I stayed open today in spite of the weather because once I’m here…I’m here and I have so much organizing and planning and book-work to do it was a good opportunity.  Jeremy was able to pick the kids up and work from home the rest of the day and worse case scenario he’ll pop up here in his truck and pick me up at 6:00 if the roads take a turn for the worse.   So I’ve been typing as fast as my little fingers can type trying to get all the words and plans in my head out in a format I can share with you.   Look for more updates about our plans for 2018 VERY SOON!

In the meantime…how many of you have picked your Word of the Year?  Have you even heard of the Word of the Year Phenomenon?  From a pop-culture perspective you can have a few laughs on Wikipedia reading the Words of the Year since 1991 here.   For example the Word of the Year in 1992 was NOT!  And in 2009…Tweet.   Words that ALMOST, but not quite made the cut include:  bae, twerk,  YOLO, app, green, FOMO.

In more recent years the Word of the Year has been less about some new trendy word that “blew up” that year… and more about each individual choosing a word that helps you personally be mindful of what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year.  Is there one word that can help tie it all up in a bow?  So…it starts with goals.   For the first time, in 2017 I picked a word (actually 2 words) of the year because I really wanted to focus on a couple key areas in my life.     My words were:

At home, I wanted to soften towards my kids & hubby.  I love them with all my heart, but patience is not one of my gifts and sometimes I’m just not completely present with them.   I wanted to be reminded to give love above all else.   To be slower to anger.    I also prayed for the Lord to continue to soften my heart to his leading in my life as a wife, a mom and as a business owner.  To really know that He’s at the wheel and to stop trying to grab it out of His hands.

My other word was GRIT.  Grit means to have courage and resolve.  Perseverance.    I knew if Plume was going to succeed long term there were some things that needed to be done in 2017.    I sought help from more outside consultants with a new logo, new website & tackled the roll-out of new vendor contracts.  I had to make some decisions about the direction of the bakeshop and gathering room.   I said goodbye to some vendors.  Some of those projects were just not fun but I persevered through them and on the other side found a better Plume.  I didn’t reach all my goals;  sales were up slightly yet I paid myself less.  The pearl is still being formed…but our little shell grew stronger.   

(I even designed these little necklaces with one of my makers to remind myself of this. You can order these in our online shop now if you need a sweet reminder for yourself.)

My word for 2018 has been percolating through my head and popping up at various times here and there since May.  The Lord confirmed it for me this past Sunday morning when my pastor shared Psalm 31: 14-16.  My friend Brooke (from GOPO) gave me a new Lara Casey Journal.  Lara has taken the Word of the Year concept and lead extensive workshops on goal setting, planning etc.

It’s so pretty and I’m a sucker for the potential that lies in a fresh new journal.  I couldn’t wait to have some quiet time to sit and write in it.  Here’s a peek at how  my brain works when I journal.

Bonus points for you if you were able to decipher all my chicken scratch and figured out my 2018 Word of the Year is…

I first made this graphic in May 2017 after singing the song Steadfast by Sandra McCracken in Church.  God was leading me to it even then.    I’ve said before…I’m easily distracted by bright and shiny things.   It’s easy for me to impulsively go down the rabbit hole towards something I think is going to be great…only to realize it just pulled focus away from what is really most important to me.  I’m thankful for 2017.  I accomplished a lot.  But what I’m most thankful for is the great clarity I have about what it’s going to take to make Plume successful long term.   The Plume I envisioned when I opened 4 years ago hasn’t quite been realized and I want to keep going.   But I want to do it by relying on a God who showers me with His own Steadfast LOVE.   This means balancing work and family. Trusting that when I put God & my family first, and I turn off my computer or put down the phone, that tomorrow is another day and He will honor that.  He will help me get the things done that need to get done if I keep my priorities in check.   

I so desire to be guided in life by a pure heart.  To have more of the right YES’s.  Showing love to all those I come into contact with; makers, customers, other business owners because God loves them.  Not being fearful.  Knowing that HE can do anything.   Reflecting His Glory in all that I do to show what He can do through me and not what I can do on my own.

Am I going to get this right?  Probably not.  My pearl isn’t finished yet…and honestly won’t be this side of heaven.  I’m sure there will be some failures but hopefully even more brilliant successes.   I’ll try to check in with you from time to time and let you know how I’m doing.

For more goal setting tips from a real pro… hop over to Lara Casey’s website

Here’s to 2018 friends.

“Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

“But I trust in you, O’ Lord; I say “you are my God”  My times are in your hands.  Deliver me… let your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love.”  Psalm 31: 14-16