New Year, New Word

Welcome to a new year!

As I write this I can hear a lawn mower working its way up and down my neighbor’s yard. In the middle of winter. And yesterday I came home from the store and my neighbor’s sprinklers were running. In the middle of winter.

Now, I’m no yard care expert (seriously. I know nothing besides “cut your grass when it gets long. And maybe water it sometimes.”) (oh, and army worms are the DEATH of any lawn they invade. Ask me how I know.), but when all the grass is and has been brown for months and it’s 30 degrees outside I don’t think anyone should be doing yard work. I feel like we’ve all earned a little break after a long summer of mowing and watering and fertilizing.

And seeing other people cut their grass and water their plants just might make me feel the tiniest bit ashamed of my planters still filled with dead plants. Maybe. Probably not enough to go outside and do anything about it, though.

Which brings me to my word for 2018:


In 2017 I focused my attention on the word “confident”. It went so well, that by the end of the year I didn’t even remember what my word was. I was no longer having to ask myself if I was confident in myself or my opinions. And sure, I still have some moments when I doubt myself or my decisions, but they have become far fewer then in the past.

When I choose a word, I take a lot of time to think and pray over it, to look at my life and my strengths and weaknesses, and normally something just pops out. Then I use that word and try to apply it to different parts of my life.

With “confident” I had to apply it everywhere. Up until last year I had spent my life doubting  everything about me. I always deferred to someone else’s knowledge instead of trusting my own. I almost never spoke my mind about anything, and I always felt like I had to explain myself. I just had this general feeling of not being that great at anything. I took the word “confident” and used it to question my reactions and behaviors. The easiest, most effective thing I did was to make it the lock page on my phone. Every time I picked up my phone, that word was there to remind me to be sure of myself.

So what do I want to accomplish with “cultivate”?

So much.

According to Merriam-Webster, cultivate means to “foster the growth of” and to “further, encourage.” It also means some stuff about growing crops, but that’s not what I’m going for right now.

There is so much in my life I want to cultivate: relationships with family and friends, creativity, my faith, health, and contentment are just a few. Trust me, I have a whole list in my journal. I’ll be using this word to focus my days and be intentional about things I’ve let slide.

I also want to use it as a reminder to recognize what I’m cultivating in others. I’m a wife and a homeschooling mom. As my husband frequently tells me, I’m the center of this household. So am I cultivating an atmosphere of love and acceptance and encouragement and peace? Or am I cultivating frustration and exasperation and impatience? More often then not, my answer would have to be the latter. And I’m not okay with that.

I’m so excited to jump into this new year and see what grows!

What would you like to cultivate in your life? Do you choose a word each year or set New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear about it!

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