Word of the Year

I know, I know…this isn’t Part 3 of our birth story (even though it’s written and waiting in my queue of posts), but bear with me!

I couldn’t start this new year without reflecting on our word for this past year and choosing a new word for the upcoming year. For anyone that’s followed this blog for a while, you know that for the past several years, Greg and I always pick a word to start the new year.

It is always AMAZING and humbling to see how God uses a seemingly ‘random’ word, to remind us of His faithfulness and sovereignty during each year. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but when a friend introduced us to the idea of choosing a word for the year, I instantly loved the practicality and power behind such a simple exercise.

Our words so far have been:

2019- Grow

2020- Open

2021- Delight

Our word this past year was delight. See an excerpt below from last year’s blog post explaining how we hoped this word would guide us.

Delight: to take great pleasure in.

After a year of working toward the next deadline, impatiently waiting for each step of the adoption process, and begrudgingly living through a pandemic, we want to turn our focus toward taking DELIGHT in each day, each new experience, and adventure.

And once again our ‘word’ lived up to it’s definition and then some.

We delighted in the AMAZING ways people supported our adoption journey financially. Last January we were still only about half way toward our fundraising goal. We were doubting God’s ability to provide. I’ll never forget the one Sunday we were handed an anonymous envelope with magazine clippings spelling ‘DELIGHT’ and $1000 inside. To this day, it’s one of the Top 5 God moments in our adoption journey.

As if that wasn’t enough, grant after grant continued to come in during February allowing us to reach our goal. We took such DELIGHT in seeing how God took our doubt and smashed it away. He is faithful!

We took DELIGHT in the birth of our son. There were so many emotions, unexpected difficulties, and weeks of stress, but looking back those days were such a delight.

We look back on our NICU days and there’s a fondness and cozy feeling about them. I’ve even said to Greg- in some ways, I’d like to go back for just a day-knowing that everything turns out ok. It was a delight spending so much time together just Greg, Lowen, and I. We bonded in more ways than we expected. It was a delight meeting amazing doctors and nurses and exploring a new city. It was a delight to step away from our ‘busy lives’ and SLOW way down…passing hours in the hospital with our new son. It was a delight feeling the prayers and support of so many people.

It’s been such a delight growing and bonding with Mama A even more this past year. She is still such a big part of our life.

It’s been a delight connecting with other heart mama’s and babies and sharing stories and support and encouragement.

My job this year has been such a delight. New colleagues, a wonderful class, an amazing co-teacher, the balance between mom life and teacher life. It’s truly such a blessing.

We’ve taken delight in sleeping ALL night long! In the depths of motherhood and newborn life I sometimes wondered if we’d ever get there. Sleep is a delightful thing!

I could go on and on…

One of our biggest delights has been watching our son grow and learn and change. People always said kids are wonderful and it’s so neat to watch them grow, but SERIOUSLY people- parenthood is a mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping journey. Maybe it’s just me, but it is MAGICAL watching Lowen learn and grow. It brings up all these feelings I never knew existed. Pride, joy, excitement, grief (they’ll never be that small again…)- it’s been completely life changing in so many ways.

Lastly, our biggest delight has been seeing God’s faithfulness during this year. It is humbling to look back on all that happened and see His handiwork and sovereignty every single step of the way. He continues to amaze us with his faithfulness and goodness.

2021 was hard in so many ways, but it was also such a DELIGHT.

As I reflect on our word each year, it makes me nervous for the word we pick for the coming year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- what if our word doesn’t live up to it’s ‘expectations’?

Every year God surprises us with how our word shapes our growth. What if this new word falls flat?

BUT, what if it doesn’t?

What if God is already looking ahead and placing this word on our hearts for a reason? That is faith, my friends. Faith that He’ll take a silly little word and use it in big ways. He has before, He can again.

As we head into 2022, our word came to us rather quickly.

Our word for 2022 is: mindful.

mind·​ful | /mīn(d)-fəl/ adjective

deliberately aware, conscious, focused.

We want to slow down. Soak in what’s happening. Not be in a hurry. This year I found myself rushing towards Lowen’s next milestones. Hurrying through my days. Mindlessly wasting time online. Too focused on taking the picture, documenting the progress, and counting down the hours to bedtime.

This year I/we want to be in the moment. We want to be deliberately aware. Enjoying each milestone, week, day, hour. We want to be mindful of our time. Mindful of our habits. Mindful of our routines. Mindful of our words. Mindful of our example.

Life is short. We want to be mindful of that fact and not take our moments for granted.

2022 looks like a blank slate at this moment. There is nothing ‘big’ coming up this year that we are waiting for. We have no big plans ahead. We have no idea what this year will hold. It’s exciting, it’s slightly scary, but most of all it fills us with hope.

As we look ahead at this year with mindfulness, we pray that your year is guided by God and surrounded by His love and grace.

Happy 2022!