Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What is Your Word for 2012?

Mariana in the Moated Grange
(The painting is by John Everett Millais and refers to the poem Mariana by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

For several years I've followed the example of some friends in choosing a word or motto for the year.    I usually start praying right after Christmas and by the New Year I have some idea of what my word or motto will be.   Often God shows me through reading or in some other way what He wants me to be aware of.  It is a great blessing!

Last year my word was "Cultivation".   When I look at last year, at first I was not sure if I had lived my word the way I wanted to.   But after some thought I think the word did have an effect.  For one thing, I planted a garden for the first time ever!    And there were some other things, too.    I think the word was probably a challenging one for me so the steps I took were small, but would have been smaller still if I hadn't been thinking of that word.

This year the word that came to mind as I reflected was "Diligence".    Diligence is the virtue opposed to the deadly vice of Sloth.   A lot of my most severe struggles -- or, oh well, being honest, culpable LACK of struggles, come from sloth.

From an article on diligence --

The word "diligence" comes from a Latin word meaning "to love." A related Latin word gives us "delight." In its original meaning, diligence is attentiveness, care, and concern in what we do, and eagerness, quickness, and zeal to do it. In consists in making the most of God’s gifts out of love for him and his Kingdom.

Aquinas says that Sloth is opposed to Joy,   This isn't quite the way we usually think of it, as a form of laziness or idleness, but it fits in with the idea that diligence is related to delight, and opposed to sloth.    Anyway, I think this word will give me plenty to think about during this year, and perhaps help me adjust my attitude about various less-loved household and family duties.  

If you've picked a word or motto for this year, I would love to hear it!


(Soooo, I (Chari) am hacking into Willa's post to say:  I think I will take her word for the year, too. I will also attach to that:  SERVICE.  I really want to focus more on being of service to my family......even with just such simple things as meals.....  I am SO NOT a Miss Acts-of-Service for a Love Language.  Sloth comes between me and that service. So, Willa, please do forgive me for this hacking.....and let us have much discussion and accountablity with the same word.  Ummmm, let's start in February.  : )  )


  1. Well, I've decided to choose a word for the first time this year. 2012 will be a year for FOCUS for me!

    Good luck with the diligence Willa!

  2. Good luck with the FOCUS, Susan! I am glad you are joining in!

  3. Good word, Susan!

    Every year, I never pick a word because I cannot settle on one...

    Since I stole Willa's DILIGENCE, I think I may as well steal your FOCUS. :)

    Great art choices, Willa!!
    I belive that my lack of FOCUS is part of the reason I have no DILGENCE......toward SERVICE

    Thanks, Ladies!

    AS usual...I still cannot choose just one word....I always think the other person's word is just what I need!

  4. You can hijack anytime, Chari. I found some good articles about combating sloth. Maybe we can post little quotes now and then to keep us inspired. The sad thing about being slothful is that it takes diligence to overcome it and that's just what one doesn't have when one is slothful. Sigh. That's where grace comes in.

  5. I could use extra FOCUS too, come to think of it!


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