Word for the Year

Growth


by Jennifer Elrod | January 5, 2018

Every year in December, I choose a word to represent my hope and expectations for the year. In 2017, the word was JOY. I have recently landed on my word for 2018: THRIVE.

THRIVE: “to grow or develop well, or vigorously. Prosper or flourish.”

I want 2018 to be a year where I truly thrive; despite my circumstances, I will thrive in everything I do. In the moments that I fail, I will continue to thrive. I will remember to find joy in every circumstance and move forward in my walk with Christ. My relationship with God allows me to shift my perspective from getting by to living in the moment with joy.

If you know me or read any of my work, you know that I love Joanna Gaines. While reading her book, The Magnolia Story, a few weeks ago, I read this quote: “I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good… It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there’s always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there–wherever “there” is for you–you’ll be happy. But that’s just not life. If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in beauty, either.”

To thrive is a mindset in which we shift our perspective; we cannot simply just survive our present circumstances.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -Thessalonians 5: 16:18

Once you can find that joy, you can begin to thrive. Thriving is significant during the holidays. What can you do amidst to-do lists and busy schedules in order to still thrive?

For me, I am someone that usually goes above and beyond during the holidays. I buy too many gifts, I do too much, and I exhaust myself. I had to set some clear boundaries to thrive during this season. For me, it included the following: limiting my gift-giving to a budget, not having to bake until the wee hours of the morning for every person I know. While it breaks my heart to not be generous in those extra ways, it also allows me to stay within budget and to get sleep. It allows me to keep my mind on the true reason of the Christmas season, the birth of Christ. Christ’s love allows me to thrive during a normally busy and hectic season for others.

Keep Christ at the center and focus as you go through this upcoming year. Reflect and ask yourself, How am I showing God’s love to others? How am I thriving right now?

Dear Jesus, please allow me to focus on you during this busy time of year and to keep focus on you as I enter into this new year. I pray I continually feel your presence and peace, that my cup would overflow with thankfulness despite my circumstances – whether good or bad. I pray to be focused on the giver of things, not the things themselves. Amen.


Jennifer Elrod
Jennifer has been a part of CCV for over ten years. She has a Master of Arts in Management from APU and currently works in financial aid for Los Angeles Pacific University. In her free time, she loves reading, drinking coffee, writing Yelp reviews, and travelling. She loves to laugh, has a huge heart for serving others and is obsessed with anything Magnolia related.