My Theme Word For 2011

Snap! Christmas was over in a snap this year! I truly can’t believe how fast the hours on December 25th went! All the days of planning, purchasing, decorating, baking and wrapping can fill us with expectations that this world can never fulfill. Don’t get me wrong – we had a wonderful Christmas! But if your Christmas was less than dreamy, it serves as a reminder that all this world offers is empty. We must not always be chasing the next rainbow, the next high, the next good thing, rather than chasing our Savior. Nothing this world offers can satisfy our souls like knowing and walking with the King!

So as the Christmas lights fade, I stare at the aftermath and can’t believe it’s already over. In less than a week the tree will be down, the cookies will be crumbs and we will enter 2011.

Did you catch that? Brace yourselves, we are about to enter 2011! And so I’d like to assist you in evaluating your past year and choosing a theme word for 2011.

The final challenge of the December Peace Challenge is this: Find a minute this week to get alone…outside is best. There is something about the big open sky, the trees, and the sounds of nature that help us to see and hear God clearly. Take your Bible with you – visit Matthew 27 and 28, evaluate 2010 and commit 2011 to living your life completely for God.

Here’s some evaluation questions to assist you in your time alone.

1. Evaluate Your Walk with God in 2010 – Were you daily in God’s word and in prayer? How can you improve your walk with God in 2011?

Suggestion: Ponder your schedule and then write down a set time for a quiet time each day. Mine is 6:30am every morning. Consider starting or joining a Good Morning Girls group in the new year. I email my girls every morning Monday through Friday. Enrollment for the new 3 month session begins January 1st!

2. Your Marriage – What is one word you’d use to describe your marriage in 2010? Easy, frustrating, growing, romantic, hard, strong, amazing. What is one thing you know your husband wishes you’d change in your life?

Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take to change that area in your life. ie. being more organized, cooking healthier, being more flexible, being more respectful, kissing him like you mean it more often…

3. Your Children – What was a high point and a low point for each of your children in 2010? What is one thing that each of your children need from you in 2011?

Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take toward giving your children what they need. ie. manners training, reading to them more, one on one time, my undivided attention, memorizing God’s word together…

4. Health – What healthy habits did I maintain in 2010? What unhealthy habits did I create in 2010 that I need to change going into 2011?

Suggestion: Write down some goals for 2011 in this area. Write out a plan for how you will reach them. Janelle and I will be talking about this area in the new year, so stay tuned here and if you want some inspiration to get you started – here’s what my fitness notebook looks like.

5. Ministry – What ways did I use my talents for God in 2010? Pray about what God would have you do in 2011.

Suggestion: Surrender your life to God. Be willing to be used for his purposes – remember that each season of life brings different priorities and opportunities. Pray over this.

Choosing a Theme Word:

Pause and look over your evaluation. Now choose a theme word for the new year. Last year my theme word was connecting. I wanted to remain connected to God, while remaining intimately connected to my husband, connected with my children and connect on-line with all of you. It certainly was a year of connecting in 2010!

For 2011, my theme word is…drum roll please…
I want to simplify many areas of my life, so I have more space to pray, laugh, tickle, write, listen, create, rest, hug, read, connect, and love more deeply than I’ve ever loved. In my fall and December pursuit for peace in my home and in my heart, I have found that there are some things in my life that need to be simplified in order to create space for peace – so essentially – I’m pursuing peace through simplifying.
You will see some of this theme popping up in the new year on this blog, as it is on my heart and mind. So what is your theme word for 2011?

If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up below!

Walk with the King!

I am linking up to: Motivation Monday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Finer Things Friday, Raising Homemakers, Making My H0me Sing Monday , Holiday Haven and Works For Me Wednesday. Please check out these blogs for more great homemaking ideas.


  1. JOY.

    I have been hit with that word and the need for Joy in all the areas you mentioned above. It is my word and I'm ready to discover all the things Scripture says and implement it in 2011!

    Beautiful post with terrific reflection questions. Gotta get outside this week……!

  2. Joy – I love it!!! Absolutely it is a wonder to possess and to express!!! Fight for it!! It will be contagious and it will rub off on your family!!! Great theme! (and Joy is my daughter's middle name for this very reason!)

  3. Hey! I got a note from Darlene and she gave me the name of "two awesome women" I needed to introduce myself to. You were one of them! So, here I am, introducing myself to you! I have put you on my blog as a "favorite blog" and would just love to get to know you!

    Grace to you!

  4. I loved this!!!

    I am going to have think on it and evaluate like you said…

    but off the top of my head I thinking..GRACE 🙂

    Many Blessings to you Courtney! May you have a blessed 2011 and may God continue his wonderful work through you!

  5. Thanks for this post. I needed it! I leave for Africa on Tuesday so I will take some time there to reflect! Please pray for my trip!

  6. LOVE! True unconditional love. I want to love God… my Husband.. my daughter… my family… my friends… strangers…. my eneimes… myself! I want to show it more, notice it more, give it more, and acceptt it more.

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm looking forward to joining a GMG group next month and I'm looking forward to reading more from you in the next year.

  7. I truly can not wait to pray about this and see the "word" that the Lord will bring to mine. I will be working on parts that you listed above, almost like you took the words right out of my mouth. 2010 has big changes, alot of relying and trusting God, and learning discipline. I can not wait to see what the Lord does in 2011!!! This will be a great week of being quite and really listen to God!! Thank you for the BIG reminders!! Luv ya girl

  8. LOVE- My theme word for 2011 is also LOVE I want to above all LOVE GOD with all my heart, soul, and mind!! I want to love my husband and children I have been blessed with a LOVE they need and God has called me to! I want to LOVE those people God has placed in my path even the difficult to LOVE ones and the neighbors in my path. I pray by the end of 2011 people may know I am a CHRISTIAN by my LOVE!!
    God's Love!!!!

  9. 2010 has been a very tough for all my family including my children. My great faith in God has switched to just hanging-on but that i will do. I would like to put Charity but its too big a word, so i'm saying 'kind' being 'kind' and kindness. Such a little word but it comes with so much potential starting with myself. Being kind to myself, being kind to my children, being kind to my family and being kind to my friends and even to the stranger in the street. We can do so much with such a tiny word, Bev

  10. I'm so encouraged by your sharing. My word 2010 was "Keep a prayerful and quiet heart". That was sooo hard to do. Usually decide on my One Word during Chinese New Years. Might have to repeat words from 2010. Thank you again.

  11. HOW FUNNY!!!! I wrote a post boycotting resolutions for a reVolution instead based on one word: LOVE, about a week ago!!!! I guess I will be linking up with you now – how awesome to find someone doing the same thing!!! So excited, can't wait!

  12. Patience. I have been considering this word for a few days and it fits so many areas of my life. I am excited to start 2011!

  13. I really like what you said about the reminders of how the joys of this world are "empty" – this Christmas has been wonderful, but there were many, MANY snags and set backs that had to bring us back to reality!

    I may have to steal your word for 2011 😉

  14. I agree SIMPLIFY. It seems so simple. We don't need 4 course meals every night. simple healthy food. WE don't need the most expensive of cars, clothes and such. We are blessed to have what we have. Thank you so much.

  15. Looking forward to my moments with God and to see what my new word will be for the new year!
    Thank you for being such an encouragement to many women! You are truly a blessing!

  16. LOL! When I first looked at your post, I thought your word for the year was "snap". I sat there shaking my head. Snap?

    Anyhoo, my hubby's and my phrase for the year is "show up, and grow up". We've been holding on to a lot of adolescent bad habits, and it's well past time to get rid of them.

    I find that celebrating the full Christmas season (12 days isn't just a song) really helps to chase away the post-Christmas let down. We give Jesus a nice long party.

  17. My theme word(s) for the new year is Be Intentional. For far too long I have been a procrastinator and someone who does not finish commitments. I want the Lord to help me change this by being intentional in my relationships, faith, and all of my commitments. I'm looking forward to the new year and know that God knows what is coming!


  18. thanks for sharing the questions and suggestions. I'll be spending some time going through these this week. Our 7-year anniversary is tomorrow, so the marriage questions are perfect to reflect on tomorrow. 🙂


    I am the world's worst person for not having others in my home. I am either too busy, the house is a mess, or some other excuse. This year, I want to learn hospitality. I want people to feel welcome when they come over and I want to learn to let go of my worries about what they must think about my home (dirty dishes and all).

  20. I am going to think on this during this week and prayerfully consider the word that the Lord wants me to focus my life on in 2011…thank you for this wonderful challenge.

  21. Thank you for another thought-provoking post, Courtney!

    I'm torn….my word will either be LOVE or THANKFULNESS, I think. Both are so key.


  22. This really got me thinking the other day. This month, the word that just kept coming up for me was Contentment. It popped up in several places and realized that if I wasn't focused on it, it is easy for is to become DIScontentment. As I discussed this with my daughter yesterday in the car, I also realized that the twin of Contentment is Gratitude. They really are siamese-twins. I intended to study these out and make some Scripture cards to keep them in front of me at all times this next year.

    I am watching a close family member sink under the weight of bitterness, discontentment and ingratitude. It has made me take stock of how blessed I am, especially in the midst of unfinished projects and chaos. God is good, ALL of the time!

    Thank you for your challenge and the thoughtful insights you have shared.

  23. Definitely my word for 2011 is Peace with my theme verse being Isaiah 26:3- "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you."

    This is been the hardest year of my life and there is so much unknown happening right now, as my husband and I are losing our home and we have no idea where we are going. I have decided that I am just going to rest in my heavenly father and let the peace that passes all understanding cover both my husband and me as we are going this trial.

    When I just put my trust in the Lord, I realize that everything is going to be okay!


  24. LOVE, for GOD, myself, my children, and others. Love by listening more than talking, by showing my children grace, by taking care of myself so I can be of use to GOD and others. And to show GOD's love by serving more. I'm taking my boys (4 and 2) to serve with me and some friends at a local food pantry. I am hoping to make this a regular habit.

  25. I’ve been Christian for 26 years – always intimately close with God. But only a church member for 7 of those. I got stuck on the words “personal relationship with Christ”.

    Only recently, rereading church history, have I finally figured out that since the 1st century it’s always been about community – all of us, together, each having personal relationships with God.

    This year I need to connect better, give more, come in from outside. No more hiding the light under the bushel basket. It’s time to connect. May I steal your word from last year? It’s exactly what’s needed for me this year?

    Lastly, I know your place here on the web is for women. But your writing touches my spirit. I hope it’s alright for me to be here. If it’s not, please let me know. I’ll understand.

    God Bless and Keep you and yours

  26. Wow! So many of you are giving me so many great things to think about – maybe I need 5 theme words lol!!

    Craig – I don't generally converse with guys on-line – but since you have asked…this is a public forum and I welcome your visit.

    I don't know if you have any Guy blogs you follow but there are a few good ones out there such as: (this is my roommate in college's husband and a dear friend of mine) (my favorite pastor John Piper) (I love Mark Driscoll's Youtube sermons – I've listened to two today on-line and my husband listened to one!)

    for marriage

    Hope these help!

  27. Courtney,

    Thank you for responding, and thank you for those blog suggestions. Now that I'm blogging, I'm reading blogs all the time.

    I need blogs that feed my spirit, I love theology, but hate the "blah blah". I need the real, I need the heart, I need the story, not so much the sermon. Hope that makes sense. That's why I enjoy reading your words – God, story, heart, no sermons.

    I love theology that makes me smile.

    Thank you for allowing me here.

    God Bless you, your husband, your home.

    Again, thank you.

  28. Loved this post. I will definitely be reading it again and taking some notes. Thanks for joining in on the Hip Homeschool Hop!

  29. Simplifying is a great thing to do. Thanks for sharing the great tips too. I appreciate it.

    Happy New Year and God bless!

  30. I focused on Peace & Simplicity in 2008. God really rocked my world with that one. It was my first theme year, and it was amazing. Hoping you'll have the same experience.

    This year, I'm focusing on GIVE. Can't wait to see what He's going to do with it.

  31. Love your blog- love your Good Morning Girl idea – may have to try that out!
    Love your word too – Simplify seems to be a theme so many of us need these days!!

  32. Love everyone's words! I love the word simplify and the word joy. Amazing words to think about. I added a link to this post in my most recent blog post.
    I treasure you! You are such a gift!

  33. You choose the best word!!!! I love it! we really need less to have more of Him, really less is more!

    If I would choose a word I think it would be, "selfless", I want to practice more of dying to self, to become more like Him, I can do this in my Marriage, Parenting, Blog, church community. There is so many place that I could but others before myself and let Him take all the credit!

    I would like for my selfish self to decrease and so my heart and love, mercy and grace may INCREASE!

    I want to learn to love unconditionally, all the time! I want to learn to love as He love us. Even when it hurt!

    Maybe I should stop rambling over here and start praying more about this!!!

    Thanks you for this taught provoking post!!!!

    Mrs Stam

  34. I have finally figured out the word that I need to focus on for 2011….Discipline…not an easy thing but so necessary. I am going to blog more about the word, and how I came up with it, through prayer, etc. Thank you Courtney for the encouraging words on your blog! Your ministry has been a blessing to me, and I know so many others too!

  35. I just in fact posted on my FB that my core resolution for 2011 was 'Simplify'! Loved your post…I agree whole-heartedly!

  36. Humility.

    I am learning more about how to be humble. We are finally gettig out of debt in 2011, we have been struggling for years and I just began trusting God and letting him get involved in my finances. I am expecting God's blessings this year.

    Humility also means asking for help. It means learning how to be content with what I have and being thankful. There are so many lessons to learn about humility and often it involves focusing on Christ and becoming more like him. This is something I also want to teach and model for my kids.

  37. When I first read the blog, the word that came to mind was INCREASE. I want to increase my relationship with God by increasing my prayer life and scripture reading; increase self confidence; increase the time I spend with family; and increase positive thinking that consumes not only my thinking but me. But as I was reading through the comments another word dropped in my spirit, REKINDLE. The Lord wants me to rekindle that fire I once had for him and as I increase my prayer life and scripture reading, I believe the fire will renite.
    Court, stay encouraged through this walk and know that God is using you to speak to his people. Thank you.

  38. I loved Anonymous's comment of 27th December, if I remember right. She said that Hospitality will be her word for 2011 as she's the world's worst at having people over and making them comfortable. well, She's not the world's worst – that may well be me. Perhaps some of you can help me in this area. I worry about the mess in the house and about the time taken out of the day, leaving less time for things that have to be done.
    I would love to change this about myself this year. Help please!!

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