A Word a Year: A Recap


The word for the year 2018 was “health”. It was a new concept to me, this word for the year thing, but I was just starting to revel in my love of reading again, and that short book My One Word by John Ashcraft challenged me to put aside so many goals and just to focus on one word or theme for the whole year. I loved it. I focused on health in five areas of my life: personal (development), physical, relationship (marriage/friendships), and spiritual. It was a neat way to have a simple but focused goal for the year.



This past year 2019, I chose the word “redefine” because I felt that this was a year I wanted to redefine what was normal in our family. I wanted to redefine what my faith looked like, what our family relational patterns were, what my parenting looked like, the sins I found myself cycling back to…. and boy, did God redefine our life.

Adam and I took a 2-day retreat to Boston in February, where we prayed and discussed personal and the overall direction we wanted to head as a couple and family. We came back to what felt like an almost-immediate diagnosis of cancer for Adam’s dad that has most-definitely redefined life for Adam at the sawmill and more. It’s been a long, complicated road for him and his family.

In July, we decided to make some other major changes to our family’s intended plan and instead of sending our two older sons to private school, we chose to homeschool. It was world-altering for us all.

I can’t say I was happy with the change at first—there were tears shed by T as well as by me–but I see God in that change now, as we have settled into a great curriculum and I see the profit to fewer hours in a classic schoolroom setting and more time spent in the classroom of the outdoors. I also remember how much I missed him during his year of traditional kindergarten, and it’s been so fun to be together.

This major shift for us also re-introduced me to a local mom friend, and we’ve developed a friendship that has been so spiritually rooted and motivating that I find myself looking at this decision to homeschool as such a greater blessing to me than even to my boys! God is so good, isn’t He?

It has most-definitely been a year of watching God change things—things we took for granted, directions we had set for ourselves, plans and goals we had set our hearts and minds on—and I’m learning that His ways are not only so different than my own, but also so much more beautiful. Yes, this road of cancer with Adam’s dad has been difficult on a number of levels, but the beauty of His Love and the growth and Glory we have seen as a result has been well-worth it. In the same way, homeschooling has not been all rainbows and butterflies; it’s been tears and lessons on doing hard things, trying our best, and learning perspective, perseverance, and patience (for me! Haha).


Most recently, in these closing months of 2019, I read a life-giving book by Jefferson Bethke called To Hell with the Hustle. It has nothing to do with my favorite book of the year Sick of Me by Whitney Capps (both of which I hope to review here at some point) but it almost felt like a sequel to the heart of the passion of being in relationship with the God of the Universe versus doing all the right things but not knowing Him found in Whitney’s book. Jeff challenges the heart of the goal-setting phenomenons of New Years and modern trending self-care books and calls us to focus on setting up serious habits of spiritual formation that don’t lead us to a destination of an accomplishment but call us to become the kind of person we desire to be. As if that wasn’t enough, he talks in detail about the development of personal and familial rhythms, in celebrating the God-given rhythms we read about in Scripture and reveling in our own God-designed need for rest.

Mind Blown.

So, “rhythms” is the word of this new year 2020, and I’m excited to focus on slowing to even allow rhythms, on learning to pace for the long stroll and less for the 100-yard dash, and on being the person I’m called to be as a daughter of the King, a wife, a mother, and a friend.