Walking Into 2023

I am one of those people who like to pick a word for the year; an active, multi-layered (like a parfait), and stimulating word. Last year my word was “Trifurcate.” It means to take a three-pronged approach and my three prongs were 1) Pray First 2) Plan with Purpose 3) Love Well. I didn’t think anyone in my house really paid attention to my yearly process and then Bubba turned around on New Year’s Day and asked what this year’s word would be. He then listed off the choices of the last five years. My heart melted a bit and I told him I would let him know as soon as I knew!!

I had hunkered down during the last week of 2022 and remembered, reflected, and reviewed. Then I had taken a day to dream, brain dump, and even doodle about the year to come. I just LOVE doing that. I love dreaming and then coming up with a plan for what it might look like to achieve those dreams. As I age the Truth that “man plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps”(Prov. 16:9) becomes more front and center, and this year that specific Truth affected my planning. The fact is, I walked away from 2022 more convinced than ever that the God I serve is the master of all things and I just want to walk faithfully with Him. He holds the future. He loves my kids. He is working all things to His glory. Why do I sit in fear and insist on holding the reins?

Now, don’t think for one second that this means I didn’t do ANY dreaming and planning. The Bible does say that man plans his ways, but I want this year to be one where I am consciously open-handed in the day-to-day. I want to be aware of the Holy Spirit moving and working. I want to see where God is at work and join him there! I want to “ walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [I] have been called.” (Eph. 4:10) And so my word for 2023 is:

Now, if you are anything like my son, you hear that and respond, “That’s kinda basic and boring, mom.” And to you, I will reply just as I did to him …

“Bubba! It’s basic AND nuanced! It might seem dull but it is actually dynamic … active … it communicates consistency and promotes longevity! Walking IS a basic “first” skill, but a commitment to walking daily promotes good health, and bit by bit those steps add up to great distances!”

His response? “Cool.”

Well, it IS cool and I am excited to walk through this year with my Master. Over the years I have realized there are eight things I am committed to in this life, but really two, and I’m excited to check out the scenery along the road as I love the God I’m walking with and love the people sharing the path. I’m eager to walk with my hands open as I seek to Create Beauty, Build Healthy Financial Habits, Work@Work, Play on Purpose, and Maintain Health and Wellness.

Speaking of health and wellness, I am also excited about actually walking more this year! After two years of doing 5K/Day (almost every day), I really slowed down in 2022, and I can tell. I feel tired and sluggish … so I am getting back out there! I’ve got my ear pods, audiobooks, and layers upon layers of clothing. I’m not going to let the snow stop me. I’m so committed that I put it on my “23 in 23” list!

So what about you? Do you like to pick a word for the year? Do you set goals? What are you hoping to see God do in and through you in 2023?

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2022 in Review

One of my favorite things to do between Christmas day and New Year’s is to review the past year and plan for the year to come. My first step in that process this year is to look at my “22 for 22” list.

Gretchen Rubin, one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature and a highly acclaimed writer says, “It’s helpful to create a prompt—such as a “22 for 22” list—that spurs us to reflect on our lives, and how we might become happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative.” Since list-making is my jam, I tried this out for myself and found the list to be a good source of accountability to stop procrastinating and actually get some larger tasks done. I tried to vary my items to include items referred to by Gretchen, with things to push me forward in health, creativity, relationships, and the practical day-to-day of running a home. This, my inaugural year, finds me having completed 16 and two half items out of the 22. Not too shabby.

Bubba asked how I could possibly have completed two halves and I explained: One item was to get passports for everyone in the family, but we only got KB’s. The process has started for Honey and me to renew ours, but it isn’t done and won’t be in 2022. I consider that a half-done item. I also had “Weekly lunch dates with Jeremy” on the list and we did have a lot of lunches; we did not have 52 weekly lunches. Bubba’s monotone response was that “having lunch every week seems a bit ambitious.” He is right, of course, and that will be taken into account when I plan 23 for 23!

Another observation I made has to do with the space I left blank. Gretchen’s sister joins her weekly on their podcast, Happier, and she is a bit more of a free spirit. She likes to leave one space blank to add an item as time passes and she sees a need arise. That sounded smart to me but looking back I found I didn’t ever write anything in. That’s not to say there’s nothing I did that can go in that spot, but I might just try to fill all 23 spaces for the next year and adapt as I go … like I did with changing “52 Blog Posts” to “Edit a Book.”

I’m excited about creating a new list for the new year and have already begun brainstorming what I might put on it. One item I know is going on there is updating the contacts on my phone! I plan to delete, condense, add photos, etc. and it’s going to be beautiful! I got a head start this month by using a tip learned by @brunchwithbabs: when I received a Christmas card I checked the address in my phone and took a picture of the family photo to add to the contact! Brilliant idea and a great motivator to continue in the days ahead.

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2023? If you are interested in this idea, you can listen to Gretchen and her sister discuss it in more detail in episodes 359 and 407 of Happier.

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Going the Distance – 80+ miles!

IMG_0757This month we are having a lot of “this time last year” moments. They really started in February with, “This time last year we took Little to the ER and got her diagnosis.” Little went to the ER two days before her birthday and actually turned 14 in the cardiac unit. A nurse we grew to love over the next five months spent time drawing and cutting so that when our daughter woke up there were decorations all around her room that had appeared over night! Claire continued to care for Little through many nights and was actually our nurse the night before Little crashed and returned to the ICU to stay until a heart became available.

37607861_10155702600410998_3142075362242985984_oLast month I received a call from Children’s Hospital and was told that during this year’s fundraiser, (a two-day bike ride where sponsored nurses and doctors cover over 80 miles to raise money for the hospital) Claire had chosen to ride with the Cardiac team and wanted to honor Little as she rode. She’ll wear a picture of Little on her shirt and has written a lovely “blurb” about our girl and put it on her fundraising page. We will get to travel up the mountain to be present and celebrate with Claire when she crosses the finish line.  What a joy to be able to encourage her as she was such an encouragement to us during our hospital stay.

37602491_10155702600735998_1556608607494078464_oThe Courage Classic is July 20-21 and Claire has the goal of raising $1000 for the Cardiac Climbers (Heart Institute Riding Team). She is halfway there and I am hoping our friends and family will help her get the rest of the way and beyond. So many have given so much to us already but the thought of giving  so that other families can see their children as healthy as our Little is exciting.


Click here to go to Claire’s page, read her description of Little, and find out more about the Courage Classic. If you are able, there’s a place for you to donate too.


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