Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking Back at One Word 2013: a year of putting down roots

I was going to share my goals for 2014 with you today, but quickly realized that I wasn't ready to write about 2014 without looking back at 2013 for a moment.

In 2013, my focus was on being rooted. To see more about my OneWord365, click on the category in the sidebar (apologies for not linking, I'm writing this on my iPhone). I chose the word "rooted" for a host of reasons, but in the end it was my attempt to feel connected to my community in a way I never have been before.

I've moved more times than I can count, and Tennessee is the fifth state I've called home in the past ten years. All of that wandering makes it hard to feel a part of something and to foster deep relationships. Nashville is where I'm called to be for the inevitable future and I wanted to make an effort not to continue my detached ways.

This time last year I thought I knew exactly what putting down roots in my community would look like. However, by May everything had changed and I can honestly say that not one thing about how I ended 2013 was like it was when the year began. While that wasn't easy, it was certainly all for the best. I could never have predicted how drastically my life would change last year, but having chosen to commit helped me in significant ways.

There was a point this fall where I wasn't sure I would stay in Nashville. That was a supremely painful season (both literally and figuratively) but it showed me that I couldn't bear the thought of uprooting myself from this city I've come to adore. In the past, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about moving on. Instead I chose to stay, and fight, and nourish my roots.

Choosing to value community and commitment has helped me to grow in huge ways this year, and I can say without exaggeration that it has marked me and completely reframed my worldview. I'm encountering 2014 with a new mindset, and I'm so glad.

I talked yesterday about letting my theme for the year guide my goals. I had no idea what would come from it all, but in the end I think my roots are strong and that I, as a result, am stronger.

I can't wait to share with you my word for 2014 on Monday! To learn more about the OneWord project, visit

What would you say was the theme of your year? Is it what you thought it would be back in January?

To help me remember to be rooted even as my focus shifts, I bought some plants. Let's see if I can keep them alive!


  1. I think the last year was the complete opposite of putting down roots for me. I don't know what word I would use to describe 2013, but some that come to mind are tumultuous, anguish, and uncertainty. It was definitely a tough year and I went through so much. My life is so different from how it was a year ago and the thing is, I really did not see the move coming when it did so it totally blindsided me and I still get chills thinking about the day I found out I'd have to move in order to keep my job... So yes, 2013 turned out different than I envisioned, but I have high hopes for 2014 and hope it includes a move to a place I am happy and super proud to call home.

  2. I feel your pain on moving, my husband is in the military and we've moved 6 times in 10 years as well. We are finally settled in a place for the next four years and I am enjoying it immensely. Happy New Year!

  3. I am glad you stayed in Nashville. Sometimes we have to push through tough boundaries to make places our home.


Use your words.

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