A Word for 2021

A new year is like the brand-new box of crayons you opened on the first day of school. An array of colors. Sharp points. Wonder over all you might create. And don’t forget that smell. Ahhh … the smell of newness!

In 2018, AUTHENTIC was my word. Boy, was that a hard year! Yet, because God and the people He placed around me helped shovel out a truckload of hurt, 2019 invited JOY into my life. Believe it or not, 2020 did indeed become my year of PRAISE. Even though the year seemed filled with sadness, stress, and separation, I couldn’t help but give God praise for infusing me with His supernatural strength to meet the challenges placed in front of us all.

Having a word (from the Word) for the year provides a handle on life when storms threaten to blow away our peace. It keeps us laser-focused. I’ve thought much about my word for 2021, and this is the one that keeps coming to mind: PROCLAIM! The Holy Spirit took His time in teaching me how to find more love, grace, and friendship to empower me to want to show more love, grace, and friendship to more and more people. In the words of Jeremiah, “His word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” Those of you who’ve found more of Him understand that feeling too. You just want to shout it from the rooftops! Paul and Peter knew that feeling as well. Here’s what they had to say about proclaiming:

“God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We PROCLAIM him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.” (Colossians 1:27-29)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may PROCLAIM the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

2020 taught us many things about ourselves, our people, and our world. Let’s use what we’ve learned to vividly add color to the lives of those around us. 

Do you have a word for the year? If so, please share it with us in the comment box. I can’t wait to see the direction the Spirit moves Monday morning as I write about friendship for Tuesday’s post. He has done great things! May His love be PROCLAIMED above all else! Until then … Happy New Year!

Posted in
an assortment of crayons with text above saying “A WORD FOR 2021”

Donna Jackson

The Good Life

By Donna Jackson | September 20, 2022 |

My grandparents lived in my college town long before I became a student. They made sure that I knew their house was my home. Even though they’ve gone on to their new eternal home, being back in that town still feels like home.   Wandering from street to street wakes up sweet memories. Traveling just a…

When An Alligator Is Under Your Armpit

By Donna Jackson | September 13, 2022 |

Nine months ago, our daughter and son-in-law welcomed a five-year-old little boy from Taiwan into our tribe. He wears a perfect smile most of the time, and his eyes light up when he sees a new face. He welcomes everyone into his heart immediately. No one is allowed to be a stranger in his world…

Going Back to Kindergarten

By Donna Jackson | September 6, 2022

Year after year, a reserved spot on my fifth-grade classroom wall displayed the same laminated poster. On it were the simple, yet profound words of Robert Fulghum titled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Maybe you also remember seeing the same popular poster somewhere in your life.  After fulfilling my duty to laboriously…

We Interrupt This Program for a Special Announcement

By Donna Jackson | August 30, 2022

At 1:11 pm yesterday, our seventh grandchild arrived kicking and screaming. While I might have had time to string together a few paragraphs to craft a blog, I was much too excited to focus. I did, however, use my time to notice the goings and comings of those around me. Many young mothers wheeled by…

BREAD!

By Donna Jackson | August 23, 2022

Between church services Sunday morning I took a few minutes to do one of my favorite things – people watching. I observed men, women, and children of all ages, colors, sizes, and classes. Some men wore wrinkled sport shirts, others spiffy sport coats; some had donned long pants, others wore shorts; a few shiny wing…

Subtle Obedience

By Donna Jackson | August 16, 2022

What hints help you identify someone as a fellow believer? What causes you to inquire about someone’s faith? Are you drawn more toward people who do great public things for God or to those who work quietly behind the scenes? How might others recognize YOU as a believer? These are the questions I wrestle with;…

What Teachers Need From You

By Donna Jackson | August 9, 2022

As a first-year teacher, I soaked up every tidbit of advice my veteran cohorts floated my way. Some of it worked well for me, some of it didn’t fit my teaching style. I especially needed to hear how those master teachers conducted their parent conferences. Thankfully, I sat in on many meetings with a teacher…

Slip Sliding Away

By Donna Jackson | August 2, 2022

Maybe they just don’t see where you’re coming from. Or, maybe you’re looking at it all wrong. Maybe you’re both looking at things from totally different perspectives – from opposite ends of the spectrum. You intended to bless. They felt cursed. You see one side and they see the other. Whatever caused the rift, you’re…

One Team

By Donna Jackson | July 26, 2022

What seems like decades ago, (Oh, wait, it was decades ago.) I coached my daughter’s softball team for several seasons. I learned early on that it helped to keep a hit sheet, among other things, for each opponent. Knowing where each of their girls usually hit the ball allowed me to move my girls into…

God Was Not Surprised

By Donna Jackson | July 19, 2022

I learned the hard way that being negative can have adverse effects.  Maybe I should clarify that a smidge. My BLOOD TYPE is A negative, and apparently in 1959 hospitals could not type blood as well as they do now. After becoming anemic at age 2, I received a blood transfusion that introduced positive Rh factors…