My Word for 2012

And now for something completely different... I have a very dear group of female artist-friends. They vary in age, geographic location, and artistic passion, but we all have one thing in common: we want to live life to the fullest. For one amazing gal that means becoming undaunted, for another warrior-of-words, vulnerable, and yet another is embracing the word "rebel". There's a "choose/choice" and a "reach" and the list goes on and on. ALL inspiring, empowering (sometimes intimidating!), life-propelling words.

My word for the year?

I tossed around several powerful ideas before landing on "GROW." I love all that it encompasses:

GROW (v): 1.a. to increase or cause to increase in size by a natural process. b. To cultivate; arise 2. To expand or intensify. 3. To develop and reach maturity. 4. To originate; stem. 5. To become

Verb phrases: 1. GROW into: a. to become large enough for. b. to become mature or experienced enough for.

GROW on/upon: a. to increase in influence or effect. b. to become gradually more liked or accepted by.

GROW out of: a. to become too large or mature for; outgrow. originate in; develop from.

GROW up: a. to be or become fully grown; attain mental or physical maturity. b. to come into existence; arise.

This word encompasses so many of the others I considered. It will give me space to grow as a Christ-follower, as an artist, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, as a leader. It opens the doors to new experiences, including the exciting and scary and fun and stretching ones.

Not all "growth" is in our control (like, as a kid, wanting to be 6' tall), but several areas of growth ARE up to us: how we take care of our bodies, our relationships, the experiences we seek, our ways of thinking, our emotional/spiritual life, our leadership, our compassion, etc.

Growth is also a nurturing process. In order for a garden to thrive, you have to weed it and water it and give it plenty of sunshine. There's also a pruning process, which, while it may seem damaging and painful, it actually allows for things to grow into something fuller, healthier, and more beautiful. By cutting away the bad (or even good, but not great) bits, we make room for something even better.

Here at Z as in Zebra, GROWth means I will be trying new things and playing around with some old interests I haven't pursued in a while. You'll still see cake posts and bookmaking projects, but this blog will evolve to include other artistic pursuits of mine as well. One thing I've been working on this week is my theme/images for Project 52, a photography challenge. After being inspired by my friend Shawna's posts over the past year, I've decided to join in during 2012. That's just one of the ways I'm looking to GROW in 2012.

I hope you'll join with me, choose a word to empower yourself in 2012, and get ready to grab life by the horns!!

Not sure how to choose a word, or even what to do with it once you've chosen it? Read THIS amazing post to get started. It's not too late!! :)

Project 52:1 • Crocodile Tears

A Journal for Kelley