• Stephannie Bramlett

Word of the Year: Contentment

Every Holiday season, as the New Year approaches many of us select a New Year’s resolution. By mid-January, the overwhelming majority see our resolutions have failed! I have set lofty goals in the past, and most of the time, I actually make my resolution a reality. Whether it has been to spend more time in prayer, lose weight, or eliminate diet drinks….I’ve set just about every resolution out there. Many years ago, my husband, Cab, shared with me an interesting strategy. Instead of a specific goal, like losing weight, for instance, he chooses a word that he hopes defines the coming year. I used to think this was so silly. He likes to “go against the norm” or, I guess a better way to describe it would be “make his own way” with things. It is part of what attracts me to him but, also, what drives me so crazy! Any way, through the years, I have seen him chose a word and really let that word steer his direction. It has shaped who he is today in a very positive way. This has now become a trend, in terms of resolutions. Go figure!

To put it nicely, 2018 was a very weird year. I’ve struggled with grief and crippling anxiety. I’ve seen loved ones hurt in ways I could not fix. I’ve struggled to find my place as a working mom in my workplace. I’ve questioned every decision that has lead me to where I am and where I am going. Yet, I achieved many goals. I’ve grown deeper in my relationship with God. I went way outside of my comfort zone and shared my dreams of becoming a blogger with one of my best friends: and here we have our blog together! I’ve watched my children grow and tackle many obstacles.

My true purpose of this blog is to uplift and encourage women around me. However, I cannot pour from an empty cup. I must share that I have been dealing with some insecurities and anxiety that can stifle any hopes of messages I want to write. I want to be honest in this, in hopes that anybody else that is troubled with these insecurities can hear my words. I hope you know you are not alone. You are more than enough. Our creator created you, the exact version of you. He gifted you with different talents and abilities so that you can honor Him by sharing these gifts. It is wrong of me to allow myself to believe the lies that my anxiety (the devil!) tells me.

So, this year, I am not setting a goal of writing so many articles or gathering so many readers for this blog. I am not setting a resolution to be published. I am not going for a bigger or more beautiful home or more perfect family vacation. I am not setting a weight-loss goal. All of these things are achievable and things I considered as my resolutions. However, all of these things can lead to disappointment and failure if I am unable to achieve them. Please hear my heart: I am not allowing myself a year of laziness or apathy. More, I am working on me. I am “filling my cup” so to speak with a word that will be my driving force for 2019: contentment. I’m not going to lie, this is going to be hard. This is a struggle for me. I am goal oriented and an over-achiever, of sorts. But, after this crazy last year and the tugs from the devil attacking my heart and soul… I need to find peace and happiness in my heart with an attitude of contentment.

While I pray to grow in a spirit of contentment, I urge each of you to choose a word that you want to help shape your new year. Phillipians 4:12-13 says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." This verse will be my go-to for 2019. What word do you want to define your year?

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