My Word of the Year ...

... I've never formally adopted a "word for the year" before, at least not in January. I used to pick a word that I would try and embrace for the coming year on my birthday (in July), seeing my age as more a "definer" than a calendar year. Last year, I unofficially claimed "NEW" as my word or theme for the year - looking back, it was a bit of a battlecry, the fierce determination to break out of the same-ol' and move into the next, NEW, chapter(s) of life. It worked, ha. As mentioned briefly earlier this week, 2013 was a year of many changes for me - most of them big. You know, the life-altering kind. I loved almost every minute of it, but some things definitely got lost in the blur. My year sped by at a rate that'd challenge Han Solo's Falcon, and I am still adjusting to the fact it is now 2014 and a whole year has gone by.

This year, I decided to declare an official word of the year, inspired in part by seeing my friends talking about their words on the interwebz, as well as Krafty Kash offering a discount on a personalized vintage dictionary necklace featuring your 2014 word. (Yes, I confess to being swayed by wordy jewelry). Deciding what my word would be ... now that was far more difficult than I anticipated. Since they all sort of linked together, I decided to share some of my "almost words" ...

My honest-to-goodness first impulse was "Elven," but I was fairly certain that would not exist in dictionaries ... Maybe I'll make myself an Elven necklace somewhere along the line this year.

In terms of serious word deliberation, I began with "treasure," in direct response to feeling like last year flew by too fast, wanting to treasure the moments in 2014. This shifted minutely to "savor," as well as "ponder" and "wonder." I toyed with the idea of "dance" or "breathe," to remind myself to take time to just enjoy. (I also considered "enjoy" for that matter). As I thought about where I've come, and where I'd like to go, I was very close to picking "story," but that's how I view life in general and as such can't be limited to a single year. I was tempted by "dare" and "experiment," to stretch my dreams and find new ones; and "grace" was a very real contender - to walk in grace daily, receiving it with a grateful heart and giving it freely. And then, everything fell into place and I simply knew what my word for 2014 was.

It encompasses all of the reasons I liked the other words, with the added bonus of being a key component in that favorite-of-all-favorites fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." While we're on that subject, isn't this quote the most amazing ever?

Stacey Jay rocked my world, as I literally read myself into 2014 with Of Beast and Beauty.

In 2014, I will try and find beauty in all things. All. Things.
Beauty in the waiting times, when it seems life is stalling out and I've reached the end of the story.
Beauty in the every day: a stunning sunset; the stark silhouette of a tree against a winter sky; the way the stars shine brightest on clear, cold nights; laughing until I can't breathe with friends; baby giggles and kissing chubby cheeks.
Beauty in knowing who I am, and Who has called me His own.
Beauty in friendships, and the glorious vulnerability of trusting others.
Beauty in the words I read, the things I see, the dreams that grow.
Beauty in the music that stirs my soul and sets my heart at ease - or makes me feel brave and fierce.
Beauty in the stillness, and in the dance.

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