Word of the Year - Decade Recap

I started doing a "word of the year" in 2012. I realized every year I have the same resolutions, and those resolutions are something I will just always be working towards being better at. Eat healthy, exercise, drink more water, read more books.  Instead, by picking one word to focus on throughout the year, my hope is always that on December 31st I'll be able to look back and see where that word has taken me and what I've learned. Really, its one of the best things I've ever done for myself, my word of the year. That collage above is something I started this year. Every year I'll paint a new little canvas (I think its 3x3 or something) with our word on it to hang on our gallery wall.

Since we've just entered a new decade I've been very nostalgic. It seems like a bigger deal, going into the 20s. Maybe because I'm getting older and I have more life to look back on now and see how fast time goes. Who I was entering the last decade and who I am leaving it are not the same. Thank God! 
I have a motto in life. I didn't think of it on my own...I believe I read it in a Glamour article interviewing Michelle Obama. I never forgot it.
"I never consider myself a finished product."
That's my life motto. I want to always be growing and changing and learning. I'm eternally curious. I want to always ask questions. I want to take hard looks at myself and see where I can do better. I want to evolve. 


This was the year we became parents. We had so much growth as individuals and as a couple. Nothing stretches your soul more than becoming a parent. 

I spent this year (my first full year as a mom) focusing on being intentional as a parent. 4 kids later and I can say (pretty much) everything I do or don't do I have thoughts or reasoning behind. Joey and I are pretty loose in a lot of ways as parents on purpose and it goes back to being intentional. I think a lot about what kind of mom I want to be and I'm intentional about not sweating the small stuff, and even less sweating the big stuff because I know Who Is Really In Charge and letting my kids be who they are and celebrating their uniqueness. I thought a lot this year about how I get to decide who I want to be, its not decided for me.

Honestly, "focus" was too broad. I can't really look back on this year and feel like I had a lot of focus. #youwinsomeyoulosesome
I did learn going forward that I needed to keep my word simple and straighforward.

At the beginning of 2015 I was feeling really restless and just ready for something different. I've always known "if you are praying something is happening, whether you can see it or not." And this year I got to see that proven and was given the testimony of it for my life. It scared me to start praying for change. I was honestly terrified to put that out there and see what God would do with it. It wasn't like I was unhappy with my life, I actually was sooo happy. But I just knew we were ready for more. 
Within 6 months, Joey had accepted a job with Coke in Utah, we sold our house, moved our family across the country, and I found out literally hours before getting on the plane that I was unexpectedly pregnant with our third child. We could not have fit more change into 2015 if we tried. New job, new house, new state, new baby. I even cut 10 inches off my hair for the first time ever just because I wanted to embrace change. 
If you are praying, something is happening. 

 Living somewhere new was so fun and we wanted to take advantage of living in proximity to places that we otherwise would probably not have gone. I made a huge "bucket list" of things I wanted to do and we crossed off almost every single one. 

We started this year saying our word was "rest," and quickly realized that was not going to happen with 3 little kids. So we changed it to "settle." After a somewhat abrupt move back to Kentucky at the end of 2016...we had already made the decision to move back and Joey had accepted a new job, but we didn't expect the death of my mother in law. When we found out she died I packed up 2 suitcases and we were on a plane home a few hours later. No time to say goodbye, no time to pack up our Utah home. I never got to "say goodbye" to Utah and that's something that if I let myself think about I get angry. It ripped the rug out from under us and we were spinning.  It was so much. We were mourning her and grappling with the way she died and it was chaos. We needed a year to just be and get ourselves and our home together. 

This year I chose "listen." I wasn't really sure what I was expecting or wanted out of it, but I decided to go with it and see what God would show me. About a month before Shepherd was going to start kindergarten, I decided to completely quit social media cold turkey. I wanted to really enjoy my last month with him, distraction free.  Facebook started in 2004 when I was a freshman in college, and I realized I've spent some time on social media pretty much every single day for the past 14 years. Isn't that crazy? So for 3 months, I did not post or look at social media at all. I took Facebook and Instagram off my phone. And this should be obvious, but I think I needed to experience it to really know...but my mind was clearer. Go figure not spending my spare time scrolling strangers Insta posts gave my brain more room to think. The draw of social media is really that we are all used to being entertained 24/7 at this point. By quitting it, I was entertaining myself with things that were life giving to me, instead of mindless scrolling about stuff I don't even care about. 
It gave me a fresh perspective on how I want to spend my spare time and changed how I approached social media going forward. 

For 2019, I chose the word "goodness." Again, this year I chose a word not sure what I wanted out of it or having any expectations. I prayed about it and put my focus on it throughout the year, and whats exciting is that without me even realizing it, in hindsight I see God showed up for me and answered my prayers for goodness this year. And it was better than anything my small little mind could come up with. 
Three things stood out the most when looking for goodness this year. One, I said at the beginning of the year that I wanted to read the entire Bible through this year. Well, turns out, that's pretty hard. At least for me. So that didn't happen. Instead, I joined a bible study. And while I'm realizing I may have more questions than answers when it comes to the religion part of Christianity, I am more sure than ever about Jesus. I found out I actually love studying the Bible, and I've never truly done that before. I've always just read the Bible, not dove in and studied it.
Number two when I look for goodness over the past year. When I pick a word, if anything comes up throughout the year and I'm making a decision, I ask myself what my word would do and I do that. Haha. So when I couldn't decide if I wanted to sign up for FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I thought about goodness and decided to go for it. Through that 6 week program, I learned that I am capable of eating truly healthy and exercising, which is honestly something that always seemed too daunting to take on. I found something that works for me, and that in itself is a relief. I also confirmed through all that, that although I want to be healthy, my worth and confidence does not come from my appearance.
Third, this year I took steps to repair a friendship and it felt like a weight off my shoulders that I didn't realize was there. Very thankful for grace and time.


I've been thinking and praying about my word for 2020 since October. Not just a new year, but a new decade! I didn't want something small. I want to go big for 2020. The only word that kept coming to my mind was "bold." At first I was like, no I don't want that word. Bold is scary and requires action and its much easier to stay in my comfort zone. Something I've realized about myself...I'm not sure when it started or how I got here...but I've realized I tend to keep my true thoughts to myself, especially if I think/know whoever I'm around won't agree with them. And I don't do it out of fear or wanting to fit in. That doesn't matter to me. I think I do it out of just not caring. Other people's opinions don't really matter to me, it doesn't bother me if someone agrees or disagrees with me. But I think it bothers other people. And I don't care to debate or change someones mind. So I just keep my thoughts to myself. But what I've realized, in doing that I'm not letting people know me. Or worse, my silence is taken for agreement and people think they know me. So that is one thing I want to work on this year. But, I'm excited to see what God has in mind and where He will take me.


No comments:

Post a Comment