Sabbath Monday: Embrace, Part 1

0102172301.jpgI’ve been reflecting back on the last few weeks, wondering if hope, peace, joy and love will actually continue and not get boxed up with all the Christmas decorations or put to the curb with all the wrapping paper garbage. I’ve witnessed moments that have brought me hope and joy, moments of peace and lots of love.

Now usually this is the time of year to reflect back. I had all these intentions of finally writing down my thoughts on love and Christmas and New Year and spending time with family and yada, yada, yada. And yet, I wonder if all the busyness of the season, plus my coughing fits, were an act of fate, that instead of focusing on the past I’m meant to focus on embracing the new.

And so, I’m holding onto my reflections of the last few weeks, the things I meant to blog about during my week vacation. In its place, I’m embracing a new project head on…

I love to scrapbook and put memories from trips and events in order. It’s no surprise that a friend got me tuned into Ali Edwards. She’s a photographer, memory keeper, scrapbooker and blogger. Ali also holds online classes and does various projects, all geared towards capturing the moments in our lives. I instantly fell in love with her style, photos and the way she approaches being creative. (FYI, you can find Ali’s blog and such here: or find her on Facebook and social media.)

Beginning in January every year, Ali does a project called One Little Word or OLW for short (not to be confused with OWL). Basically OLW works like this:

  • You pick a word to focus on throughout the year.
  • You purchase the materials you think you might need (if you want).
  • Sign up for Ali’s online class where she provides pointers and tips, access to a bunch of materials and more.
  • Take photos and begin to journal, capturing where you’ve seen your word in your life.
  • Finally, assemble your One Little Word each month with assistance from Ali’s prompts.

I’m signed up and ready to go. Materials are here and I have my first assignment: Pick a word.

Do you have any idea how difficult picking a word to focus on for an entire year actually is? I started a list: peace, joy, happiness, love, thrive, focus, breathe, encounter, explore, and the list goes on.

Finally, it hit me – Embrace. That’s my word.

I sat up late at night when I should have been sleeping and wrote out one of those diagrams – Embrace in the middle with lines protruding from the word circle. Then more words surrounding it: Embrace – family, love, joy, contentment, God, peace, and I kept going. I think I have close to 20 or more sub-words. Now I’m even more excited to begin my One Little Word project in 2017.

Since I started thinking about Ali’s January prompt and spent way to much time on Pinterest searching my word, I’ve found that embrace is changing focus. And I love it. I’m working on reflecting and it’s taking me to other places. Don’t worry, Readers, you’ll be hearing more.

This new year, I encourage you to take a word and make it your own, even if you’re not a scrapbooker or into journaling or photographer. Simply take a word and focus on it for the entire year. What word might you focus on and embrace, allowing yourself to find the unexpected in your life?

If you do choose word, make it known. Put it on a post-it note and tape it to a mirror, allowing you to look at it every day. Or perhaps as a family, you come up with one word together and create a poster for the refrigerator, every night discussing where the word popped up that day. Or you simply keep the word in your heart. Or maybe you do something creative with it. It doesn’t matter because it’s your word.

Whatever new year practice you decide on, I hope it rocks and allows you experience something you’ve never experienced before.



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