Tag Archives: Ali Edwards

One Little Word 2017



In January, I chose the word DARE as my one word for the year. Something happened along the way. I sort of dropped out of following the word through the year.

But then, something else happened. I dared to go back to full-time teaching! I started a new job with Newberry Academy. I took on the head of school’s “dare” to teach/advise the desktop publishing class, aka yearbook, something I’ve never, ever done before. And I “dared” to teach world history. Keep in mind, I am a certified ENGLISH teacher. I’ve never taught a social studies class before in my entire career.

I love it! I love teaching in a small, intimate private school. I know my students—and am getting to know their parents on a first name basis. Seriously. Of course, I discovered that I’ve taught some of the parents before in my life as a public school teacher. And then, there is the one student whom my own son taught when he was the middle school band director in town! That’s a sobering thought. . . . I have a son old enough to teach middle school students who are now my high school students.

This year, as I looked at Ali Edwards One Little Word class and wondered momentarily whether I should take it or not—and I am—my word came to me:  GROW.


Odd.  I will be sixty years old in February 2018. And I feel I am still growing.  I talked to the head of school last week and told him I’d like to take the AP certification course this summer. He’s willing to pay half tuition. I believe it will “grow” me as a teacher. Besides, I haven’t taken a formal literature/education class in more years than I can remember. I am looking forward to professional growth.

And I signed up for the “graduate” course with Emma Davies and A Year with My Camera. I want to grow as a photographer. I will be teaching my yearbook students more about photography next year so that we get some really interesting story-telling photographs for the yearbook.

I want to grow as a creative person. I want to grow my writing. I haven’t put much effort into my novel in the last weeks. I plan to do that during this Christmas holiday break. I am going to live up to my word that I won’t answer any emails until I go back to school on January 3. Nope, I just won’t do it.

There is the old saying, “Bloom where you are planted.” Well, I may not “bloom” this year, but I do intend to grow—personally, professionally, creatively.


One Word—Abide


I’m not sure how long I’ve been selecting a word to guide me for the year. I think I began in 2009 with the word Joy, after we lost everything in the first of two house fires. Since then, I have chosen words such as Intention, Create, and Seek. The word Seek has had special resonance with me, and wants to cling to me as I go into 2016. But so does “abide.”


This word came to me this morning during my quiet time. I set aside about forty-five minutes to an hour each day to write my three pages of “morning pages” (a la Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way), read my Bible and write in my prayer journal. This morning, after weeks of thinking my word would be “reframe,” which still clings to me, but not in a way that I feel comfortable with, I found the hymn “Abide with Me” floating through my mind.

Perhaps the word came to me because I sometimes think “musically.” I hear melodies in my head, portions of lyrics drift through my consciousness. Or maybe, after weeks of hustle and bustle and busy-ness of the holiday season and all the preparations, I just needed to think of “abiding” in peace and quiet. I had finished a study of the book of Numbers, and while I wait for the next “big” study, I knew I needed to find something that would allow me to abide in God’s word. And there it is: ABIDE; Jesus’s invitation to “abide in me” while I ask him to “abide in me.”


There it is. My word for 2016—ABIDE. I have “joined” the tribe at One Word 365, a huge community of others who have joined this movement to let a word guide them throughout the year. In addition, I have joined Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class to find ways to keep the word in the forefront during the year.

An old hymn begins, “I don’t know about tomorrow.” And I don’t know what tomorrow or the day after that will bring. But I can begin to abide in today and in God’s love for me and in creation and nature to find that peace.