There’s a small trend going around the internet that I like. It’s kind of an alternative to making a new year’s resolution. It’s not a promise or a commitment or a guilt-inducer; just a simple reminder word.

This is beyond late for anything in the way of a new year’s resolution, but that’s normal for my long-processing brain. I’ve thought about this for several weeks, and come up with all kinds of little phrases that were almost right. Then, driving home from Indiana in a thunderstorm, the summing-up word came to me: contribute.

I like being a piece of background scenery. It’s my comfort zone. I don’t like to make noise or be put on display. It would be nice to believe that those are signs of my humble, submissive, Christ-like spirit, but… I’m no idiot. I know the truth: I just hate the thought of failing. And if you sit still and keep your mouth shut, you can’t fail….. right?

At the risk of failing, of feeling like a lower-class life form… contribute.


There are a lot of thoughts wrapped up in that word. The details may be different for you, but maybe you can identify with some of them:

You are valuable.

Your opinions matter.

With 37 years of experience behind you, your perspective carries some weight.

You’ve walked through 2 dozen years of active truth-seeking, an experience that hasn’t left you empty-handed.

You have more credibility than you let yourself believe.

Speak up.

Add to the beauty.

Advance the conversation.

Live intentionally.

If you’re holding back from contributing because you “don’t want to waste it on this audience,” just do it. There’s more where that came from. Until dementia comes along and smacks you in the face, there’s always more.

Really, you’re not that great.

And yet, at the same time, you’re kind of awesome.

You’re a unique paradox – just like every other person you know.


And there you have it. My reminder to myself to (once in a while) let go of perfectionism and just do something.

The artwork (before I altered it with text) was a gift from my dear friend Queena who inspires me to live fully, love freely and embrace vulnerability. Love her.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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One Response to -contribute-

  1. You do have tons to contribute and your blog does give much joy and also your wisdom shines through. But hey, don’t let that stop you from contributing more in whatever ways God is calling you. Because you are one incredible human being. I’ll be watching and listening.


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