Category Archives: new year

Out with the Old and In with the New? Not Exactly!

Photo by Crazy nana on Unsplash

My One Word

As some of you know, I choose a word for each new year. I’ve been doing this for many years now, influenced by a book called My One Word by Mike Ashcroft and Rachel Olsen. Over the years my words have included: kindness, focus, peace, listen…

I’m always amazed by the end of the year what the word taught me. It’s often not what I thought it was going to be, but sometimes it is! And even more.

My One Word


The year had its challenges, as I’m sure it did for everybody. My word was remember. I had a clue what it was going to mean: remember God’s promises, remember your blessings. And it sure did mean that. But I have also been observing the great chasm when it comes to memories between two people. My 89-year-old mother’s memories have been slipping away at an alarming rate. My 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter’s are zooming in the opposite direction. I have pondered that many times. Memories are delicate, fragile, and precious. One of my author friends, Jim Rubart, wrote a novel influenced by the lost memories of his aging father. Look it up if you’re curious.

It was a good word. I learned a lot. I will keep it close as I’ve tried to do with all my past words. No, not out with the old, not completely because I need the past’s lessons.


I only started thinking about it last week! Anyone else have the new year creep up on them? Sheesh! A word popped into my head at that point, but I wasn’t sure it was the right one. But after reading some and reflecting a lot, I realized it is my word for 2109:

I just ordered two of these little metal tags. One for me and one for a drawing for my newsletter subscribers, which reminds me, I need to get working on that newsletter! Are you signed up? If not, go here.

I expect 2019 to be a year that, if I am intentional about it, will be full of discoveries. About myself, about others, about God.

What’s Your Word?

Have you chosen a word? Did you have one in 2018? Let me know what it meant or means to you. Happy New Year, everyone!

P.S. : not published by Tom. I haven’t fixed that yet.

Better Than a New Year’s Resolution

2017My New Year’s Tradition

I’ve been picking a word each year, something that I think I’m supposed to learn. Usually, it means something different than I thought it would. Last year’s word, meant to me that I should do more of it: “Create” but it also meant I needed some re-creating of my heart and mind. There were so many ups and downs in 2016, that I had to be flexible and look at things differently sometimes.

My One Word

This year I have been hearing the message, a very good message, that God loves me. It’s an important message that I think I and many other people tend to forget. It’s way too easy to have a pity party. I don’t need to do that to myself. I feel more blessed with how my life is than perhaps any other time in my life. But still…we always want more, don’t we? And when we think our prayers are going unheard, especially when those prayers are for others, not ourselves…well, it’s easy to forget who loves us. So, #myoneword for 2017 is BELOVED.

I hope it reminds me daily that God loves me. Remember the popular TV show, Touched by An Angel? The characters were angels with orders to do things on earth to help people. And when they revealed themselves they announced, “God loves you.”

Chose #myoneword for 2017. Find out what my word is. Click To Tweet

A Good Book

I’ve mentioned this in past years, but just in case you’re interested in picking a word and want to know more about it, pick up this book. And if you’ve chose a word, let me know in the comments.

My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word


My One Word

A One Word Resolution

How Making It Easy Works

My One WordYears ago, at the end of the calendar year, I began following the steps outlined in a book and on a web site called My One Word by Mike Ashcraft, and Rachel Olsen. I answered these questions:

  1. What Kind of Person Do You Want to Be?
  2. What Are the Characteristics a Person Like That Possesses?
  3. What Word Do You Choose From That List?

Pretty simple. The task does not focus on failure, which is what the making of New Year’s Resolutions does for many people. Instead, the focus is on reminding yourself of what ONE thing you can concentrate on this year to make a difference.

You Already Know What It is

I believe this is true. Maybe you want to be healthier. Maybe you want to be a better worker, more successful, more focused, more committed. Whatever it is, I believe the desire is already within you. Because I’m a person of faith, I believe God has placed that desire in your heart and mind. Choosing one word helps you focus. It reminds you of what you need to be doing this year, of what you CAN accomplish, instead of what you can’t. There will probably be many characteristics you will name in step number two above. But you only choose one.

photo by denise carbonell

photo by denise carbonell

Choosing One Word Often Comes With Surprises

Sometimes people who do this think the word will mean one thing, and it turned out to mean something different as they progressed through the year. For others the word had the meaning they expected, but they were impacted much more than they had imagined. Sometimes the work continues beyond the calendar year, but for most people who dedicate themselves to choosing a word instead of a resolution, the word inspires them and moves them forward toward becoming the person they want to be–who God wants them to be.

Have You Tried This? Will You Choose a Word?

Please let me know in the comments. My word for 2016 will be CREATE.

A New Beginning

Doesn’t everyone wish for a new beginning? At least in some aspect of life? For some reason the dawn of a new year motivates most people to try something new, do something better, or toss away some vices.

Why did the immigrants of the early 20th century come to America? For most it was to start anew. As hard as life was for most immigrants, it was far worse where they came from. With few opportunities to make their way in life, they took a chance on the American dream. You’ve heard stories, I’m sure, of many (even today) who were very successful. For a lot of immigrants, the dream was realized not for them, but for their children who were born in America.

From the National Parks Service, this chart shows the numbers and nationalities who immigrated through Ellis Island. The numbers were way down during WWI, but other than those years hundreds of thousands came every year, looking for a new life.

In my first novel of the Ellis Island Series, Grace’s Pictures, my character Grace was taken to a poor house in Ireland when her widowed mother could not pay the rent on their cottage. Later, she was sponosored and sent to America. She had no choice but to start anew in America, but she soon found more opportunity to improve her life standing than she could have ever imagined. And freedom to wander the streets if she wanted, whenever she wanted–something that had been impossible in the poor house. But this freedom gets her into trouble when she takes along her new Brownie camera.

I imagine immigrants like Grace were completely unprepared for both the good and the bad in the massive city of New York.

What do you think?