Tag: OneWord365

I recently turned 36.

While it’s officially the oldest I’ve ever been, I decided to do something that felt admittedly…childish? No, that’s not it.


No. Thats not it either.

I don’t know.

Let’s just say it felt wonky, but in the good kind of way.

Even though it was freezing cold I went outside to sit on my back porch (because being outdoors helps me think) and I brought my favorite spiral notebook- the one that reads “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You” in shiny metallic gold lettering across the front.

It’s the notebook that currently holds all my most important words.

My ideas.

My notes.

My outlines.

My reminders.

My inner monologue.

It’s all there.

But I realized there was something MISSING from the book. Something so important that I can’t believe I’ve never bothered to write down.

My dreams.



As I sat on my porch casting vision for the year ahead and reflecting on the year behind, I realized that 2017 was full of surprises. It was a year full of dreaming bigger and saying Yes to pursuing those dreams. It was an impetus of sorts, and God wasted no time in drawing me directly outside of the comfort zone that I’d carefully created for myself.

Remember on Inside Out when Joy draws a circle for Sadness and tells her that her only job is to STAY INSIDE THE CIRCLE? It was kind of like that except I’d drawn my own circle,  labeled it Comfort Zone, and planted myself there like a fool. We could really get deep here and talk about Joy and Sadness and how in reality, comfort zones are the easiest place to become miserable, but we honestly don’t have time for that today.

The point is, all of that changed the moment I began saying YES. Read More…

Well folks, 2016 is officially over.

Between the election (don’t worry, I’m not even going there) and everything else that happened (side eye to you Brad & Angelina), let’s all be real here: It was a bumpy ride, yes?

But take heart, dear readers, because it wasn’t a total wash.

We did learn a few things along the way.

Things like…



I cannot tell you how many times this year I sat wringing my hands, checking my inbox, or even foolishly ignoring it, ultimately having no clue that emails were just sitting in my junk mail collecting dust. And I don’t just mean Old Navy ads and those pesky emails from the dealership where you bought your Chevy Traverse 4 years ago.

I mean like, important emails.

“Oh, that editor actually wants to have lunch with you and she needs to know if Wednesday works? Cool, cool, cool. You should probably just sweat bullets, assume she’s never going to respond, and that you’ve clearly made the whole thing up, only to discover at the last minute that she had emailed you DAYS ago.”

“Oh, you’re going on a podcast and you’re wondering what the questions will be, but you’re not sure if it’s kosher to ask? You should probably just wing it, only to discover 17 minutes after you nervous-talked all that nonsense about your recurring Amy Poehler dream to your gracious interviewer, that he had, in fact, emailed you offering to show you the questions ahead of time.”

“Oh, you just yanked your two grumpy children out of bed and hauled them to school because you didn’t see the email from the school district about the snow day?” In the famous words of Adam Sandler in the Wedding Singer, “This information would’ve been useful to me yesterday!” 


People of the Internet! Learn from my mistakes!


Regularly. Read More…

“Rest needs a full stop.”

Before she was even done speaking them, I was busy scrawling these words in big bold letters across my page of notes. Emily Freeman seems to have a knack for speaking DIRECTLY INTO MY SOUL these days. It doesn’t even surprise me anymore when I hear her words and then my eyes automatically well up with tears. It’s almost like a reflex now. It’s fine. I’m used to it.

But it’s not just Emily.

Random things seem to make me cry lately:

A Lorne Michaels quote (because Jesus loves me and he knows that SNL is my love language)img_3029

A greeting card that stopped me in my tracks with a clear black and white suggestion.

img_3685A song titled “Surprise Yourself”, with a whimsical lilt almost more beautiful than the words it carries…


Who knows, maybe I’m just a sucker for inspirational words. But I don’t think that’s it.

I think this is just the sort of thing that happens when your heart is wide awake and open.

God uses anything and everything to get your attention.  Read More…

I love that scene in the movie The Holiday where Iris is having dinner with her unlikely and charming friend, an old man named Arthur Abbott. They’re discussing gumption in leading ladies on film and he tells her to quit playing the ‘best friend role’ in her own life. She says, “You’re right. That was brilliant. I mean, you’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for heaven’s sake!”


By the way, you should know that aside from burritos and GIFs of SNL-funny-ladies, movie quotes are basically my love language. As a self-confessed movie buff, I sometimes get a lot of flack for watching the same movies over and over. (I also get a lot of flack for using the word “flack”, but that’s a story for another day.)

I do realize that watching one film more than 5 times seems excessive and frivolous, but guys! Sometimes I actually learn things, okay? Plus, it’s like therapy, only better. I get to lie on a couch and sort out important life lessons but it only costs a fraction of the price and I don’t have to put on real pants. I think I’m onto something here.

So is Iris, by the way.

In the story of my own life, I may as well swing for the fences and shoot for the role of leading lady, right?


Arthur and Iris got me thinking- about stories, and how every good story requires adventure. And every great adventure requires some amount risk and courage.

Now, before we get too flowery and aspirational here, let me just pause.

I get it.

Living “an adventurous story” and being “a leading lady” who “takes risks” is all fine and good and nice to talk about on a Thursday morning. But it takes actual courage.

Courage is one of those words that are fun to say and hard to do.

And finding courage when you lack it can be even harder. 

As I continue to pursue writing, I find myself saying “yes” to all kinds of new, scary, and difficult things. I find myself taking risks, even when I have no idea how it will end. Not because I’m some kind of a badass superhero, but because I’ve simply reached a point where I can no longer ignore the dream and the lure of it’s possibility.

Which is really not like me, by the way, and has led to some extremely anxious, sweaty-palm, nervous-stomach moments when I feel like I’ve suddenly misplaced my courage like it’s a lost set of keys.


Writing is a bit of a lonely endeavor. It requires a lot of time and space to think, to get inside your own head, and to wrestle the words onto the page. Sometimes it feels easy and fun but other times it feels like you’re clawing your way up a mountain.


And terribly unprepared.

With only, like, a couple of carabiners and some ill-fitting spandex shorts. Like Tom Cruise in that one Mission Impossible movie, but minus the multi-million dollar budget and fancy props. Read More…

Can I tell you a secret, dear readers?

Lately God has been whispering to me of big and brave things.

A dream, I guess you might say. One that was always there, but until now has remained safely tucked away in the quietest corners of my heart. I must say, I rather liked it there, where it was unacknowledged and safe, requiring no risk on my part.

You see, I’ve never really been a big fan of risk. I actually happen to be in a very long-term, exclusive relationship with my Comfort Zone. We have an unspoken agreement not to stray from each other’s side.

Yet here I find myself, in a season of change. A season of knowing, whether I’m ready to or not. God is slowly, inexorably drawing The Dream up and out of me. It’s exciting, yes, but also uncomfortable. Like a needle pulling a thread up and through as he sews it into the fabric of who I am.

For me, The Dream has always been writing. This is no surprise. I’ve spoken about it here often, bringing you guys along (whether you like it or not) as I’ve begun to sort this dream out for myself.

Besides, is it really any shock that I would go so far as to write about wanting to write? I am an over-sharing, unfiltered kind of person who feels the need to talk to everyone about everything that happens to me. We know this. Let’s just say I’m working on it and chalk it up to art imitating life… imitating art. Or something like that.


I’ve shared with you how this writing journey has felt much like a dance, to which I do not know the steps.

How it was slow and cautious at the first, with me learning to trust and let God lead. That I moved more freely once I finally realized that it wasn’t about how I looked as he spun me across the floor, it was about what was happening right there between us. I told you when my heart quickened with the pace and I felt as if he’d winked at me and whispered, “The dance floor is ours. Hold on to me, and let’s go.”


All the while he’s been pulling that needle, up and through, piercing my heart with The Dream; at each turn leading me further out and away from my Comfort Zone.

At first I only had an up-close picture of the tapestry he weaved. Just this one little square space, two inches from my face. “This spot right here. This is where I want you to work,” he whispered.

I busied myself in my little writing space and I loved it.

I realized in one breathless and audacious moment that I actually had something to offer here.

I could make this space lovely and in turn it could make me come alive.

And then of course, as soon as I started to get comfortable with this version of The Dream (my version), it began to shift and change. It grew. Suddenly that neat little space that was two inches from my face fell away to a tapestry that was much larger and more lovely than I’d ever dared to see. Read More…

I told myself I would write this post in January. I didn’t specify when in January. I tend to be very vague with myself when it comes to deadlines, it works well for us. Seeing as how the year is still technically new I’d say the end of January is a perfectly acceptable time to be discussing my OneWord for 2016. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you graciously agree. You’re cool like that.

As I’ve shared with you in the past, every year I prayerfully choose one word as a sort of theme for that year. Some say it’s a silly notion, nothing more than a glorified New Year’s Resolution, but I won’t be swayed by the haters. I’m sold on this one. The whole concept of choosing one word really resonates with me. There’s something truly powerful about being  honest enough to take stock of my heart and the direction it’s headed.

After all, the heart can be a terribly unruly thing. 

When I’m choosing my word I find myself learning to be quiet and still and unguarded with God. I find myself actually listening for his voice. This practice has been good for me, because I tend to throw a lot of chatter at God.

I use my OneWord as a conversation piece with him. I use it as a filter, a gauge, and a springboard for my attitude and choices- For all those Yes’s and No’s in life that must inevitably be decided.


Last year my word was ROMANCE. I felt God calling me to let go, in a sense, of all my dreams, questions, and fears, and to focus on stepping out into a romance with him. I felt him gently reminding me that I’d had it all backwards for a while. I felt him daring me to trust him with all of those very dreams, questions, and fears that held me at their mercy, and to see what he would do with them.

It’s been a lovely, painful season of both letting go and drawing near. It’s been difficult to understand and hard to grasp all the ways my God loves me. I’ve been surprised to discover that he’s wildly romantic, that he loves lavishly. I’ve been freed and emboldened by the way that love has changed me. It’s been a slow and cautious dance at the first, with me learning how to trust and how to let him lead.

I realized that it was never about how I looked as he spun me across the floor, it was about what was happening right there between us.

This year is very different. Instead of letting go, I feel God telling me to hold on. As if he’s winked and whispered, “The dance floor is ours. Hold on to me and let’s go.”


This year my word is YES.

I want to say Yes to the things God is putting in front of me. All of the scary, new, uncomfortable, things. All of the delightful, small, meaningful things. All the new relationships that require care and effort and truth. All of the bigger-than-I’d-imagined- things. All of the smaller-than-I’d-imagined-things. All of the things that I’d normally ignore, dismiss, or say no to out of fear.

I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed, how many treasures I’ve overlooked, how many missteps I’ve made because I’ve not even looked up to see what he put right in front of me?

I understand that every Yes requires five other No’s. I know I can’t tackle every single thing that comes my way or I’ll run myself ragged. I know I’ll need to listen to my gut and to God and to have the gumption to follow both. I’ll need discernment as I choose my Yes’s and my No’s carefully.

But mostly I just want to be open. I want to quit trying to write my own story. That story is comfortable and easy and dull. I want to say YES to the story that God is writing for me because I know that he doesn’t write boring stories. I want to show up and participate in that version of the story- even though it requires more from me. Even when it scares me. Even when it seems like a mystery. Even when I don’t know how I’ll do it.

I want to open my eyes to the possibility of God’s plan. I want to see it, recognize it, and say YES to the fullness and the risk and the wildness of it all. I want to take the next step without memorizing it first. I want to trust him as he leads me to unexpected places.