Word of the Year- 2016

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Ah, the annual tradition.  First, a look back at 2015.

Last year, I went with “Devotion”.  My December might be clouding my look back, but I feel as though I made strides, but not as much as I would have liked.  Did I increase in devotion?  Sure, in a lot of ways.  In others I think I realized that I need to get priorities in line.  Was it a worthwhile word?  For sure.  And it was probably the year that I thought the MOST about the word throughout the whole thing.

So.. going back in time.
2015: Devotion
2014: Embrace
2013: Be
2012:Do
2011: Harmony

Last year I spent a LOT of time thinking about what I wanted my word to be.  And I did the same thing this year.  I went out on my own, sat down and wrote some things out and was pretty settled on my word being “Time”.

And then I woke up this morning.  And cried a bit because we’re all sick (Chris has hand foot and mouth, the rest of us have various ailments).  And my house is a mess because we’ve been sick since before Christmas and I haven’t even recovered from Thanksgiving and I just wanted it to be done before the new year started.  And then I realized something about myself.

It is not in my nature to be responsible.

So with that in mind.. I’m changing my word to something that was nagging at me the last few days.  Something that I think is what I REALLY need this year.. not a responsibility or goal to work for like time management.  But something that was on my list of values from many years ago. Something that I think has been missing from my life.  Something that I think God really does want me to have, even in the midst of stress and depression and that dreadful temptation to hopelessness.

Joy.

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Meh (word of the year 2014)

So, most years I try to have a “word of the year” instead of a resolution or goals or what have you.  Typically I put some goals and ideas INTO the word, but it is more about embracing the word and what it means in my life.  And usually I end up with a slightly different definition when the year comes to a close.  In the past I’ve had “Peace” and “Do”.

I was ruminating on this earlier in the shower and the only thing I was feeling was ambivalent.  “Meh” was the word that summed up how I was feeling.  Lately I’ve been in a funk, trying to figure out what my role is in life, how to embrace my vocation as wife/mother while also trying to figure out how to provide for my family and whatnot (getting laid off does this kind of thing to you I think).  And besides those kind of existential things, I also have to deal with children who don’t sleep through the night all the time (big kids, Evelyn has lately been getting up every single hour thanks to a growth spurt, but I think that’s coming to an end, Thank GOD).  So I’m just kind of tired and “meh” about everything.  All the “usual” words like growth and change and love and trust and all these very wonderful ideas just weren’t resonating with me.  And then it came to me.

Embrace.

It felt right, so I’m going with it.  I’m going to Embrace Life, no matter what gets thrown my way.  I’m going to Embrace things the way they are and learn contentment.  I’m going to Embrace that some things need to change and I’m going to grow and learn.  I’m going to Embrace all that is my life with little kids.  I’m going to Embrace my husband more.  I’m going to run and Embrace the Lord.

Which brings me to another thing, the “Verse of the Year”.  I have an awesome bible app and they are encouraging this, so I’m going with it too.  I wanted something with my word in it somehow and I found the perfect thing.

But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance. Luke 8:15 NABRE

I love this.  I want to be one of those seeds (don’t we all?!) that fall on the rich soil, that are watered with the Spirit and fed by the Son and who EMBRACE the WORD and bear good fruit.

So friends, what is your word?  Have you found a verse to go with it?

Word of the Year- 2011


Harmony

Harmony is a word that was on my list of values from last year and it’s the one that is just jumping out and singing and dancing and getting my attention now.

There’s a specific definition that I’m going for here, and it has nothing to do with singing in harmony, because as my family well knows I can’t sing a note if you paid me a bazillion dollars (unless I got lucky, and I probably wouldn’t).

A pleasing combination of elements in a whole.

This year, I’ll be focusing on taking all those elements of my life and putting them into a pleasing combination.

This will be really difficult, I know, because going from a family of three to a family of four is NOT going to be easy.  I know this, but that’s a good thing, because I’m anticipating the challenge.

Harmony isn’t about achieving a perfect balance, like a set of scales.  It’s about the elements molding together, forming a beautiful whole that is pleasing.  Thing about any great work of classical music (well, maybe not anything with any amount of dissonance, of course).  Each element of the piece may feature certain instruments, trumpets here, piano there, now flutes, now oboes.  Those are the times when one element takes over the rest of the piece and shines.  In life, those are the times like “Getting Married”, “Having a Baby”, “Losing Weight because your doctor said you’ll die if you don’t” or some other Major Event.  Other elements fade into the background.  When you have a baby, you aren’t going to be cleaning your house perfectly.  Your harmony is featuring a new element and the rest of the piece will adjust to incorporate it.

However, as much as Harmony is about adjusting, I am going to pinpoint specific areas and ideas of how to live more harmoniously.  Because really, I wouldn’t pick this theme if my life wasn’t out of whack!  So here’s some ideas, by role.

Self

  • Develop a stronger spiritual habit.  I’m going to start off with simply saying one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be when I wake up, at meals, and when I go to bed.
  • Improve my health.  Yes, this is the “fitness” resolution that I usually laugh my butt of when I think of it.  But I’m going to just try and be more active.  Also, eat more fruits and veggies, LOTS more.
  • Make time for me.  This is important.  I will be making time, at least one day a week, to take time out to just do something for me.  This might be sitting around reading or it might mean going out to the bookstore for an hour to browse and drink coffee.   Blogging is also going to fall in this category.

Wife

  • Date nights.   Regularly scheduled date nights.  SUPER important to me this year.
  • Asking more “What can I do for you?” instead of “What haven’t you done for me?”.

Mother

  • Puddle jumping.  Grace and I will be buying (hopefully matching) rainboots.  We’ll be jumping in puddles.  In a more general sense, we’ll just be spending more time outdoors (once we get into warmer weather, that is).
  • More intentional playing.  This will be hard, I know, when Jude gets here, but will get easier again once he starts getting older (which starts on his birthday, I suppose).  Basically I just want to make sure that I spend my time wisely with my children, playing with them and teaching them.
  • Read some parenting books.  There’s several on my list, which I want to read before Jude gets here (Siblings without Rivalry, Your Spirited Child, Your One Year Old and Your Two Year Old).  I’ve been coasting along on intuition pretty well, but I feel like I need more tools in my toolbox.

Employee/Volunteer

  • Scheduled time for working on projects.  Important because I typically just “Do it” when I can.  It’s too draining and I tend to procrastinate.  It gets done, but it’s too stressful.  This will be a habit that is SO going into place before Jude gets here.
  • Learn to say “No.”  Yes, this can be a problem for me.

Other various and sundry roles

  • Make an effort to give my full attention to whatever role I’m “in” at the moment.  If it’s worth my time to be doing something, I’m going to give it my all.

So there it is.  My word of the year and my ideas on how to incorporate it.  Yes, those are just ideas, not resolutions!

Now you tell me, what’s YOUR word going to be?