the road to here

I'm struck by the cumulative effect my one words have had over the years, each somehow building on the one(s) before it. The depth, breadth, and width of what I've gleaned comes with me into each new year, strengthening and expanding the significance of my new word and impacting my experience with it. It kind of boggles my mind how that works...

2010: Risk

My world had just shattered out from under me and I was surrounded by nothing but unknowns. I knew I needed to risk big in the area of active trust. I leaned into intentionally trusting God, others, and myself more—one of the greatest risks of my life.

2011: Look

In a season when I couldn't readily see God's goodness in my life, I knew I had to proactively look for it. A piece of me still trusted (or at least hoped) that He was there, working, and that if I actually opened my eyes to look for Him, I would see Him. And I ended up finding Him in the most wonderfully unexpected places.

2012: Choose

I've learned that, most of the time, I don't have much control over my circumstances. But I do have control over myself. No matter what happens to me, how others treat me, what situation I find myself in, or how out of control things feel, I purposed to focus on the only thing I have control over: how I choose to respond.

2013: Enough

My insecurities tend to convince me that I'm "too little"—that I'm simply not enough—or that I'm "too much"—a burden, an inconvenience. Embracing my enoughness meant learning to silence quiet my insecurities, fears, and expectations. It meant extending more grace to myself and living with more gratitude, recognizing that what (and who) I have, is enough. I am not too little or too much. I am not less than or more than. I am simply enough. And that's all I need to be.

2014: Brave

My lens became this question: How different would things be if I approached each situation, each person, with bravery? My determination to be brave was a choice to embrace who I am, value my own voice, and walk in confidence. Even now, I can still hear Sara Bareilles in my head: "Show me how big your brave is."

2015: Wholehearted

I can blame my decision to be more wholehearted on Brené Brown. (If you haven't read her, you need to.) It was an intentional choice to show up for my own life; to be all-in; to give myself permission to be my real self. I leaned into living and loving with my whole heart.

2016: Badassery

My word this year certainly feels like a divergence from the style and tone of my previous ones. When asked what my word is, I still can't answer with a completely straight face. (Typically served with a side dish of disclaimers.) But it's very much a continuation of this transformative journey my words have taken me on.

But more on that later...