A Small Town Word

I like to think that I was at the forefront of this #onelittleword trend. Seriously, Chris and I heard about the idea for choosing a word for the year way before hashtags and bloggers made it popular. It was before kids and before we were actually ready to think about a word for the year. Instead, we set resolutions like “I’m going to be a better version of myself this year,” until January 5 when we figured out that the plain old year-before version of ourselves was just fine.

In the past 5 years however, we’ve embraced the #onelitteword movement, and we’ve (I’ve) even made the whole family get involved. It usually sounds like this on December 31…

  • Me: Ok, you guys…it’s almost midnight
  • Chris: Here we go again *eyeroll*
  • Kaitlyn: Mom, seriously?
  • Carson: I’m not doing it this year
  • Me: We are all doing it. I’ll start.
  • Everyone else: *mumbles a word to get me off of their backs*
  • Me: See, wasn’t that fun??
  • Everyone else: Can we get back to watching the countdown?

So no, it’s not everyone’s favorite New Year’s Even moment, but it’s mine, and they are all mediocre sports about it because they know how important it is to me.

Two years ago, in 2017, I chose the word BRAVE. You can read about it here. It was one of the most significant years for me as far as choosing a word goes. I remember in May of 2017 when I finished writing and publishing my first novel, “The Single Guy,” (ok…it’s my only novel) and I wondered if I should tell anyone about it (I know, that’s the point of writing…but let me tell you…sharing your writing with the world is hella scary!) And then I reminded myself that my word was BRAVE. And I sent it into the world…and people loved it…and didn’t…and those are both ok, because I was just brave enough to do it. (FYI: You can buy it here on Amazon).

And then in July. I called my friend Randilynn at Blended Furniture Market and asked her for a job. And I get that that doesn’t feel brave…except it was. Because she wasn’t really my friend at the time, just an acquaintance. And I’m super afraid of rejection. And I thought it might be awkward if she said no. Or yes. But I reminded myself to be BRAVE and I walked in and took a job that has literally changed my life (I had no idea jobs could do that…I’ll write more about that later).

And then there was August. In August I sent my baby girl to college. And it was the bravest thing that I have ever done in my life. Actually, the bravest thing that I have ever done is not calling her or visiting her everyday, and instead, just sitting back and wondering if she’s ok. She is. Probably. But if you want to know more about what that feels like, you can read about it here.

And then there was 2018. And because I had been so brave and sent my baby girl out into the world alone, I stopped being brave and instead I battled depression. And on January 1st when I usually make my family and my friends share their Word for the Year with me, I just cried. Because I couldn’t pick a word. Because I was sad. And scared. And I had no idea what I wanted to be in 2018 because I couldn’t find myself…but that is a different story for a different day. Because today is 2019. And I’ve found my way out of depression. And I’m ready to conquer the world. And I.HAVE.A.WORD.

The thing is…I don’t actually like my word for 2019.

I had chosen a different word.

A good one.

It was active…it was about doing more and being more. It was about being goal-oriented and conquering the world. But everytime I said it…I had this weird niggle of doubt in my mind. I wanted it to be my word SO BADLY. And yet, it just didn’t seem to quite fit. So I asked my friend Randilynn for her advice (it’s a good thing I was so brave in 2017). And it went something like this:

  • Me: OK, this is my word for the year…what do you think?
  • RL: Hmmmmm…
  • Me: Ok, here is another version of my fabulous word. Is that better?
  • RL: Well, have you asked for clarity about your word?
  • Me: Yes, I’m asking you.
  • RL: *Awkward silence* I actually meant, did you pray about it?
  • Me: *Awkward silence* Oh, right.

So I did.

I prayed about it.

And the thing is, God gave me a totally different word. One that I don’t really want. Except that everytime I try to find a new word, a little voice pops up in my mind telling me that I already have a word. And it’s an important word. And to be honest. That word scares the hell out of me. THE HELL.

The word is TRUST

See, I’m an Enneagram 3. Do you know about the enneagram? It’s a personality profile. And mine says things like “You’re driven, and goal-oriented, your a leader, and you confidently get things done.” And the thing is, the word TRUST falls under exactly NONE of those categories. NONE. OF. THEM.

Trusting is about sitting back and watching God do his own work in his own time in his own way. It’s believing that he will take care of all of the situations in a way that is better than my own…even when I have a pretty damn good way of taking care of it myself. And I don’t know about you…but we have situations. Like, life situations. And I want to take care of them. Because I have some pretty good solutions. And I’m an Enneagram 3, so I’m pretty confident that I can do it best. And yet, everytime I begin to worry or plan or worry about a plan, God gently whispers in my ear


This might sound crazy to you. And it’s okay if it does. And to be honest, it sounds crazy to me too. Because in 2017 I didn’t pray about whether or not BRAVE was supposed to be my word, I just picked it. And it was my word. And it worked. And I was brave. And there was nothing crazy about the process.

But this year, I asked. And God answered.

And He gave me a word.

And I’m not happy about it. And I am.

Either way, my word for the year is TRUST. It’s going on a tattoo soon (I haven’t told Chris yet). And I’d love to hear what your word for 2019 is too. Maybe it’s deep (I just read a blog about a girl who chose the word CULTIVATE…dang, what does that even mean!?) Maybe it’s lighthearted (Carson chose RELAX last year, and we had to do our bests not to roll our eyes because that’s basically all he does). And maybe it’s something you’ll choose in February or September, because like my friend Krista reminded me (you can hear this conversation on the New Year’s Day podcast here). We don’t really just wake up on a random Tuesday and change our lives just because the calendar has turned.

But… when you’re ready to join the #onelittleword movement, let me know. Because I’d love to join your journey. And in the meantime, I’ll be sitting here TRUSTING in what God has for me as I journey through 2019.

With lots of love from a ready-to-trust-in-the-new-year Small Town Girl