My word for 2022 is Gratitude.

I felt the Lord dropped it in my heart when I was feeling extra grumpy. It was a dreary day at the end of December and I was thinking about how I had such high hopes for redemption in 2021. What I was specifically hoping for was that the pandemic would be over. I thought for sure with the vaccine being out and so many people having natural immunity we would see most of the news, rage, and restrictions subside, but not much changed. I even went to my first Covid related funeral. So it’s been pretty gloomy year. In that moment of despair I also felt like I was personally failing in all kinds of ways. So I started in on the whole “woe is me” bit that I rehearse in times of weakness. I was ready to just cross off the past year and consider it a dud. Then I felt a little spark of gratitude in my spirit and the Holy Spirit give me a nudge to make a list reflecting on what was good about 2021. So I pulled out my phone and began to type out some of the good things that I accomplished in 2021. Here is what I came up with

  1. I finally got my hemoglobin on track after years of being anemic. This was huge!
  2. I successfully concluded a year of homeschooling and my kids are doing great (I was so worried that I was failing them).
  3. I finished the first draft of my memoir. This was also a major breakthrough for me!!!
  4. I launched a successful life group that is still growing strong and building lasting, edifying friendships.
  5. I got to see Guy Raz at a leadership conference which was kind of bucket list dream of mine. 
  6. I threw four super special birthday parties (to make up for a year of no big parties). 
  7. I upgraded my camera and photo editing software. It was expensive but I’m grateful for a side hustle that can cover those costs and capture beautiful memories for my clients.

Those are just some of what I feel like I accomplished. There are so many other major breakthroughs and joyous times that happened last year. Even though the enemy tried to back me into a corner with feelings of fear and inadequacy I can see for myself that 2021 was in fact a healthy, productive, and blessed year!

I love the song “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake. According to Spotify it was one of the songs I listened to the most in 2021. I really wanted to learn the sign language to the song and usually what I do for worshiping in ASL is google a video of someone that has already interpreted it. Only, in this case there weren’t any videos! That’s when it occurred to me that maybe I should be the one to fill that void. So I interpreted it over Christmas break and even got some help from a  dear friend of mine who is deaf and ASL is her first language. SJ and I have both been practicing and hopefully next week we’ll be ready to record a video and post it.

After all this focus on gratitude I got a belated Christmas present from a friend in the mail and I got choked up when I opened it.

It was a candle with the word gratitude on it. She had no idea that was my word for this year. The candle smells amazing by the way. It’s from a place called Thistle Farms which helps women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Definitely go support that ministry! It’s amazing. But sorry, as of now (01/20/22) the gratitude candle is sold out!

So there is one more 2021 recap while we are still in January. I know I already shared my goals, but I wanted to share my word. Gratitude. It’s significantly shaping my outlook for this year.