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2013 word of the year

2013-wordoftheyearWhew! That’s me breathing a sigh of relief that 2012 is behind me.  It was a tough year for me.  Sadly, I can’t say that any one big thing happened, it was just a bunch of little things that happened or never happened.

You may remember my post from last year about my word for 2012.  Little did I know when I pledged to be resolute for the year that I would be challenged from every direction.



My goal for 2012 was to be resolute in pursuing my dreams and staying the course.  It was challenging but I’m glad to say I’m as convinced as ever that I’m on the right course. I’m proud to say that despite many personal and professional challenges in 2012, I stay resolved to pursuing the purpose God has for my life.  Ironically, it was the challenges that have helped me see I’m on the right road.  I mean seriously, how many great dreams have you seen that came easy? Most often, great dreams or God dreams, require you to have a great resolve to accomplish them.

Because my word for 2012 seemed to challenge me so much, I was very cautious as I prayed about what my word for 2013 would be. I didn’t take the task lightly.  I soon came to realize that pursue was the perfect word for the new year.  It really does make perfect sense when I think about it.  In order to pursue something, you really should have a resolve that it’s the right thing to go after.

Webster’s dictionary defines purse as: follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish

3. to proceed along.

4. a. to engage in

 b : to follow up or proceed with
There it is.  My goal for 2013 is to pursue all those things I’ve resolved in my heart are for me; joy, success, peace, and most of all love in every area of my life.
Stay tuned because you’ll see big things happen with me and Madelyn Ridgeway Events this year; I know it.  You’ll see things materialize that have been in my heart for a long time.  Things I have to share with the world and make it a better place.
Love y’all,

2014 word of the year- pt. 2

My 2014 word of the year is focus, building off my 2013 word which was pursue. In part one I gave a brief summary of what pursue meant for me in 2013 and why words are so important whether we know it or not.  Today I’m sharing what focus means specifically for me in 2014.
For me focus means: letting go and not focusing on what’s not important, things like:
  • Excessive social media. I can only speak for me in that while I find social media entertaining, it’s not only a time drain but it can also be a bit of a Debbie Downer.  Studies have shown that while intended to bring people together, social media can actually alienate people and make them envious of other’s lives.  I’m not saying it’s all bad but for me, there definitely needs to be more of a balance.
  • Other people’s opinions of me and what I do.  There will be no more holding back who I am and the things I love because I sense it makes others around me uncomfortable.  That’s called an unhealthy relationship when you can’t truly be yourself or share your likes with those close to you. That means it’s time to take another look at the relationship.
  • Stuff (unnecessary material possessions)
  • Learning to say no more.  This is a hard one for me y’all.  In the past, I’ve said yes to a lot of  things that were not necessarily bad but were not the best use of my time or energy.   Because of my need to please, fit-in, and be “in the know” (just being transparent here),  I’ve taken on things that I know weren’t a good fit for my life and because I took them on for the wrong reasons (see above) they became life/time drains and kept me from pursuing what was really important.
Focus also means more :
  •  Time seeking God about His plan for my life and family. Not just doing what I think is right anymore.
  • Creating and sticking to a schedule.  My days are usually not very organized which can be a disaster for someone who owns your own business and works from home
  • Writing more handwritten notes & letters.  I love sending and receiving handwritten notes.  It’s not a must that people send them to me but I do enjoy receiving them.  There’s something so intimate and loving about it.  I want to pass the love on.
  • Nurturing the relationships, people and things most important to me.
  • Pushing past things that have held me back in the past like procrastination, fear of failure, and self-doubt.
  • Learning something new.  I’m probably most excited about this one!  I love learning new crafts.  I’ve pledged to take another photography/styling class this year to improve on my ability to photograph tablescapes and creative ideas as well as a calligraphy class simply because I like it and I want to write more letters & notes!

I’m putting some of these goals out there not just to fill a blog post but also for accountability.  If you see me slacking in an area, call me on it  remind me of my promise to stay focused this year and beyond.

What about you, do you have a word or resolution for 2014 ?  I’d love to know what it is!

My 2014 word of the year


Y’all I’ve got to admit, when I wrote the post for my 2013 word of the year, I had no idea what kinds of things I was opening myself up to pursue!  Here is a quote from my post last year

Stay tuned because you’ll see big things happen with me and Madelyn Ridgeway Events this year; I know it.  You’ll see things materialize that have been in my heart for a long time.  Things I have to share with the world and make it a better place

Words are a powerful thing, y’all; whether you know it or not, our words create (or tear down) our lives.  I love a quote from one of my favorite speakers that says “where you are today is a direct result of the words you spoke a year ago”.  2013 proved this to be true in so many ways.

When I wrote that post, Shaffer and I had discussed me leaving my job to stay home but quite frankly, it seemed like it just wasn’t going to happen; between two surgeries, great opportunities at work, multiple family deaths and a second, growing family business, we started to think we’d missed it.  We had prayed and truly believed we were on the right track but the little seeds of doubt started trying to sneak their way in.  This is where the rubber meets the road folks, this is where it becomes faith and you step out on the water to walk! On April 12, 2013, I left my full-time job of almost 10 years to go after what matters most to me.

In the beginning I felt like a fish out of water. Not having a job to go to, reports to file or a boss to answer to, felt really awkward to me.  After after about a month, the pendulum swung and I was over the moon with all the “extra” time I had; I did lunch with friends e-v-e-r-y day then ran to pick the boys up and home to get dinner started.  I quickly realized this wouldn’t work.  I eventually settled in to somewhat of a routine and dug my heels in to really pursue those big dreams of mine and make great things happen.  All the work paid off when I launched the new Madelyn Ridgeway Events in November to great reception and enthusiasm!

It’s only the beginning and I look forward to more good things to come in the future which is why I chose focus as my 2014 word of the year. Webster’s defines focus as:

–  to bring to a focus or into focus: to focus the lens of a camera.

–  to concentrate: to focus one’s thoughts.

That’s what 2014 is about for me; continuing to to pursue big things while making sure I focus on what’s important. Join me tomorrow for part 2!

Photo courtesy of Shay Cochrane Photography