Thursday, January 9, 2014


Resolutions are swirling on the internet right now; a new year is almost a prerequisite for making sweeping changes - or at least one little one - in our lives.  I’ve spent the last week reading blog posts about how one person wants to be healthier, how another wants to spend more time on hobbies, and another about someone who just generally wants to be nicer to herself this year.

And then there’s the one-word focus.

It’s the idea that you take one word for the year, and you own that word, and you focus on it to influence how you will live life.  Everything you do filters through this one word all year long.

It could be Peace.  Joy.  FinishExperience.  Forgive.  Breathe.  My personal favorite: Disentangle.

I’ve read about how people are going to look at the world through their new lenses, and how they hope to appropriate this word into their lives this year.  I’ve read about what they hope to accomplish, and I have spent the whole time willfully holding myself back from joining them.

Because this is a resolution, for goodness’ sakes.  And everybody knows that resolutions don’t last.  And everybody knows that I am not a bandwagon-jumper.  Okay, maybe you don’t know. 

I am not a bandwagon-jumper.

But I am an adult, and each year that passes claims another layer of pride, causing it to fade as sure as the colors of autumn.  And so as I read these words, and held myself back from taking one as my own, one word fell into my lap.


It was a word I first saw in the toothbrush aisle.  But then, as I assessed the year and thought about the newness and the excitement that comes with January despite its bitterness, I realized that I was inspired to sort of expand and cease being so insular.

It’s been my life for so long – to stay close to home, to do only what is necessary outside of family life because our world in here is so big, so busy.  I’m not a terribly efficient manager of things, and looking out the window at the big, broad world is a distraction for me.  Reaching out is not my strong suit anyway.

But now I feel the pull, the need to stretch.  I’m sure God has something to do with this.  In fact, I’m sure God has everything to do with this.  For once I don’t feel like resisting.

Does this mean that I am going to scream the gospel from the rooftops?  Hilarious.  But why not?  I’m leaving that one up to God.  I don’t have any definite plans. Maybe that’s the whole appeal of the one word resolution – you sit with a word and let it percolate and it leads you in a slightly different direction than one you would normally take.  That’s fine for this non-planner.  I don’t know what Reach means in goal-speak.

So far this year, it means that the newness of January is a good time for me to open my heart just a little more and lean into what God is whispering to me.

One word at a time.



  1. I love your word, and all the ways that it appeals to you.

    1. Thank you, MJ! I'm still, two weeks later, trying to figure out what it all means. But it helps me have focus, so there's that.

  2. It's a great word.. Can't wait to see where I takes you. And can I just say I love that it struck you in the toothpaste aisle, of all places? That's fantastic.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! All those toothbrushes. Really, are they all necessary? :)

  3. I'm not in a reaching stage in my life right now. I already feel exposed and don't want to expose myself more. I'm trying to find my centre, find peace.

    But I've been in this place before, where it feels like the right thing to want to extend myself. I know what it's like to want to reach.

    1. It's so encouraging to hear that, Jennie. To know that you were in my shoes and that you are coming around again to a place where you look for peace and centeredness (two of my favorite things) makes my reaching out less scary, less overwhelming.