Girl with Blog #oneword365
Last year, 2013, was the first time I chose one word to focus on, in place of a list of resolutions and goals. A word settled into my heart, and not a day went by when it didn’t float to the surface of my brain. And instead of guilt over goals un-fulfilled, there was drive to grow in a specific area that actually permeated many. My word for 2013 was ‘soft’, and I love it even more at the end of the year than I did at the start. I wanted to be soft in my marriage, in my relationships with others, and with myself. It was incredibly challenging, because each time I needed the reminder to be soft, it was when I was being especially hard. And to act on the thought, ‘Anna, be soft,’ involved a lot of humility and  digging deep, which does not come easily to me. While I have a long, looong way to go (especially when it comes to being soft with others – I am a natural cynic), it was a rich experience that has been full of meaning  and I’m grateful for the chance to continue learning what it means to be soft.

2014 is bringing me much change:

  • adjustments to my work environment
  • a possible new business venture
  • starting to potty-train a bonafide toddler
  • a new budget (we need serious debt reduction)
  • a baby. A BABY. In 2014 I will become a mother of two. Ay-yi-yi.

In addition to those physical changes, I’ve felt a tug to practice hospitality. And in thinking about that concept – truly practicing hospitality – I’ve realized it means more than inviting people into our home, more than cooking a meal, but a whole way of being. Making people feel welcome when I am with them – welcoming their stories and presence into mine – bringing a sense of grace into relationships and creating safe spaces. A clean bathroom and good food certainly help =) but I’m being called into a new (to me) way of practicing hospitality.

As these things swirled in my brain and heart, my word emerged so naturally and quietly that I didn’t recognize it at first. It, like last years, was so simple I kept trying to think of another one that sounded more appropriate. But when God whispers it’s fierce and it sticks.

My #oneword for 2014 is WELCOME. A concept that is applicable to so very many parts of my life and to the parts I would like to change. I’m looking forward to this journey, and to traveling it with you, friends.

Do you have a word or focus for 2014? I’d love to hear it!

– Anna
{girl with blog}

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