In a Word

wordIt seems folks are having a lot of fun trying to describe their own personal journeys for the year 2013 in one word. Just ONE word. So, I’ve taken the challenge, and I’ve given this a lot of thought.

My word for 2013 is (drumroll please) …. Resilience.

If I right click for synonyms of Resilience, I’m given a fabulous list:

  • Pliability
  • Flexibility
  • Elasticity
  • Suppleness
  • Bounciness
  • Springiness
  • Spirit

The antonym listed is Rigidity. (What an awful word!)

I like to think of myself as being a very flexible person, able to adapt to new environments, new jobs, and new conditions. After all, I relocated thirteen times in my first ten years of marriage, leapt headfirst into a writing career without a clue what I was doing, and never let the fear of failure hinder me from launching into a new adventure. I always met life head on, nearly daring it to give me something I couldn’t handle.

This year, it dealt me a doozie. But guess what? I handled it anyway.

Even when it was difficult, I have managed to be pliable, flexible, elastic, and (gotta love this one) supple. I have bounced back and am springing into 2014 with a renewed pep in my step.

When building the list of synonyms for Resilience, the folks who developed Microsoft Word saved the best for last, as if they understood the real essence of the word Resilience…It is Spirit.

They got it right. If we hope to preserve the spirit, to foster the spirit, to nourish the spirit, we must first learn to be Resilient.

What’s your word for 2013? And let’s take it one step further. Goal for 2014 … in a word?



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Julie Cantrell

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author at Harper Collins Christian
Julie Cantrell is a tree-hugging organic-farm girl and mother of two who happened into a mid-life adventure as a novelist. She's having fun parenting, writing, teaching, speaking, and living the dream.

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    • Julie Cantrell says

      Stephanie, I love both of these choices. Growth…something we should all strive for every year, and Quiet…which is really the only way to hear the voice of God. Thanks for sharing and for inspiring us today with your beautiful insights. Hope you have a wonderful, quiet day!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Oh, Chris! At 40, I’m feeling quite “supple” these days…especially when I was trying to do Zumba last night. Ugh…way too “supple” :) Hope you’re staying warm in that incredible blizzard you’ve been under…sure is beautiful though! j

  1. Lisa Wingate says


    Resilience is a good word for any year, I think. We’re promised that in this world there will always be trouble, but the resilient survive, thrive, grow in all weather, in all seasons.

    You are resilient (and I’m sure supple as well 😉

    My word for 2013 (if I’m honest) was probably “overwound” in 2014 it’s time to ricochet and choose “peace”


    • Julie Cantrell says

      Lisa…overwound…I think that’s a great way to describe how a lot of folks run their lives these days. Here’s to a beautiful unwinding…a slow, easy return to your core. Peace!

  2. says

    Love your word, j. I have only gotten to see you once this past year, but you radiated such joy and spirit that I know you are holding tight to this resilience. Stay strong, sister. You’re in my thoughts often. I believe my word for 2014 is “Trust.”

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Hi Jolina, you are so kind to say I radiated joy and spirit…that means a lot to me. I have always tried to live with the belief that every encounter we have with someone may be our last, so I try to really be in the moment and enjoy my time with each person whose path crosses mine. I know sometimes I’m better at that than others, especially when life got a little out of hand for a while. But how could anyone be around you and NOT feel joyful and spirited? You bring out the best in everyone…and I’m lucky to call you a friend. Here’s to you and your year of TRUST…a beautiful word and a wonderful gift. I’ve learned that it’s better to put my trust in God than in man. But I refuse to let that harden my heart.

  3. Shellie says

    Loving your word, Julie– and I think it fits you! Your resilience has also been a blessing to those of us who have witnessed it. Blessings on your 2014! :) My word? I think I’ll talk about it Friday. :)

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Hi Shellie, Thanks for your sweet note. I look forward to reading YOUR word this Friday…and I’m sure you’ll end our week with a beautiful lesson for us all.

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Thanks, Rachel. We’re all rooting for you as you are busy Writing, Writing, Writing. Go! Go! Go! Can’t wait to read the new story!

  4. says

    To sum up 2013, I would have to say my word was flexibility and understanding. We started building a house in April of last year and I learned real quick how to be flexible and understanding.

    My word for 2014 is Align, and I am really excited about what God is going to do this year.

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Andi, I LOVE the word Align. What a wonderful way to move into 2014. Now…we’re all wanting to see pics of that new home you built. It takes guts to build a house, I hear. Thtat’s one thing I have never done! Thanks for joining us on the porch, and Happy 2014!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Hi Britney —- I’ve loved getting to know you this year and feel SO incredibly honored to now call you a friend. I can absolutely say …. Joy is the PERFECT word for you. You make everyone who knows you feel joyful. And I’m one of those lucky souls.
      Hugs and Here’s to a JOYFUL year,

  5. says

    This is not a very exciting word but “stability” is what I’m hoping for in 2014. My parents are 88 and 89 and we ended 2013 with both of them hospitalized with serious issues. They are home again and doing pretty well. I am praying it stays that way!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Oh, Amy. I’ve been praying for you and your family this year and really do pray for you all to find good health and STABILITY. I have admired your ability to deal with the stress and emotional fatigue with your inspirational sense of humor. You always manage to find the bright side.
      Wish I was closer to you so I could help directly…but here in the distance, you are in constant thought and prayer.

  6. Rina says

    My word for this year is HOSPITALITY. Chosen because I believe the Lord wants me to be more open to others this year. Having just lost Mom to cancer in December, relationships with others are the most important investment we can make. Bless you for your openness in sharing what God lays on your heart.

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