My Word 2018

For several years now I have followed Ali Edwards and have loved her idea of focusing on “One Little Word” instead of a long list of resolutions. Her idea was intriguing, and for the first several years, I mused over what my “One Little Word” would be, but I didn’t really do anything with it. I didn’t commit.

For the past five years, however, I have committed myself to this idea of “One Little Word.” I have loved seeing these words come into my life and help shape me into a better version of myself. Each year, I think I have an idea of how that word will change me, but at the end of that year I am always surprised at how I see and understand the word in completely different ways. I love it! In the past I have chosen the words prosper, open, together, and forward.

In 2017, I chose a word that scared me quite a bit. I didn’t advertise that this was my word because I thought it would defeat the purpose of my word, but now as my year is coming to a close, I have come to understand this word so much better and I realize that my word has really pushed me to do a lot things that were not comfortable this year. So, in the spirit of discomfort and acceptance, I will tell you that my word for 2017 was MEEK. When I began the year, I thought that this word would lead to a really quiet year for me where most of my roles would be behind-the-scenes, supporting others. I thought that was what meekness was. I did enjoy quite a bit of that this year, but I also came to realize that I was allowing my pride to stop me from trying new things. I love to write and I have always written, but I was afraid that people wouldn’t want to read what I wrote or that it would be too boring or unsophisticated and I would just embarrass myself. My silly pride let me believe that if I never shared what I wrote, I could believe that I was good and no one could argue otherwise. As I focused on trying to incorporate more meekness in my life this year, I realized that I needed to let go of my pride and allow myself to learn and make mistakes and try publicly. I have things to share and unique perspectives that can make the world a better place (you do, too, by the way) and–at least to me–part of being meek is being willing to share those freely without accolades. So I self-published a book, then I built my own website and started a blog. Then I went about learning from the mistakes of my first book and wrote and published a second book. I have learned so much this year and feel so excited for the progress I have made. I never expected any of this to come from meekness!

I usually start thinking of my new word in November, so that I can narrow it down, pray about it, talk it over with my husband, and prepare myself for January. Want to know my new word for 2018? It’s LISTEN. Listen

This word scares me a little, too! I know that much learning comes from listening and I look forward to learning so much more this year. I also know that relationships are strengthened from listening, so I am excited to see how my relationships evolve this year. While I try really hard to be a good listener, I fear that I often fail at this. I interrupt people when they are talking, I shush my kids when they are talking too loudly—often before I even know what they were trying to communicate—, I sometimes smile and laugh in a conversation even if I haven’t quite heard what was actually said (sorry, friends!). I have some improving to do, for sure! I am also VERY visual! If I really want to get information, I read it because I can comprehend and internalize it so much better that way. I occasionally listen to an audiobook, but I prefer reading the book because I can remember and understand more when I can see the words on the page. In my book Picky I talk about the importance of listening to your body, particularly when it comes to eating. I think I will need to do a better job this year of listening to my body and resting when I need to rest and eating/drinking when I need to. I often work right through a lunch or I postpone breakfast so I can eek out a couple more paragraphs before my writing time is over. As I was working hard to get Oggie out before December, I was so uptight, I could barely turn my head! My neck and shoulders were so tense it was causing me physical pain. I need to do better about listening to my body and my mind and not get so stressed out, particularly over things that are beyond my control.
Though I have followed Ali Edwards and her “One Little Word” since she started in 2006, this is the first year I am joining her class and I am looking forward to having monthly prompts and reminders to keep me focused on my “One Little Word.” Want to join me? I purchased an extra subscription to her year-long class and want to share it with one of you! To enter, you can use the link below (may not work on a mobile device) or click here. This giveaway will end January 3. If you don’t win, you can still subscribe to her class and join us on this year-long adventure. I’d love to hear what your One Little Word would be! Share it below (if you want…). I hope your year is full of joy!

Update: This giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to Michelle!

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A Simple Guidebook for Parents of Picky Eaters

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