My “word” for 2013 came to me as I was driving down the street right past my children’s school one sunny day in early January.  (More on what the “one word” dealio is here.) Of course, as usual, I had a bunch of word options swirling around in my mind.  There is so much I want to work on.  But this “one word” thing is meant to keep my ambitions a little more simple and focused. I had been stressing out about a lot of things.  I always stress out about a lot of things.  And sometimes that gets tiring, I tell you. It’s not just the regulars: getting kids where they need to be, people who need attention, emails that need to be answered, children that need more love, teachers that need to be talked to, books that need to be read, etc.  It’s also the regret kind of things: “I should have done this,” or “Why didn’t I help with _______(fill in the blank)” or “why couldn’t I have done that better?”  Things I can’t change.  Things that I need to get over and not use my energy worrying about.  Things that squelch the quiet tranquility I’m aiming for.   So, as the sun filtered through my windshield and I raced to wherever I was going that early January morning, my mind filled with “should haves” and “wish I would haves” like usual.  Then all of a sudden it was like things stopped for a minute and the word “peace” entered my mind so clearly and unmistakably I knew that was the all-encompassing word I needed to fill my “spaces” in 2013. I know it’s become a trite word. I know it’s been way over-used and over-commercialized.  I know when people think of the word “peace” these days the vision that probably most likely comes to mind is a huge tie-dyed peace sign. But that’s not the kind of peace I’m talking about. I’m talking about the peace that Christ talks about when he says, “Peace, be still” and calms the troubled waters of the sea.  “And there was a great calm” it says in Mark 4:39 after Christ commands all that chaotic turbulence to stop.  I want to be that calm.  I want to somehow transform my ever-moving thoughts and swirling worries and remember God is in charge.  I can do the best I can, and I need to let Him help me with the rest.  I am in love with this blog post my sister forwarded to me about “Drops of Awesomeness.”  If you haven’t read it yet, you must.  It will change the way you think about life.  I love how she talks about everything good that we do is a “drop of awesome” filling up our bowl.  We don’t need to be consumed with the things we should have done, or wish we could do.  We just need to concentrate on the fact that we can do some things and we can do them well.  And that is “awesome.”  I love her analogy that even at the end of the day our little “drops” don’t do a whole lot to fill up a big bowl.  But that’s where the Atonement comes in.  She likens the Atonement to a big pitcher of water that fills our bowls to overflowing.  All that stuff we can’t get to is taken care of.  Christ paid for it already.  We just need to believe that and have the peace to go forward in faith. I snuck out of primary singing time in church yesterday for a few minutes to grasp a few minutes of the class going in in the room next door.  The teacher had the chalkboard divided in two columns.  One was for feelings from God, things like love, happiness, forgiveness, harmony, light and Peace.  The other side was jumbled with words describing things the adversary makes us feel:  fear, worry, darkness, anger, etc. It made me think back to the scripture we memorized a few weeks ago in 2 Timothy 1:7  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” That “sound mind” is what I’m going for.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”  I do believe in it.  And this year I’m going to work on having it more.  In the column of my scriptures next to the “Peace, be still” verse I wrote in chicken scratch years ago these words: “ sometimes this is like our lives…we can call on the Holy Ghost to calm the storms.  We must have faith. So I’m going forward with faith in 2013 that I can be still and have the peace that comes with knowing that my “drops of awesome” are making a difference.  And that all the rest is taken care of.

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  1. great post Shawni, why is it that we sometimes fret about everything we didn't do!!! My sister sent me a message yesterday with a little quote ( that I can't find), it said something on the lines of, " why are you still thinking about yesterday, when today is what is happening now" it made me stop and think… so true!!!!

  2. Thanks so much for this! I have been anxious to hear your word for the year. This makes me smile because I have a quote on my wall that says, " peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. " I guess this is one of those principles for me that I need to work on much. Setting my fears aside, trusting in The Lord and feeling His peace! Thank you!

  3. I loved your post. You always lift me and shine a beam of light in my direction, thank you. Thanks for the link to the drops of awesome too.

  4. Oh I'm so excited to find out what your "word" is. I knew it would be great! Mine this year is "Closer" This is my first year ever to have a word so I'm very excited. I want to become closer to my Savior, I want to become closer as a family. I really encompassed several things I want to be "closer" and so far I have loved it! Thanks so much for the helps!

  5. This post was exactly what I needed to read today and what my husband needs so I forwarded it to him as well. His father is in the hospital following two strokes and cancer treatment and work is terrible. He is headed to his doctor today for his anxiety. I told him to read this while waiting on the doctor. Thank you for your beautiful words as always!

  6. So wonderful, Shawni. Your word of the year inspired me last year to come up with my own and I did the same again this year. I love having a word I can go back to and remember the goal I set at the beginning of the year to focus on that one word. Just today I was getting frazzled with my two little girls and my word quickly ran through my head… Cherish… Cherish this time with them… be calm, be patient, and cherish it. My attitude immediately changed, thanks to that little word. I could never thank you enough for your inspiration and example. THANK YOU for blogging. I love reading the things you write! Happy Monday!

  7. Totally off topic Shawni but thought I'd comment just to ask you a question…where do you keep your camera so that you have it ready when needed? We just got a fancy smancy camera for Christmas and it's great…but it's all enclosed in a big camera case and not nearby to pull out quickly. Just wondering if you ever get a chance to answer 😉

  8. Funny enough, these thoughts occur my mind almost every day and I always ask myself why is this happening to our generation? I have a feeling this wasn't the same with our parents, they weren't thinking daily what should they do better, they just did it. Particularly women like to beat themselves over and over but sometimes we should stop and say to ourselves that we are just good enough. And you, Shawni, you are doing a great job.

  9. Hi Shawni,
    I have been following your blog for 1.5 yrs now and it leaves an impression on me! It has changed me in many ways..and made me really reflect in my life in many areas.
    Funny enough I often have dreams at night and in them you and I have met. This is the impact your blog has on me!

    I would love for you to check out my blog that I started two years ago. Very different than yours but I think you would like it as deals with motherhood in a very different way than yours. I think you would like it overall. I am not a religious person but have learnt so much about my own spirituality from reading about your beliefs and values.

    Blog is called "In Search of Sun-(weather doesn't matter..)

    With joy,

  10. Hilary Weeks spoke at a Stake YW/RS event a year ago and gave a similar challenge, she started to focus on the positive in the same way. It was AWESOME! Unfortunately I have misplaced all my notes from it. Yet. I am still awesome cause I took them!

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