• Inspiration / Lifestyle

    Personal Reflections from 2016 and My Word for 2017

    Here we are, a few days into a brand, spanking new year! And let me tell you, it sure does feel GOOD to usher in 2017!

    2016 seemed like a tumultuous year for the world at large: from so many natural disasters, to deadly attacks, to political meltdowns worldwide…it seemed like people weren’t happy and they were definitely going to let the world know how they felt about it!  It really felt like at almost every turn, it was just depressing news or lots of anger spewing forth. 

    While my personal life wasn’t quite as moody, I will admit, 2016 was a challenging year for myself and my family. 

    I went into 2016 with the greatest of intentions and was really excited to start the second year of blogging, with FOCUS being the word I declared over the year. You can read all about that here.

    Little did I know that only two weeks into the new year, I would be faced with my first big challenge of the year which involved a few bloggers and a lot of hateful things being said to me and about me. Without going into details of the whole ordeal, because truthfully, I don’t want to spend any more time giving voice to something that wrecked me for those first few months of 2016, it completely shifted things for me. What I wanted to be focused on, I wasn’t, because I became consumed with things that were completely out of my control. 

    focusAfter trying to move past the situation and regain my footing, we suffered another, much more traumatic loss: my husband’s job. This was completely unexpected, taking us completely off guard. You want to talk about losing your focus, well, losing a job like that will do it to you. You can read all about that here.

    We spent the summer, together as a family, regrouping and reevaluating what we really wanted to be doing with our lives. Lots of conversations were had. Lots of prayers were said. Lots of tears shed. 

    In the midst of all of that, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and would go on to need all kinds of sleep studies, sleep machine/medications and ultimately requiring surgery to remove my tonsils (because they were part of the problem) at the end of the year. 

    It’s funny that the word I chose to declare over my life for 2016…FOCUS…was probably the very last thing I ended up doing. Amidst all of these trials and uncertainties, I tried my very best to keep it all together for my family as well as for this blogging business that started to grow rapidly. From about June til the end of the year, I felt like I was drowning. It wasn’t just that I had so much work, along with health and family issues to work through, it was that I seemed to let EVERY.SINGLE.LITTLE.THING bother me. 


    If you don’t know this about me yet, here it is: I am more of a people pleaser than I’d like to admit. As much as I am strong and consider myself a leader, I do NOT like when people are bothered with me. As fierce as I may come across, I have a very sensitive heart which means I can get hurt often and usually fuss over things I can’t even change. 

    There were SO many things out of our control in 2016 that we could do nothing about and yet, I let so much of it consume me. Trying to figure out ways to ‘fix’ things is something I’m always doing. Each and every one of these ‘things’ were taking my FOCUS away and onto mostly trivial, non-fixable things.

    So why do I tell you all of that backstory to 2016? Well, because it’s important in understanding the goals that I’m setting, including my new word, for 2017. 

    You see, here’s the thing. Sometimes, in order to move forward with a goal, you actually have to move about 10 steps backwards first. I thought I was focused going into 2016…I thought I was strong. I thought I knew EXACTLY who I was, who my friends were, where we were headed as a family and so on. And boy, was I ever WRONG! 

    But at every unexpected turn in the road, it was a chance to re-focus…to seriously hone in on what EXACTLY I wanted to be doing…on where EXACTLY we wanted to be…and who EXACTLY I wanted to be closely connected with. Sometimes you need to lose focus to realize you were never really focused in the first place. 

    Going through all that we did in 2016 (and don’t get me wrong, there were LOADS of amazing times), it caused us to re-align ourselves and figure out exactly who we were and what we wanted to be about. It also caused me to do that for this blog.

    And so going into 2017, I actually don’t have one word…I have TWO. I’m choosing FOCUS again, as my word for 2017…because this time around, I am more solidly grounded in who I am, who my friends are, what I believe and where we are called to be. The second word that goes hand and hand with focus is INTENTION. 

    You see, last year, I let a lot of crappy things consume me…derail my focus…and cause me to not live to my fullest potential. And it’s because I wasn’t being intentional with my time. I had no clarity because I was so focused on silly things. 

    This year, we change that, baby! This year is all about INTENTION. 

    I want to live better, to love harder, to be happier, to achieve greater, and to be present. Being intentional about these things will cause my focus to remain steadfast. That doesn’t mean trials won’t come…I’m almost certain they will. But keeping my eyes focused on the goal…with great clarity and intention to come out stronger, I know that 2017 WILL be a GREAT year! 

    So I want to hear from you…what is YOUR word for 2017? Let me know in the comments below and how you are going to make sure you live it out every day! 

    Love & Blessings,



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  • Reply Natalie Romano January 5, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    My word is REST! Not about being lazy, but resting in Jesus; not allowing my own expectations of myself get in the way of what Jesus wants me to do!

    • Reply Tricia January 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      What a great word!
      Hope you find sweet rest in Jesus 🙂

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

      That’s perfect! Rest is so important!

  • Reply Tricia January 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Those are 2 great words. Love it. Focus was my word last year & to be honest, I think I still need to focus. The other word floating in my mind since the end of last year was “connecting.” Having little toddlers and preschoolers can be very tiring at times that you forget to spend time with your friends or spouse, so I’m trying to make a better effort to connect more in person with people versus just sending text messages. I’ll see how it goes, but that is my intention 🙂
    Hope you have an incredible year of focus, intention & growth.

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Well, let’s CONNECT! Seriously, let’s grab a coffee! Would love some face time! xo

  • Reply Anna January 6, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for keeping it real Christine. We live in a world in which we all have “Facebook effect”, where everyone is going through something, yet they all feel alone in it, because everyone else is only showing their happy side, the exciting stuff and not the real, raw everyday stuff that we all face. You’ve impressed me so much with your talent last year, and reading this is surprising, my heart goes out to you for all the pains of 2016 but it’s also refreshing because you are brave and show who you really are. 🙂 Sounds like you have a good handle on 2017 already! All the best to you!
    I’ve gone through A LOT myself in 2016, so many life-altering changes. From difficulties, I try to draw out opportunities and lessons that will make me stronger. My word for this year is GROWTH. I want to grow my appreciation for the moment, grow my love for my family, grow my horizons and outlooks on life and grow my business.
    Thanks for an amazing read 🙂

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Anna! I’m so glad we connected this year! Thank you for your encouragement and support. I’m sorry to hear it was a challenging year for you as well…but believing GREAT things for you in 2017! xo

  • Reply Allison January 6, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I loved this post–didn’t love the sad things that happened throughout your year but loved the honesty and realness. I could relate to so so so much of what you said. My word for the year is Believe. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Awe thanks so much Allison! Appreciate that! And what a fabulous word for 2017! xo

  • Reply Jonelle Sills January 6, 2017 at 1:16 am

    My word is sacrifice, in the most positive sense. This year is about sacrificing things I may want for what I need. Love the post, the blog and most importantly Love you Christine ❤!!!!!

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Awe, love you too my friend!! xo

  • Reply Laura January 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    So great! Loved reading this.

  • Reply Debbie January 6, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Focus is the word I have chosen for this year. I’ve never chosen a word before. I thought and looked and prayed and focus kept easing back into my choices. Focus on God, on my husband and our 46 year marriage, on our children and grandchildren, on being joyful.
    I look forward to reading your blog! Thanks!!!

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:36 am

      So awesome! And wow 46 years! That’s admirable!!

  • Reply Lilian January 8, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Christine, I came across your blog about a month ago and I have to say that I thoroughly love reading what you have to share. It is so inspirational and uplifting. It’s brightens up my day. It’s hard to imagine that you were not focus and not living with intentions last year! May this year be ever so much more wonderful for you!
    P.S. To answer your question…my word for this year is OBEDIENCE!

    • Reply Christine January 10, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Thank you so much Lilian for your kind words and your support! And what a great word for 2017!! xo

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