My One Word Wrap-Up


Wow, this word has been a journey!

I chose humility as my One Word for 2011.  I figured I wouldn’t finish the year in complete control of this word… if I believed that I had… well that would be a problem.

I chose humility because I wanted humility to be something that is at the front of my mind all the time.

I wanted to be aware of moments where I was anything but humble so that I could be more aware of how frequently pride consumes me.  (That was painful!)

I wanted to observe humility in action through others.  (This was inspiring!)

But what I found was conflicting.  The emotions were extreme.  There were things that were embarrassingly humbling and then others where I was humbled by feeling too honored.

Here are a few journal entries from my humility moments:

“I found myself feeling a little left out and envious of the others who were involved in a leadership meeting.  I had feelings that I should have a place in the program because of my role.  God immediately convicted me for this prideful thought.  As a leader my heart should be to exalt those around me.  I shouldn’t be seeking places of honor.  I should be thrilled to see others shine.”

“I’m humbled by the opportunities that have come my way already this year.  Lots of writing and lots of speaking.  I’m overwhelmed by the need to prepare and the fear of inadequacy.  It’s funny sometimes how the very things that can make you prideful can also make you feel so small.”

“I was wrestling with feeling a little lost.  There wasn’t a campus that I had to be at.  Everything was covered.  The campus I ended up going to had been left a bit messy from an event and so the most important thing I could do at that moment was sweep the floor.  I wish I could say I did it with great joy but honestly it was simply humbling.”

“In the Sept/Oct issue of Outreach Magazine I was listed as 1 of “30 Emerging Influencers who are Reshaping Leadership”.  This is a pretty exciting list to be a part of.  My picture and a quote are in the magazine… it kind of looks and sounds like a big deal and yet no one on our staff has noticed or said anything.  They just probably aren’t aware but it’s also not that big of a deal for them… they see me everyday, they know my good and bad and they aren’t terribly impressed.  Impressing your core team is hard work.  Impressing your core team goes way beyond the surface and comes down to character and consistency.  It’s much harder work and it’s the stuff real leaders are made of.”  (By the way, after I wrote this sad little pity party, Pete had this issue of the magazine framed for me… humility whiplash.)

Humility is a funny thing.  I’m glad for the journey of this year and yet I don’t feel any closer to being the humble person I I hope to be.

The journey continues…

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  • Alece December 27, 2011  

    So appreciate your candor and honesty, Jenni. Beautifully transparent post, friend… 

  • Amanda December 27, 2011  

    I think choosing “humility” was incredibly brave. It’s been my experience that you can’t exactly develop that muscle of faith without living through humbling experiences which aren’t particularly those you would choose.

  • Suzie Lind December 30, 2011  

    I love the excerpts from your writing this year and your honesty about where you stand at the end of the year.  Personally, I love learning from you and see humility in so much of what I read.  I share your sentiment with my word… I feel like learning to walk in peace is something I’ll spend the rest of my life doing.

    • Anonymous January 3, 2012  

      Thank you so much Suzie!

  • Pingback: Humility: Jenni Catron | One Word 365 December 30, 2011  
  • Katfish January 3, 2012  

    The fact that you chose ‘humility’ as your word says so much about your courage and your leadership. I think you’ve come a long way already in the  ‘humility’ department! You’ve inspired me today as I ‘stumbled’ across your challenge. Thank you for being so honest. I relate to everything you wrote…especially the part about feeling ‘left out’. The feeling is familiar to me, but I never thought of it as being ‘prideful’ before. Wow. You just made my day!!!

    • Anonymous January 3, 2012  

      So glad to connect with you. Thanks for your kind words.