One word

One Word for 2016

It’s one of my favorite times of year…time to declare one word for my year ahead. This will be the fourth year that I’ve done this and it’s a practice that works really well for me. I usually start thinking about my word in December, a few usually come to mind and I let them rattle around in my heart and mind for a few weeks.

I've loved that over the last couple weeks people have asked me what my word will be for the year. It’s good for me to share it because when I speak it out there, there’s no taking it back.

This year's word makes me a little nervous, but I've been praying it over my year and it's a word that I have felt come across my spirit too many times to ignore. I have done this long enough to know that there is power in declaring a word for your year. It might sound crazy, but I know I need to be ready for what lies ahead if I truly want my year to be about this.

My word for 2016 is GROW.

Sequence of a plant growing in dirt, profiled against a white background.

A lot happened in 2015 that I wasn't expecting and looking to 2016, I have no idea what it will hold. I don't know what will happen, but I do know regardless of where I go or what I do, I want to grow. I can't grow deep roots if I'm moving around and always looking to what's next. I can't grow if I'm always trying to be comfortable and play it safe.

I know that to grow means to change and that change isn't always easy for me (or ever easy for me really). I know that with growth comes growing pains, that it doesn't happen in a vacuum and that I will be stretched and shaped...all the reasons why I get a little nervous with this word.

I know I've grown a lot every year, but this year I want to approach it with more intention and with a posture that embraces the change and the depth that can come when you make a friend of change and when you choose to really grow and evolve where you are planted.

I want to grow deeper roots and reach new heights.

I want to try new things, stretch myself and not become complacent of this is "just how things are."

I want to grow in wisdom and maturity.

I want to grow in relationships: to build deeper community, create richer opportunities for fellowship and practice hospitality.

I want to grow in my compassion and kindness.

I want to grow in my courage and in my confidence.

I want to grow in my discipline and self-control.

I want to grow in my self-love and in my understanding of extending grace and kindness to myself.

I want to pay better attention.


I want to grow in my love for others.

I want to better understand the world around me and other perspectives.

I want to get to know Jesus even better and what it really means to love God and others well.

I want to continue to grow into who I am meant to be.

I want to grow in healthiness and towards wholeness.

So here's to 2016 and to growth! I would love for you to join me on my journey and to hear how you're growing. If you have a word of the year, please leave a comment and let me know! I would love to hear it and to pray it over you and your year.

Sidenote: One of my goals for this year is to really work on my blog and write more consistently. I'm speaking this out there so I'm more likely to stick with it. :) I appreciate everyone that comes by my little corner on the internet! Thanks for reading friends!

One Word for 2015.

It's that time of year again, a New Year. It's hard to believe it's 2015! The holidays were a whirlwind for me and I didn't have much time to really think back on the year or think ahead to the next, but luckily, I had an eight hour car ride to let my mind and heart go for a little bit. For the last two years I have chosen a word for the year. Each time it is a word that I thought about a lot and that I wanted to encompass the essence of the year ahead. There's actually a whole community that does this. I love this practice and have been thinking and praying about my word for 2015 for the last couple weeks. I have realized that I need to be careful with this choice because if the last two years were any indication...the word I choose really does make itself known throughout the year. 2013 was about confidence and this last year about being unafraid. Pages and pages could be filled with how I have gained confidence and the opportunities I have had to be unafraid, but for the sake of saving time I won't go into that here.

I will carry those words with me as I travel into this next year. 2015...the year of balance. Balance did not make my initial brainstorming list of words for 2015, but it came about during a talk with someone who knows me well and is willing to ask me the hard questions. I kept passing it over for other ideas I had (this seems to be a theme for these words that I choose...I avoid them at all costs at first), but I began to realize everything else I thought to encompass the year ahead would come...with balance. So the root of it all, balance.

My hope and prayer is that in 2015 I would create balance in my life. I don't think it's something that needs to be found, but is something that is created and realizing I have the ability within my own life to create that balance...

Balance between dreaming for the future and being present in the here and now.

Balance between when I should say yes and when I should say no.

Balance between work and rest.

Balance between saying too much and not saying enough.

Balance in work, school, friends, family and life.

Balance in boundaries and expectations, reality and ideals.

 Balance between caring too much and not caring enough.

Balance between moving forward and staying right where I am.

Balance in what I know to be true and what I'm still seeking after.

Balance in pouring out to others and pouring into myself.

Balance between holding on and letting go.

Balance in wanting to do a lot of things but realizing I can't do everything.

The list could go on and I hope to share more about my journey and the opportunities I have in creating balance this year. Here's to a balanced 2015!


One word for 2014.

Last year I started picking a word for the year. This is different than a resolution because it's not made to be "kept" but rather to encompass all I want the year to be about. For 2013 my word was confidence. It was kinda crazy how 2013 really did end up being the year of confidence for me. I never thought choosing that word in January would be followed by so many opportunities to grow in who I am as a person. Just thinking over the year of all that's happened, how I started grad school, transitioned in my job and bought a house (just to name a few), and how I handled those all is a testament to why God placed that word on my heart. I could write pages and pages of how I've grown in my confidence in Christ and in myself this year. I've been thinking about my word for 2014 and a word keeps coming to mind that I can't shake no matter how badly I want to. I'm a little nervous committing to it because if 2013 was any indication of what could happen, I'm not sure what's in store. It may seem silly or dramatic, but prayerfully considering a word to make 2014 about has become a big deal for me. Words mean a lot to me so picking one that I can continually go back to and choose so I intentionally approach my year in a way that is beneficial to myself and my growth is important.

So...I've decided my word for 2014 is Unafraid. I wrote this a few months ago about being unafraid, not fully realizing what I was saying but knowing I had to move forward in a way that I am free from fear and anxiety. I have gained confidence in Christ, in myself and in others this past year and I think I now need to live into that confidence and keep on this journey unafraid...

Unafraid to fully live.

Unafraid to speak up when I know I should say something and stay silent when it's wiser to say nothing.

Unafraid to ask the hard questions.

Unafraid to embrace the doubts I have and explore them.

Unafraid to fully receive and give love.

Unafraid to pursue freedom from the things that weigh me down.

Unafraid to work hard.

Unafraid to make changes when they need to be made and accept the things that need to stay the same.

Unafraid to embrace my life for what it is and not what I think it should be.

Unafraid to be who I am rather than who I or anyone else thinks I should be.

Unafraid to challenge the status quo.

Unafraid to fail.

Unafraid to admit I don't have it all figured out and life isn't always black and white.

Unafraid to fully love God, myself and others. voice may shake, some days may be better than others, my over thinking mind may be asking my heart what the heck are you doing, people may disagree, mistakes will be made, but I will move forward in love and grace and I will be unafraid.