My 2014 one word

Right around New Year's Eve and shortly after, in the brand-new days of 2014, I started to see some blog posts focusing on the subject of choosing one word for this new year. An overarching theme to frame all the goals, dreams, ambitions and plans. Sometime to continually come back to and hold yourself accountable to. Specially, this blog really captured my interest and got me thinking. One day last week, I decided to make it happen. I loved the idea of choosing a word and weaving that word throughout the coming year. I grabbed a little piece of paper, said a little prayer, and wrote down every single word and phrase that came to mind. What I ended up with was a list of 30+ words, all good ones. Then came the choosing. From my first list, I narrowed it down to a smaller portion. Most of the words on my starred list swirled around a common theme. Embrace, balance, simplicity, less, receive, seek, quiet, lean in, still. I searched my heart and really thought hard about what I wanted from this coming year. And I finally settled on...

I know there's a book by this title, which I absolutely plan to read. I didn't really know anything about it when making my list or choosing the word, but here's a quick description pulled from the trusty (ha) internet….

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

For me and this year, "lean in" isn't necessarily all about my career or work. It's more a personal challenge for all areas of my life. Lean into the unknown, like how Matt's job is going to work out. Lean in to the new opportunities, like flying to Uganda with 10 strangers for a week. Lean in to the fears, like running my own business and trying to make it happen. Lean in to my husband and let him help me and love me. Lean in to my friendships and the ebbs and flows of adult relationships. Lean in to my church community and service. Lean in to the crazy dreams, more of which you'll hear about in the coming months. But most of all, lean in to the God who loves me and allow myself the freedom to dare, dream, discover, explore, fall, fail and succeed.

Happy 2014, dear friends. I'm SO excited for the adventures ahead.