2012 One Little Word Recap



It’s the word that’s been on my heart all year — guiding me, helping me to grow, pointing me in the direction of new dreams + possibilities.

I’ve been collecting inspiration. I’ve been praying forward prayers. And I’ve been writing — journal entries and blog posts and poetry.

In one of those poems, I wrote that forward is bravery, courage, intention — and dreams that find their movement and momentum with each small but mighty risk we take. I wrote that it’s also purpose — pushing past the fear, the doubt, the questions — while clutching every quiet hope close.

This year, forward, for me, meant not being afraid to hope big and pursue the dreams He’s laid on my heart. It meant taking risks and trusting His hand in everything.

As I head into 2013, I don’t want to lose that momentum.

Right now, I’m brainstorming ideas for my 2013 One Little Word, and I know it will somehow build from everything I learned this year, everything that forward taught me and did in my life.

With only a few weeks left in 2012, I look forward to making more space for quiet, reflection, and prayer. I look forward to thinking about everything He’s done in this life and heart of mine, and I look forward to asking Him what He’d like to do next.

* * *

Did you choose a One Little Word for 2012? If so, what did you learn? In what ways did your word shape + change what you experienced this year?


Inspiration is Everywhere

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the importance of stepping away from the screen. Inspiration is everywhere — and if we don’t allow ourselves the time to get out to explore and discover it, then we’ll miss it.Earlier this week, I went for a brief walk after work, taking advantage of the small window of time I had before a rainstorm broke free from the clouds. I took my camera and left my phone at home, so I could wander in peace.I took in all the colors, the patterns of leaves on the ground, and the way the sky looked.I even found little reminders of my One Little Word.

I’m thankful I took the time to step away and be refreshed. I’ve also realized I haven’t been creating as much with my hands lately — layering papers and ephemera in my art journal, or playing with paints to create a colorful collage. These are things I know I need to put back into my creative routine, things that are essential to who I am as an artist and creator.

What about you? What kinds of things do you do for creative refreshment? Do you find it’s important to take time away from creating on the computer?

My Current Motto

My current mottos is: Open heart. Open hands. Gratitude always.

I write it, tweet it, pray it, doodle it — anything that helps me to remember it, live it.

It’s how I’m learning to dream bigger, pray bolder, trust deeper, live truer, freer.

And it’s how I keep moving forward on the path He’s laid out just for me.

So Far: Life With My One Little Word

My One Little Word: forward.

I’ve been thinking about it, praying about it, journaling about it, and saving things that remind me to embrace it.

So far, in these first months of 2012, forward has taught me:

  • To keep hoping — even when it would be easier to give up on hope.
  • To take risks — even after facing disappointment and discouragement — because being brave and real risk-taking leads to the best adventures and to the most growth.
  • To keep celebrating the little things that make life so beautiful.
  • And to always, always keep an open heart.

As we head into spring, I’m looking forward to new adventures that push me out of my comfort zone and require me to trust Him even more.

My One Little Word as Poetry

intention —
and dreams
that find their
movement and momentum
with each
but mighty
we take.

It’s purpose —
pushing past
the fear,
the doubt,
the questions —
while clutching
quiet hope

It’s honest and open —
bruised, but beautiful.

all the searching,
all the learning,
all the trusting.


My 6-Word Memoir

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the 6-Word Memoir Project (started by SMITH Magazine Editor Larry Smith and inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s shortest of short stories, which said: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”

After being inspired by the project, the Oprah Magazine staff asked readers to share their own 6-word memoirs on Facebook and Twitter. This month, there’s a little feature on them at Oprah.com, and upon browsing some of the memoirs this morning, I decided I wanted to create one, too. So, I grabbed the nearest scrap of paper and scribbled mine down.

Here it is (after being transferred from scrap to screen).

(It should sound familiar, as it ties in perfectly with my One Little Word for 2012.)

I suppose it’s a bit of a mantra and a memoir, but it’s the first thing that came to mind, so I went with it.

What’s yours? :)

Remembering this…

This life.
This season.
These moments.

Even on the hard days, or the blah days, or the just-normal-everyday-kind of days, I want to see the beauty of His goodness.

Because even if it’s just in the quietest, subtlest of slivers, His blessings shine through.

Happy Friday, friends!




Lately, as the temperature drops, I’ve been enjoying my big, comfy robe, tea and cocoa, reading old journals, and creating new pages in my art journal.

My word for 2012 is forward, but there’s a bittersweet balance between remembering and looking forward.

When I first set up this blog, I wrote a little welcome post and said I wanted it to be a place where I could share the simple bits of life that inspire me on a daily basis, a place where I could share a little bit about what I experience as a 20-something writer, trying to find her place in the world. I said it was my hope that A Place to Dwell would be full of inspiration and possibility.

I’ve come a long way in the (almost) four years since I sat down and wrote that very first post. Setting up this blog was a new beginning for me during a season that was full of learning important lessons and growing in so many hard, but also beautiful, ways.

Life is full of little and big beginnings, and it’s meaningful to look back at where old beginnings brought us, in addition to looking forward with hope for the new beginnings that are yet to come.



One Little Word Inspiration

As part of my One Little Word journey in 2012, I’ve started to collect inspiration that encourages me to look forward with hope this year, so I can really embrace everything God has planned for me. One of the ways I’m doing this is by creating in my art journal.

(Here’s a little peek at one of the pages I’m currently working on.)

I’ve also set up a Pinterest board to save ideas, inspiration, and encouragement.

I think it will be fun to look back on both of these things next year, because they’ll help tell the story of my journey and growth in 2012.

If you’re participating in One Little Word, what are you doing to make your word a part of your life this year?