#WordoftheYear 2022

Well, we made it to another year… kicking and screaming, maybe, but here we are! It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs again in 2021, with the global pandemic hanging over us yet again. Still, time travels on. A constant in this world of upheaval. Time doesn’t seem to stop for anyone… or anything. And so we arrive at 2022.

As many of you will recall, for 2021, I chose a #wordoftheyear. It was my first attempt at such a thing, and I think it went off rather well. (You can read some of those thoughts here) It’s different from a resolution or goal… it can be interpreted differently throughout the year’s circumstances, and may appeal to you in a variety of situations. For 2021, my word was “brave”. I felt it. I failed at it. I focused on it.

This year, * drumroll please * my word is magic. When my eldest son was younger, he loved magic tricks… he learned a few and put on performances where he would “wow” us with his slight of hand. We saw magicians in Vegas and on tv specials and ooohed and ahhhed at the magic and wondered “How’d they do it?” But when I picked this word for 2022… this is not the definition of magic I had in mind. This magic is trickery and illusion. There’s enough of that out there in the world. I certainly don’t need to focus on that kind of magic.

Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

No, when I chose the word, maybe I was thinking about miracles. Maybe I was thinking about the unexpected. Maybe I was thinking about the astonishing. Perhaps I wanted to focus on the little things in life that are magic… things that used to make me oooh and ahh, but have been pushed aside by my practical side. Things that brought a little joy into people’s lives for no reason other than it was fun… like sparkles and sprinkles. Covid has robbed us of some of that. We have become consumed with sanitizer and sterility. I need some fairy dust in my year. I need some ribbons and confetti and spur-of-the-moment decisions — because I really don’t like those things. I fret at the cost and the environmental impact and the lack of frugality to those things. The people around me do like those things, though, and maybe we both need a little magic to brighten our days up this year.

I’m not so good at making magic. I miss the little ones at school who forced you to see the magic. The wide-eyed attention they gave when they just knew that something cool was about to happen. I want to be the wide-eyed one this year. I want to create those experiences for those around me… through my actions, through my faith in a great big God who still does miracles, and through my attention to the small details that allow me to see the everyday miracles. I want to delight in the smells and sounds and sights of a great big world around me and be astonished at it. I want to say, hey God, “How’d ya do that?” Magic.

I also think about magic in the sense of “ta-da” moments. When the hankies disappear into the hat. When the puff of smoke turns the bird into the beautiful lady. I’m learning how to make things new again — by fixing, painting, fluffing and upcycling. I am learning to love the ta-da moments of my projects when I can say Ha! Look at how that just turned out! Magic. Things transformed from one thing, into another… that’s a magic God loves to see, too. And I hope it will be part of my journey this year, too. I long to share it with you, my friends on this little piece of the internet where we dream big and fail hard. Where we think deeper and muse mightily.

So, my friends, “cheers” to another new year! May our year be filled magic, wonder and a little bit of mystery… and a good dose of musing about it all!

Walking on Eggshells

If you’ve been a follower of mittonmusings.com for any length of time, you’ll know that I would love to have a set of backyard chickens. Crazy, I know. Living in the city doesn’t allow me the luxury of the coop, but my Instagram feeds follow a variety of homesteaders who have hens, so I live vicariously through them. Recently, they have all been posting great pictures of eggs…stylish rainbow shades nestled in cardboard cartons and vintage bowls or balanced on thick wooden farm tables. It’s the middle of January and their hens are still pumping out breakfast blessings in all kinds of shapes and colours (Yes, different hen varieties produce different coloured eggshells…another reason to want a flock…humbug to store bought, plain old white eggs…but I digress). So, eggs.

rainbow shells! (from Easter egger chickens)

One must admit that eggs are a pretty cool part of God’s creation… the shell of a chicken egg contains more than 17 000 tiny pores that allow air and moisture to travel in and out of the workings of the inner egg. The shell is made up of almost entirely calcium carbonate, with two thin membranes underneath that contract and cool when laid, making the egg fairly solid and bacteria and dust resistant… and yet we think of eggs as entirely fragile. (reference: https://www.exploratorium.edu) Apparently the colour of a hen’s ears will determine egg colour… and has something to do with developmental proteins…. wait… chicken ears??? Okay, let’s just stop there.

So, eggs. More specifically, eggshells. While scrolling feeds and enjoying posts of coloured eggs, my mind began to wander to Easter and eggs and those fabulous carved eggs and the Ukrainian burnt (Pysanka) eggs… all so pretty! I read an article about the famous Faberge eggs bejeweled and bedazzled for Russian royalty in the mid 1800’s. Designed as miniature works of art, most contained a “surprise” inside — a tiny picture or little automation. Ancient “kinder-surprises” minus the chocolate! Artisans often marvel at the perfect shape of an egg… and consequently it’s been used as a base for all kinds of art.

(photo via CNN) Faberge “peacock” egg

Notwithstanding all the facts we’ve discussed above, we must all agree in one simple fact about eggs: they are fragile. Even hardboiled eggshells can easily be pealed and crushed. I am sure there are many an artist who were heartbroken when eggshells snap at the slightest over pressing of their tools. Perhaps this is why they choose this delicate medium…the fragility adds to the beauty.

And so, my friends, it is with us. Our fragility makes us beautiful. Oh, we think we are strong. Bold and courageous, we harden our hearts and press on through life thinking we can do it our own way. Perhaps we even flaunt our rainbow colours and stand out against the whitewash of the crowd. We are like the Faberge eggs: bedazzled works of art on the outside, but contain small surprises on the inside. Surprises that catch us off guard when a crisis comes: surprises like guilt, fear, and doubt. Our inner insecurities leak out when we are cut deep…like the yolk that oozes from a soft boiled egg. We are weak, fragile and easily broken.

Yet, it is in our brokenness that we learn to trust in the One who makes us strong again. Some of you may remember that I’ve chosen a word for the year: BRAVE. (Read about it here) Part of the growth I want to develop in myself this year through “brave” is described in 2 Corinthians 4. As a follower of Christ, I have a great treasure to share, but I am a weak vessel, a jar of clay, a fragile egg, if you will. I easily succumb to fear, doubt, shyness and insecurity. Especially when it comes to sharing God’s “good news”. The Bible reminds me that it is not me who does the work…but me in Christ who becomes the Brave one.

Sometimes that strengthening needs to be through brokenness. We need to be softened, molded and corrected. Sometimes we may just need to be bold and take chances. Circumstances can make us brave… through Him. Are you still walking on eggshells? Or are you ready to be brave with me? Until we meet again, friends!

One Word

Happy New Year! Welcome back! Thanks for being patient with my little break and can we say: Thank the Lord 2020 is over! It’s a new year and new beginnings. I know 2020 was trying for many of you … and the pollutants of Covid-19 and the great pandemic are still oozing into the beginnings of 2021. I know we are not out of the woods yet, but I am hoping things will be “recuperating” and heading in the right direction in the next few months. Perhaps you’ve been out of work, or juggling work at home with school online, and you’ve been social distanced from the ones you love. This Holiday Season was different for so many, and yet positivity rained in with family bonds, Zoom socials and making a difference in the best way we knew how. Blessings on all of you who tried and survived! And hugs for those who struggled and still survived!

Life has a way of inching along in spite of our best efforts… pandemic or not. And that’s just where I’m feeling it this week… my house is a disaster, it’s been crazy busy at work, and the blog has been put on the back burner once again. I had big plans to organize content and research topics, and make your reading experience enlightening and thought-provoking — yet here I am again just thinking about stuff. Where does the time go?? So, here’s to still catching up…

In my thoughts this week: resolutions. Why not, it’s a New Year, right? Yet, in my “aimless” scrolling during what “chill time” I did manage, the great internet had me pondering posts of a new idea for me… all under the #OneWord. Several very smart people in my small circle of influence have embraced the idea of a “theme word” for the year if you will, a focus, rather than a resolution. Digging a little deeper, I discovered I’m behind in the game; the one word for a year idea has been around for awhile. There are several websites, blogs and pins dedicated to helping one focus on your “word for the year” (Check out this “quiz” on DaySpring.com or #OneWord365 for inspiration). I’m in for the ride. I might not be all life coach, journal gung ho…but One big word for the year sounds like it is worth a try.

I suppose the idea is to help you narrow down your aspirations. To carry a simple phrase, rather than specific goals. This way, your “theme” can carry over to various aspects of your life: health, spiritual, your work world, or your home world. So, how does one pick a word? They tell me to pray, asking God to focus my thoughts on what He wants me to accomplish. They suggest list a few words, then refine and refocus. Reflecting on the year that has past and what God’s leading you towards in the future, what is He saying? It’s tough to listen, though. I find that when I am awakened in the middle of the night, it’s God’s way of getting my attention, so that’s usually when we “chat” (I’m a pretty sound sleeper, so if I am up, there must be a reason, right? Like Samuel and Eli, my response is “Okay, I’m awake, God… what’s up?”). Once all that “musing” is done, commit to the “Word”… use it as a monthly, weekly, daily focus and see where it leads you!

Alright-y then… are you dying to know what my #OneWord is? My introvert self is cringing at being vulnerable with ya’ll… which explains the word and all its connotations. Will you hold me accountable? Will you remind me to Trust in the Almighty when I fail my word? Will you encourage me through your comments and posts when I write about my adventures with said word this year? Okay then: my word for 2021 is to be:

BRAVE


I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments… do you have a word for 2021? Have I inspired you to think of one? Share with me! And join me at mittonmusings.com each week as I “muse” about something new, and share in the adventure!