Embrace the Yield

Happy 2014 friends! I'm not sure about you but I feel like I'm still a week behind. I blame Thanksgiving. With just over three weeks between it and Christmas, I felt behind before I'd even left the gate. So anyway, I'm late with this post.

Like Holly, I had a tough time narrowing down my "one word" for 2014. My focused, intentional, motivating word, the word that would set the theme for the entire year. (That's a lot of pressure for one little word, don't you think?)

Maybe it was the recent lice infestation, or maybe it was turning 40, or maybe it was that I failed at my goal of fully organizing my house and garage over break, but by applying my 2013 perspective to the year ahead, I found this perfect word: YIELD.

There are many definitions for the word YIELD and I have identified those that appeal to my various states of being. You know how I like to have all my bases covered.

1) YIELD: To give oneself over without resistance or contention. In 2014, I will apply this version of yielding when I feel the urge to dig my heels in; when my way is (IMHO) the only way; when I really want to WIN. For example, when I'm arguing with my children and I can't hear my grown-up voice of reason over my stubbornness, I will take a deep breath and YIELD. Or when my lack of control makes my anxiety spike, like at the movie theaters (lice) and church (more lice) and when my kids want hugs (number one transmission of LICE), I will take a step back and YIELD. Life is worth living, regardless of my inability to shield my family from the harshness of it. YIELD is what I will do when I know in my heart that the battle isn't really worth the scars that will result from the fight.

2) YIELD: To bring forth as a result of cultivation. No, I'm not speaking of farming, nor am I a skilled gardener, but I can weave a slew of words into a blog post or a newspaper article or a novel, and in 2014, I will strive to make my words count. In my writing life, I will focus on clean edits, meaningful sentences and compelling messages. And at writing conferences (our first is in two weeks), I will work on cultivating connections with other writers and industry professionals.

Hopefully 2014 will be the YEAR of the AGENT! We are actively seeking a literary agent to partner with us and bring our books to publication. Additionally, I will make my words count with my family and friends. Teaching lessons, giving praise, being kind, offering support and actively loving the people I am so blessed to know. In word and in deed, I will YIELD, foster and maintain meaningful relationships.

3) YIELD: To give place or precedence/acknowledge the superiority of someone else. This one is two-fold. Personally, I want to give precedence to my husband and children. I want to offer up my time and attention, not just when it's convenient for me, but when they neeeeeeed me. Like showing me a Minecraft world, or playing ping pong, or talking about friends, or taking a drive. Simply reconnecting.

In 2014, I will "give them place" above things that may otherwise demand my attention. When possible, I will YIELD to my family members and acknowledge their needs before mine. That doesn't mean I don't matter in this equation, it means I recognize that my husband and kids do. In fact, in cultivating a system of serving each other we all learn that in giving we receive. And here's part two of this one: In my faith, I will actively acknowledge the superiority of my God, the one whose grace is undeniable, whose blessings are immeasurable and whose love is unyielding.

YIELD. Such a small word with such great potential. Have you found a word that will fit your goals and needs for 2014? We'd love to hear about it. Here's to health, happiness, growth, perspective, friends, family and YOU! Happy New Year!

Holly and Jenn

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