A pastel beach sunrise

@JeanneTakenaka

There’s something exciting about hanging that new calendar and beginning to think about the possibilities a new year can hold. I don’t know about you, but I gave up on creating a list of New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. There are a lot of opinions on focusing on one word for the year. For some people, this doesn’t work, but for me, the anticipation of walking through each day and looking for what God wants to teach me about my One Word excites me. 

For me, the anticipation of walking through each day and looking for what God wants to teach me about my One Word excites me. #oneword #tellhisstory #focus Click To Tweet
A lighthouse reminding us that God's light can help us learn how to focus on His truths

2020 is a year I’m certain many are ready to forget. The pain, the heartache, the drastic change in our sense of normal pushed all of us beyond comfort zones and into unknown, sometimes scary places. 

In the midst of that, my 2020 One Word was PRESENT.

I entered the year not sure which version of present God wanted me to focus on. Looking for “presents” in my day, or being “present” in each moment. Turns out, it was the latter definition. Though He did give me many gifts last year. 

Lessons Learned About Being Present

The idea of being present in each moment has threaded through my days for a few years now. But when God asked me to focus on learning what it meant to be PRESENT, I had no idea how hard this can be!

Footsteps on the beach a reminder that we're on a path to being known

When a friend faced a health crisis and our boys had some struggles, I felt overwhelmed. On one particularly difficult day, I just wanted to run away to Australia. But I knew my problems would still be here when I returned. God reminded me that I was asking not to be present. I was looking to have my needs met somewhere other than by Him. God wanted me to trust Him to walk with me through the hard season.

In August, Hubs made an emergency trip to visit his family in Hawaii. As we drove to the airport, I kept thinking through future plans as my husband was contemplating what he might find during his upcoming visit with his family. God finally stopped me with a question: “What is your word, Jeanne?”

“Present.”

A close up of flower buds, a reminder of my One Word: Known

And then I got it. As I focused on future plans, I was missing being in the present. It’s easier to focus on future possibilities to avoid the pain in the present moment. God reminded me He’s with us, even in the painful moments. And He gives us what we need to get through them.

My challenge has been choosing to be fully engaged in the present, especially when it’s painful or overwhelming.

Being present in each moment often requires us to trust God to help us through whatever each moment holds. 

I am always surprised at the deeper lessons God teaches me with my One Word each year. 

A deep orange sunset over the ocean

The One Words I’ve Focused on Over the Years

2012—Passion

2013—Perspective

2014—Enough

2015—Breathe

2016—Authentic

2017—Intentional

2018—Hope

2019—Live

2020—Present

Even as we step into 2021, I’m pondering the importance of being present. Our oldest graduates from high school this year. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that reality.

My One Word for 2021 is:

A meme of One Word: Known

My focus verses for the year come from my favorite psalm: 139:

A meme of Psalm 139:1, 17-18 that says, "O Lord, You have searched me and known me . . . How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How gat is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You." on a backdrop of a photo of a piece of coral on the sand with a wave creeping close to it. This passage reminds me of my One Word: Known. God knows His children.

I’m excited to learn what God wants to share about my word. I have a sense He is inviting me to learn how to “live known.” I know that God knows me. But I, like a little child, still have this habit of hiding my ugliness, my imperfections, my insecurities from the One who will never stop loving me. I sense God wants me to trust Him completely with myself, to be vulnerable and discover just how trustworthy He is, just how much He loves me. 

I have a sense God is inviting me to learn how to “live known.” I know that God knows me…I sense God wants me to trust Him completely #oneword #tellhisstory #focus Click To Tweet
A sunrise picture of trees silhouetted with a backdrop of purple and pink skies and waves in the foreground.

I’m sure I’ll share posts through the year of what the Lord teaches me about being and living KNOWN.

I hope this year finds each of us walking more closely with our Savior as we step into each new day.

What about you? What do you do to stay grounded for the year? If you are a One Word person, what is your word for the year?

This week, I’m linking up with Grace and Truth, Self Care Hacks, and #Instaencouragements. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leave your own encouragement. Click over here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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