This is my fourth year picking a word for the year and I always love this process! It helps me to get laser-focused on the new year and all throughout the year. And once again, I think I’ve landed on the perfect word for my goals and desires for 2018.
Here are my past words:
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2017 brought many joys but it also brought with it a lot of hardship. So while I rejoice and thank God for 2017, I am excited to head into a new year to see what God has in store for us. And all of this has lead to my word for this year. But first, let me explain a little bit about how I got here:
Our busy 2017:
2017 started off with a bang! We welcome our sweet Magnolia Rose into our family on January 20th. Less than three weeks after she was born, as we were trying to adjust to life with 5 young kids, my nephew who was 5 months old at the time, was admitted into the PICU with a subcranial hematoma.
He had surgery on his skull that night and while we are celebrating the fact that he is a happy and healthy 16-month-old today, we had many times over that first week that we didn’t think he would make it. And it’s been a long year of recovery since then.
As our year progressed, we battled with food sensitivities with Magnolia. We didn’t know what it was at the time but we had a two month stretch of time (3-5 months old) where she screamed nearly around the clock. It was tiring and emotionally draining. Thankfully we got the food sensitivities sorted out and she’s one of the happiest children I’ve ever met – her 1st birthday is next week!
As our year plugged along, we had joys and tiring time! But God is good and we focus on that. In the Fall of 2017, I started experiencing extreme fatigue. I had days where Jason would let me sleep in, I would get up and move around for a while and have to go back for a nap.
Sufficient to say, it’s hard to get anything done with that degree of fatigue. Finally, we figured out that I have some thyroid problems (which I suspected for a while) and adrenal fatigue (which I was also starting to suspect). I started a whole new line of supplements about 2 months ago and the effect already has been incredible!!
I’m still very tired and I have better days and I have worse days, but as I focus on my nutrition and health more, it gets better by the day! All glory to God in the process! But this heavily influences my word for this year.
Then on November 28th, my niece from a different sister, only 5 months old at the time was admitted to the same exact PICU ward that my nephew was in. This time for infant botulism! There are only about 100 cases of infant botulism in the US each year. She doesn’t eat food yet and it still remains a mystery how she got it.
Long story short, they were in the PICU for 3 and a half weeks. They were released 2 days before Christmas and they are al home and doing well! There is still a lot of physical therapy and weight gain that needs to happen, but once again we are praising God for a full recovery!
I don’t list all this out to complain – but rather so that I can look back over a long and exhausting year and see God’s grace and His goodness each step of the way!
However, it’s also easy to let bitterness and resentment work it’s way into my heart. Why can’t life calm down for a bit? Why did two incredibly rare and weird things happen to these two babies when it shouldn’t have? Why do I have to be battling a sickness in the middle of it all? Why, why, why….?
It’s so easy to go there. To question. To wonder. And most of all – to complain.
But one thing that God has also heavily taught me in the last 5 years, is that His plans are always good. I may not understand it all, but I can trust Him. And more than anything else this year, He is teaching me to daily trust in Him. (Sidenote: If you struggle with this, I want to recommend a very good book to help deal with this: Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.)
As I was explaining my feelings from this year and the need to hit RESET on my attitude and head into the new year with a better perspective, Jason helped me pick the perfect word for 2018. He is the one who came up with it, so thank you Jason!!
My word for 2018 is…
I couldn’t have picked a better word for my year. Each time I think about it, it brings up new feelings of trusting in God and knowing that His ways are better. I’m hitting REFRESH for this year and all of my goals (12 of them) are coming out of this goal.
Refresh just seemed like the right fit. But then I read the actual definitions and knew this was my word!
Well as you will see below, this is a perfect fit! 😉
As I was thinking through this goal and my word, I knew I needed a Bible verse to focus on along with my word. I am so thankful for how this is all coming together in my mind. Here’s my Bible verse for 2018 to go along with my word:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
– Psalm 23:1-3, ESV
The ESV is my Bible translation of preference, so that will be the translation I use and memorize from this year for Psalm 23. But I do love how NIV translates this particular passage:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
– Psalm 23:1-3, NIV
The Lord is the one who strengthens my soul, refreshes my soul, and gives Grace during the hard times. That’s why my #1 area under my new REFRESH word is my spiritual walk with God. That walk with the Lord then in turn affects all other areas of my life.
I’ve broken down my word for the year into 5 specific areas I want to work on. Each of those areas is again broken down further to give me 12 min-goals for the year. Doesn’t that work out nice!? 😉
So yes – I’ll roughly be working on one new habit/goal a month while building on the others.
Refresh my Spiritual Life
Because life has been so crazy – and I’ve been so exhausted, my daily Bible reading and prayer has completely fallen off the schedule. I’m still trying to read here and there when I can. But since we just came out of Christma break – my schedule is non-existent right now!
Bible Reading – This mini goal will be what I’m working on in February. While I’m adding back in the daily reading now, February will be my month for really working on it! I’ll be of course following this Bible reading plan.
Prayer – I don’t even know what has happened to my prayer life the last few months! I’ve honestly just been lazy – so this is a big focus this year – getting back into prayer more! Wondering where to start with prayer? This little guide can help!
Refresh my Health
As I shared, my health has been a big focus in the last few months. It probably has something to do with have two sets of twins and five kids in just four years!! 😉 It’s been so good to focus on my health. This goal is broken down into three mini-goals:
Supplements & Sleep: It’s taken a big financial strain to get all the supplements I need. I’m on about 12 daily supplements right now and they are not cheap! But I am so thankful for the access to them. So I am going to continue making sure I take them each day as well as getting enough sleep! I’ll share more about this goal as the year goes on.
Meal Planning: This is my focus for January!! My meal planning needs some serious help. So I’ve been working on getting more consistent, back on track, and cooking healthier meals for the entire family! So far, so good! Here’s what I use and love for meal planning.
Exercise: Boo! I really hate exercise, but can you guess what I desperately need to add back in? You guessed it! Exercise! I’ll be slowly working this back into my routine more and more. I think March will be my month to really focus on it.
Refresh our Family Life
I’m happy to say that with everyting going on in 2017, we were still able to spend a lot of time as a family but there are always things we can improve! So these are the two areas I want to refresh in 2018:
New nightly routine for Jason and I: We were so tired this year, especially in the beginning of the year with a newborn and the last few months with my sickness, that we watched a ton of tv!! I am fine with that because I feel like we did what we needed to. But moving into 2018 Jason and I want to spend less time watching tv and more time reading in the evenings and playing board games together. So our new plan is to not watch ANY tv at night throughout January and see how it goes. I’ll update you on how it goes!
More family activities: Because I’ve been so fatigued, I haven’t been doing as many activities with the kids (Again, it’s been a lot of family movie night)! So moving forward, Jason and I want to both be more intentional with our family time. We got a couple of new board games for Christmas to play with the kids, we want to take more family walks at the park, and I want to do more cooking with the boys.
Because I felt that most of 2017 was spent in survival mode, outside relationships were not as much of a priority (because I was honestly just surviving through to the next day)! So I want to slowly start making these a priority again as my energy and health rises!
Hospitality: We love love love extending hospitality! We did it a few times throughout the Fall but not nearly as much as I would like. So I want to get back into the regular routine of inviting others into our home for dinner or dessert. Want to read more about hospitality, here’s a good place to start.
One-on-one: Along with hospitality, I want to re-double my efforts of pouring into one-on-one relationships in my life. Remembering to text my friends that I’m praying for them, sending cards to someone going through something, going out of my way to talk and form relationships. This last part isn’t always easy for an introvert, but I’m pushing myself a little to get outside my comfort zone in 2018!
Refresh our Business
Much of our external busyness last year of course came from the fact that Jason and I run our own business from home. While this is wonderful in some cases – like Jason letting me sleep in on bad sick days – it also carries with it a lot of stress and financial burden. So probably the biggest goal of all for 2018 is to get our business streamlined and to take me out of the day to day operations as much as possible. We are working towards that with a few things:
Outsourcing & growth: We are a little stuck in our business at the moment. We need to grow and expand but every second of my day is currently taken up by trying to pay our bills lol! So the #1 thing we are working towards, is bringing on new team members. We have three new positions we want to create and fill that will really allow us to expand and ultimately, take me more out of the day to day running of the business. I am extremely excited for this!!
Batching: The second key ingredient this year is batching! I am starting to do more batching days where I can finally get ahead of work. Often now, I feel like I am constantly behind! I’ll record a podcast episode and then publish it immediately! The goal is to spend one or two days a month and write all my episodes then take another day or two and record all of them at once! This is going to make a huge difference in my workload, plus it will allow us to bring on a podcast manager to take over all the administrative work of publishing podcast episodes.
Scheduling our weeks: This is our last goal on the list and it’s an important one! As we get into better batching modes and bring on new team members, we are also getting more strict with our work schedules. We tend to be very flexible with our work times and days, but getting more scheduled will allow me to reduce my work time while also knowing when that work time will be! It will probably take some trial and error this year to figure it out, but I’m excited to jump in and try!
Resources for picking your own word:
Just getting this list written out gets me so excited and motivated for 2018! I don’t expect 2018 to go smoothe than 2017, because I know that God works in those hard moments and we are not promised a happy and care-free life. But I also know that I can walk into this year with a refreshed heart that is turned back to the Lord.
Come what may, I will praise God through the storm and in the sunshine!
Do you want to pick your word for the year or are you wondering what to do with it now? Here are some resources:
- How to pick your word for the year (scroll down about half way)
- How to Make the Most of your Word of the Year
- Planning for a Year of Success
Share your word of the year!
You can comment below and let me know your word of the year! OR come on over to Instagram and share your word there (Hint hint: It’s my favorite place for community. So come join me ?!)