What’s your one word for 2017? I’ll tell you mine…

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Php. 4:11)

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Sparrows dressed in feather coats reach into sidewalk cracks outside the window of the restaurant where my husband and I have gone for brunch New Year’s morning. The little birds are feasting on what’s been lost or dropped or abandoned.

They seem to be content.

This is not so simple for us humans. Even Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Php. 4:11). That he had to learn both gives me hope and makes me sigh. Because this means contentment is not natural to us, not born into our bones or waiting for us on our bedside table every morning. It is something we practice.

What does come easily to me is all of this: stress and striving, anxiety and fear. I am like a trained circus performer when it comes to these skills. I can walk the tightrope of them every day with my eyes closed.

But I want my feet on the ground this year, my eyes open to what’s around me. I want to understand more of the mystery of what it means to be content. I have looked at definitions and turned them over in my mind like so many rocks. As best I can tell, being content means being satisfied with what we have and who we are. It’s not settling nor passivity; it’s about life and growth.

It is these words from the Psalmist: “I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (Ps. 131:2). These words are beautiful to me because they are about closeness that comes from love and not from want. This is what I long for between me and God.

In practical terms, practicing “contentment” means for me…

-Writing a quick, simple gratitude journal entry every morning about the day before.

-Having a plan in place to help me eat well and move my body because that makes such a difference in my mood (I struggle with anxiety and depression).

-Intentionally spending time with people who are encouraging.

There have been years when I have chosen bigger, bolder words. But maybe in our chaotic, busy world contentment is a big, bold word now. It seems daring, brave and perhaps even a bit scandalous to look at what’s in our hands, our lives, our mirrors and say, “This is enough.”

I turn back to the birds. They chirp into the chill of the morning, miniature songs declaring it is well. I raise my coffee cup to them in a silent toast and unspoken amen to our Maker who makes it so.

What is your word or phrase for the year? What would you like to focus on in 2017? I’d love for you to hear! (Email subscribers, instead of hitting “reply” just click here and leave a comment on the post.)



p.s. For my writing this year, I’m choosing the word “content” as well–except with the other pronunciation (Ex: the content of a book). I have all kinds of exciting announcements coming about new things I’m working on for you!

In the meantime, if you’d like some tools and inspiration for 2017 I’d love for you to have my LifeGrowth Guide. You can do it on your own or with a group. It will help you discover your strengths, skills and purpose in life. I still go through the exercises in it about once a year! And of course, if you’d like a little extra encouragement (and a free ebook!), you can subscribe to receive blog posts via email.


Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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