Strides of Increase, Weeks 1 & 2

As you know, my word of the year is Increase. I am so excited for this word God has given me and all He has in store for us this year! When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. When I read the definition the words Intensity, Expand, Grow, and Swell stand out to me.

As inspired by Crystal Paine of, I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word. That’s why I personally love when I hear that some have chosen words like Intentional, Purposeful, or Grow – because these are words that signify that there will be some actual work and action put behind the sentiment. I sure hope that there is and that those who choose words like this, as well as others, are able to use them to make actual changes in their lives and see a positive difference.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits. The 3 habits I am focusing on for the month of January are Workouts, Personal Reading, and Reading to my Children.
    I am working to re-establish the habit of working out and building that back into my routine after taking some time off with pregnancy complications and my miscarriage last month. This has been going well so far this month. I’ve lost some of my strength and abilities from taking a month off, which is pretty frustrating, but I’m challenged and excited to keep going and reach more goals in this area.
    I really love to read, but it’s one of those things that will fall between the cracks if I don’t make specific time for it. I have no specific goal as far as how much I read per day, but I’m trying to read 12 books this year so a book a month is the pace for that. You will most likely see benefits from this as the information I’m taking in is usually what comes out in my writing as well. Currently I’ve been re-reading The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, The Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, and Reading People by Anne Bogel. I read whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment.
    I really want my children to develop of love for learning and for reading. Currently, I have a kindergarten who reads really well but lacks confidence. I want to encourage him in this, and I want all of my children to see that reading can be a beautiful thing. It’s one of the things I want them to look back on our homeschooling years and remember fondly, but it’s not something I’ve been so great at prioritizing in the past.
  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general. These things are already established habits for me, but I will continue in my daily readings in the One Year Bible and strategic prayer and journaling. I’ve also added in handwriting scriptures when something jumps out at me, which really I’ve always done as well. I just ordered the Bible study book Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, which will be my first supplemental study that I will do this year. It’s an online study made available through Lifeway, I believe. The video portions will be sent via email, and I will do the study portion throughout the week. I also love to listen to podcasts while I fold laundry or clean up the kitchen (it makes those tasks a bit more enjoyable too – try it!). This week I listened to “I’m Glad it Happened” by Elevation Church Podcast. Sooo good! There’s so much about this past year that I would’ve never wished upon myself or on anyone, but I can honestly say now that if God gets the glory from it and there’s a purpose in it, I’m glad it happened. Here’s a quote that I actually paused the podcast to stop and write down…
    “I’m not nervous, anxious, stressed out, maxed out… I know how this ends. God is going to get some glory out of everything I’ve gone through. The more I’ve gone through, the greater the glory. I’m glad about it. I’m not glad about the pain. I’m glad that in the pain, there is a purpose. I cried enough about it. I spent enough time wishing and praying it would go away. But now I’m standing here with my praise intact and in my right mind. I’m glad about it. I’m glad it happened.”

  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive. Sometimes it’s so easy to get stuck in the negatives and have a pity party. Been there. Done that. I am memory-keeping and journaling in my planner and noting the positive things. I also really love to write answered prayers in my prayer journal. I also have this picture in my head that I stumbled across a while back. It’s a framed poster, a beautiful one, with handwritten answered prayers. It was gorgeous, and I’d love to recreate it to hang somewhere in my home someday. Here’s a similar one that I found on Etsy to give you a visual.

  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence. When I first wrote this down as one of my goals, I didn’t exactly know what I meant by it, but I’ve already seen this one begin to play out. My blog has expanded to Purposeful Planning, which will launch on Patreon tomorrow, January 15th, as well as Purposeful Planning on Instagram. With that, my territory and people that I am able to influence has definitely seen some Increase. This is exciting, and I pray that I am able to use that for God’s glory and not my own.
  • GROW my Platform. I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers, my patrons, and my Instagram followers. Currently, there is a Self-Care Challenge on Patreon, and I will most-likely be posting soon on the blog about how to create a life-giving home, as well as other intentional and hopefully inspiring posts like this one.
  • Work on and Build each relationship. To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.
  • Focus on hearts & character. These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

I'd love to hear from you!