2014 Word of the Year: FOCUS


Maybe you’re not a bucket list person or a word of the year person or even a “let’s make a goal and write in my mirror” person. I will say that being pregnant again has really shifted some priorities for me.

Namely, that it’s time for me to get serious (in a super fun way, of course) about my life and what God wants me to do in 2014.

For the last four years, we’ve been moving from fire to fire, putting them all out with Luke. There are still fires to fight, but I sort of feel like they’re manageable now. Or, maybe it’s because I know my limitations, when to freak out and when to just let it go. Perspective is a funny thing.

I’ve been thinking about having a word to really define my year. It began with establishing my spiritual board of directors. And, after reading Lisa’s post today over at CatholicMom.com I became even more convicted about my 2014 word of the year.


Yes, I’d like to do that in the literal sense. Photography has always been something I love (just ask my mom and my 40-billion scrapbooks from high school and college). After taking my first photography class in 2012, I finally fell in love with it again.

But, in the more figurative sense, I feel like I’ve lost my focus. Like I’ve been running around trying to be all things, to all people, all the time. I’ve always been a Type A doer. Nothing to be ashamed about there. At least I don’t think there is. However, it’s time for me to really start asking myself the question: does this “yes,” this activity, this outing, this venture really help me become the best version of myself?

The biggest thing off my plate has been giving up my blogging gig at PreemieBabies101 and I also cut back my obligations to just once a month for Austin Catholic New Media. I recently told some clients I can no longer do work for them. It was just no longer a good fit for their goals and my talents. I volunteered less at school and I even (insert gasp here) deleted the 23 emails I received for the Christmas party class requests without reading a single one.

Oh, yes I did.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not giving it all up because an extrovert just can’t do that. It’s crazy talk. But, I am searching and hoping and praying that I focus on the things that matter most to me this year. That I focus on my gifts and talents and how they can best be used. That I focus on the things I love about motherhood – celebrating birthdays, planning family outings, making our house a home, writing about motherhood and providing rich experiences for my kids. And, that I worry less about the things I don’t enjoy.

I’ve come to realize that this blog is my spiritual outlet. Some people pray to God, I write to Him. I also decorate the house for Him, plan rocking parties and organize the heck out of the blessings he bestows on us. It’s how I roll.

Whether you get all official and have a word for yourself or not, I think we all owe it to ourselves to find our “one thing.” You know, the thing that we really want to improve in ourselves this year. It’s a new start. A clean slate. There are many paths to God, and my path is different than yours.

If you have a word this year, I’d love to hear it. And, if you’re all, “Kathryn, that’s ridiculous. Let’s just drink a margarita!” then let me be the first to invite myself over. You know, after April 30.


  1. Sasha on January 8, 2014 at 4:54 am

    My word for this year is Still.

  2. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama on January 8, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Love this. My word is gentleness. I need to be more gentle with my children and with myself (and everyone else). I need to speak more gently and act more gently and stop beating mysell up for not being gentle.

  3. mbmom7 on January 8, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I think my word is ‘trust’. I have giving up working for now – I need to rest as much as possible with my pregnancy complications. I have to give up shuttling kids hither and yon, let other people take care of chores, and leave things undone. This is very hard – I’ve done so much for so long (I’ve been a mom working part time for almost20 years now) and I don’t know how to just wait. It’s too easy to have anxiety consume me without the distractions of work and chores. So I’ll be thinking on how to be patient, to trust in God and others, and pray for a good outcome.

  4. Nicole on January 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

    My word this year is “patience.” I find that I am so quick to lose my patience with my kids (which makes me sad), my husband (which makes me frustrated), my work (’nuff said), myself (baffles me). They say that patience is a virtue, and I am hoping that I can focus on finding that virture again and that it can bring me a renewed sense of peace.

    And you’re the first to hear it 🙂

    Good luck in your focus endeavors. I know it can be challenging, especially with everything you have going on. Cheers to 2014 – and, I’d join you for a margarita too.

  5. Debbie on January 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. My word for this year is “simplify.” I need to simplify in so many areas. I feel as if I am always running and not taking time for the really important things. If I simplify the busyness, I will be able to focus more on what is important – both to me and to my family.

  6. karen on January 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I’m not a word of the year person I don’t think, but that margarita sounds awesome! (Is it weird that I’ve been completely craving margaritas while pregnant? I think it’s the salt…)

  7. Katrina on January 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    My word is PEACE!

  8. Jennifer Niemann on January 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    When I find our margarita glasses I’ll have you over for one :). Although we did find our wine glasses.

    God gave me a Word yesterday that I think He wants me to share with you based on your comment that you do everything in a way to praise Him…it comes from Psalm 8:1& 3 “Oh Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the Heavens…When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers, the moon and the start you set in place…” My Bible had a side note about thanks vs. praise…it gave an example of a little boy who received a pair of socks from his grandmother for Christmas (I’m guessing they weren’t Nike Elites or he would have been more excited!). Anyway, he dutifully thanked her and moved on. Later this boy, who happened to be a Lego fanatic, opened a gift from his other grandmother which happened to be a large box of Legos. He went crazy – jumping around, talking about the gift and how awesome that grandmother was for getting him this gift.

    The first grandmother was thanked…the 2nd was praised.

    I love this part: “Praising God starts with an attitude of wonder at the things that God has created. The psalmist seems caught off guard by the beauty of the sunset…wowed by the vastness, creativity and general amazingness of God. And then he expresses that back to God. That’s praise.”

    That’s what you are doing, my friend – you allow the everyday things to become acts of worship. My prayer for you (and myself) is to constantly be in wonder of the everyday things, realizing the true amazingness of God in all of His creation. Love and miss you!

  9. Kelly on January 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t have word of the year as much as an idea. After doing what I “had” to do in my career to make ends meet or take the next step, I’m going to do what I “want” to do, starting this year. I’ve recently felt a push out of special education and into helping kids/families in a different way….ECI, a non-profit, job coaching, not sure yet. But something big is afoot!

  10. Our 2015 Word of the Year - Team Whitaker on January 14, 2015 at 7:30 am

    […] Last year, mine was focus. […]

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