[comfort.]

“I don’t know where you are these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure, be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either. If everywhere you look these days is wintery, desolate and lonely, practice believing in springtime. It always, always comes, even though on days like today, it’s nearly impossible to imagine. Ground frozen, trees bare and spiky. New life will spring from this same ground. This season will end, and something entirely new will follow it.”

“Bittersweet” – Shauna Niequist

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One Word 2012. {Community.}

It’s January 17th. Most people picked their One Word way back when, but for me, I couldn’t find mine, I couldn’t feel mine. I didn’t know what word I wanted to take ownership of this year. What word I didn’t want to just look at on a piece of paper taped to my computer monitor for 365 days, but the word I wanted to steep into my heart like Earl Grey tea… with a beautiful aroma that warmed my soul and made me want to live deeper, and love greater, and be more for others.

I found my word last night. In the living room of a family that I’d just met, with some people that I’m getting to know well because God has knit us together like a big, beautiful, wool blanket… inviting and warm, comfortable and cozy. Our lives are intertwined because we’re answering His call, and we’re doing this thing together. This ministry thing at the church that we call Hope.

So my word, my One Word for 2012, is Community.

This can be viewed in many different lights. It can be lived out in many different ways.

Community is something that is created. Sometimes we’re lonely. Sometimes we need someone to listen, and to share and to be open about their lives and what they’re going through. And often times, we need the same thing. We need people to love us for who we are, and to give us advice, and to be a voice of reasoning and comfort. I want this and I want to be this in 2012. I want to create opportunities for Community in all aspects of my life. Community does not have to be lots of people. Community can be 2 people, sharing life and joy and coffee. It can be a small dinner party, noticing the smiles on people’s faces and they way they enjoy your home. Community can be found in anything, and this year, I want to be more aware of these things. I don’t want to just do things to do them, I want intentionality, and I want people to be intentional with me.

So as I sat in a recliner in the house where I found my One Word last night, I looked all around me and saw the Community we’ve been building. We have something incredibly special, and this is just one Community. There are so many others around me. So many opportunities to find life, and dream together, and speak words of wisdom in so many ways.

We’re only 17 days into this year, and I can’t wait to see where this goes. I can’t wait for the bonds to be formed, and the experiences to be had. I can’t wait to cry while listening to beautiful prayers that come from the mouths of beautiful people, and have my heart break for people as they spill their life into mine. I can’t wait for Community.

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“Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” – James 3:17 | The Message