No Word 2016

Last year, I tried OneWord for 2015 and selected the word “balance.”

That word called to me last December because I was beginning to feel out of control. So much of my life revolved around the demands of other [little] people and I felt unbalanced and disconnected. I didn’t feel whole in the sense that all the parts of me didn’t feel in concert.

So January began with a marked intention toward balance. I was pinning articles and artwork related to my word, I ordered a notebook-style planner on Amazon (the kind that got me through college), and I got really serious about attending yoga sessions at our local Y—for the first couple months, it was 1-2 times/week.

10941383_810226828658_8405597240895668266_nIn mid-January, we attended winter family camp together (a highlight of our entire year), and I was inspired by the weekend speaker to begin blogging more carefully about the kids. I recorded the cute things they said, sure, but I also made sure I included the pieces of their personality that were God-given, the fruits of the Spirit we already saw in them, the spiritual gifts that had already begun developing in them. As they continue to grow up, I know we’ll be able to look back and see the seeds of who God made them to be starting to sprout even now.

The only concrete resolution I made was to blog at least once per month. Real talk: I forgot about my word after about April, and didn’t remember it until November. And I did not blog every month.

11760052_850987274398_8261262896368744944_nI worked really hard out of the gate to restore balance to my own life. But we forged new rhythms as a family and I discovered I couldn’t schedule the kind of balance I was seeking. The spaces on my calendar were representative of what I could do; the balance I longed for had to do with making peace with this stage of my life.

I reflected on the “failure” of my OneWord this December with Jon and realized out loud that I do feel more balanced, and it had so little to do with what I did to be balanced.


  • My kids entered new stages, began communicating verbally, became friends with one another, and started sleeping in their own beds in the same room (victory!).
  • My team at work launched a brand-new website that makes my job more streamlined and fun, and introduced exciting new challenges.
  • IMG_6681Jon and I spent a week in Paris and London—just the two of us—that gave us so much life and breath and joy. Which is not say those things had been missing from our marriage, but when you spend quality time with your best friend, you come away with a greater sense of how much you love them—as we like to say, how glad you are that they’re in your corner.
  • I began teaching a Sunday morning adult class, started making the announcements at The Table every now and then, and participated in morning worship a few times with dramatic readings. Jon has helped me recognize that public speaking is something God wired me for, and having these outlets has given me a sense of gratitude and fulfillment.


12191006_870113674938_830503387852467319_nI’ve learned that I’m not really the OneWord type. I don’t think I’ll make resolutions this year (I’ve never been the type to keep those, either). This will be another big year for our family, with another baby coming this summer, and we know life ebbs and flows—some stages are hard and some aren’t.

2016, bring it on. It’s just another stage, after all.

3 thoughts on “No Word 2016

  1. livryan says:

    I did not know another sweet baby Keller was on the way!!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!! Love this.

  2. […] There is certainly nothing magic about choosing One Word, or making resolutions or having goals with strategies. Don’t do it if you feel it doesn’t work for you. There are different seasons of life that make this practice more or less do-able. Read my friend Maggie’s thoughts on No Word 2016 here. […]

  3. creolewisdom says:

    I love that you’re being true to who you are and your season. The one-little-word helps ground me in a season of unexpected singleness. I find that it helps me focus and stay the course when I could get out of control with my grief over what my life could be. I may not get to plan a wedding or baby gender announcement like I thought I’d be doing at this age, but I can create art pieces about my OLW and lean into what God is teaching me through that. I think that’s the beauty of seasons– we can have and do it all, just not at once. From an outsiders perspective you strike me as incredibly balanced! I’m impressed with your beautiful writing and have enjoyed reading your blog over the past year, you are a wonderful woman and I’m excited for what God has for your next year!

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