After much wringing of hands and wondering if I would even have one word for 2017, I finally settled on one – create. As I move into my 40s, I want to be intentional to create the kind of life I want for myself and my family. I want to make a home that I am proud of, and a life that reflects the particular values that I hold dear.

I want the possessions that we have to bring us joy. If not, they need to go.

I want to spend my time doing things that bring life to myself and my family. If certain activities, habits, or hobbies drain from our lives, they need to be reevaluated.

I want to create a life that inspires others to do the same. I want to listen to beautiful music, read excellent books, cook nourishing and tasteful food. I want to use the good china more, take a walk when I feel like it, light fragrant candles, and eat rich dark chocolate.

I want to talk more openly and freely about my faith and values. I want to stand up for what is right, and against evil, even when it is unpopular and others would rather turn away. But I always want to disagree in a civil manner, showing respect to those with whom I differ, and remembering that we can learn from anyone.

I want to love fiercely. I want to be a better friend, wife, and mom.

I want to take time for myself when I need it, recognizing that I need time alone each day in order to recharge for the next task.

As I have been praying about my word for the year, Psalm 104:14-15 has come to mean a lot, a reminder that all our good gifts come from God, the Creator of beauty and abundance:

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

If you have a word for 2017, I would love to hear about it in the comments!