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This time of year there’s always a lot of talk around the blogosphere about having a word of the year. In case you’ve missed it, the idea is that, instead of resolutions that probably won’t last, people are focusing on a word, or theme, for the year.

Some people have chosen words like faith or live. I’d toyed with some words. I thought about self or selfless or Christ-centered to encompass my goal of working toward being more Christ-centered and less self-centered, but nothing really grabbed me.

Then, we went to church Sunday and heard the second message in a phenomenal new series our church is doing about the home. The general idea is that Biblical teaching is supposed to begin at home. The body of the church should be centered in the home.

Our faith should be taught and shared in our homes (and not just with our families, but by opening our homes to others), rather than having Christian families show up at a building on Sunday mornings and expect to be fed, then going on about their way for the other six days of the week.

The emphasis is that our homes should reflect our deep and abiding love for Christ, rather than simply reflecting our favorite hobbies, sports teams or interests. Our pastor has challenged us to look closely at ourselves and our homes step up to make the changes that God reveals to us.

Day 17 - P365[5]


Change can be hard. We often feel that we’re too old, it’s too late, we’re too set in our ways, our kids are almost grown, it’s too hard.

No, it’s not. We’re not. They’re not. It’s never too late to change.

I’m 41 years old and I’ve lost 90 pounds. It wasn’t too late to change that. I sincerely hope that I’ve still got half my life to live. I may have wasted the first 41 years being self-centered, but that doesn’t mean I can’t live the next 41 years being Christ-centered.

My husband wants to lead our family in devotions on the nights that we’re all home together. We haven’t done that, consistently, very often in our children’s lives. Does that mean that we can’t or shouldn’t commit to doing that for the rest of the years that they’re living at home? Of course not!

I want our home to be a house of prayer. Our family hasn’t consistently prayed together other than at meals, the bedtime prayers that have tapered off as the kids have gotten older and put themselves to bed, after our morning devotional time to start school, and crisis prayers. Does that mean that we should just write off the possibility of changing that? Nope!


That’s my word for the year. Brian wants to change our lack of family Bible study. I want to change our weakness in corporate prayer. I want to change my self-centeredness.

I have encouraged each of the children to pray about what God would have them change this year. In the last two days, I’ve seen a definite change in the kids’ attitudes toward each other (for the positive).

Change. Ourselves. Our family. Our world.

That’s our word for this year.

Has your family chosen a word for the year? It’s not too late to change that if you haven’t.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Great word!  I haven't really given it much thought (as we really don't do new year's resolutions), but you have challenged me anew.

    I think if I had to pick a word that encapsulates what we want to change in our family, it would have to be FOCUS.  Focusing on Jesus more, focusing on family time more, focusing on what is really important versus what seems to be important.  Focusing on the mundane tasks that need to be done but choosing to focus on joy rather than drudgery.  Yes, FOCUS would have to be my word!

  2. Great Kris!  Thanks for sharing!  Looking ahead this year, not looking back at what I "could have" done.

  3. Great! My pastor always says the Bible is the bread of life. If you are only partaking of it on Sunday when a pastor is spoonfeeding you then you are STARVING and what does starvation ultimately lead to….death. It's not pretty or sugarcoated but it's the truth. God Bless and thanks for the reminder.

  4. This is my first year of choosing a theme for the year.   I've had a very rough past 6 months with dealing with things in the past which effected me emotionally, spiritually and physically.   This year I chose "Healing" for my word – Healing spiritually, emotionally and physically.   I'm amazed at how the Lord has then given me this message over and over and over again through people, messages and my quiet time with the Lord.

  5. Thank you for this post. I believe CHANGE is my word for this yr, too. I'm going to try to stay at home instead of returning to work, and I'm already planning to homeschool my toddler. I also hope to get down to a healthy weight (need lots of motivation on that one!), and be more consistent with my prayers for my husband and children. I've just started my own homeschooling blog and I hope that it will help hold me accountable to becoming more of a godly wife and mom. I've been reading your blog since before I even had kids! Thanks for being an inspiration. =) –Jasmine in NYC

  6. Our word for this year has turned out to be "homeschool." Is that two words or one? I get confused. LOL I dunno…it's been a decision that we settled before we sent our little kindergartner to the cute little primary school (k-2nd) about 2 minutes from our house but now that she as been there for 5 or 6 months and we are faced with homeschooling now rather than later…our past few weeks have been filled with little more than talk, research, debate, and thoughts of homeschooling. Sometimes I think detouring from our plan to homeschool initially, to sending her to have a cute "public school" experience, has made transitioning harder. But my husband and I prayed this morning about our kids' education…again…and we are forging ahead to do what we believe fits our family best. So the word for us…homeschool. Probably not expected, considering the types or words being chosen for the year for families but this is where we are. Thanks for such an awesome blog!

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