high five for home

My One Word New Year

new year resolutions


I am not sad to see 2017 go. This past year brought a lot of heartache, challenge, and growth with each new month. My grandfather passed away. My brother committed suicide. My marriage ended when I didn’t want it to. My home was put up for sale. The home  I was married in, hosted so many parties in, and brought my baby girl home to.  Add in all the regular everyday life in between. It’s been emotionally exhausting. But in the midst of all of that, I found a way to be thankful for the lessons and the life I’ve lived. Those close to me have asked what my resolutions are for this new year as I make big changes.

I have none.

I used to make long lists of resolutions. Basically, I just wrote down all of the ways I felt I was failing in life and made it my resolution to do better in every single area. It was like each year I resolved to become perfect and I always fell flat on my face. Because, NEWSFLASH!  Perfection is unattainable.

Then I would just resolve the usual. Eat better. Work out. Read more. Volunteer more.

I did all of those things sporadically, but never really reaching the goal I should. Life just always got in the way.

Then, I came across a blog post about the one word resolution. The woman who wrote it chose the word abide as her word of the year. It really resonated with me. Changing an attitude or state of being seemed less daunting than beginning new tasks for my already busy life.

So in year one I chose to stop being so critical of others and my word was acceptance. I started accepting people and situations a bit better and it made me more content overall. Did I perfect it? Nope. I still fight my mental snap judgements of people, places, parties, and predicaments.

I think another word was grace. I was in a place in life where I was so overwhelmed and feeling dark inside. Simple tasks seemed daunting and I lost my zest for life. I worried and tried to make everything perfect. I’m pretty sure it was postpartum anxiety. The grace I was giving others needed to be directed toward myself.

Then I gave myself WAY TOO MUCH grace and needed my next word of discipline. I needed to put on my big girl panties and climb out of the graceful rut I had been in and start living the life God blessed me with.

This led to gratitude. I learned to be grateful in the darkest of times. I could see the best in life’s circumstances in spite of how crappy they were and I really wanted to choose that word for this year too because I still feel the weight of life heavy on my shoulders.

But I think that I am a pretty grateful person, but the thing I lack is joy.  So my one word new year is joy.


Is it possible?  Can I find and sustain joy through my circumstances?  Can I find joy in grief?  Can I find joy when the finances are tight?  Can I find joy when I am so tired and my Sweet V wants to play?  Can I keep the joy of Christmas during the gloom of January?  Can I sustain joy when my to do list is a mile long?


Depending what translation of the Bible you read, the word joy is in it around 150 times.  So I figure when I am needing to keep my joy, there is some sort of encouragement for me. Today I searched for the verse to start my year of joy and there it was in my new study Bible.

joy psalm 126

Psalm 126

I’ve been planting lots of tears over the past years. I am believing that 2018 is my time to harvest my JOY!

Joy will fill my home even if it becomes a tiny apartment.
Joy will fill my heart even if I grieve.
Joy will fill my parenting even when it becomes tough.
Joy will fill my classroom even on Monday.
Joy will fill my family no matter who is in it.
Joy will fill my life even when it is hard.

My one word new year…joy.

What’s yours?

Life is good.  Joy makes it better. Keep making your house a love filled home.

High five for home.

Psalm 126 joy harvest

About Kendra

Kendra is a full time elementary teacher and mommy to a sweet and sassy 7 year old. She poured her heart and soul into her classroom and earning her graduate degree before becoming a mom and has spent motherhood trying to find a way to balance career and home and appreciate the journey while doing it. She’s a lake loving, ranch on pizza, pop can recycling, map on her hand Michigan girl! This momma never learned how to play euchre, but you can find her making a pretty long list, reading a book, or planning her next adventure in America’s high five! High five for home!

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