Word of the Year

Happy 2019 sweet friends!! I hope your first week of this new year has been full of peace and rejoicing, we have another year!

Honestly, I’ve never had a personal liking for New Year Resolutions. There is always so much about me I have felt I need to grow in or be better at, I’m never completely satisfied completely with where I’m at (something God is working on in my lil heart, but that’s a different blog post). Whenever I have tried resolutions in the past I honestly end up feeling overwhelmed because there’s so much emphasis put on one goal when in the back of my mind there are so many different things I want to pour into to better myself.

BUT this is my first year seeing the whole “one word to focus on all year” shenanigan and I love it, because it allows me to focus on my life as a whole rather than one goal to the extreme.

Before we dive into my word of the year, I wanted to give a little background on how I got here. There were several periods in 2018 where I just felt empty. I constantly struggled with finding my worth and value. And time and time again God would meet me and remind me in my darkest corners that I find my meaning in Christ, unwavering and eternal. He would remove the power earthly things were having over me (my own thoughts, conversations with other people, my circumstances) and I would find peace. And then the process would repeat. This year after praying to God asking how I can better serve Him this year and what He’d like of me, and spending some serious time self-reflecting, it finally became clear. I want to spend this year digging deeper into getting to know and trust the value Christ sees in me, and from that acceptance allowing my life to bloom accordingly. So here it is! My word for 2019:


In 2018 I worked. I worked and I slept. I spent a lot of time living outside of my means, which is why I thought I needed to work so much. After switching to that lifestyle I grew exhausted and irritable, and somehow along the way I lost a bit of my spirit and thirst for life. And goodness, what a terrible feeling that was. When you feel empty, you feel like you have nothing to offer. And from there it’s easy to find worth at what’s around you, what you see, rather than turning back to God for peace. Part of me has felt empty for a while, God knows I’ve known it and He’s encouraged on multiple accounts “why not let go of that and do something that feeds your heart instead? Mariah what are you doing to take care of you?” I ignored His questions and focused on work. Barely making it day to day because I was so overworked and exhausted, and certainly not giving my all to anything else, including my relationship with Him, my boyfriend, my family and friends, and my health both mentally and physically.

This year I am going to live with intention. When God created me He gave me this relentless spirit for life, adventurous and spontaneous to explore His creation. I am curious and passionate, I love visiting new places and meeting new. I love trying new things. This last year along with my shackles, I was caged. I caged my spirit and essentially said “no, not now. now’s not a good time” for an entire year. Instead of pouring into what brings my heart JOY I poured into a job that in five years will not matter to me nearly as much as what made my spirit happy. I am PUMPED to get back to being me, and taking time within each week to broaden what I make time for, incorporating more of what God wants of me and less of labor and “have-to” activities.

Living with intention starts with accepting God’s intentions for me as my definition. From there, everything I do, every decision I make, will be intentionally rooted in that definition. The relationships I pursue, how I spend my time, what I will and will not participate in. From things as simple as a conversation to as impactful as where I live and the people I surround myself with. This is all dictated by what my intentions are, and this year I want them rooted in Christ alone.

And I am so darn excited!

Do you have a word for the year? Whether you’re a word of the year kind of person, a resolution kind of person, or neither, I pray that this year finds you new joys and more stillness, whether that’s rekindling things from the past, forgiveness, less or more. I pray that you find NEWness and JOY, wherever you are at.



Eighteen Things

Hello sweet friend! 

As we wrap up another year, I wanted to share a short list of 18 things I learned this year. As we open the door to 2019 I pray for growth, love, strength, and new!

1. It’s okay to take it slow.
You read that right. It’s okay to take things SLOW. Go easy on yourself. I am always so eager to try new things sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. It’s okay to take it slow. 


2. It’s okay to say no. 
Maybe you don’t want to go out tonight. Maybe that activity just doesn’t sound like fun. Maybe you’re too tired. Maybe there’s no exact reason at all, and you’re just not feelin’ it. It is okay to just say no. 
3. Taking care of yourself first is going to help those you want to take care of.
If you aren’t in a good mental and physical space, how can you expect yourself to help others the way He has called you to? It’s not self-centered to take care of yourself. Water your garden so that you can help your brothers and sisters.
4. Don’t ask God for advice if you aren’t ready to hear it.
This one was so obvious when my Grandma told it to me, but I had never really thought about it before! So often I ask God for advice or next steps or guidance when I still am attached to my own opinion on how things should go. Asking for help is one thing but listening and acting on what you are told is another. Don’t ask for help if you don’t want the answer.

5. Wait a little longer.
I’ve probably quoted her 1,000 times this year. My dear friend mentioned this to me a couple of months ago and it has been ringing in my head since. Wait a little longer. Sometimes this means physically (in traffic, in the check out line at the grocery store) other times this means with people. Just wait a little longer. 
6. Not everyone grows the same way that I do.
This one I’m still learning. God may be working in me in a way that isn’t the same for someone else. My heart may be sensitive (or not sensitive) to things that work in the opposite way for someone else. What works for me, how my brain and heart work, isn’t the same as him, her, she, or them. Learning and listening to how other people’s hearts tick is so essential to understanding the other person in relationship, romantic or family or friendship.
7. Numbers don’t matter.
Another one I’m still learning and reminding myself of. Weight, followers, likes, income. You are not a number and these numbers do not matter. They do not define you or your worth. Embrace who you are as a whole and allow yourself to bloom.
8. It’s okay to not be friends.
This was another toughie for me. I am a classic extrovert and LOVE meeting new people (I usually just skip the acquaintance phase, everyone is just new friends). But sometimes it’s okay to not connect with someone. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them or that there’s something wrong with you. It’s okay to take the healthy initiative (respectfully) to go “you know, maybe we aren’t friends. and that’s okay.” There can still be support, love, and encouragement without friendship. 
9. Branching off of #8, it’s okay to stop being friends.
It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them or you. It’s okay to grow apart if that is what is healthy for one or both parties. It’s okay and it’s normal.
10. Take it EASY. 
Realize when you’re holding your breath and exhale before you suffocate.
11. Life is not always black and white.
Heck, life for me is rarely black and white. As someone who has OCD, I live in either black and white. But my life is dominantly gray. It is not this or that or left or right, sometimes it’s just looking down at my feet and realizing where I’m standing. 
12. Love and love harder. Lean into love, and allow yourself to BE loved. You are worth it.
13. Love isn’t always joyous.
Sometimes love is freakin’ hard. I fall more in love with Thomas each and every day, but that doesn’t mean as I fall I don’t stumble. God continues to remind me that relationships are fluid. There are good and bad days, time shouldn’t be 100% of either.
14. Forgiveness.
There are things I have long forgiven, whether the person who has hurt me has asked for it or not. Recently I realized when forgiveness occurs without the other person present or asking for it, anger and hurt can still subside in the heart because of that lack of closure. Rather than walking around with that brewing in my heart, I prayed (and continue to pray) for the closure only God can give. 
15. It is okay to be soft and strong.
I have seen a lot of darkness this past year, and have come out stronger than ever. It is okay to be sensitive and tender and also self-respecting and brave. Life can be gray.

16. Trusting in Jesus’ timing.
My heart grows unsteady at the unknown, I love being in control and I love knowing what’s next. Trusting in His timing, His way, and His plan has been a major step for me this past year. Letting go and letting Jesus.

17. Getting to know my anxiety.
This year I learned that, while I have known the ins and outs of my anxiety since I was a child, there is still so much in every minute of my day within my lil head and heart that is run through my anxiety screen. Things that I might not process a certain way or think about as often if I didn’t have anxiety. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t know myself this year, a stranger in my own body. I learned that meeting new corners of yourself is okay, too.

 18. STAY VULNERABLE. As scary and terrifying and uncomfortable as it is. If we aren’t vulnerable we aren’t genuine, and if we aren’t genuine what are we?