2016 Word of the Year

In 2015, I chose *revel* as my word of the year. I chose the word on a whim, designed a graphic, and wrote the post.

It’s been a fantastic year. I’ve learned a lot about reveling – from Candace, Karen, Jennifer, and Mystie who wrote fantastic guest posts on the topic. I learned a lot about *revel* as I considered my life and the events that were happening in it.

I enjoyed the exercise very much. I think my favorite post was Revel in Jesus where I defined it as “Rejoic[ing] with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

I’ll probably still have one more *revel* post for 2015, what with there being 2 more weeks (!?!) in December and holidays to come.

Throughout the year I thought of several words that I might choose for 2016. At one point, I thought about not choosing a word but working different ideas through the Four Ws. I might still do some of that.

In October and November, as I was considering the Four Ws, I was thinking about how we have to notice things to Wonder, Work, gain Wisdom, or Worship about them.

I don’t know about you, I struggle with the noticing. Probably because I’m in my head; reading a book; or, let’s face it, on some sort of internet device. Or all of those things at once.

I don’t pay attention. 

I remember years and years ago, listening to an Andrew Kern lecture – I don’t even remember which one – where he is talking about how attention is necessary for children to learn. In the middle of it, he’s thinking of ways to get them to do so and says something to the effect of, “I guess you could shout Pay Attention!”

That’s stuck with me.

Our society multitasks. Homeschool moms, in my experience, are doing lots of things at once – reading, teaching, parenting, cooking, all while swapping a load of laundry. Then add blogging, instagram, twitter, facebook, periscope …. you have a recipe for inattention to what really matters.

How can I *revel* in the everyday if I’m not really seeing the individual moments of the every day.

How can I Wonder let alone work, gain wisdom, or worship if I haven’t seen or heard?

For my 2016 Word of the Year, I’m going to choose Attend!

I like verbs, what can I say?

There are so many meanings to Attend! That are wonderful for an exercise like this. Here are Webster’s 1828’s definitions.  I think considering the ideas of being present, waiting upon, being with, regarding, listening, and fixing the attention upon will be a valuable exercise for 2016.

I hope you’ll join me!

Photo Credit: My very talented, wonderfully artistic friend Angi DeLong took the amazing macro shots of the purple flower I used in this year’s graphic. I wanted macro pictures as they focus so carefully on the details of their object, they force your attention. She had the perfect images for me!


  1. I love this! I agree with attention being an important thing. Have you read Simone Weil's article about how the very purpose of all studies is to teach us how to pay attention so that we can give our attention during prayer? If you haven't I'll link it for you. In our liturgy the deacon says "Let us attend!" many times, calling us to come back if our minds have wandered. I can't wait to see what you'll be writing.

    1. I'd love that link, Lisa! I think I've seen that essay quoted, but haven't read it.

      Our pastor encourages us to "Give your careful attention." when he reads scripture. I love that.

  2. What a great word for 2016! Thank you for sharing it with us and giving me pause to consider how I can bring more attentiveness to my life in the year ahead. I love this focus and will look forward to seeing how it brings new joy in my life and yours. This is my first time to comment, but I LOVE your blog and it gives me inspiration each time you post. God bless you!

    1. Thanks! I love comments like this … makes my day! I'm thrilled to know that my posts gave inspired or encouraged you. I hope you continue to comment so we can get to know one another.

    1. Thanks, Ashley. I considered wonder and homage. I know there were others I thought might be good, but I forgot them quickly, so they weren't meant to be 🙂

  3. I like this word, Dawn. It makes me think of being present, of being all there, without divided attentions or a wandering mind. I want to improve at this.

    1. Thanks, Tricia Ann. It's a fascinating word, all of what you said above and also an element of service. I'm excited to start digging in!

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