My word for the year is more of a phrase…probably even more of a mission statement. Back in January I chose, ‘Stay-the-Course’. It serves as a compass that orients me and keeps me pointed in the right direction. Now that it is September, January is a distant memory and I wonder on the impact of this word.

Stay-the-Course in what?!? Where have I Stayed-the-Course over the year?

What does it mean to Stay-the-Course in my marriage? With my kids? In my work relationships? With my family? With my friends?

I am learning what it means to truly invest in meaningful relationships. What needs to be said. What needs to be forgiven. What needs to be learned. What needs to be offered grace. What simply just needs to be enjoyed. In choosing my word/phrase for the year, I didn’t know where I would need it or how it would play out. But ‘Staying-the-Course’ significantly influenced who I am and who I am choosing to become in these areas:

  • Loving extravagantly
  • Trusting steadily
  • Hoping unswervingly

I wish I could say I have always done it well, but alas… (just ask those who have the pleasure of living with me). However, this focus has served me well for 2016 and supported me in living my journey with more clarity. It has forced me to evaluate my authentic presence. Will those I proclaim to care about truly experience me loving well, trusting steadily, and hoping unswervingly? I hope so. Being completely honest, am I offering the full presence of who I am or am I holding back? (Yep, I can tend to hold back just to avoid the effort and the work required to step into a relationship…anyone relate?)

Saying goodbye to my father this past year has offered new perspective. Life is fast…life is fragile…and life is short. We need clarity on what grounds us and holds us accountable in living our fast, fragile, short lives. It is grounding to hold a value in front of us and remember that we too will pass one day. How will we leave the relationships we have loved? Experiencing the death of a loved one and entering into the second half of my life is forcing me to take stock of what really matters. For me, it has all come down to relationships. Yes, this focus has certainly revealed limitations and growth areas (sometimes painfully so)…but it has also grown my clarity on core values and made it all worth it.

My challenge: Stay-the-Course on who you are choosing to become and what you value. In the end, I believe it all comes down to a faithful consistent presence in how we relate to people….the new relationships and the old.

Let’s step into Fall with Clarity….Confidence…and Courage, my friends. If you haven’t chosen your word or phrase it’s not too late. Grab onto what anchors you and keeps you moving steadily in the right direction.

My heart is with you and for you,


p.s. Recently I travelled to Nashville and have country music on the mind…this song reminds me of the best gift my father gave me…his faithfulness. The man personified what it meant to ‘Stay-the-Course’.