One Word – Believe

I have a Christmas t-shirt I got several years ago that has a vintage picture of Santa on it and it says, “I Believe”.

I love this shirt and I always wish I could wear it long after the Christmas decorations are put away, the kids go back to school and we all resume our “normal” routine.

When I was a child, in addition to celebrating the birth of our saviour; we embraced the magic of Christmas. We retreated back to the basics during that time of the year – taking joy in giving to those that we loved (and yes – getting things from those that loved us, too!) Not only gifts, but time spent together.

One of my fondest memories was one Christmas Eve when heavy snowfall stranded us at a family member’s home we had gathered at for dinner. We always spent the night at my grandparent’s house with my extended family on Christmas Eve; so the thought of not being there when Santa arrived was devastating to two young kids.

So my aunt got out an old-fashioned sled from the basement and pulled my sister and me down the middle of the abandoned roads as the snow fell to the ground and the sun slowly set. For about 30 minute we walked in almost silence and took in the beauty of our surroundings while we savered the excitement of what was to come the next morning. I was younger than six years old for sure and even I knew the moment was magic.

I will never forget that evening. It was especially meaningful this past Christmas as we celebrated the holidays for the first time without my aunt here on earth with us.

Today is my birthday.

As I get older, I have had trouble sleeping. (This morning I awoke at 4:00 a.m. and tossed and turned until I finally gave in and got up.) I’m sure the worries of balancing work and home, raising kids and paying the bills are the culprit. And recent tragedies and struggles our nation has experienced that weigh heavy on my heart; especially those that negatively affect my children.

And self-doubt.

Am I a good parent? Am a good wife? A good writer, girl scout leader, PTO board member? Christian?

Will the work I complete today help me land that next freelance job that will further my career or at least help us pay the bills tomorrow?

Am I strong enough to not only lose more weight, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A couple years ago I started to select a word for the year. A word to focus on…a mantra of sorts. Something significant to my life at the time that would be a reminder to stay on course.

This year I considered several. With my goal to lose weight I started last July; it seemed logical to pick something along those lines. Health. Spirit. Movement.

But I also want Balance. And Strength.

And I want to be Brave. And focus on Family.

I’ve gone back and forth on several words over the past month and the beginning of the year came and went.

But this morning it hit me….Believe.

Believe in myself. My kids. My husband.

Believe in magic and possibilities, not just at Christmas but throughout the entire year.

Believe in the best in people…all of us.

See our good intentions, not just end results.

Celebrate small successes, not just major achievements.

See the potential we have to accomplish something great, but embrace the moments that we don’t do anything particularly spectacular as well.


Do you select a word each year to focus on? What is your word for 2013?





  1. 1
    Jennifer says:

    I love this. Reflects what I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. I don’t have a word, but I do have a phrase: now is the time. I’ve been putting things off, avoiding things, making excuses for so much, and all I’m doing is missing out. And I’m waiting for… what? I’m not getting any younger, and looking back and wishing I’d done things differently isn’t doing anyone any good, especially not me.

    This year, I want to stop waiting and stop avoiding. I want to focus on what’s REALLY important. I want to, like you, be brave. Now IS the time.

    • 1.1
      Jennifer Patrick says:

      Thanks Jennifer! I love your phrase!!! You are so right. We aren’t getting any younger and really none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Making today count and taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves by putting aside fear is so important. I will commit with you to make NOW the time. Here’s to making this year great! Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing with it. I believe in you!!!

  2. 2
    Brenda says:

    After spending what I would say was a year without much direction I decided that 2013 would be different. Sure, things were good and I am truly blessed but I had so many distractions and places to focus my attention I sometmies did nothing. After reading a book (ironically on organizing–but not just about organizing stuff, organizing your life), I decided I did need a word or a phrase to be my mantra too; to guide me through this year with more intention. To help me through each day as well. I, too, am looking to find balance, especially as my kids are getting older in the blink of an eye. My oldest started junior high and that kinda freaked me out. To me, she is still the little preschooler I remember. I love the word you’ve chosen and how well you put into words how it came to be. I’ve still yet to come to my final word or phrase but I think I’m getting closer. 🙂

    • 2.1
      Jennifer Patrick says:

      I think Balance is great! But just keep looking over different words and one will resonate with you. I want to get some kind of bracelet with my word on it…..

  3. 3
    Pony says:

    YAY!! Thanks for blogging and sharing with us!!!

  4. 4

    Such a beautiful post and I can see your heart all over it. It is hard as moms to balance it all and truly believe that we are doing a good job at everything. Thanks for the reminder to BELIEVE!! Love this post and thanks for sharing part of you. Happy Birthday fabulous lady!!

  5. 5

    Jennifer, it was such a pleasure to meet you last night at the Houston Bloggers meeting. I love this post and I love the word you chose, believe. It’s a hard job raising kids, running a home and trying to get other obligations met and I love the phrase you used, “see our good intentions, not just end results”. Beautifully said.

  6. 6
    Ginny Marie says:

    What a great post for the new year! I have a birthday coming up, and think many of the same things. I love the header of your blog! I’m a mom in my 40’s, and I have a 5 yr old and an 8 yr old.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! I’m glad you linked up!

  7. 7
    Andrea says:

    Visiting from SITS … as a matter of fact, I’m reading a book and I think it’s called One Word or My One Word and it’s the same concept as you’ve described here. It’s also a bible study. I’m still trying to hone in on one word (could be why one of my choices is FOCUS) but I’m excited to see how it will turn out.

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