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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Perseverance and Grace—Words for the New Year

The January 2012 edition of Guideposts features a cover story about best-selling author Debbie Macomber. At the beginning of each year, she chooses one word to focus on and live by. One year it was hunger, another trust, another brokenness, another prayer, another hope.

It made me wonder, if I were to choose one word for this coming year, what would it be? What came to mind immediately was perseverance. I need that. I need to persevere and blog regularly, not just once in a while. I need to persevere and continue to learn more about how to be a good editor. And I need to return to a writing project and keep at it regularly until I finish it.

But that’s just about writing and editing. Perseverance is needed in so many other areas, not just by me, but by other people as well.

In the coming year, some people will need to persevere even though they lose their homes. Others will need to persevere in the face of a broken marriage. Some of my friends have serious chronic illnesses; they’ll have to find ways to persevere in the face of pain, weakness, and discouragement. Perseverance even has a theological meaning: the perseverance of the saints is one of the five points of Calvinism. So there’s much to consider when it comes to perseverance.

The second word that came to my mind was grace. I wondered which word to choose. Then I realized—the one-word rule is Debbie Macomber’s, not mine. I believe I need to persevere this year in several areas, but I also know that I need the grace of God to do it. And so does everyone else.

So through the year, I plan to revisit both perseverance and grace, and how these two concepts are playing out in my life and the lives of others.


  1. Love your words and all the ways you apply them. My word for last year was focus and for 2012 is calm. I need to learn to accept what is happening and face it calmly.

    In "The Outlaw Josie Wells" movie staring Clint Eastwood there is an old Indian who has been displaced many times. His main line is "We endeaver to perservers." I can always hear his soft, deep voice and it is strangly calming.

  2. Rita, I like your words, too. I'll try to remember them in the coming year.