Do you welcome it or resist it? One Word 2016


Although the last week of 2015 was good in many ways, it was also troubling.

My body was taking me down. I had to change plans twice to just stay home and rest. Severe abdominal pain that had been knocking on my door for months, coming and going, had decided to just stay.

But I was resisting seeing a doctor. Only after much persuasion did Jeff convince me to go. I subjected myself to an IV and chest scan and drinking the mysterious cup of liquid.

The diagnosis? Unknown. Perhaps gall bladder. Just take this steroid pack and hope for the best for now.

On New Year’s Eve, the pain began subsiding again, praise God.

Just in time to welcome in the new year. And my new One Word for the year: “Welcome.”

Already, God? (He knows how to work our One Words from the get-go, yes?)

So instead of attempting to ignore the pain and complaining about a lack of diagnosis and resisting getting help, I’m trying first to be accepting of it.

To practice the spiritual discipline of welcoming.

Welcoming Prayer Thomas Keating

That doesn’t mean I have to like it. I don’t like pain telling me what I can and can’t do.

But I do need to listen to it (whatever “it” is). To welcome it in a broad sense. Not in a “I’m glad you’re here! Come in and stay!” kind of way, but in a “If you keep ringing my doorbell, eventually I’ll answer” kind of way.

  • Consciously acknowledge.
  • Willingly accept.
  • Release it back to God.

Can we find peace even in this?

If we catch and release. Not just with abdominal pain, but with all of life. How else can we let go of something until we see what we’re holding onto?

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
– Jesus (John 8:32)

I’ll be working this year through the ten guideposts in Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, for monthly exercises in welcoming and letting go. Where she talks about “cultivating” attitudes for whole-hearted living, I’ll substitute “welcoming.”

The Gifts of Imperfection

January is my month to welcome authenticity and let go of what people think. Including myself.

As I share my own thoughts and life with others—without judging myself for them, including any perceived weakness for having undiagnosed pain—I also hope to intentionally hear others’ opinions and ideas without passing judgment.

Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.
– Brené Brown

So God, welcome to 2016!

May I first receive what you’re going to give. Only then can I properly decide what to do with it next—embrace it, work with it, or just let it pass on through.

Life is best lived when we see God’s presence in it.

I am where I need to be. Everything around me includes and hides the sacred.”
– Mary Mrozowski

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

* * *

Do you have a One Word for 2016? It’s a process that continues to amaze me—how God works through these words—so I’m learning to welcome them each year and not resist. Please share in the comments.

See all the posts on Welcome here.


49 thoughts on “Do you welcome it or resist it? One Word 2016

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Michele. I’ve loved reading through so many blog posts lately about One Word choices. God has his work cut out for him. 🙂 I’m glad he works so uniquely with each of us.

  1. Mary

    I do not have one word for the year, but I love your word!! I’ve also enjoyed your recent posts about books you read in 2015. I haven’t read Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong, but I am hoping to this year.

    Thank you, Lisa, for being so faithful to write in this space. I always learn something from you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Mary. I’ve so loved every Brene Brown book that I read; I can’t decide which is my favorite. I hadn’t expected to return back to The Gifts of Imperfection, but when I noticed I highlighted those ten guideposts that she repeated in Rising Strong, I knew this would be the year for a re-read. Hope you’re doing well, friend! Happy New Year!

  2. Laura

    I love that first quote from Mary Mrozowski, is it a poem? I haven’t found a word for this year yet. I’m not sure if I will. I just talked with a friend about New Year’s resolutions. His wife passed away a few years ago yet he is one of the most joyful people I know. When I asked about his goals for 2016, he just shook his head. “Enjoy every day. That’s all I try to do.” That sounds like “welcome” to me :). I’m working on it. Trying to welcome some new things this year. I haven’t read Brene’s new book yet and look forward to reading your posts on that! Happy New Year, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t know if that quote is from a fuller poem or just prose. I’d like to read more though from Mary Mrozowski. “Enjoy every day” does indeed sound like “welcome” to me too. If we could succeed in that, all would be well. 🙂 Happy New year to you too, Laura!

  3. Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours

    WELCOME sounds like the perfect word for your 2016! May God’s richest blessings be yours as you discover its applications for your life.

    I wasn’t sure I’d have a “word” this year, but INTRIGUE kept coming to mind over the past couple of weeks; I guess that’s my answer. Honestly, I’m totally intrigued by that choice and can’t wait to see where it leads! 😉

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I haven’t seen anyone choose “Intrigue” so that sounds like an awesome choice, Susan! Love it. Such an air of mystery and excitement surrounds it. Can’t wait to see how God unfolds it for you.

      I finished reading Dirty Faith over the weekend and will do a blog post on it soon because it was amazing. Wow. You and your husband have had some amazing experiences and encounters with God. Thank you for all y’all do to love on people!

  4. TC Avey

    I don’t have a word for this year but I really like your word. Welcome!
    Wow, that’s pretty powerful and life changing.

    Thanks so much for sharing. This post blessed me.
    Have a wonderful 2016!
    I look forward to reading more of your posts this year.
    God bless.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, TC. I’m looking forward too to what God will reveal through “Welcome.” The one thing I know is that it will be more unexpected things than expected. 🙂 I can’t predict him or how a year will turn out. We just know he will be good! Blessings to you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Lyli. You’ve made a great choice with REST—I always appreciate a good acronym, too. 🙂 Can’t wait to see how our years will unfold as God moves through them.

  5. ~ linda

    This brings me home to recall that welcoming in a new year (which I did not at midnight, but the next morning) is certainly not the intent of the welcoming words of Mary M…. above. God asks much and when we obey much, we grow closer to Him, and grow more like Jesus. As I read this and Mary’s words, I had this lump in my throat for just a bit, and then God reminded me that my word, ‘commit,’ is similar in the letting go of that which is of me. I want to grow so I commit, I welcome, I rest in Him.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I definitely see that connection with ‘commit’ too. When we commit to Christ, we are letting go of self. Easier said than done, of course! But it’s all part and parcel. Thanks for your example in doing that, Linda. {I didn’t welcome in the new year at midnight either; those days are rare. ha. I may wake back up by midnight, but I don’t intentionally linger until then.}

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Now I do like that thought, Nancy! 🙂 It’s much easier to welcome in healing and wholeness. I do welcome it in with my intentions; now just to get my body to cooperate. It’s welcoming the pain and uncertainty that I have to learn to quit fighting….

  6. Sharon

    First of all, Lisa, so sorry to hear about your *mysterious* pain. I hate medical stuff, especially when no one can figure out what’s going on. Prayers for an accurate diagnosis, and that relief from the pain comes quickly.

    I love your new word! As I was reading your thoughts on it, I began thinking how much better a word it is than *accept*. We can learn how to “accept” things that happen in our lives, even the bad stuff, but that always sounds like a resignation, doesn’t it? A begrudged, “Oh, OK. I’ll accept this.” But, sounds like God has bigger things in store for you! Welcoming His daily bread, no matter what…what a journey it’s going to be!!

    I do have a new word for 2016, too. I blogged about it today. Hope you get a chance to hop on over and let me know what you think. It’s going to stretch me, but that’s how God works!!!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate your prayers very much, Sharon. That uncertainty part gets me as much as anything. People with imaginations like ours can take a doubt and run with it, unfortunately. ha.

      Thanks for pointing out the differences you see between welcome and accept. I see those differences too. Welcoming seems like a much more active attitude instead of just a passive one. Glad to actively walk side by side with you in faith into 2016!

  7. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Lisa, I an EXTREMELY worried for you, because, you see, my problems began with gallbladder surgery.

    It was done laproscopically, and the doctor didn’t follow up when I complained of post-op pain. He left me an exam room for three hours, and went golfing. I developed peritonitis, my pancreatic duct was badly scarred, and repeated severe attacks of pancreatitis have led to what is not surmised to be pancreatic cancer.

    Please, PLEASE get another opinion, and if you need surgery, find the best.

    Lisa, I love you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate your concern for me, Andrew, especially in light of all the things you’re going through yourself. I hadn’t realized all that was part of your story. 🙁 I will definitely tread carefully before any major decisions are made. At this point I’d welcome at least a return phone call from the doctor. Quick communication isn’t always their forte.

  8. Beth

    It’s interesting that your word is accept, Lisa, when my one word is “release.” I think they are two sides of a coin. There is much that I will need to accept as I release certain things in my life and much that you will need to release as you accept certain things in life. 😉 I’m excited to hear more about how your year unfolds with acceptance. And I do hope that your stomach issues resolve and do not return, my friend! Prayers being lifted on your behalf! Happy New Year too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I so agree with you, Beth: Releasing and welcoming are definitely two sides of the same coin. Reading Brene’s book has made that even clearer to me. With each of her “guideposts” she has an attitude to cultivate and an attitude to let go of. I guess we know that intuitively: when we say yes to one thing, we’re saying no to another, and vice versa, but don’t know always think about it consciously. I want to be more conscious about it this year. Thanks for your prayers on my behalf! Hopefully I’ll get answers and relief soon.

  9. melody

    Lisa, I hope your abdominal pain goes away. I like your word “welcome” a lot. I desire to be welcoming in all situations as well – so hard to do especially with unexpected circumstances. Happy New Year!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it is definitely hard to be welcoming with things I’d rather just slam the door on. Hopefully this mystery pain will slip out the back door sooner rather than later. 😉 Happy New Year to you too!

  10. Jody Collins

    Lisa, first off, I hope you find the health you desire in the days to come with some answers and relieve.
    ‘Welcome’ is such a wide open, brave kind of word. Your commitment to the process made me smile….as we get older we either embrace what God give us or curl up and die….I choose embracing. Clearly you do, too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “…as we get older…” And that makes me smile. 🙂 I do think we learn a few things along the way, and embracing whatever comes is part of that. I’m looking forward to how God will continue to move in the new year in both our lives. Blessings to you, friend.

  11. Ashley

    I enjoyed reading your posts about “now”, and I’m looking forward to reading about “welcome”.

    Tonight, I was finally able to sit down and pray about my one word. In the past, I haven’t really stuck with my one word, but I’ve been encouraged to look at one words differently through your posts and Margaret Fineberg’s post. So this year my word will be prayer and through prayer, healing of past sins. Prayer and healing have been on my heart the past few weeks. I’m excited about diving deeper into prayer, more than I’ve ever been before.

    Hope you are feeling better!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re sweet, Ashley. Thanks for reading along. Prayer is an awesome one word choice! It’s exciting to think of how much more God could do through us if we’d all be more open with him in prayer. Looking forward to what he’ll this year! I’m hoping to get a return call today from my doctor about the pain stuff; it’s definitely a waiting game and keeping me more mindful to pray.

  12. Linda Stoll

    Dear Friend, I’m so sorry to hear of this pain, this physical malady that you’ve been carrying. Please know that I’m praying for you right now, even as we speak. May God speak peace, peace to your mind and heart … and give those doctors wisdom they didn’t even know they had.

    Rest well …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m comforted reading your words here, Linda, knowing that you’ve taken this up with God today. I know he hears and he answers. Now I need to welcome however he chooses to answer. Thank you, friend.

  13. Miranda

    I chose hope for my one word 2016. I have a husband who is wrongfully imprisoned and we have two young kids. So, I need to not lose hope that he will get out sooner than his 25 year sentence. And even if he doesn’t we will be okay because with God on our side who can be against us. We have trials in this life, but they are only temporary.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You are a living testimony to your word choice, Miranda. Thank you for sharing this. I pray that God will bring proper justice to your family sooner rather than later. Continue to hope!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Maria. I do hope good things will come from “Welcome.” It’s already been challenging me and I’m falling short. 🙂 But I guess that’s one of the reasons God knew I needed it.

  14. Debbie

    So sorry to hear about your abdominal issues. It’s amazing how we have to stop everything and pay attention to it. Who has time for it? But I do love your one word for 2016. And thank you for stopping by Heart Choices. I’ve missed visiting your blog but hope to do some regular blog reading.

    Blessings and love,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you, Debbie. Agreed—pain has a way of capturing our attention like almost nothing else, for better or worse. I’m having more tests done today and next week to hopefully get to the root of things. Praying you have a wonderful year with your precious children!

  15. Trudy

    I love your word and the thoughts concerning it, Lisa. May we together welcome God’s deeper healing in this year. My word is “open.” I want to open my heart more to His healing love and grace, to allow Him in to those deep broken places still embedded in my heart. The book by Brene Brown has been on my wish list for quite some time. Those ten guideposts would be so relevant to my life, too. May God give you a year full of His blessings of love and peace and also give you healing from your pain!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “Welcome” and “open” have SO much in common, so I’ll look forward to how your year unfolds too, Trudy. Brene Brown’s book would probably really touch you too. It’s very good about encouraging us to remain vulnerable in our worlds, even though it might be painful at times. The pros outweigh the cons. Blessings to you!

  16. Anna Smit

    This is so, so true:
    “How else can we let go of something until we see what we’re holding onto?”
    And the Scripture you followed it with, powerful.
    Love your Word for 2016 and your plan to actively pursue it. It’s not easy, that’s for sure…but SO, SO worth it! Thank you for sharing.

    My One Word is BEHOLD. Last year it was CHOOSE (and it entailed a lot of seeing what I was holding onto and actively choosing to release it).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “Choose” was a brave pick. And now how perfectly that leads you into a year of “Behold.” I’m always amazed not just at how God helps us pick the right word for each year, but also how one year’s word leads into the next year’s word. My last year’s word “now” has been a perfect segue into this year of “welcome.” Can’t wait to see how God will use our words this year! Thanks for stopping by, Anna.

  17. Betsy de Cruz

    This is beautiful, Lisa. I’m so sorry for your undiagnosed pain, but I’m glad you’re able to sense God’s leading and say, “Welcome!” I’m so curious about the Brene Brown book. I’ve heard a lot about it lately.

    My word is WONDER!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It should be an exciting year with “wonder” as your word, Betsy! I’ll look forward to what God will bring into it for you and your family. Already I’m not doing as well as I hoped with “welcome” but that leaves me lots of room for growth, right? 🙂 God knows how to handle it all so I’ll try to trust him more with it all. Have a blessed week.

  18. floyd

    Looks like this one resonated with a lot of us. Love the attitude and perspective, Lisa. It’s amazing how different the world is when we use our free will to see it that way. The Way.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Lots of profound insight worth repeating in your comment, Floyd:

      “It’s amazing how different the world is when we use our free will to see it that way. The Way.”

      Sitting with this for a few minutes before I get started with my day…. Thanks, brother.

  19. Jean Wise

    Praying you feel better soon. You are so open to welcome all, even pain. I love the quote and you know I love Brene Brown. Great way to take her sections for a blog post this year. I may have to try that some year. Great idea.

    My word is Joy. Something I don’t give into and give myself time for. Funny thing as I told people what my word is they think it is perfect because I remind them of joy. I must have more or display more than I realize so have already learned something. I liked that first quote of yours and think I need to find a great poem/quote to frame my year too. Thanks for all the sharing you do

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate your prayers, Jean. As the week has progressed and I’ve tried to get doctor appointments, I haven’t been as “welcoming” as I’d like. ha. But that’s okay. Grace to grow into! Today is a new day so I’ll claim his new mercies and begin fresh.

      I always admire when people choose “joy” as their word because it has a lot of “trust” built into it as well. Although I don’t know you in person, I definitely see you exhibiting joy online so I can understand how your friends tell you that they already see joy in you. Gonna be a good year ahead!

  20. Kelly Chripczuk

    Oh, this will be a good journey, Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I believe my one word for this year may be “hold fast,” but I’m always a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to finding my word. My poor oldest boy has had stomach trouble this fall thankfully it seems to have passed, but it’s no fun.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s still early in the year so I wouldn’t label you a late bloomer yet for a One Word choice. 🙂 “Hold fast” sounds like a powerful theme! Glad your son’s stomach issues are over; hopefully mine will be soon. Still in the middle of testing for now though. 🙁

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