My Word of the Week: Better

better – noun | \ˈbe-tər\

: higher in quality
: more skillful
: more attractive, appealing, effective, useful, etc.

“You know what would make this better?”

It’s a question I ask all the time. When I am eating a meal I just cooked, I can almost always think of a spice I didn’t add or a sauce I could have substituted. When my husband, Steve, and I are at a restaurant or store or other business establishment and the service isn’t great, we often have several suggestions (which we keep to ourselves) for how things could be better. And as a writer, well “better” just comes with the territory. There’s always a way to rearrange, remove, or replace words or paragraphs to improve what I have written.

“Better” is just, well, better.


On Sunday, our youth director, Grant Merrill, started a new sermon series called, “Better …. Because Normal Isn’t Working.” He talked about all the things in life that are just normal now: being busy, feeling stressed out, pursuing wealth, chasing after glamour. “We spend our lives planning perfect moments to the point that we miss all the better moments arounds us,” Grant said. We do this in our faith, too, he added, and suddenly “self-centered, consumeristic, and me-driven” faith is just normal.

But what if God is calling us to something better? “Would you say ‘yes’?” Grant asked.

Of course, the moment I saw the giant letters on the cover of the church bulletin I knew what my word would be this week: B-E-T-T-E-R. Because who doesn’t want something better than what she already has? But here’s the question I wrote in my journal Sunday after the sermon: “Is better always bigger and louder? Or can better be simpler and quiet?” Because in my mind, the other part of normal that isn’t working very well for me is all the noise, all the pressure to become more _____.

This week, I am in the middle of some hard decisions that might mean less money, less praise, less opportunity for me personally and professionally. These decisions might be unpopular with others and create awkwardness at times. But these same decisions might mean a quieter life, a smaller existence, and the chance to explore and grow and dream in other ways. To receive something better.

Of course the choice between “better” and “normal” isn’t always so obvious. And what’s better may not even be an option at times. I’ve experienced that truth, too. Just last night over stir fry, in fact. You know what would have made it better? Soy sauce.

I just forgot to get it out of the fridge until it was too late.

What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.


Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.

  • reply Sandra Heska King ,

    I’m all over simpler and quiet. It beats the chaos here right now. But it seems I need to get through the one to get to the other. Hugs.

    • reply Sharon ,

      I am sorry to hear of the hard decisions you face. Praying for you, Charity.
      Better is not a “one size fits all,” but subjective and laced through everything in life. We have the power to see it–or not, to grasp it–or not. It is true that better (or the degree of better we desire) may not be an option. I believe everyone has experienced this truth. But … What stands true for me is getting better at understanding this part of life and knowing I can become better through the process.
      Whatever you decide, I have confidence it will fit you well.
      Love you, Friend.

      • identicon

        reply Charity Singleton Craig ,

        Sharon – You are so wise … yes, even when our circumstances don’t get better, we can. Thank you for sharing that. You are such an encouragement to me.

      • reply Laura Gantner ,

        prayers and support as you struggle with changes….for me, simple and quiet is always the choice ….but it is a struggle to rest there..

        • identicon

          reply Charity Singleton Craig ,

          Thank you, Laura. Resting is a huge struggle for me, too. Any time I have a free Saturday, I should consider it a gift to rest. Instead, I fill up the hours and run here and there. Praying for you in this, too.

        • reply Bethany R. ,

          “Or can better be simpler and quiet?” Simpler and quiet sounds dreamy to me, Charity. I’ve been trying to figure out how/if I want to move that direction as well.

          It reminds me a little bit of the idea: Would you rather have lots of friends you don’t know very well, or a couple friends you know and love on a deeper level? I think it may not look as splashy, but there can be a rich contentment in a smaller circle.

          • identicon

            reply Charity Singleton Craig ,

            Bethany — we are kindred spirits in this. I tend to always want more quiet and simplicity, and yet I’m always fighting against noise and activity and busyness. Praying the Lord will lead us both in his best on this issue.

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