One Little Word 2015: Receive

For the background on my One Little Word or Word of the Year posts, read this post.

My One Little Word for 2015 came to me several weeks ago. I initially tried to dismiss it, because it doesn’t sound like a goal at first and could be misinterpreted as not a very noble goal. But the more I thought about it, the more I could see all of the different ways in which this word could inspire me this year.

2014 was a year of many changes and challenges for a family. Through a difficult pregnancy and the challenges of welcoming baby #5 to our already busy and maxed-out family, I found myself repeatedly on the receiving end of acts of service from friends and family. While we were and continue to be incredibly grateful for so much service rendered, I have to admit that it isn’t always comfortable to find oneself on the receiving end of service. I found myself constantly questioning whether we deserved this charity or wondering if those who served us would judge the decisions we had made that had put us in the position of needing help. I really appreciated this article by my friend, Becky, on the importance of learning how to receive well. It is a perspective we don’t often hear. We are always taught that it is better to give than receive. And I don’t disagree. But I think I have interpreted that to mean that I should always be on the giving end of the stick, when in reality, each of us will and should take turns giving and receiving. I hope to learn to do each better.

olw gifts receive

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have gotten a glimpse into what I have begun to call our “Christmas of Miracles.” Someday I will share the whole story about all of the miracles we received this Christmas season. Although the “miracles” were delivered by the hands of ordinary people, with each subsequent miracle I became more and more convinced of the words shared with us by our Secret Santa–that “God knows our every need…He loves us…He watches over us.” (Henry B. Eyring) and that it was He who was giving to us, through some very good people here on Earth.


My word for 2015 is RECEIVE. Here are some of the ways I intend to apply it.

I want to continue to grow in my ability to be gracious when I am the recipient of service rather than letting pride get in my way.

I especially want to be ready and willing and able to receive all of the blessings that my Heavenly Father has in store for me. We believe that when we pay our tithes, even if it is difficult to do so, that God will in turn pour out blessings upon us. I want to make room in my life to receive the blessings that he has for me.

olw receive quote

I think this happens in a few ways. One is to clear out the clutter to allow the blessings to come. The Scripture (Malachi 3:10) says that we won’t have room enough to receive His blessings. I would hate to miss out on divine blessing because I am afraid to get rid of old baggage. I want to create that space to receive. I want to get rid of the clutter–emotional, mental, spiritual and actual physical clutter in my life–because I want to receive something better.

receive King

New Year’s resolutions are usually so much about taking control of your life. “I will get organized. I will lose weight. I will exercise daily. I will make my job better.” Some of those things we can do and should work hard at, but one thing I’ve learned this year is there is a lot in our lives that happens that we simply cannot control. That is okay. And I want it to be more okay. Rather than creating a lot of resolutions to try and control my life more this year, I want to receive the greatest gift ever–the atonement or my Savior–and by so doing, allow God to have more control in my life.

As the Christmas carol says: “Let every heart prepare him room.” and “Let Earth receive her King.”

If I can do those things first, I’m pretty sure everything else will fall into its proper place in my life. Maybe it isn’t better to give than receive, after all.


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  1. I was so touched by this post, Kendra. I loved (and had not yet made that connection) the way “receive” is part of one of my all-time favorite Christmas hymns. I’m especially touched that you would highlight my blog post here. Love you, friend!

    P.S. I’m praying that your family RECEIVES good health soon! 🙂

    • Thank you, Becky! I think your post is what started me thinking about the word receive in the first place. Thank you for always being so inspirational. And thank you for the prayers! We can use them! 🙂

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