one word

I love Christmas, but the quiet that happens after the celebrating is something that I also welcome.  It’s a natural time for me to pause and think, to get out a notebook and scribble out plans and ideas for things I want to do just a little differently in the new year.

Melanie at Big Mama talked about picking a word for the new year, as a way to focus on changes you’d like to make.  I loved the idea.  (Turns out I’m not alone– there’s a whole book about it.)

The word that came instantly to my mind was ‘Trust’. I wrote a few months ago about working hard to grow relationships and feeling discouraged when despite my best efforts there aren’t obvious signs of progress.  I can’t fix things, it seems, no matter how hard I try. But thankfully I know who can.  And that’s where my one word comes in. My worst moments unfailingly come when I forget to lean, forget that God knows best, forget that sometimes the answer is simply ‘wait’.  I want to get better at trusting God to work in His time.

Trust helps at every stage of parenting, I think.  Many things in parenting need to be done over and over and over. So many times I’ve felt like I was just spinning my wheels.  Sometimes it was wondering if my baby would ever sleep through the night.  Some of my toddlers had me wondering if I’d ever be done with diapers.  There were older kids who didn’t seem to remember table manners no matter how many reminders I gave.  Kids who couldn’t seem to put away shoes, ever. Teens who I fear will always be dour and monosyllabic.

Trust is hard when the forward motion isn’t perceptible.  But so often progress comes in miniscule increments. Somehow, after years and years of night-waking and diaper changing, I’ve arrived at a stage where neither is part of my daily life.  God, and time, can just as easily handle the current tough stuff in my life.  So that’s what I’m working on this year. Trust.  Especially when progress is hard to see.

Do you have a word to remember in this new year? What will it be?


  1. Luv this! I too need more “trust”!!! And also imperfection. I fuss much too much. 🙂

  2. Love this idea! Trust, gratitude…those are the big ones, yet so difficult too.

  3. My word is “Hopeful” – leaving behind the doubts and living the dream!

  4. Thank you for this. I REALLY needed to hear it today. My daughter is going through some difficult health problems and I am having a very hard time trusting that God will take care of it… in HIS time. And like you said, sometimes there is progress but it’s miniscule and not as fast as we’d like to see. I think that’s where we’re at right now; tiny baby steps and I just need to keep trying and not give up. Not get discouraged and stop hoping and working toward a solution. Thanks again for this encouraging word!

  5. Our goal/focus/word for the year is “Health”. Especially with the sudden, unexpected death of my father seven weeks ago.

  6. My word is “Joy”. A reminder to me to search for the joy in all the small things every single day. It is there, but I haven’t been looking for it and i seriously need to do so. I love your word, Mary – and the way each of us recognises a special word for our individual lives. Some I have had in recent years have been hope, quiet, faith.

  7. Mary, I appreciate your wonderful ideas. Special kindness games and refocus for the year… your encouragement is such a gift in my life. Thanks for taking your time to post and to share. Picking one area of life to focus on seems to be a daunting task this year. As I take stock I see so much that needs readjustment – I will have to think on a word and focus a little more, listen a little harder to know where to start. Thanks for the prompt to do so.

  8. Angela Mayer says:

    My word is YES. I say “no” too often, to my husband, to my kids, and especially to God. So when the Spirit prompts me to do something or I have a new understanding of his word, my answer to that call will be YES. When the preschooler wants to be held or the teenager wants to talk, I’ll say YES. Not yes to more busyness, just yes more carefully to the things that matter. That’s my prayer for this year.

    This is something we had just talked about after the shootings at the Connecticut school. If we were always kind to all we met, what changes would we make in a person’s life we were not even aware of.

  10. Trust is a great word. I am trying to think what mine could be. I guess the first one that came to mine was “Go.” and lately that is quite appropriate!!!!


  11. LISTEN is my word.

    At first, I applied this word as “listen to God”, but then I realized how often I tune out people, too. So besides finding ways to listen to God, I need to listen more to my husband and kids. I need to listen more to my friends who are struggling. I need to listen to the undertones and body language when my family and others tell me they are “fine” when I suspect differently. (This is turning out to be a bigger word than I originally thought.)

  12. I love your site and I love your book ~ Feed Your Family for $75 a Week {mainly the recipes}. Anyway, this is the first time I have commented on your blog but I just wanted to tell you that I love it and have gotten many good ideas and have been uplifted by a lot of your posts. And by the way, I also live in Nampa. I have a new blog and the main theme of it is “finding refinement in everyday living” so my one word for 2013 is Refined. Happy New Year. Keep up the good work you are doing.

  13. This is such a small world! I’ve been reading your blog for about a year or so now, and when I saw the title of this post I was so curious if it was similar to what I’ve been doing all these years. My cousin is a member of the church where Mike Ashcraft is pastor, and I’ve attended that church with her everytime I’ve visited her since they first started it in a middle school auditorium. I remember being there when they introduced the “one word” concept! Imagine my surprise when you were talking about the exact same thing and linked to Mike’s book!