Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Happy 2024 and My Word Of The Year


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Hello friends and Happy New Year to each of you! Here we are in 2024 now with a brand new year ahead of us. What are you looking forward to in this new year? 

One of the things I enjoy doing with each new year is choosing a word or words to use as a focus during the year. I have been doing this now for many years and find the words to be helpful in keeping me grounded and moving forward. The last couple of years, I have also chosen a scripture to use as a "theme" for the year. Philippians 4:6-7 is my choice for 2024. 

And after making lists of words and pondering and considering them one by one, I have actually chosen two words for 2024. As you can see from the opening word collage of this post, my two words are Courage and Contentment.

I was a bit surprised when the word "courage" kept coming up in my mind as a word for the year. In fact, I worried a bit as to what this word might mean. Illness or tragedy of some kind that I might need courage for in the coming year? And yet, we all need courage of some kind for this life don't we? Not necessarily for just illnesses and tragedies, but also for daily living. I know that in my own life, I am at the point in retirement where it is just as easy to sit back and kind of let life pass by. And while that can be a luxury on some days, on other days I need to have the gumption, the bravery and the, yes courage, to get myself up to do something new or to try something I haven't tried before. Even in simple things like reading new authors that I haven't tried before or going to events where I meet new people. It takes courage, at least for me, to do these kinds of things. So, we will see where the word "courage" takes me in 2024. 

The word "contentment" feels like an important word for me this year, as well. To be happy and satisfied in life is so important. And while the words courage and contentment might seem like opposites in terms of thinking about trying new things, I feel that one can be content with life "as it is" and yet still be willing to venture forth to try new things in order to add to the contentment of life. So, we'll see where the word "contentment" takes me in 2024.

My word for last year was "light" and what a wonderful word it turned out to be in my life! After suffering the loss of my oldest sister in 2022, I really needed to look for the light in 2023. I feel that my faith life grew last year as I felt God's urging to "move forward" in life even in the midst of loss. I have had wonderful opportunities to serve in my church with continuing to direct handbells and even helping to lead services as liturgist and with preaching on Sundays when our pastor has not been able to be there. These have been times of great blessing and light for me and I continue to serve God in these ways going into 2024. I was also able to make a trip to West Virginia in both late May and October this past year. Once, I traveled alone and once, I traveled with The Mr. and those were both good visits with family. I continued musical pursuits with flute, did some trio playing with friends from bell choir, and took a breather with lessons from October-January which helped me to have time to process what I had learned so far and to play my violin a bit more since that instrument was a bit neglected while preparing for flute lessons each week. I re-read favorite books and felt the "friendship" of  book characters that warmed my heart. I went on a couple of retreats with women either from or associated with my church and enjoyed the warmth of love and fellowship in their company. The group I went with has been meeting for almost 17 years and we share a rich history together. I enjoyed meeting up with my dear friend, Sharon, on many occasions and was joyful in welcoming her to ring with the handbell choir this past year. And, The Mr. and I just celebrated 41 years of marriage. Yes, there were many points of light shining in my life in 2023 and I am so grateful for each one of them!

I sincerely hope and pray that 2024 has started out on a good note for each of you, my dear readers. I would love to know if you have chosen a word(s) or theme for the new year. Or, something you are looking forward to in 2024. Or, simply what is happening in your life right now. I truly enjoy hearing from you and I read each and every comment!

I wish you many blessings in 2024!
Until Next Time,


Joy said...

What a wonderful review of 2023 and I love your words for 2024. 'Courage' isn't just for the bad things that come along, it is for everything - opportunities, relationships, learning, saying 'no' when that's the right thing to do . . . so much in a life of fullness depends on courage.
I have three words as you have seen - contentment was one of mine last year. This year they are economy, energy and enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Debbie! I love the recap of your 2023, especially having seen for myself your light shining so brightly from the pulpit as you deliver sermons and offer guidance as liturgist, and while sharing your heart and your humor and laughter among us on retreat and in our other gatherings. Thank you for being a light in my world, inspiring me to grow.

May your 2024 be a year filled with courage and contentment for you. Indeed, for us all!

Sharon said...

I really enjoyed this blog post, Debbie! I have been thinking about a word/focus for 2024, so it was nice to read about your chosen words. I especially enjoyed reading about how last year's word showed up in so many ways for you.

Iris said...

Interesting concept. I don't have a word, but I do have a goal. To become independent again. I'm seriously working on it. I'm eating better, doing my physical therapy and generally trying to take better care of myself.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you Joy,Laura,Sharon and Iris for your lovely comments! I hope each of you has a wonderful 2024 and are having a great week! May each of your goals for the new year go well.