Monday, January 02, 2012

2012: Extending Grace

A new year provides such a reflective opportunity for us. It is a fresh start in many ways and a blank canvas of life ahead of us waiting to be made into a beautiful masterpiece.

Some of the strokes on this masterpiece will be drawn for us and we will work around them or with them to make beauty. Some we will add ourselves and they may be beautiful or perhaps not. Of course, I hope it is a work of beauty - but more importantly, I am hoping it is heart-beautiful.

I like to reflect, so facing a new year is usually enjoyable to me. Last year, the word on my heart and mind emerged at Relevant '10 ~ see. This year, I began wondering if I would have a new word. I mean there is no unwritten {or written} rule that I need to have a word for this new year. And, I'm not the kind who likes to force things. So, I just spent December wondering and listening to what has been on my heart and it came ~ not one word, but two.

Extending Grace.

To myself, to others, in my home, in my choices and finances and all areas. Gracious living. Believing the best in others.

According to grace means, "elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action; a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment; favor or goodwill; a manifestation of favor; mercy, pardon."

The verse that I am pondering with this right now is Philippians 2:3-5, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus..."

I have a list of ways I want to look at this already written out. I want to explore Biblical examples of grace extended. But for today, just beginning here feels right and enough.

Is there a specific word or phrase on your heart for 2012?


Crystal said...

Yes, mine is Peace. I have felt this last year my gut is always in knots, my head is always worrying and I am just so tired and want Peace. I know I will never have it (unless I let go of all the things that bother me or things I think are going to happen) until I give it all to God.So my goal is Peace. I am so looking forward to a Peaceful feeling.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely post today, reminding me again that extending grace is so important. I have no words of my own that God is putting on my heart right now, but did read a blog at ModSquad (mothers do daughters) this morning reminding me that God is my "one thing." I will be working toward accomplishing that and extending grace this year.

Blessings for a grace-full new year.
Terri S

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

Oh my goodness! This fits beautifully with some things that have been on my heart lately as they relate to serving my family better this year. I cannot wait to see where you go with this!

- Michelle in Georgia

South Girl in the West said...

We actually have a "family" theme this year, "Love is spoken here." When the kids go back to school and I have few minutes, I plan to make up a handful of cute signs with this saying to scatter around the house as a constant reminder. Sometimes in our homes loving words are not always spoken, but home is the place they should be spoken ALWAYS, so our family is gonna work on that this year! Good Luck with Extending Grace!

Maggie said...

I decided (a matter of will in my case)last year, to extend grace to an extended family member who has never desired a relationship with me and in so doing, I have been free from the judgement I have held over her for way too long. I believe extending grace is not something that comes naturally to us but by stepping out of the way so that the Holy Spirit can work in our lives and the lives of others is an amazing experience for which I am very thankful!

petrii said...

Dearest Monica,
I love this!! My word for 2011 was steadfast, and as I made a scrapbook of my word and read and memorized verses concerning being steadfast, God started speaking to my heart in the last third of the year about His Word for me in 2012. It is.....


I am looking forward to building another scrapbook around this word and hearing what God wants to speak to me and teach me about grace.

I am looking so forward to hearing more about what God shows you in this year concerning extending grace.

Happy New Year!!!!


Kathy said...

Extending Grace sounds beautiful! Can't wait to hear how you implement it through the year.

My word seems to be Consistent...I really need to be consistent in all areas of my life. I get off to a good start, but then...

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hi Monica,
I don't have a specific word for the new year, except for "hope" :) :) I can't wait to see what God is going to do this my life and the lives of those around me :) :) I like your words "extending grace"...simple, but holds so much meaning :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

Carolyn said...

I have visited you often, but haven't left a comment until now.

"Extending Grace" has touched my heart. I am looking forward to you sharing in the days ahead.

Philippians 2:5 is engraved on a tile kept by my fireplace as a daily reminder.

Blessings in this journey.

Angelia said...

Wow, These are real lovely thoughts. I was reflecting on my goals for this new year and the Lord spoke to my heart, as well about Grace.I am ever still learning to recieve grace. I see through scripture that gift of grace. I want to recieve that gift over and over, then when I forget, recieve it again, so I can in turn give it, then reflect it. I am hearing things like recycled grace, eternal grace, never ending grace, growing Grace, reflections of grace. It will be a blessing to see your lovely thoughts and reflections on Extending grace. I know I will benefit from it. Thank you for sharing your grace filled life. hug, Angelia in Texas

Nancy at said...

Extending Grace sounds beautiful! For the last several weeks God has placed the word "finish" on my heart. I'm not sure where this will lead me, but I know God wants me to stay strong and finish something important. Blessings!

Karen said...

Oh, please do a series on this I too considered grace but then thought it would be too difficult (just being honest)

Angel said...

I had that verse on my fridge last year. I had meant to switch out the verse every month, but it seemed like I just was never ready to be "done" with it.

Gail said...

Next talk I lead I am going to title it "extend Grace". Thanks for sharing your thoughts