My One Word for 2013

I adopted one word for 2012.  But I never wrote it down, and never fully committed.  So I suppose you might say that I didn’t fully “adopt” that word. I took it under my foster-care for a brief period of time.

I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit that it’s taken me the past twenty-four hours to even remember what that one word was.

Finally, this morning, I woke with it on the tip of my consciousness.  Ironically, on a morning where the night before found me dealing – not so well – with a two-year-old who refused to sleep between two and four A.M.  A night distinctly lacking in 2012’s word.

I reached deep into my foggy brain, felt around, fingertips brushing on that word. It slithered away, so I reached a little deeper…

And finally I grasped it.  2012’s word was PEACE.  Looking back, through the grace of God, I do believe that 2012 was a more peaceful year than years past.  I learned to “accept the things I cannot change;” to analyze my tendency to anger before letting the anger build; the value of music to change my mood; and I learned to pray, pray, pray when I begin to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.  I’m far from perfect on any of these counts, but I’m a darn sight better than I was a year ago.

As I look forward to 2013, I believe that I need to get to the root of the matter, to an issue that’s been needling at me for many years.

This is a trait that I continually fall short on, that somehow I never learned as a child.  It has led to habitual tardiness, frequent eating binges, emotional outbursts, and countless unfinished projects.  It’s left us mired in debt.  It has prevented me from achieving my goals, and from becoming the wife, mother, friend, daughter, and servant of God that I know I am called to be.

Have you guessed it?

The Biblical term is self-control.  To me, though, “self-control” speaks strongly of desires of the flesh.  I’ve certainly had my struggles with those, but between practicing NFP and sticking to this crazy diet, I think I’ve got those typical fleshly desires pretty well under control.

So my word for 2013 is SELF-DISCIPLINE.

It’s not as beautiful or romantic as joy, brave, trust, charity, or peace, or many of the other words you’ll find at the One Word Community.  It’s utilitarian and not a whole lot of fun.  But I believe that it will provide a strong foundation for building and focusing on those other things as well.

Self-discipline will get me up early in the morning.

Self-discipline will establish a strong foundation of prayer, scripture study, and taking time to listen.

Self-discipline will finish the book I’ve been working on for five years and – God willing – find it a publisher.

Self-discipline will write the Bible study I’ve had in my head for two years.

Self-discipline will find me sitting with my children each day to read them a book or play a game.

Self-discipline will show others that I respect them by showing up on time to our engagements.

Self-discipline will cause me to finally create and stick to a budget, and we will finally have financial freedom on our horizon.

Self-discipline will leave me living life with intention. And my intention is to

Put first things first

To serve God in all I do

And become the woman he made me to be.

“Athletes exercise self-[discipline] in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath,
but we an imperishable one.” 1 Cor 9:25

(Huge thanks go out to Melanie at for the free one word button.  Isn’t it cool?  Now I just have to figure out how to add it to my site!)

6 comments on “My One Word for 2013
  1. That’s a really big one, and it reaches fingers into so many others. Good for you.

  2. Susan Street says:

    Love the old you but really love the new you for the woman you want to become.

  3. Renee Tiehen says:

    Wow. You are totally amazing me. I have never seen any of those “negatives” in you but face them in the mirror hourly. I am so proud of you and wish for a bit of reflection and self-control on my part. May God grant you this self-control so you can become everything you want to be and that which you already are to many of us.

    • stephanie says:

      Thanks, Renee! We all see our worst traits much more clearly than others, I think, and put a pretty face on things to show the world the person we want them to see. Join me in the One Word journey for 2013. I’m very excited to simplify all the resolutions down to just one word!

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