For the past few years I’ve chosen a word for the year. Inspired by Ali Edwards and One Little Word. The first couple of years I failed miserably at keeping my word in focus. Last year though? Last year surprised me. You can read about my words from last year here and here.

This year I’m participating in Ali EdwardsOne Little Word workshop as well as over at Grit and Glory’s One Word 2011.

Story. My story. As 2010 came to a close I thought journey would be my one word for 2011. It seemed appropriate for how my faith was growing and my questions for where God was leading.

Then I began One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She writes of Eucharisteo. A Greek word. Soaking in her explanation of this word I knew. This would be my word for 2011.

When God began this awakening  I told a friend that at moments it felt like it was to prepare me. After learning Eucharisteo I feel the same. I can’t explain why.

 “And he took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them…”(Luke 22:19)…..In the original language, “he gave thanks” reads “eucharisteo.”………….The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks….But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But is also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.”  — from One Thousand Gifts

Eucharisteo. During those last days of summer I felt such joy. Heart so full of gratitude. Then life happened, someone began stealing my joy. There were days however it was there. But always appearing with gratitude.  I just never realized the connection.

Ann Voskamp goes on to write about a daily discipline of capturing small moments and listing them and giving thanks. From the smallest of details like rays of light through a window to larger ones, what if we disciplined ourselves to give thanks to God for each one. What if this discipline, this practicing, gives us the ability to find joy even in the painful. “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup….” Whenever.

Because He does work all things for good. Even when we don’t understand.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – (Romans 8:28 NAS)

So as I’ve wondered about the preparing, why the story of His presence He has given me over the past months, what is the purpose of it all, I know my word for 2011. No resolutions. Just one word on which to focus. It may be a difficult journey at times, but as I told a friend during those last days of summer, I can’t go back to before.

He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23 NIV)

Eucharisteo: Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

Do you have one word for 2011? Please share.

Be sure and check back later this week for a giveaway of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.


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