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The past few years I have chosen a word for the year. It’s not something I have to do, but a word has come to mind for four years now. Last year was more of a concept: “time and budget”. I learned through the year how vital managing my time and budget were and it certainly helped me through some unexpected times in 2016, including not going back to work after having my youngest. It has turned out to be the best thing for me, Teagan, Anika and Kevin. I enjoy having the flexibility of being home and it would not have been possible without taking a hard look at where I was spending money and only spending time on the things that are important during this season of life.
My word for 2015 was “change” and man oh man I had to learn to embrace some huge changes! I was discontent in a few big areas at the beginning of that year. I knew I was spending too much time working and had no idea what the word balance meant or how to find balance. I followed God’s lead to working outside the home for the first time in a few years at a local marketing firm. This allowed me to let go of some work that was taking up way too much of my time. There were many small changes I embraced, but the biggest change of all was preparing to be a mom of two. I had to slow down, which was a pace I hadn’t previously understood. The pregnancy was long and hard, but God lead me into the crazy season of being instead of doing. I was forced to rest more than I ever had and let go of doing in so many ways. I let go of doing as much work as the physical strain of the pregnancy took over. I let go of saying yes to too many obligations. I let go of being the go-to for Anika 100% of the time. This last one was the hardest, but I also witnessed a huge change in Anika and Kevin’s relationship. He has always been a terrific father, but as I had to step back and watch Kevin take over I witnessed a deeper understanding of our daughter and the connection to her daddy that she had always cherished in her heart. Anika has always been a daddy’s girl and the hardest moment was when she ran to daddy when she got hurt instead of mommy. I wanted to take over even though Teagan was screaming for mommy. Anika was in good hands, but my mommy heart took it hard. More changes continue to come and I know they are God whispered into the plans only He knows for our life together as a family.
So, what could my word be for 2017? What earth-shattering concept do I need to grow in my faith, shatter my level of comfort and rock my world in unknown ways to let go and receive more blessings? I pondered this for a while and even thought about not focusing on a word of the year. It hit me a week ago and I smiled because it made perfect sense. Foundation. With all the changes and all the areas I’m trying to allow God to mold and transform I have realized that my foundation has cracks. I feel as though I’m swaying to and fro by ideas, concepts and people that may or may not be completely based on the truth that I’m continuing to uncover. I question many things about who I am as a mom, wife, writer, among other things. I want truth as my foundation. Truth about who I am in Christ, what God thinks about: parenting and being a wife, knowing when to be and when to do, balancing life and building connections, tackling uncomfortable conversations with those I love, being bold and strengthening the relationships with the people we consider a part of our village. It all goes back to my foundation. Life is so short and I don’t want to waste time considering ideas and doing things and being in places that do not bring life and are not of God’s beautiful plan. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “I have the right to do anything,” you say, but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,” but not everything is constructive.” I’m on a mission to know what I’m doing that is not beneficial or constructive to the life that Kevin and I are working to build with Christ.
I’m spending this year building my foundation for spiritual and emotional health in ways that God shows me. I will be reading books, soaking in scripture, writing out verses, listening to podcasts, reading blog posts and following God’s lead as he gently shows me the direction. I will soak in His guidance in doing the things that are beneficial to being the best mom and wife I can, trusting Him with the direction He is swaying me to move this blog, and transforming my life through renewing my mind.
Do you have a word for 2017? Have you practiced this in previous years? I’d love to know you how tackled the word of the year – what books or blogs did you love and what Bible verses did God challenge you with?
Word of the Year Ideas and Resources
My friend Danielle Brower created the business Create Hope Cuffs and she makes custom hand cuffs that are made from recycled leather belts and look amazing! She is currently making word of the year hand cuffs with your word and a Bible verse stamped on metal. When you support Create Hope Cuffs you are also supporting education within the community for Bheveni in Swaziland, Africa. Exclusive for AliveandFighting.com readers: you get a 15% discount when you enter the coupon code 2017ALIVE at checkout!
It’s still the beginning of the year and there is still time for you to choose a word of the year. Susannah Conway has chosen a word for the past eight years and has developed a resource to help guide you in choosing a word of the year. It’s FREE and you’ll receive the guide in your email!
Tiffany from PeanutBlossom.com has a unique approach to the word of the year as she and her husband focus on a word for their family. I love this idea because it’s one way you can teach your kids the value in focusing on one thing and work together as a family.
Kimberly Job from SublimeReflection.com has some helpful ideas and tips for implementing your word of the year in order to get the most out of it. She has been practicing the word of the year for six years and has some great ideas that she has followed, including making a vision board and creating a themed book list.