Choosing a Word of the Year

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a word for the year. Well, the word actually chose me. Yes, there are online quizzes or reflection questions you could try, but I’ve found just opening yourself to receiving a guiding word will bring one your way. Just listen for it.

In 2019, my word was practice, as in try and try again. Practice gave me permission to experiment, risk, prototype, and fail. Growth, progress, and skill take time. She’s the word of grace this perfectionist needs.⁠

My word for 2020 was rhythm– the movement of practice. Intentionality, flow, consistency. I imagined a spiritually rich and disciplined year. Ha! Instead, it was a boatload of practice. Rhythm was jazz, not a march. Improvise. Keep showing up in the midst of constant adaptation, heartbreak, and lament. Rhythm has so much more to share with me.

My word for 2021 was truth. She arrived in the middle of a Zoom gathering with my author buddies at the Light House. Truth was the permission I needed to make space for deep conversation, especially the uncomfortable and taboo.

When things got tough and I wanted to hold back, I’d find myself saying, “My word for the year is truth” and what I needed to say made its way out of my heart. Every time this happened, the gift of truth broke the conversation open in beautiful and needed ways.   

Truth was the exact word I needed to companion me through the major transitions of 2021

  • a six-week renewal leave which included some travel and a much-needed counseling intensive at Quiet Waters in Colorado
  • saying goodbye to my congregation in Sarasota and hello to my new congregation in New Smyrna Beach, Coronado Community United Methodist Church
  • Ed and I buying a house. We never dreamed we’d have this opportunity before retirement. Plus, we’re finally under the same roof after decades of separation due to work.
  • my mom’s cancer diagnosis and my sister’s incredible caregiving of her. Mom’s doing well.
  • the marriage of our beloved Laura and Kevin
  • the scary and exciting decision to start a publishing business for my writing called Via Lexi. More to come as that unfolds.
  • a new partnership with the good folks at The Pastor’s Workshop as a contributor of prayer, liturgy, and sermon resources
  • the surprising birth of our beloved Lily Joy, our first grandchild, to our beloved Elyse and Sam. She arrived two weeks early and was a girl instead of the boy they thought they saw in the ultrasound. Elyse, Sam, and Lily are living with us, so I get to hold her every day. I’m over the moon.
  • starting 2022 with Covid. I’m quarantining in our travel trailer this week.

That’s a lot.

What’s surprised me most about receiving a word for the year is the way they abide. These wise companions don’t come and go. They move in and continue to offer grace year after year like a tribe of dear friends. They collaborate with one another and encourage one another to share even more with me as I’m ready to receive it.

So, who’s moving in this year? Curious.

Curious showed up bags in hand last week as a total shock. I even kept her at the door a while thinking she’d made a wrong turn, but no. Curious is here to stay. She knows I need her to help me with my dualistic thinking and my ugly bent to judging. So welcome sister Curious. I’m ready to receive.

What word is choosing you this year? I’d love to hear your story.  

A few thoughts on last week (7-24-2021)

Greetings Beloved of God
A few notes on a very full week.

It’s been a month since we moved to New Smyrna Beach. It’s lovely to be nesting in our own home. There’s been flooring work, painting, electrical work, adding ceiling fans and light fixtures. We’ve bought some new to us furniture and are selling/giving away what’s still useful. It will be many months before we’re through all the boxes since Ed and I are both working.

Daisy loves the backyard. Honey will nose around a bit if we place her in the grass.

Last week included the joy of Vacation Bible School and meetings with the Coronado Community Leadership to update our COVID policies based on recommendations from the Medical Team. I also met with the UMW leadership, our Day School Director, and Freddie the community organizer with F.A.I.T.H., Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony. I’m grateful for the chance to serve alongside these wise, faith-full folks.

There were also meetings with folks interested in going to Israel next March and folks interested in who we are as CCUMC and how to get involved. I’m encouraged by their openness, stories, and gifts. If you’re local and would like to meet, I’m scheduling appointments. You’re never a bother. Contact me at info@revlisad.com.

A friend’s husband has COVID. A friend’s small grandson has COVID. I have a family member with COVID and my beloved Ed works in a hospital where COVID cases are rising fast. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask if you aren’t fully vaccinated.

It’s good to be writing again. In recent days I’ve offered public prayers for Haiti/Cuba, the Olympics, and one based on John 6. My newsletter Prayer & Practice will wake from its summer nap the first Tuesday in August. You can subscribe here.

Ed and I are watching America Ninja Warrior and rewatching The Big Band Theory. Delightful. We’re eating lots of yummy takeout thanks to thoughtful folks who’ve blessed us with gift cards. I’m looking forward to being settled enough to do some cooking soon.

May you be safe and nurtured and loved by God and many others.
Your sister and servant in Christ- Lisa <><
7/24/2021