
 
Seek the beauty.
 
Even if the sun is not shining, there is always beauty to be found in the storm.
seek-the-beauty-in-the-storm

Word of the Year – 2017

Somehow, 2016 is already gone. And last night, I began reflecting on my habit of choosing one word to focus on each year, rather than choosing resolutions. Because I have never, ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution. But one word to focus on all year long – that’s what works for me.

2017

As I thought about this last year, though, I was feeling discouraged. Frankly, I struggled with the word I chose in 2016. It truly wasn’t until December when I felt like I had begun to succeed at my goal for the year. I was feeling discouraged and frustrated.

But this morning, I realized something.

It’s not bad to set a goal that you struggle with all year. In fact … that seems to have been a perfect goal for me. I worked, I struggled … and at the end, finally, I made progress.

So now a new year is here, and it’s time for me to choose a new word. As with previous years, I gave it a lot of thought, but there was really only one word that kept coming back to mind. A word that emulates not just how I want to feel, but the light and hope that I want to project.

Joy

This year … I choose joy. I choose not to wait for happiness to come to me, but to find it. I choose to more fully seek the sunshine and keep my back to the shadows. I choose to live in a way that shows others that life is good, that happiness is possible, that hope exists.

In 2017, I choose joy.

What about YOU? What are you choosing this year?