One Word for 2017

wood-cube-abc-cube-letters-48898Intentional joy that leads to a deep confidence.


Just one word.

Those were my words over the last several years. They have helped define me and focus me, moving me forward. There were tough times along the way and these words served as reminders and motivators. I wrote about last year’s word here: Just One Word

It’s amazing how much one little word can shape and change a person. Honestly, towards the end of the year I almost forgot what my word was. Then I thought maybe I had completely failed. Forgetting my word. Nope, change that negative self-talk. Stand tall. Be strong. Be confident.

Yep, there it is.

As I look back over my year of confidence, I see how I have grown more confident and sure of myself. Someone even commented on it last September. I only see them a few times a year, but they commented that I just seemed more sure of myself. More confident. More at peace. Yep. I feel it.

There were several situations that helped grow me over the past year. They weren’t all easy. Most were pretty difficult or took a lot of intention. Some were just moments of pure joy, just resting in the experience at hand. Oh. There are those words from previous years, still serving me and carrying me forward.

Realizing how much these words have defined me made me excited to hear from God about this year’s word. He’s the one that selects it. He’s the one who desires It for me. So I’ve talked to Him about it. I’ve waited. I’ve watched. I didn’t really understand it at first, but it’s making more sense. And just as I initially didn’t think I had grown in confidence much, I know this word will be developed over the year. That’s so exciting!

While I loved the joy and still look for it, I feel so much more centered. So while joy feels more exuberant and lively, my word this year feels more settled and strong. Just a deep seated confidence that reflects in my world around me. I want to continue to experience this new space of joy in a different way. I want to continue to experience life fully. I want to experience the absolute beauty of life in the mundane, in the challenges, in the daily living of this one life I have been given. There it is.


I want to see the beauty all around me.

I want to see the beauty in the journey He has brought me on; through the struggles and
the joy, through the complete dependence on the one who has created me. I want to see the beauty in the painful and hard spaces. I know it’s there too. I want to see beauty in the dreams He has given me and the beauty as I work to bring them to reality.

I want to get out and see the beauty of His creations, from the mountains and streams to the oceans and deserts. I want to notice the little flowers that grow out of hard spaces and I want to experience the beautiful laughs and smiles of treasured friends. And I want to help my kids find the beauty around them too.

I also want to see beauty in the waiting, in the stillness, in the pause. Sometimes I know I have to sit still and just take in my surroundings. I want to see the beauty in this space too, no longer feeling the anxiety that used to mark my life. I want to see the beauty in all of it and I don’t want to miss a thing as He creates and moves through me.

2017, I’m setting my intentions, collecting the beautiful moments, and preparing for the next steps in the journey. I don’t want to miss the beauty of this life as I live with intention, joy, and confidence.

Wow. He’s still that good.




Just One Word

I don’t make New Year Resolutions anymore. I like the idea behind it. Setting a goal. Resolving yourself to a specific course of action. Which can be great. However, most people set some sort of high lofty goal that they can’t realistically keep resulting in failure of the resolution. What a way to start a year, setting yourself up to fail.

A few years ago I started doing something else, and I’ve seen others do it too. Just one word. A simple word that you set in your life to give purpose of meaning behind the direction you want your life to go for the year. Most of the ones I have seen people choose are positive, encouraging, and uplifting. That already sounds so much better and simpler than a list of firm commitments to fail at.

I actually don’t start mine at the new year though. Mine start in September around my birthday. It wasn’t a conscious choice, but was founded in the idea of wondering what the next year of my life would bring. (I also usually choose a song for the year, but that’s another story for another day!)

My first word was Intentional. I wanted to be intentional about the choices in my life, how I spent my time, and the direction I wanted my life to go. I didn’t want to wander aimlessly through life becoming either reactionary to chaos around me or a victim of circumstances. I chose to make intentional changes in how I related to others, how I spent my time, and how I achieved goals in my life.

Of course, I didn’t do this completely on my own. I do believe God is the one who set the intention in my heart. I prayed continually through the changes, like taking a different job, selling my home, and moving my family to another state. I was intentional in prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit. And He was intentional in guiding me to where He wanted me.

The fall of 2014 brought a new word forward, Joy. Again, I didn’t want life to idly pass me by, nor did I want to live for some future “what if”. That can be a deficit if you’re always looking forward, not enjoying the now. I wanted to continue to look forward with intention, AND I also wanted to live in the moment. I wanted to experience the complete joy all around me. I wanted to laugh and adventure and be so full of joy that others around couldn’t deny it’s presence in my life.


There were moments that I had to look for the joy, for sure! There were hard days, like helping my children recognize their father had been gone for a year. Hard moments of raising them on my own without my family and support system around me. Yet God revealed a bigger support system in my faith community. He showed me His glory in a sunset, hiking a trail, helping families in my ministry, and just laughing with my children. Sometimes laughing so hard they fell to the floor. Those memories and commitment to joy make me smile and continually soften my heart, even today.

This year, the word that keeps washing over me is Confidence. I was listening to a speaker and he challenged everyone to pick one word from a list of five to focus on over the next year. (I actually wrote about it here: Growing In Confidence ) I struggled with it for a bit, because it’s not something I’ve always had. I tried to deny it for a bit, but it’s there.

Confidence has become a firm and quiet part of me. I am confident in who I am and whose I am. I am confident in the direction He is leading me. Knowing, with great confidence, the direction I am being taken is amazing. I am not feeling the unhealthy amount of anxiety or fear as I may have in the past. And I’m doing scary, overwhelming things! Well, no, let me rephrase. I am confident in the gifting and abilities that I have, which makes these days full and manageable.

I have tried to carry the words forward with me each year, letting them soak into who I am. What I do. How I relate to others. Here’s the thing I’ve realized the past few days. I don’t think I have specifically chosen those words. Rather, they have chosen me. They have defined me. They have set my heart and mind past my current circumstances, where I can tend to only see the negative of my situation. Even as I write and recognize these words and how they all fit together, I am amazed at how God is working them out in my life.

Intentional joy that leads to a deep confidence.


Just one word.

One word to another and to another and another.

Words that are building my life.

Words that are giving me life.

I’m happy where I am today.

I’m blessed where I am today.

I am filled with confident joy today.

How about you?


Do you have

just one word?



Growing in Confidence

How do you grow in confidence? That was my word. Confidence. As I sat at the Global Leadership Summit almost two weeks ago, I was challenged as Craig Groeschel delivered the final message on leadership. He told people to pick one word from his list of five areas to focus on over the next year. It’s overwhelming to pick too many areas to improve. So choose one. One area to increase your capacity over the next year.dawn-sunset-person-sunrise-medium

I chose an area to increase my capacity. My capacity as a leader. As a thought leader. As a ministry leader. As a family leader. As a person. Confidence. Confidence was my word. How do I grow in my confidence and expand my influence and capacity over the next year?

“Rise up. Rise up.” Those were the words from God. To me. “Rise up because I have called you and I will equip you. Rise up and walk. Rise up and go.”

Yet here I am. Over two years later after receiving that message. I’m still here. Wait. No to the “Yet”. There is no yet. I have stood up in the confidence of Jesus. Not of my own doing. I moved to a different state. I started a new ministry. I have created. Not of my own doing, but of the one who has called me and equipped me to do so.

Do I stop here? Do I rest here? Is that it? No. Because I feel called to more. I know in my brain that He will equip me for every good work. Yet I often sit in fear. Fear of other’s words. Fear of other’s opinions. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of not being good enough.

Girl, read what you just wrote. Read what He wrote through you. Read what He just wrote to you. No to the “Yet”. There is no yet. There is no pause. There is no pause to wait for confidence to begin. There is no pause to wait for life to start. There is no yet. There is no yet to sit in the fear. There is no sitting in the fear. Don’t hold still in the fear. Don’t be paralyzed in the fear. Don’t hide in the fear.

Perfect love drives out fear. He is perfect love. Perfect. He perfectly loves me. He perfectly calls me. He will perfectly equip me. With. Out. Fear.

It’s okay to see the fear. It’s okay to feel the fear. It’s okay to wrestle with the fear. It’s okay to face the fear. Because when I feel I can’t go on I get to ask my perfect Heavenly Father to show me the Angels. Show me your armies who are fighting for me. Show them to me lined up, shoulder to shoulder, ready to battle. For me. Battle for me. Because there is no yet. No waiting. No idling. No more trying to do this on my own. No more trying to build confidence in my own strength. I can’t. I surrender. I surrender to the “Yet”. I wave the white flag to the “Yet”. I stop living in the “Yet”. I am not the “Yet”. No more living in the pause.

I am done waiting. I am done waiting to step into confidence. I am done waiting to step into the life You have called me to. Because You have already promised to do more than I can even dream to ask for or imagine. I know you will equip me. I know you will make the way. I know You will bless this. Because You have ordained this. You have said it will be so.

So I say no to the “Yet”. No to the waiting. No to the pause. No to the fear. You are no longer welcome in my life. In this moment, right now, I step forward into the confidence you graciously give and stand in confident expectation to be used by You.