One Word 2016

Thinking of one word for this coming year has not been easy.


Lots of possibilities went through my head – lots of words that I ‘tried on’ for a little bit to see if they fit.  Lots of words that were almost right, but not quite.  That didn’t quite have the right feel, or cover all the aspects that I wanted my one word to cover.

So the search continued.  Sometimes I would wake up during the night and a word that had sounded okay before I went to bed had suddenly lost it’s luster.


Finally, I have made a decision.  At this point, I’m like, look, I have to make a decision one way or another no matter what.  🙂


So my one word for 2016?  Be.


Is it anticlimactic?  Does it leave too many possibilities?  Too many questions?



My one word is Be, and within that word there are different things I want to keep in mind:

BE still.  Not something I’ve ever struggled with, but a good reminder.  Be still.  Right now this makes me think of emotions and reactions – just be still.  Be accepting.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Don’t make assumptions.  Don’t jump in with words if they aren’t ready to be said.  Just be still and think.

BE present.  In continuing with my word of Live from 2015, I don’t want to forget the things I did this year, the learning to live each day and do all I could with it.  I want to continue to be here and now in the here and now.

BE myself.  Generally I’m someone who is quite comfortable with being myself.  And about 99% of the time, I’m very comfortable with choices I’ve made and I feel completely content with who I am.

I have two examples to give:

First, you know how it is considered a really great thing to not care about other people and what they think?  That has always been, in general, me.  I don’t think about the opinions of others much, if at all, really.  I know that I am a little weird, that there are niches that I fit into that others don’t, that I like things not everyone else does and dislike things that a lot of people love.  I don’t like Adele’s Hello, for example.  😀

I don’t look at other people’s likes or dislikes and think much of anything of them.  I figure that other people do the same in my direction.

So why be myself?

I’ve discovered something interesting.  I think there is a difference between letting others’ opinions of you dictate who you are and the Biblical principle of living at peace with everyone.

See, I couldn’t differentiate very well between the two – for me, if someone was rude to me, that was an immediate, ‘Fine, I don’t care what they think of me anyway’.  And it was an unfamiliar thing, because most people I come across on any given day are not rude.

Being flippant means not caring at all, even to detriment.  Because really, we’re human, and we’re social creatures, and if we can honestly say that we don’t care what anyone thinks of us – anyone – then we probably need to get ourselves checked.  Because we should care what at least some people think.  I should care if my kids think I’m mean (they don’t – I checked ;)) because there’s a difference between teasing and saying ‘I’m a mean mom’ because they have to do the dishes and being real and saying ‘I’m a mean mom’ because I really am.  I should care if someone who I care about thinks I don’t care about them because I’m not trying hard enough.  This is a fine line, because at the same time, we don’t want it to become something where we are running around constantly trying to please others.

Hence the flippant vs. the peaceful.

‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’ says it doesn’t matter if others have good reason to dislike me.

‘As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’ says to evaluate myself and make sure I’m doing so.

I’m not sure how to word it well to not sound like people-pleasing, but it’s not that.  Like I said, it’s a fine line that I’m recently figuring out and understanding.

The biggest thing is, for me, that it’s a fine line that makes it okay for me to care.


I don’t have to think I’m being weak by caring.  I don’t have to think that I’m wrong for caring, or think that I’m wrong for thinking I’m wrong.  Caring is an essential part of being human.

Does that make sense?  Probably not.  😀

So in this sense, to BE myself is to embrace even things that I don’t like or that I think are weak.  To me, for so many years, to care = weakness.  And while, no, I’m not going to become a bleeding heart or someone who looks to others for approval, because that’s not my personality, I can feel free to feel.  Most likely, the outside world will never, ever see any of this in action.  This is permission that I am giving myself to be fully human.


Second, under the be myself heading, is just a reminder to trust my instincts.  I do pretty well on that, but sometimes – no matter how hard we try – it’s tempting to look over at someone else and think that we’ve got it wrong.

Homeschooling is an easy example.

I’m pretty set in my ways, and I’m pretty set in only letting me make the decisions for what happens in my (home)school.

When I’m looking for ideas, I ask others.  But other than that?  I purposely stay away from ideas that others have about ‘what to do’ in school or ‘how to do’ school.  Because what can very easily happen – even to a strong-willed person like me – is this – ‘Hmm… we don’t do Ancient Greek (for example).  Maybe we should do Ancient Greek.  I wonder if the kids would be better prepared for college if they did Ancient Greek?’ when in all honestly, I decided long ago to follow a certain plan.  And yes, there is always room in the plan for editing, but not as a result of looking over and comparing.

That’s why I stay off of things talking about the pros and cons of curriculum unless it’s one I’m undecided on.  But I don’t read things on all the cons of a curriculum that works for us because inevitably, what would sneak in?  ‘Well, what if….’ 

Trust my gut.  Trust my instincts.  I know what works for my kids – I’m with them daily and I know what is best for them, their personalities, their ‘learning styles’.

The same goes for other things.  Just trust myself.

And lastly,

BE disciplined.  Discipline was almost my word for 2016.  Literally, until yesterday, it was the front runner.  But it was so rigid, so defined, so ugly seeming.  Even though I don’t dislike the word discipline at all, it never felt like it was just right for the upcoming year – but I couldn’t think of anything else.  Especially with rereading The Celebration of Discipline and focusing on the spiritual disciplines in the coming year, ‘Discipline’ seemed at least sort of fitting.

And, in the end, some of 2016 will be about redisciplining myself.  Which isn’t a word, this is telling me.  But I’m going to make it one, now.  🙂  I’m going to participate in 52 books in 52 weeks again (the book a week thing), and no, I may not read a total of 52 in 52.  I’m not going to be completely unrealistic in expecting it of myself, but at the same time, I don’t think it is unrealistic.  I’ve got some re-reads mixed in that will be there for fun and ease, some favorites and ones I’m looking forward to reading after I trudge through some that I don’t think will be so fun as a reward.

Other than that, I just want to challenge myself to do more.  To be more.  Maybe pick up some random 30 day challenges like you see floating around Pinterest.  Who knows?


I don’t do resolutions because I don’t believe in them.  But this past year, doing one word was great.  And I really did do it.


So here we go again, with a new year.  None of that ‘new year, new me’ junk we see floating around.


Just me.  Being me.  Will you join me?  What word would you choose for your year?




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. called2teachu
    Jan 17, 2016 @ 12:23:43

    My word is: Become. I draw it from John 1:12; where he gives us power to become (or be) what he has called us to be. I find myself always in a state of transition, not quite finished, but a position of becoming. My part is to keep pushing forward.


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