My Word for 2014 – Content

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

Even though I wasn’t especially content with it, a sermon about equations hit a nerve so deep that I was convinced my word for 2014 had to be contentment.

Instead of making resolutions, I choose to focus throughout the year on one word.

In 2012, my word was incremental. Living incrementally changed my life. I broke down big tasks and overwhelming emotions into manageable proportions. It was a more productive year than I thought possible.

Last year, in 2013, I ended up with the word ponder, almost like it chose me. I’m still pondering why. Because of that word, I sat still more than I wanted to and kept my mouth shut more than I wanted to and waited for results more than I wanted to, which led to my concern over this year’s word.

Contentment (shortened to content, which I’ll explain next) could easily have turned out the same as ponder – unwanted. It’s again not a get-up-and-go word, but another that sounds like a call to be still. I have no idea how to practice it unless I purchase a mountaintop and some chants. Plus, not one person has said, “Oooh, that’s a good word for this year.” In fact, I called it boring until a friend convinced me it was my perfect word.

My friend said that if I shorten contentment to content, it has two significant meanings … to be content (as in being right where I’m supposed to be and grateful about it) and to produce content (as in finishing the book I’ve talked about for a decade).

“Hopefully you won’t be content until you write more than your table of contents,” she said.

What’s your word for 2014? Are you happy about it or stuck with it? Sometimes the latter is a good thing.

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Throughout 2014, my aim is to be content enough to sit still and write content.

On the side: Thank you, Nancy. Not in a million years would I have come up with the double meaning of content, not for my word anyway.

16 responses »

  1. I like the content from ‘contentment’ version…Nice.

    2014 is the first year I have a word, and it chose me – composure.

    Being in a bit of a battle for my life, I have found that the decision to remain composed, no matter what, brings with it two things.

    The first is peace. I choose not to react with dismay when things are physically daunting, and I choose not to dissolve into hopelessness when hope is far away. This power of choice has given me power over so much more!

    The second benefit from composure is courtesy. When people around me see that I’m okay, no matter what is happening, they’re released from the need to worry about me. I’m in good shape, and do not need to be bucked up or encouraged, or – God forbid! – pitied.

    Composure is not an easy discipline, especially at first, but as time goes on it becomes a habit. The wild beasts of emotion come too see that they are far more comfortable grazing well-mannered and calm in quiet pastures.

    • Andrew, I first want to say that I’m sorry to hear you’re in a battle for your life, but I so appreciate your resolve to share it matter-of-factly and without self-pity, but also honestly, not ignoring it like it’s not happening. I’m praying that whatever is going on, that you come out the other side better and healthier.

      Next, I’m inspired by your choice of composure. I needed that word the past three or four years. I have more composure now than ever before, but it would have been easier had I practiced it intentionally and reined in “the wild beasts of emotion.” That never crossed my mind.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope it helps to know you’re being thought of and prayed for.

    • I like that, Dave. I got the word-of-the-year idea from Beth and from Edie Melson. First I had heard of it back in 2012. It’s been the only “resolution” I can remember and that has worked.

      Let me know how “listen” works for you. I’m encouraged by others’ words and hearing your stories throughout the year.

      Oh, and I just got a notice about your blog. I guess I’m back on the list. Whoo hoo! Going to read it now.

  2. Great word, Kim – it goes (or creates) a peaceful heart.

    The word first given to me for 2014 was “intentional” – I believe I have to move some items from my mental wish-list to my actual-do list. About a week later I was reading friend Dr. Lisa Marotta’s post about goals and her list of how to get there had the word ‘intentional’ in number one and ‘implement’ in number four. I now have fraternal twin words for this year – they are quite different but need to go together!

    • I love that you received confirmation, Shel. And I relate to being given words. I felt comfortable that I chose my first word, incremental. However, the past two years, I’ve had words forced on me. 🙂 Well, maybe not forced, but strongly suggested.

      Yes, intentional and implement are good for each other. I hope they are good for you too. Keep me posted.

  3. From Facebook –

    Linda Calvanico said:
    “I just wanted to share in a late response to your blog, my word of the year is HOPE – I don’t know why or exactly what it means – but it keeps coming to me…I bought a present for a friend – sponsoring a dolphin that was rescued named “Hope” friends with the famous “Dolphin Tale” star Winter and star of “Dolphin Tale 2” the story of Hope’s rescue…then I saw a quote from the book “Hope for the Flowers” which is very symbolic of life and double meaning for me having that experience with raising caterpillars to butterflies (not sure if you remember that)…I know I struggle with losing hope in a society where times we seem helpless to do anything thus destroying our hopes and dreams…I hope to be successful and for the success of the people around me (especially our Brickhouse members, staff, and students)…I hope to continue to find others that believe in what we do by joining our club to sustain the business and make people’s fitness dreams a reality, I hope for my health and body to sustain me to do what I love – I hope for the people around me that I love to be happy – so it is my Hope that I will make it through 2014 and look back and say it was everything I hoped for and more! Love you Kim! You are such an inspiration!”

  4. From Facebook –

    Liz Mitchell, Sandra Stein, Ashley Bruno and 12 others like this.

    Sylvia Jones Content leaves no doubt………
    January 14 at 11:13pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson That’s what I said too, Sylvia Jones. And happy I finally COMPLETED a post in 2014!
    January 14 at 11:49pm · Like · 3

    Sylvia Jones Yes-completion…it’s a good thing. You completed it, now you can be content!
    January 15 at 12:19am · Unlike · 4

    Rick Smith Mine is “serene”. What will be, will be.
    January 15 at 5:46am · Unlike · 2

    Lis Morgan RECAPTURE.
    January 15 at 4:53pm · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson Sylvia Jones,
    January 15 at 11:06pm · Like

    Kim Henson I like that, Rick Smith. The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorites. Cross-stitched it for my mom years ago and still say it often … sometimes not quite as holy as it’s written. Okay, I launched beyond your word. My word probably should be focus.
    January 15 at 11:09pm · Edited · Like · 2

    Kim Henson Lis Morgan, tell me more. I love that word. Why recapture? And what are you recapturing? Intriguing.
    January 15 at 11:10pm · Like

    Anjana C. Duff You already know mine, but I love it so much, I have to repeat it – ENRICHMENT.
    January 16 at 9:00am · Unlike · 4

    Lis Morgan Kim Henson..experiences over the last 4 years (personal, spiritual, emotional, professional..literally EVERY aspect of my life) stretched me beyond what I expected to face at my age and stage in life. GRATEFULLY, I’m beginning 2014 on a “scenic overlook” know-a nice spot to sit, have some water & give yourself a high five when you realize where you started and how far you’ve come from that place. And, you see how much further you have to go in order to successfully complete the journey. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how I’ve traveled. But, I also recognize that it’s taken a toll on my ability to dream and diminished my confidence in who I am & what I want my life to speak to others. Therefore, I’m determined to RECAPTURE those elements. Ironically-my 2013 word was CONTENTMENT. Kindred souls, indeed.
    January 16 at 3:21pm · Edited · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson Lis Morgan, your comment gave me chills. Really. Your story is so like my own, and at our age … didn’t see it coming either. Mine started when Dad died in 2005, and the last five years have been profound with change and pain and growth and insight and, and, and. I could go on and on. I so hope one day when you’re in the area, we can sit down over coffee (which I don’t drink, but you can and I’ll have hot chocolate) and talk. I’d love that. For now, I’ll relish in our FB friendship.
    January 16 at 2:40pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson I do know yours, Anjana C. Duff, and it’s so prefect for you. I can’t wait to see where it takes you … figuratively and literally.
    January 16 at 2:41pm · Edited · Like

    Patti Simon I would have to say Grateful also!
    January 17 at 11:11am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Good word, Patti Simon. I need that one always!
    January 20 at 1:39am · Like

    Mary McKerihan Wilson My word hasn’t come to me yet, but I can certainly identify with others’ stories of huge changes happening later in life. In the past 15 years mu husband has developed serious chronic health problems, both of my parents and several good friends have died, and we left our home of 29 years and moved 11 hours away to Myrtle Beach.
    January 20 at 10:23am · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Mary McKerihan Wilson, thanks for sharing. Those are major (and painful) changes. I look forward to hearing the word you choose. Or the word that chooses you. Let me know when you figure it out.
    January 21 at 11:12pm · Like · 1

    Mary McKerihan Wilson Kim, my word is “today.” There are of course multiple meanings: do it now, seize the day, don’t put off unpleasant tasks, live in the moment, etc. I’m sure I will discover more as the year goes on.
    January 21 at 11:47pm · Unlike · 3

    Robin McGee How do I know my word? How do I choose it?
    January 22 at 9:16am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson I never thought of choosing “today.” I love it, Mary McKerihan Wilson. And, yes, deeper meaning will unfold as the year goes forward. Keep us posted.
    January 22 at 11:09pm · Like

    Kim Henson Robin McGee. there’s not really a formula. I think most people choose a word that is significant because of goals they have like one friend chose freedom because she wants to be free of debt and free from fear and worry). Or sometimes friends say the word chose them because they saw or heard it over and over or it jumped out at them when they read a quote or an article/book. I hope you’ll share your word if you choose one.
    January 22 at 11:12pm · Like

    Stefanie Campione No filter…speak the truth and speak my mind…so be it…
    January 22 at 11:18pm · Unlike · 1

    Stefanie Campione The universal word for Earth in 2014 is Truth…
    January 22 at 11:19pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks for chiming in, Stefanie Campione. Truth is a powerful word.
    January 22 at 11:27pm · Like

    Dale Booth Kim.. a million good words.. I would say helping is my word
    January 22 at 11:36pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson There are so many to choose from, Dale Booth. You do “helping” well.
    January 23 at 1:33am · Like

  5. From Facebook –

    Anjana C. Duff, Jeanie Johnson, Donna Richardson and 4 others like this.

    Nancy Launi At least I am good for something besides nagging!
    January 14 at 11:27pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson Nancy Launi, you are good for a LOT besides nagging! you!
    January 14 at 11:50pm · Like · 2

    Nancy Launi 😎
    January 15 at 12:47am · Unlike · 1

  6. Never Put it off!
    I thought and thought about a word for me in ’14.

    I decided on one word and worked out in my mind why it would be my word for the year. I even made notes on small slips of paper .

    Weeks went by. After I paid all my monthly bills this month I decided I would have time to comment and dazzle you with my word.

    Problem! Today I cannot remember the word or why I chose it. The slips of paper are somewhere between here and eternity. So I must now come up with a new word;.


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