words to live by

A week ago Wednesday night I found myself alone in our basement with my journal.  All other family members were upstairs in bed.  I often write in my journal as I pray.  As I wrote and thought, I came to a decision.
This year I need to focus on these words:
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-Control
Yes, I know there’s a label for them – the fruit of the Spirit.  But I want to think of them separately, focusing on each one.  So I don’t want to think of them as a bowlful of apples or bananas.  That seems to be the way they’re often thought of [cutesy Sunday School fodder].  But self-control is much more than keeping your hand out of the cookie jar.  Joy is more than smiling and {acting} like you’re alright.  
I began on January 6 with love and I’ll cover one word a day, repeating the nine words over and over in the order listed above.  By my calculations [mind you, math is not my forte], I will hit each word 40 times in 2011.  I try to dwell on the word of the day, study related scriptures, etc.  So far it’s been good.  Today I wrap up the list with self-control, and I’ll start at the beginning tomorrow.  Right back at love.  And since {love hopes all things}, I hope that this time in 2012, I’ll be at least a little different. 
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