My word for 2016 is present.
My first thought was to be present. As most Italian mammas, I tend to worry. Something that I try to fight against. I know worrying is destructive. When I am in the present, giving my full attention to the people and tasks in that moment, there is no room for worrying about the future, nor is there room for pining over the past. I am just left to do my best in that moment and that I can handle. Actually, what’s beautiful about that is that not only can I handle that, but I can actually enjoy it too! So, yes, the word present seemed just right for big ol’ “worry wort” me.
And at the same time, it’s not just about me being present, it’s also remembering that I am always in the presence of God. He is with me wherever I go and remembering that I am in His presence, gives me comfort and confidence in each moment. His faithfulness assures me that there isn’t anything to fear.
I continued to brainstorm… a present. When I live my life in the present, I can be a gift to others. Not only can I can be blessed by people and experiences but I can also BE a blessing to others. I can produce, remember, offer, serve, provide, deliver, surrender… I can incorporate all these aspects of the word present.
Even in Italian, the words kept flowing… il presente (the present) un presente (a gift), la presenza (presence), essere presente (to be present), presentarsi (to show up, present oneself)… there was so much meaning wrapped up in this one word and it connected to all parts of who I want to be. Applying it has become a beautiful way to start my new year. As I find my thoughts drifting to concerns of what will happen next, I simply remember my word and it brings me back to the present — to that one next thing that I can do in that moment and I am instantly thankful and able to take the next step that presents itself (no pun intended).
One way I can be intentional about being present is coming together for family dinners. Each night, we take time to meet at our table and to share so much more than food. We take time to be thankful for the food and each other, and as we enjoy each bite, we can’t help but share the events of our day. Sometimes, we are silly, other times we are more serious. We share problems and we solve them. We laugh. In that moment, we stop and we savor. It’s a beautiful thing.