My One Word

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Each year on January 1st,
I try to pick a word to summarize my goals for the year ahead. I’ve
used words like INTENTIONAL, REST, LIVE, and others over the last
several years. 
 

But there is one word I constantly come back to on a daily basis. 
To
others, it may not mean much. It probably doesn’t have much emotional
or motivational impact for those who see it.

But for me, it’s my call to
arms, my mission statement, and my core beliefs all wrapped
up into one.

 
Ready for it?
 
CHOOSE.
 
Such a small word to mean so much.
 
Dictionary.com defines choose as this:
1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:

2. to prefer or decide (to do something):
3. to want; desire.
And
all three of those definitions are applicable to why this word means so
much: to pick by preference, to DECIDE, to want and to desire.
You see, there are many things in life that we can’t control. I was reminded of this yesterday.
 
Two
boys from our community (10th graders) were killed in a car accident over the weekend. 
Since I work as a school counselor in the same school system, I was
asked to go to the school where the boys attend to provide counseling
services if needed. The school made the decision to offer
transportation to ANY student that wanted to attend the funerals, and
over 300 chose to go. We loaded up EIGHT buses with students and drove
them to a funeral that morning, fed them lunch, and then
took them to the second funeral. 
It was
a heavy day. 
The students were able to grieve their classmate, to
reflect on happy memories shared, and to celebrate the lives their
friends had lived. 
And it
reminded me once again that there are many things in life that are
out of our control. And that because of this, I was reminded of the power we have to
CHOOSE
Each day, we wake up and get to
CHOOSE how we will live. 
We choose whether we will face the day with joy or with dread.
We choose whether we will respond to difficult people with love or with hate. 
We choose to give in to FEAR or we choose to have FAITH. 
We choose to invest our lives in those around us or we
choose to waste our time worrying about ourselves. 
We choose to love our spouses and family members, or we
choose to serve self and feelings that may WILL come and go.
We choose to trust in God’s plan and God’s timing or we
choose to try to do things for ourselves.
We choose to respond with grace or we
choose to respond with judgment.
We choose to forgive or we
choose to hold grudges.
Sometimes,
the choices we have seem like small little choices that may not mean
much.

But hear me on this, friends: These small decisions make up your
LIFE. They compose your TESTIMONY. They are what people
will reflect on long after you are gone. 

I
cannot control what will happen to me today, or tomorrow, or the next
day. I don’t know what God may have in store for me down the road, or
how He is working even now, to bring things into my life for my
good and His glory.
I
know from experience that these things are not always pleasant when in
the midst of them. But I DO KNOW THIS: I know that I ALWAYS get to CHOOSE how I
respond.
 
CHOOSE
today friends. Choose to love. Choose to extend grace when those around
you may not deserve it. Choose to forgive. Choose to celebrate. Choose
to serve. Choose to give. Choose joy. Choose to live.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE.

What a gift.
 
As my reminder, I ordered this bracelet from the FarmGirl Paints shop on Etsy.   It is now my constant reminder that I get to CHOOSE.  

Thanks FarmGirl Paints for the beautiful reminder! 
 
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