My “One Little Word” for 2021, Okay, It’s a Phrase

    Well, 2021 is here! And that means it is once again time for me to share my One Little Word for the year.

    I can’t believe I am in my ELEVENTH year of doing this.

    I have found picking a word (or words, or phrase) for the year so beneficial.

    I love setting goals and intentions but it can be hard to remember them throughout the year. Picking a word or phrase it a lot easier to remember and be thinking about throughout the year, at least it is for me (but, of course I’m setting goals for the year as well as choosing a word, the goals will be up here in a few days).

    Once again, when I started thinking of what my word could be at the end of November nothing was really jumping out at me. But, like every other year before, God really used the last few weeks of the year to consistently bring up a theme that I am making my word, okay, phrase, for the year.

    My phrase for 2021 is:
    love one another

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another

    This phrase really stuck out to me as I was reading Blessed are the Misfits in December and it “just so happened” to come up a lot in the Advent study I was doing as well.

    There are two verses that jumped out at me right away when I chose this phrase:

    By this all people will know that you are my disciples,
    if you have love for one another.”

    John 13:35

    “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
    and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
    1 John 4:7

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another


    Ultimately, I want this phrase to remind me to check in on my friends and prioritize relationships this year. Even if restrictions continue to stay in place where I can’t see my friends in person, there are still things I can do.

    I want to make sure to check-in on a regular basis more.

    I want to make sure to make birthday cards for my friends and family.

    I want to continually see how I can pray for them throughout the year.

    I want to make sure to reply to my pen pals within a week of receiving their letters.

    And when possible I want to get together with my friends to chat again!

    I am sure there are other things but that’s a start at least.

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another

    If you are curious as to why and how I choose my word each year you can check that out here.

    Here are some of my previous words (unfortunately I didn’t write blog posts for all of them):

    All my One Little Word posts can be found here, including the recaps at the end of the year.

    Here’s to 2021!

    Do you choose a word for the year? If so, I would love to hear about it!


    2020 One Little Word Reflection

    I love choosing one word (okay, sometimes two) to focus on each year.

    I’ve been doing this for a decade. Wow, time flies.

    I take a lot of time to think and pray over my word for the year.

    Sometimes it comes to me in November, sometimes at the beginning of January, but it always comes.

    I think we can all agree that 2020 was quite.the.year.

    There has never been one like it.


    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous


    In 2019 my word was adventure. I’m glad that wasn’t my year for 2020!

    My word for 2020 was generous. Specifically I wanted to focus on monetary generosity.

    I love doing a recap of my word each year but I have to say, this one is a little more awkward to do, money is always an interesting subject.


    My goal for 2020 was to follow John Wesley’s model to “gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” You can see what that means here.

    Here’s a brief little summary on how I did:



    I had a few new income streams in 2020, some of my previous income stopped but I pretty much managed to make up for that in other areas. Fostering was a big source of my income as well as my blogs and this year I started making a bit of money from YouTube as well.


    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous



    I feel like I went 50/50 on this one. What with a world pandemic and all we definitely saved in a lot of ways. Jared hasn’t had to drive to work since March so we are saving on licensing one of our vehicles plus all that gas. Out of the home entertainment has been pretty much none existent.

    On the other hand I bought more in books this year than ever before. Part of that was starting a YouTube channel all about books and part of that was the fact that the library was closed for months. We also spent more on Christmas gifts for the kids this year since we are currently one step from lockdown.

    This was a weird year for savings. I feel like all I knew about saving money changed this year (as did so much else in life).



    Well, I can straight up tell you we did not give all we can. We could give more. But I can also tell you that we gave more this year than we ever have before and considering our total income didn’t really go up this year that makes me excited.


    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous


    So, that was my 2020 One Little Word in a nutshell.

    What will 2021 hold? Ha, isn’t that the million dollar question these days? I am still thinking and praying about my word for next year and so far have no idea what it is going to be. I will write a post sharing it once I know though.


    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous


    If you are curious as to why and how I choose my word each year you can check that out here.

    Here are some of my previous words (unfortunately I didn’t write blog posts for each of them):


    Do you choose a word year year? If so, I would love to hear about it! If not, I challenge you to try it for the first time this year!


    My Word for 2020

    Every year I choose one word as a theme for my year. This year is my TENTH year doing so.

    Yesterday I shared a recap of my word for 2019 (which was adventure) and I mentioned how I was really hoping my word for 2020 would (or could) be rest or a similar such word.

    Unfortunately, God seemed to have different plans.

    I usually start thinking of my word a few weeks before the end of the year and generally there are a few different ones that come to mind. I have come up with a lot of good word options over the years but when the right word comes I always feel certain that it’s the right word.

    This year the idea of the word rest came to me really easy. It’s been a particularly exhausting last few months and I could use a year of rest. I wrote it down as an option but I wasn’t feeling like it was the word God was leading me to for the year.

    I was right.

    About a week ago the word came to me in a flash and I just knew it was the word for 2020.

    My word for this year is:


    Generous: One Little Word for 2020


    There are many different ways to be generous; with our time, our love, our resources, our money, etc. I do want to be generous in all those areas but this year I am specifically focusing on monetary generosity.

    The last few months we’ve had a number of different friends go through times of financial hardship, which can be hard at any time, but especially so over the Christmas season and it was such a good reminder how much I appreciate the ability to give to others.

    This last year we sort of acquired a new stream of “income” as we began to foster. We’ve been able to use some of this income to bless others, thank you to the government for allowing us to give your money to those who need it!

    In 2020 I want to push myself to give more.

    One of my financial role models is John Wesley (a preacher in the 18th century). When he was a student he brought in 30 pounds, he lived off of 28 and gave away 2. The next year his income doubled but he still lived off of 28 pounds but then had 32 to give. One year his income was right around 1,400 and he still only lived off of 28 pounds!


    Generous: One Little Word for 2020


    I appreciate Wesley’s ability to live out what he preached. He has a great sermon titled “The Use of Money” (which you can actually read here). In the sermon he gives three main points: 1) gain all you can, 2) save all you can and 3) give all you can.

    It’s not exactly like it sounds.

    GAIN ALL YOU CAN – for this point he talks about how we should use our gifts to work hard in our industry to make money.

    SAVE ALL YOU CAN – he talks here about cutting corners and reducing your spending and way of life so you have more money.

    Those two points on their own or together sound pretty normal, mainstream society tends to agree with those ideas (especially the first one), but Wesley doesn’t stop there, he adds another point.

    GIVE ALL YOU CAN – the first two ideas are totally useless if you don’t also do this, the whole point here is to give. We are not here on this earth to gain all we can and save all we can so we can live more cushy lives, no, it’s so we have more to give.

    I found the sermon both inspiring and challenging and it was great to read before going into a year with a word like generous.

    I also plan on kicking off the year by completing the generosity themed Scripture Writing Challenge in January. I plan on taking time to choose one of those verses as my verse for the year.


    This year was my TENTH year choosing a word for the year! Here’s a little on why I choose a word and how I go about doing so. And, if you are curious, here are some of my words from previous years:


    Do you choose a word for your year? I would love to hear it if you do!


    2019: The Year of Adventure

    The one word I chose for myself for 2019 was adventure.

    I struggled a bit with the word initially because it sounded so entitled, but that’s not how I meant it.

    I have issues with contentment and part of the reason I chose the word was to find the adventure in the every day.

    When the year began we had a pile of savings that I had initially planned to be for a Europe trip but I knew God was asking us to do something different with the money.

    Halfway through the year we began the process to start fostering (we used a lot of that Europe money to make a few changes to our home to allow for another bedroom and more space to play) and the real adventure began.

    We got our first placement in October and we have no idea how long they will be with us.

    Honestly, we feel like God called us to foster but it has not been easy. We often find ourselves puzzled as to why He called us, people who aren’t that patient, nor that great with kids, to foster. It has stretched us and often left us feeling quite alone.


    Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations - Adventure One Little Word Wrap Up


    This month I read The Two Towers and Frodo and Sam have this great chat that I just love, it felt so fitting:


    “I don’t like anything here at all,” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.”

    “Yes, that is so,” said Sam. “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d know more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on – and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, thought not quite the same – like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”


    I couldn’t help but feel like Tolkien wrote those words just for me to read right now, they have been really encouraging.

    I will be sharing my word for 2020 later this week. I’ve got to say, after this last year I was really hoping for a word like rest but God seems to have different plans . . .


    Monthly Scripture Writing Challenge: Generosity

    I started the practice of trying to write a verse or few verses from the Bible back in July and it is a practice I want to try to continue in 2020. I haven’t been successful every day (especially this last month where I missed more days than I actually completed) but I want to keep trying.

    For the foreseeable future I plan on continuing to make my own monthly Scripture Writing Challenges. This month the theme is generosity. A topic I will be writing about more in the next little bit.

    I also have ideas for the next two months as well, February will probably be love and then for March I want to write out the entire book of Ephesians so I will break it down into manageable daily portions. If you have theme ideas for future Scripture Writing Challenges, let me know.

    You can see all my Scripture Writing Challenges here.

    Remember, don’t get hung up if you miss a day, don’t focus on the missed days, focus on the days you got into the Word.


    Generosity Monthly Scripture Writing Challenge - Bible verses about giving, money and generosity


    To get the printable challenge just sign up here and you’ll get an email with info on how to access all the freebies on this site:



    Generosity Scripture Writing Challenge

    If you don’t want the printable version, here are the passages for the month:


    day one: 2 Corinthians 9:11

    day two: Proverbs 18:16

    day three: Luke 6:38

    day four: Malachi 3:10

    day five: 2 Corinthians 9:7

    day six: Matthew 19:21

    day seven: Proverbs 3:9

    day eight: Matthew 10:8

    day nine: Proverbs 3:27

    day ten: Matthew 6:2

    day eleven: 1 Chronicles 29:14

    day twelve: Proverbs 11:24-25

    day thirteen: 2 Corinthians 9:10

    day fourteen: 1 John 3:17

    day fifteen: Hebrews 13:16

    day sixteen: Proverbs 31:9

    day seventeen: 2 Corinthians 9:8

    day eighteen: Galatians 6:2

    day nineteen: Matthew 6:3-4

    day twenty: Proverbs 19:17

    day twenty-one: Luke 6:30

    day twenty-two: Psalm 112:9

    day twenty-three: Proverbs 28:27

    day twenty-four: Acts 20:35

    day twenty-five: Luke 12:33

    day twenty six: Proverbs 21:13

    day twenty-seven: Deuteronomy 15:7-8

    day twenty-eight: Matthew 6:24

    day twenty-nine: 1 Timothy 6:17-19

    day thirty: Proverbs 22:9

    day thirty-one: 2 Corinthians 8:12


    My Word and Goals for 2019

    I have been thinking about my word for 2019 for a few weeks now and ever since writing my post about why and how to choose a word for the year I have been having some great discussions on the topic with friends.

    This is my ninth year choosing a word and as always I’m excited about the word that will be sticking with me for the next twelve months.

    Curious about my previous words? I didn’t write a blog post every year but you can check out my words for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.

    The word I chose for 2019 is ADVENTURE.



    While adventure was one of the first words to pop into my mind for this year I struggled with the word because I felt like it sounded so privileged and that is not what I intended. But then I realized that as long as I defined what the word adventure meant for my year I could still use it. I ended up taking the actual definition of adventure and changing it slightly.


    So, what adventure means to me:

    viewing life as an exciting experience


    I thrive on change but am aware that change (at least at the degree that I want it) is not always possible. This year I want to view my life as an adventure, no matter what happens or how little change may actually happen. In reality, a lot of this comes down to changing my attitude.


    adventures are the best way to learn


    One of the reasons I enjoy travelling with my kids so much is because I get to see the world through their eyes, they have such a fresh take on life and have the ability to stop and notice things I would skim over. While having adventure for my word this year I want to make sure I don’t skim over the next 365 days but rather, I want to cherish each one as though it is it’s own adventure.

    God has made this incredibly beautiful and complex world that we live in and I so often forget to stop and savor them (savor was a close second for my word) and that is why I chose adventure as my word this year.

    In addition to picking a word each year I also set a number of goals for myself. I have been thinking a lot about goals lately and thought I would share some of my goals for this year. (Some of because a few of them are personal goals that I would rather not share into cyberspace.)


    A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot

    I love this quote and completely agree with it! (Hence why it’s on my letter board.)


    MY GOALS FOR 2019

    1) Document the everyday with video more – I want to start making a short video compilation at the end of each year of the tidbits of video Jared and I take. He’s way better at remembering to take videos than I am so it’s something I would like to improve this year. You may notice I’m not putting an exact number on this (it’s not a SMART goal) but I feel like I’ll know if I have taken more or not.

    2) Make photo books for 2015-2018 – um, so I’ve slacked with this for the last few years. We love the ones we do have so I need to get my act together and make some for the last four years.

    3) Take a big trip as a family – where this will be I don’t know. I had hoped Italy & France but then we second guessed doing that trip at this time, then we contemplated buying a motorhome and doing some road trips but now we second guessed that idea so I’m not sure where we will go but I have a good chunk of savings for this already so it should happen. There is a personal goal that I have that is a little more out of my reach that may bump this goal off the list. Only time will tell.

    4) Take a one month social media break – this is what I am doing for January! I actually started before Christmas already but I plan on going until the end of January, so it will be a month and a half break. I’m going to share some thoughts about break after it’s over.

    5) Go vegan for a month – this is something I have been wanting to do for awhile and I don’t think it will be too hard. The things that will be the hardest for me are eggs, bacon and maybe honey.


    Do something today your future self will thank you for


    6) Consistently track my income monthly – the last couple of years I’ve just calculated all my income from blogging at the end of the year but that’s really annoying to do, this year I want to do it at the end of each month.

    7) Exercise on Mondays and Thursdays – I fell off the exercise band wagon the last few months and would like to get back into it. I don’t enjoy exercising but it does make me feel better.

    8) Learn more – (once again, not a SMART goal). I want to do this mainly by reading more non-fiction and watching more documentaries.

    9) Read 5 Elisabeth Elliot books – this year I’ve chosen Elisabeth Elliot as my literary mentor and plan on reading at least five of the books she’s written.

    Those are my goals for this year! Around my birthday in May I will create a longer list of birthday goals (one goal for each year I’ve been alive), that is always fun to make, though I haven’t made one for the last few years I want to get back into it this year.


    What goals are you setting this year? And do you have a word picked? I would love to hear them!


    Why and How to Choose A Word for the Year

    The dawn of a new year is approaching and even though Christmas isn’t even here yet I’m already thinking of resolutions and goals for next year as well as my word for the year.

    I first came across the idea of choosing a word years ago, I believe it was Ali Edwards back in my paper crafting days who started the whole idea.

    The concept is simple: at the end of the year (or the beginning) you take some time to choose a word for yourself for the year.

    The choosing the word and subsequent follow through are not as simple.

    Choosing a Word for the Year - why you should do it and some tips on how to find a good word

    The word you choose is supposed to influence your year some how. I’ve always picked a word based on something I need to work on and I find myself remembering my word throughout the year to quickly remind myself of my goals.

    Remembering a single word is a lot easier than remembering a list of goals.

    I have chosen a word for myself for the past nine years (!). Some years the word comes to be in October before I’m really even thinking about it, other years it’s the middle of January before I can truly nail one down. I’ll share my previous words at the bottom of this post but I don’t want to influence your word choosing by sharing them now.

    Choosing a Word for the Year - why you should do it and some tips on how to find a good word


    Personally, choosing a word helps me to be more intentional with my year.

    My word that I chose for this last year kept popping into my mind throughout the year and I noticed a lot of growth in that area this year (check out my 2018 word later in the post). It’s fun to look back on years past and see how the word I had chosen helped to shape that year.


    I’m not going to say everyone needs a word for the year but if you are the type that enjoys goal setting this is a really great way to go about it. Today I wanted to give a few steps you can take to choose your word, assuming one didn’t pop into your mind instantly (and if it did, that’s awesome!).


    I like to pick words based off of areas I need (or want) to improve so often one of my biggest problems is narrowing it down to a single word. (I’ll admit, I’ve often cheated and had two words.)


    Often you’ll notice certain themes that seem to pop up everywhere, this is usually a sign that it may be a good word for you.

    I know this often happens when I’m reading up on a certain topic or area and then that seems to pop up in the messages I hear at church and the conversations I have with friends. This is often a sign that word is a good contender for the word of the year.


    While praying about a word for the year may sound weird, hear me out. We are all flawed human beings and God has called us to be perfect. That’s a hard calling to achieve. So Who better to show you areas you need to work on than the One who created you?


    Ultimately, picking a word for your year probably won’t alter the course of your entire life so go ahead and pick one, even if you aren’t sure it’s the right one. Maybe it will be your word for half a year or even just a month.

    Choosing a Word for the Year - why you should do it and some tips on how to find a good word


    Feel like you need a little more inspiration? Here are some of my previous words from years past (click on the link to go to the blog post where I share a little more about why I chose that word):

    I don’t have my word for 2019 quite figured out yet but I have the general theme and a number of different word ideas, I’m excited to be able to narrow it down to the one that will be my companion for the year.

    Want a free printable for tracking your word for 2019 and monthly printables to help keep you on target? Sign up for my newsletter and get access to current and future printables:


    check to verify you want to receive the monthly email


    Do you have a word for 2019 yet? I would love to hear it in the comments below!

    Family photos in this post thanks to my awesome friend, Holly!



    My Word for 2018 & The Best Books on Gentle Parenting

    A few weeks ago I thought this would be the first year in the last five or so that I didn’t have a word for the year, nothing was really sticking out to me, but that changed . . .

    I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my words for the year, usually a few pop up and I prayerfully consider the one or two that I feel like God wants me to focus on for the year.

    In all reality, sharing my words is real vulnerability because in essence I’m saying: here’s where I really fail.

    This year’s word definitely opens up some vulnerability because I feel like I’ve been living the opposite.

    The word that I’ve chosen for this year is gentle.

    I used to think that gentleness was a weakness and was the opposite of strength but I’ve learned how wrong I was, though gentleness still doesn’t come easily to me.

    I specifically want to be more gentle when it comes to parenting this year. And like I always do when I want to learn about something, I’m planning on reading a bunch of books about it.

    I have curated a list of what I think are the six best books on gentle parenting that I want to read this year. Most of them I have read before and a couple I’ll be reading for the first time. The ones I have read I plan on re-reading because they are worth it.

    I’ve written down the six books I want to read in case there is anyone else looking for some gentle parenting books to read this year.

    The Best Books About Gentle Parenting



    I’ve already actually listened to the audiobook this year but I promptly went and ordered the hard copy because I know I want to take time throughout the year to go through it again and slower. I’d highly recommend this book!

    Triggers: Exchanging Parent’s Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses examines common parenting issues that cause us to explode inappropriately at our children. Moving beyond simple parenting tips on how to change your child’s behavior, authors Amber Lia and Wendy Speake offer biblical insight and practical tools to equip and encourage you on the journey away from anger-filled reactions toward gentle, biblical responses.


    I have just started this on audio. It’s written by the same authors as Triggers so I feel like it’s going to be a great one!

    You want to say the right thing when your children do wrong — trouble is most parents aren’t sure where to even begin. Parenting Scripts is the much-needed resource for moms and dads who are desperate to speak life to their children instead of defaulting to the same old words and ineffective consequences. Focusing on the most ordinary and yet troublesome areas in our daily routines, Parenting Scripts helps parents to craft intentional and well thought out and prayed over words.

    When parents step back to consider their children’s wrong actions, there’s a chance they can plan the right reactions. In the margins of their busy day, Parenting Scripts leads parents to a calm place where they can pinpoint their family’s bad habits and choose better ways of dealing with immature behavior — theirs and their children’s.

    Laid out as a parenting book and workbook all in one, each of the thirty-one short chapters includes:

    • Parenting Script – main lesson, complete with a script to try at home
    • Scriptures – verses to apply
    • Prayer Script – prayer to pray
    • Make the script your own – empty pages to write down your own parenting script


    I read this book a few years ago and bought it last year, I’m looking forward to re-reading it, it’s one of my favorite parenting books!

    Parents in our post-modern world tend to be committed to but anxious about their child-rearing responsibilities. They’ve tried the countless parenting books on the market, but many of these are strident, fear-based books that loving parents instinctively reject, while still searching for direction.

    Now Dr. Tim Kimmel, founder of Family Matters ministries, offers a refreshing new look at parenting. Rejecting rigid rules and checklists that don’t work, Dr. Kimmel recommends a parenting style that mirrors God’s love, reflects His forgiveness, and displaces fear as a motivator for behavior. As we embrace the grace God offers, we begin to give it-creating a solid foundation for growing morally strong and spiritually motivated children.

    PARENTING: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

    This one has been recommended to me by a couple of people already. Paul David Tripp has a 14-day devotional on YouVersion (the Bible app) on this topic with videos on the 14 principles and it was really good, I’m hoping the book is as well!

    What is your calling as a parent?

    In the midst of folding laundry, coordinating carpool schedules, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything “right” and raise up “good” children, it’s easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas.

    In this life-giving book, Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God’s plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Rather, we need the rescuing grace of God—grace that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents.

    Freed from the burden of trying to manufacture life-change in our children’s hearts, we can embrace a grand perspective of parenting overflowing with vision, purpose, and joy.

    GIVE THEM GRACE: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

    This is my all time favorite parenting book. Can’t wait to re-read it!

    All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point?

    Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law—a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.

    No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.

    We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.

    Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience.

    TREASURING CHRIST WHEN YOUR HANDS ARE FULL: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms

    I listened to this one on audio a year or two ago, this time I’d like to read the hard copy.

    Grocery shopping. Soccer practice. Dirty dishes.

    Motherhood is tough, and it often feels like the to-do list just gets longer and longer every day—making it hard to experience true joy in God, our children, and the gospel.

    In this encouraging book for frazzled moms, Gloria Furman helps us reorient our vision of motherhood around what the Bible teaches. Showing how to pursue a vibrant relationship with God—even when discouragement sets in and the laundry still needs to be washed—this book will help you treasure Christ more deeply no matter how busy you are.

    Do you have a word for the year?
    Have you read any of these books? What are you favorites?
    Any other book recommendations?


    2016: My One Little Word

    With Christmas just over a week away and the year close to coming to a close I’ve been thinking of my one little word for 2016. 2015 was the year of hospitality, do for 2014, 2013 was the year of serve, create & celebrate were 2012’s words, and my first year, 2011, I had move & pray.

    I know many people who think (and have voiced their opinions) that the one little word for the year is a pointless fad, maybe it is for some but I know for myself, these past 5 years that I’ve been choosing a word (or two) I’ve had much more clarity and a stronger vision for my year. It might not be for everyone but it works for me. I find it works much better for me than setting new years resolutions, this way I have a little word or phrase I can quickly and easily think about through the year.

    Each year I’ve felt as though God puts these words on my heart, it’s as though He is pointing out the areas in my life that He wants me to grow in.

    I started thinking and praying about 2016’s word about a month ago and despite it being right in front of me it didn’t really hit me until this last week. The word is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and has been showing up in my journal for the past few months:


    In this next year I want to be an encourage those around me, both online and offline.


    I’d love to hear if you have a word for 2016, leave me message below.


    2015: My One Little Word

    I have been contemplating my one little word for this year for quite a few months and keep coming back to the same set of words:

    hospitality, gather & community

    Maybe it’s not one little word, but it is my one little theme.

    Remember that hospitality project that I started at the end of last spring? The one that I focused on for a few weeks and then kind of put it on the back burner? Well, this year my plan is to revive that project and make it a lifestyle.

    This year I want to practice hospitality.
    We want to invite people into our home and into our lives.

    I’ve been working at pinning lots of gatherings on Pinterest. And while I don’t believe that the art of hospitality always needs to be Pinterest worthy I do know that I want to make an effort for my guests.

    A major part of the reason that we moved a few months ago was so we could have a home that was easier to accommodate having people over. We didn’t get a whole lot more square footage overall by moving but the way it is arranged we have a lot more entertaining space (as opposed to the house we moved from which had large bedrooms but a smaller space for entertaining). The the five weeks we were here before heading out to South Africa we had already opened our home to over 50 people and while I don’t think those kind of numbers will be constant (I’d prefer less people and more connection), it is a good start.

    I’m looking forward to all who I will get to know through this next year with such a focus on keeping our door open.

    As for the previous few years: last year my word was do, which encompassed finish, move and accomplish. I feel that really happened this last year. In 2013 it was serve, in 2012 I chose celebrate & create and in 2011 I had move and pray (as you can tell, I’m really bad at just picking one word).

    Do you have a word or theme for 2015?

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