i have thought a lot of about my little word for the last few weeks.
i truly think that the little word chooses me 
like a wand from olivander’s
last year, my word turned to more of a theme:
i needed to remember that,
with all that was going on
and i think i did.
we had loads of fun in our quaint little life with little money,
lots of work,
and we have really enjoyed the ride so far.
the first word that came to mind for this year was simplify.
it’s something i need to do, wish i could do,
but after much thinking, 
i realized that life isn’t going to get any simpler for the cliffords this year….
not with the work we have ahead, 
and a baby coming in a handful of months…

after sunday, 
i knew what my word should be…
we went to my parent’s meeting,
and being the first sunday of the month, 
members are encouraged to get up and share their testimonies,
and faith-promoting stories.
a man who has been a family friend as long as i can remember,
walked, no bounded, up to the stand, to wait his turn.
it was clear, i would not be leaving with dry eyes.
you see, this man, 
{we’ll call him Bill,}
hasn’t gone 10 minutes without pain for 8 years. 
he’s undergone multiple procedures to try and help his chronic back pain,
but for years, we have caroled to their family in his bedroom
on christmas eve.
i could count on one hand the times i have seen him standing in the last 8 years. 
when he does come to church, he would lay on the back row, 
on a couch brought in for him.
when i walked into my own wedding, 
there he was, standing in the back.
i lost it. 
he’s such a good man, with so much faith, and he’s given so much.
but i never expected to see him there.
he was the last to speak on sunday,
and what he said keeps ringing in my head.
he said,“living in pain makes you selfish.”
After a miracle of a procedure that he could only find one doctor in NJ to perform, 
and a blessing from his son, he has been pain free all week.

He talked about how he longed to work on rebuilding his faith 

and how he longed to serve, to get back that faith.

This guy and his awesome wife, are my parents’ best friends.

I was so glad to be there, not just to hear the news, 

but because I needed to hear that from him. 
 to know how easy it is to become selfish,
to forget to look outside…
My word this year, inspired by Bill, 
is serve
To plan out and make time for more people in our lives….
I started thinking of all of the million things my husband does for me, 
and what i could ever do to help serve him too. 
Sadly, it will begin with my resolve to actually plan and make meals this year, 
like I once did as a good wife…

i am excited to get started and have lots planned to help 

make this year more about you, 
and less about me.