One Word for 2013 & 2014

One word. So much can be said with just one word. Some words, of course, may be more weighty in their meanings, while others are more simple and to the point. But have you noticed that one word in a dictionary typically needs several more words to define it? Many words even have three or four definitions attached to them, broadening the scope of the meaning. That’s the amazing power and beauty of words. That’s why I love writing.

Just the other day, the mom of one of C’s friends asked me, “Why writing? How did you get into that?” 

I smiled and stopped myself from laughing out loud.

It wasn’t the question she asked that made me want to chuckle. It was the wide-eyed, curious expression she wore on her face. You would think I had told her I did belly dancing for a living (no offense to belly dancers who I think are crazy talented and entertaining). 

“I’ve always like to write,” I replied. “I don’t like to talk, but I like to write.”

I could have gone on to say more, but it’s not easy to have an extended conversation when you’re chasing preschoolers around a park. Even if I had, it’s hard to put into words (ironic, for a writer, I know!) what writing means to me. I imagine it’s like a butterfly discovering its wings for the first time and realizing it is no longer confined to the ground. For me, writing is like being set free from the trappings of a cocoon to float into the sky. Expressing myself this way makes me happy and for that, I’m grateful.

Image courtesy of Eddy Van 3000 from in Flanders fields – B – United Tribes ov Europe

I’m grateful God gave me this passion and for the opportunities to see it come to life again. Writing came back into my life a few years ago, and when I say it returned to me, I mean just that. I hadn’t thought about writing for a long time and hadn’t needed to do any since graduate school. But one day when I decided to clean out an upstairs closet, I found a story I had written from my youth (literally from high school). The next day, hubby heard about a children’s book contest and told me about it. Long story short, my entry didn’t win, but the publisher still decided to take my story and turn it into a picture e-book. Yay!

Now, I don’t believe in coincidences because the world is too messy of a place for things to fall exactly into place by chance. But I do believe in God’s redeeming power. And redeem is the one word I think of when I look back on this past year. 


 transitive verb \ri-ˈdēm\

: to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable

: to exchange (something, such as a coupon or lottery ticket) for money, an award, etc.

: to buy back (something, such as a stock or bond)

You see, there was a time when I was given the opportunity to apply for the honors English class at my high school. I was not your typical Asian student; I worked hard and got almost straight A’s, but I didn’t excel in any subject area enough to be in the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program… except maybe in English. My teacher recognized this and gave me and another classmate the chance to move up. Unfortunately, she made it in and I didn’t. But what held me back wasn’t my writing skills; it was my shy personality and lack of class participation. 

Grrr. 🙁 That incident brings about some regret, but it is what it is. However it serves as a great reminder that things can change. Because ironically enough, the very same story that got published was one I wrote in that English class 20 years ago, the class that I felt stuck in because I couldn’t advance to the honors class. God took that disappointment and made it into something good. That’s what the word redeem means to me.

This past year was full of redemptive moments; I blogged about a major one here. My writing journey has been another one. It has been an up and down adventure mixed with celebratory dancing one day and head-in-my-hands groaning the next. Throughout it all I have learned that God is faithful and is always doing his redeeming work, which I think is His best kind of work. 🙂

I was going to blog about my one word for this year, but since hindsight is 20/20, it was easier to think of one for last year. So, my word for 2103 is redeemed. 

And now that I’ve seen so much of what God has done this past year, I have more faith for this new year. So, my one word for 2014 is believe.

Here’s a great song about believing – “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (such beautiful voices!). 

What is your one word for this past year or this new year?

Monday Mentionables: Lifetime Movie, One Word 365 & My Facebook Page!

Hi there, it’s Monday again! I know I said I was taking a break from blogging, but I happened to find time in the wee hours of the night to squeeze this in. 🙂 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (and if you don’t celebrate this holiday, hopefully you enjoyed your day off). 

Here are today’s mentionables…

1. Lifetime Movie. I know it’s past Christmas, but this movie, “Love at the Christmas Table” will still get you into the holiday spirit. Although it’s a Lifetime movie, several of the actors/actresses are well-known and the acting is very believable. It stars Danica McKellar (of The Wonder Years) and Dustin Milligan (of 90210 – the new one, not the one I grew up with), Lea Thompson (of Caroline in the City) and Scott Gordon-Patterson (of Gilmore Girls). The film follows the characters of Kat and Sam as they grow up together from preschoolers to adults in their early 30’s. It’s a sweet story and there is really good chemistry between the leading man and woman who happen to be 10 years apart in age in real life. I really enjoyed it, especially the extended dance scene in the middle of the movie. If you love chick flicks, you’ll want to check this one out. 🙂

2. One Word 365. As we approach the start of 2014, you might be thinking about making new year’s resolutions. But how about instead of making specific goals for yourself, you could just focus on one thing? This site promotes the idea of choosing one word to sum up how you want to be or live for one year. It’s a different, more encompassing view to take and perhaps something more attainable. What word would you choose for 2014?  

3. My Facebook Page. I am excited to announce my newly created Facebook page, 2square2behip! I hope to be able to communicate more with you lovely people there because it can get kind of lonely at times typing by myself on this side of the laptop screen. 🙂 If you so desire, please hop on over and converse with me there. I plan to use the space to share about makeovers of all kinds – home, fashion, hair, etc., but especially of the heart and mind. It would be great to hear suggestions and ideas from you, too!

C literally kissed my phone when she saw this picture!

Also, here’s an update about C’s beloved Chicky: It’s back! Well, actually this is not the original toy C lost, but a replacement we found on eBay (thank God for eBay!). It cost 3x more than the first one and took 1.5 weeks to arrive, but was totally worth the money and wait. C was ecstatic to receive it and finally stopped crying at bedtime every night! Now, if we can also get the original Chicky back, all will be right in C’s world again. 🙂

Alrighty, have a great week and happy new year!