I’ve never chosen a ‘word of the year’ before, but I knew that this year, 2017, commanded a ‘word of the year’. I came into 2017 knowing that I wanted to remain focused on a main theme or goal for my personal life and my ministry/business. When I opened up my pretty packaged box from Lara Casey with my 6 month Powersheets, a small postcard fell out. On this postcard was a place to write a ‘word of the year’ and so I took the leap and began contemplating what word I would write on this little postcard.
I brainstormed a couple of words and wrote them on a sticky note and have glanced back at them many times since the beginning of January. Since January though, I struggled to pin down one word because it seemed daunting to put a name, one word, to an entire year. But what I’ve come to realize, is that there is grace, just like in everything else, and if this word changes a few months from now, that is okay. The purpose of choosing a word that resonates with you is to find a word to meditate on in the current season you find yourself in. It takes time and introspection to discover this special word, but the beauty happens in those moments of discovering, thinking, and pondering what the next season holds. I’m so glad I found the freedom to choose a word boldly but to also extend the grace to myself to allow it to change if need be.
I think choosing a word of the year is a fantastic idea! I had really never thought about it before but thanks to my girl, Lara Casey, I’ve been pushed and challenged to think about long-term goals and dig deeper into how I want to live my life. As a lifestyle coach, this is what I help people do but sometimes, I myself forget or struggle in the day to day to make conscious choices that put me on the trajectory towards my bigger goals. I know it’s March, but now is as good a time as any to choose a word for 2017. We still have about 9 months left of this year- 9 months left to focus on a common goal or theme in your life. Maybe for 2017 you are wanting to be more positive and optimistic- perhaps your word would be ‘UPLIFT’ or ‘LIGHT’. Maybe you want to learn more about living in ‘ABUNDANCE’ and what that looks like and means to you. Maybe you need to and desire to learn to be ‘STILL’. These are all wonderful words that can bring focus into our day to day lives and point us to the way we desire to live our lives, long-term. My hope for having this word of the year is that I can daily refer back to it and find the ways in my day to day life that are pointing me back to the theme I’ve chosen. A large part of choosing a word is going to stem from your current season. Take some time to sit and thoughtfully think through the previous year; what worked and what didn’t, how would you like 2017 to be different or what are areas you want to learn and grow in?
Almost all of my words had to do with growth and were some synonym of the words ‘grow’ or ‘cultivate’. Because I had so many similar words, I decided to look each word up in the dictionary to get a better idea of which one truly fit what I was feeling for this upcoming season in 2017. The word I decided on?
Nourish means: 1. “provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.”I was doing everything I could to nourish and protect the baby.”; synonyms: feed, provide for, sustain, maintain 2. “keep (a feeling or belief) in one’s mind, typically for a long time. “he has long nourished an ambition to bring the show to Broadway.”; synonyms: cherish, nurture, foster, harbor, nurse, entertain, maintain, hold, have
This definition above is so beautiful to me and I can clearly see home, body, and soul in the definition of nourish. I hope to nourish my home in a way that fosters and cherishes. I aim to strengthen my soul and promote “soul growth”. My goal is to nourish my body and sustain it with food or nutriment. This is the perfect word for me for 2017! I love the holistic definition of nourish and how it so effortlessly fits into home, body, and soul.
So, why NOURISH for 2017?
I chose the word ‘NOURISH’ because I believe 2017 will be a year of growth for me in many areas. I surrendered my entire self to Jesus at the end of last year, specifically in the area of my ministry/business. I realized I could not to this thing on my own and it would only be through God’s power that this would go anywhere or impact anyone. I chose nourish because quite honestly, my soul needs to be nourished this year. 2016 was a spiritually and relationally challenging year for me and I felt the Lord prompting me to feed my soul well this upcoming year; to be intentional with my quiet time with Him, to lean into the Word more than ever, to mindfully invest in relationships that are healthy, and to nurture my ministry/business, HomeBodySoul that He has entrusted to me. The Lord has called me to nurture this gift of HomeBodySoul that He has given to me. I am excited to see what He has in store for 2017. I will slowly and steadily work at nourishing my ministry/business through small, daily steps all led by His guidance and wisdom. I need Him to feed it and nourish it with all of the right nutrients to grow and thrive for His glory.
Nourish my HOME: I love our home. I love everything that home represents. After growing up in a broken, dysfunctional home, I deeply craved a home of my own where I could create this atmosphere of peace and rest that I always dreamed of. While this home won’t be our home forever (only heaven is our forever home), I desire to cherish our time here. The reality is that we won’t even be in this home much longer. 2018 will come soon enough and we will be packing up, moving to our next home, courtesy of the Air Force. But for 2017, my aim is to sit a little longer in my den staring out at our lemon tree, cook a little more in my pink kitchen, have more people gathered around our dining room table, and boldly start my own garden and pray things grow. I aim to continue to nourish and foster our home in a way that is welcoming to others; a place of warmth and rest. All of these things take intentionality to create- it takes nourishment from me and the Lord. That nourishment looks like me praying over our home and for the people who will walk through the front door. It looks like me being intentional in the way I speak to others in my home, specifically my husband. It means fostering the type of home I desire to live in and not letting negativity and unhealthy practices make their way into the walls of this sacred space.
As some of you know, another grandiose goal of mine for 2017 is to try my hand at gardening. My father and grandfather were avid gardeners when i was a little girl, but I’m afraid I’ve lost any kind of knowledge or insight I may have learned, for that was so long ago. I am going to courageously plant my seeds, water, and nourish my soil and pray for the best. I really have no clue what I am doing, so we shall see how this shakes out. One of the main reasons I desire to begin gardening is because I believe I need to tangibly work with my hands and see things grow as a reminder of this same principle in life. When we nourish things properly, they grow. I desire to physically learn how to tend to something that slowly comes to life. I am a naturally impatient person, ask my husband, but I feel as though the Lord is wanting to teach me patience and that good things grow slow. Another reason I want to begin a garden is to honor my Dad. While I have a lot of hurt and am heavyhearted with some painful memories, I want to take the good I know of him and allow those things to shine through, bringing a sense of redemption and restoration to my soul and hopefully our relationship one day. I pray my new hobby gives my Dad and I something wholesome to talk about and that by the Lord’s mercy, this venture of gardening can nourish more than just plants, but also a newfound relationship with my father.
Nourish my BODY: I want to be more mindful in nourishing my body. As someone who is naturally thin, sometimes I make poor food choices because why not? We all do it, right? And if I won’t gain weight then surely I’ll have two of those brownies and a scoop of ice cream on top. [That right there ladies was a REAL honest moment. Honesty is important.] But for 2017, I want to focus on equipping and fueling my body with proper nutrition that will help my body work well and thrive. I think when we get caught up in eating healthy to be thin or lose weight, it loses it’s appeal almost immediately. But when we give it greater and deeper value, it’s bound to stick around longer. So, by me adding the value of wanting to care for my body well and nourish it for the purpose of it operating well on a day to day basis and long-term, that will help me in my everyday choices.
Nourish my SOUL: Finding time to rest and reflect is crucial to our mental wellbeing. It’s important that we set time aside to nourish our own souls and hearts, especially as women. One thing I’ve started for 2017 is spending the first 30 minutes of my day with Jesus. I make my breakfast, and of course my cup of tea, cuddle up on the sofa with a warm blanket, and do my devotional and prayer time. This time has become really special because it sets my heart and mind in the right posture for the day. When I start my day with Jesus, I am more in-tune to His presence and guiding the rest of the day. The days where I scurry around in the morning or don’t intentionally carve out this time, leaves me in such disarray and a blurred state the entire rest of the day. I feel unfocused, unclear on how to best use my time for that day, and overwhelmed by the number of things I “should” be doing. We all have days that don’t go perfectly and somedays I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and start off on the wrong foot. Thankfully, no matter what time of day I tune in to God, He is there waiting to guide me and show me His new mercies for the day.
Nourishing my soul as an introvert looks like me spending a good amount of quality time alone. And I really do enjoy that. I’ve personally found that my most intimate moments with Jesus and my most growing moments are spent alone in the secret hiding place with Him. Finding an activity that feeds us spiritually and emotionally is so integral to living a life of wellness. This is what my soul needs but maybe for you that looks like reading a good book or getting outside in nature. I also love those things, too!
So, where do we go from here? What does this all mean?
I think what it comes down to is creating a system for accountability with ourselves. If we don’t hold ourselves accountable to our goals and the ways we want to create a life that matters, we won’t ever make those necessary changes. We have to invest in the small to harvest the big. While you may hear that sentence and equate it to financial harvest, I am referring to harvesting the ‘big’ in terms of living life well, living life with purpose and meaning, experiencing everyday joy in all we do. In order to live the life we dream of and desire, we need to be conscious about our everyday choices and decisions. Little decisions add up to big ones. We can liken this to almost any goal or area of our life, whether the goal is to learn to be still or save money for a down payment on a house. Surely if we want to learn stillness, the daily choice of constantly picking up our phone every 3 minutes won’t lead us to this bigger goal or “harvest” so to speak of living slowly and savoring the still. In the same token, if the goal is to save money for a down payment for a house, the daily choice to spend $4.15 on your caffe mocha drink from Starbucks won’t help you reach that long term goal. Our daily choices, our hour by hour choices have a long-term impact on the way we live our lives. Perhaps this idea of choosing a ‘word of the year’ will help you in those moments of weakness to remember why you are doing what you are doing. Why you are saying ‘no’ to this tempter and ‘yes’ to this other decision.
I hope you leave this post and begin to reflect on what word you can claim for 2017. My hope is that you will prayerfully consider the season of life you are in and dig into those hard areas where you know you need to and want to grow. Once you discover your word for 2017, write it down. Multiple times. Write it on sticky notes or notecards and place them in areas where you will see this word everyday. We need to see the word we’ve chosen in order to be reminded of it and remain accountable to the choices and decisions we make. Invite a friend or your husband to do this with you. Partner accountability is always a great idea- two are better than one after all! I hope you feel encouraged and excited to find out what your word will be and begin to live out the things that matter most to you for 2017.