My one little word for 2011; effort.  It feels big to me.  Let me tell you how it came about.

This story starts decades ago when my mom would pick a color and word for the year.  She selected a word that she wanted to focus on in her scripture study.  Now, naturally you need to find a color that fits with it.  That way you can mark the passages that contain your word with that color.  I remember her saying when we were younger that her favorite color was “rainbow”.  She couldn’t pick a favorite.  This way she could have a different “favorite” each year.  She said it’s amazing how something will jump out at you because it’s your color for the year.  Same with your word.  I’m not sure why, but her “magenta” year stands out to me.  I’m not even sure what the word was.  Anyway, I thought it was something neat that my mom did.  Only my mom.

Flash forward to 2008.  I was reading and enjoying Ali Edward’s blog.  She had her one word she was focusing on, vitality.  She had found a word for a few years to focus on and I thought it was a neat idea.  I really loved her next word too – nurture.  That’s on my list for the future.  🙂  How did I not see the connection to what Ali was doing and what my mom had done for years??  I don’t know.  I guess sometimes it takes a few exposures before giving yourself the okay.  Anyway, I decided on “language” for 2008.  I wanted to focus on the language I used with my husband and children.  Positive, faith-filled language.  And my color was brown.  Why?  Mostly because it is my very favorite color (I’m not completely like my mom 😉 ).  I LOVE brown.  A nice chocolately brown.  And it seemed like  good foundational color to start with.  2009 was orange and thanksgiving.  I feel gratitude often, but had a hard time with expressing it.  Or, more accurately, making the time to express it.  That was my focus that year.  Last year was Create.  And ocean blue.  I thoroughly enjoyed my study and time creating.  And now, I think we’re to the point of why effort this year.  And the color reveal.  🙂

November of last year I had a whole list of words I could pick from and one that I really wanted.  It just didn’t feel right though.  I know it will be a word that I focus on in the future, but the timing wasn’t right.  I had never felt that before so I studied and prayed and thought and studied some more.  I tried to talk myself into certain words and then right back out again.  I thought about being patient, but I wanted a plan.  And now, please.  I proceeded to make a list of goals for the new year.  Usually I do that with the word in mind.  A little backwards, but I moved forward.  And thought and talked with my hunny and thought some more.  And prayed.  I wanted to know that my actions and whole year of study would be what the Lord wanted me to be doing.  Because what He wants of me is what is always best for me.  That I know!

The beginning of January came and I still did not have a word.  I felt closer.  I knew that my scripture study would be on prayer.  I want to focus on that communication.  I want to commune with my Father in Heaven.  I wanted my word to reflect that and my other goals.  I want to put forth my best.  Effort had come into my mind, but honestly did not seem enough for what I wanted.  It felt like the word “try” and I wanted to do.  While studying prayer I found hymn #170, “God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray” and the very last phrase stood out.  “Bless our efforts day by day”.  And it all came together.  My efforts aren’t enough.  Never will be.  Too many nights I flop into bed and think on everything I wasn’t able to get to that day.  I need to focus on what I have done and make sure each day is my best effort.  Then ask for His blessing.  My efforts blessed by God is enough.

All this was going through my head and heart as we went to the temple on Saturday, January 8th.  I prayed to know if this was my answer.  Was this my word?  I received the answer.  Overwhelmingly yes.  And a thought: “How meaningful would it have been to have the word effort without a whole lot of it getting there?”

Once again I learn to trust the Lord’s timing.

Effort.  Effort day by day.  And daily is why my color this year is Sunshine Yellow.

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  1. Ruth Hansen says:

    I love this post. You made me smile. I love your efforts with your family. I love watching you be you – an amazingly wonderful, fun, nurturing, creative individual. You inspire me sis! Sure love you!

    • Thank you Ruth! I’m grateful for your inspiration too! Our family would not be the same without secrets each night! We love the laid-back, loving feel of you and your home. Thank you for your care and nurturing influence!! I love and adore you!!!

  2. I loved getting a peek into your beautiful mind. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. I am now pondering over a word and color for my own 2011 experience. Bless your sunshiny efforts – all year long!

    • Thank you again Lauri. You are a true friend! I cannot thank you enough for your encouraging words. 🙂 I loved our conversation and wish you happiness on your journey throughout this year – you are going to love it! 🙂

  3. Oh! I love the idea of choosing a color as well. My word for the year is open. I think my color will be… hmm. Maybe pink. I’ve never been much of a pink girl. Though I now have a full blown princess living in the house. I’m going to have to embrace my inner pink someday. I’ll have to put more thought into that.

    AND I am so glad to have your blog back. I can see that you didn’t go anywhere, but everytime I have tried to pull it up in the last couple of weeks I’ve ended up with nothing. The system wouldn’t let me connect. I thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughts. It’s so nice when people inspire in so much more than just a creative sense. Thank you!

  4. Hi Mandi – happy to have you back. 😉 I feel the same way about your blog – it’s inspiring on many levels. Thank you!!

    I think pink sounds perfect for your color! I liked pink when I was younger. Took a huge hiatus and then fell in love again when my first daughter was a toddler. Whatever you choose will be wonderful. (p.s. I *love* your word!)

  5. Becky – Thank you so much for sharing! I will enjoy ‘ Sunshine Yellow’ & ‘Effort’ and will be thinking of you all year when I see or hear your color/word!
    Love you! Mom
    PS With ‘Magenta color of the year’ came the word…Music. You are so musical maybe that’s why ‘Magenta’ stood out ‘Somewhere in Your Memory’.

  6. You are welcome Mom! I love knowing your color and word too. It is always neat when it pops up. Thank you for introducing me to the idea – I love how adaptable and personalized it can be. And thank you for telling me about magenta – I remember being fascinated that there was a color between red and purple. I think that is how you described it to me when I was young. 😉 Do you remember what year it was? 🙂 Sure love you too!

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