my one word for 2012: story

very inspiring story about one's life as a story.


I’ve been back in Darmstadt for over a week now. Christmas at home with the family was fantastic. It was hard to leave my parents and friends at home to come back to Darmstadt, but I’m refreshed and prepared to finish what I started here.

Since a new year has begun, I’ve picked my New Year’s Resolution. It is a single word, using a New Year’s resolution program started by Port City Community Church, the church I went to during my internships in Wilmington, NC. That system is called My One Word. You pick a word that represents the growth you want to see in your life for this year.

My One Word for this year is story. As in, my life story is part of a big, exciting story God has planned out. I can sit inside on my computer all day every day and make my story dull and uninspiring, or I can get out, explore, meet new people, take (sensible) risks, and generally make the story of my life a good part of God’s bigger story.

I’m making a consious effort to get out of my apartment and interact with the world, in order to have more chances to develop my story. For instance, I’ve started running. I can’t run for very long at the moment, but even running as a beginner is more healthy than sitting in front of my computer.  And it gives me more of a chance to see beauty in nature and to interact with the people around me. (Especially the people out walking their adorable dogs!)  And I’m making travel plans for later this year, which means more chances to develop my story.

This word goes along with the word I picked for last year, which was go. Go, as in stop-worrying-about-how-the-semester-defining-conversation-with-this-professor-will-go-and-go-ask-him-your-question-already, and go as in go-take-a-risk-and-study-abroad. Those were my ideas for the way go would work in my life in 2011.

The ideas I have for why I choose a particular word each year aren’t always the same ideas I have about the word by the end of the year. By the end of 2011, I began to go out of my apartment and take a walk around town to distract myself from homesickness, I had had to go ask professors and teaching assistants for help or advice (in German), and I had gone on trips to see cities I may not get much of a chance to see again.  I saw myself mature in the way I handled life situations by how I looked at the word go in January vs. in December.  There were both victories and defeats, but I learned a lot.

When I went to Nürnberg for the Christkindlesmarkt, I decided that My One Word for 2012 would be story. I had had the idea bouncing around in my head for months.  On the train ride, I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  That book convinced me that I want to focus on making my life a better story in 2012. (Very good book, by the way. A friend of mine who also blogs quoted it on Facebook, and I knew I had to read it.)

So that is My One Word for this year: story. Want to pick a word for this year? Great! Here is the page with a guide of how to do so.  I hope you find this approach to New Year’s resolutions as inspiring as I do.  Best wishes for the new year!



There are a lot of things I miss about home and about America, but one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the beach.  After seeing this post on Lynna’s blog, I decided it was time to write about it.

I spent two summers working as an intern in Wilmington, NC, and the second summer I was there, I truly learned to LOVE living at the beach.  I would head back to the apartment after coding all day at work, change into beach clothes and flip-flops, grab a snack and a book and head for my car.  I would drive the 20 minutes to Wrightsville Beach, park my car, grab my purse, and go relax.

I enjoyed walking through the sand and the shallows and watching seagulls fly by.  Eventually, I’d find a good spot to read and delve into my book, occasionally looking up to appreciate the quiet and the scenery.

view of figure eight island in wrightsville beach, nc


And I discovered beach sunrises.  One day, I decided that it might be one of the few times I could go to the beach and watch the sunrise without having to go on vacation to actually get to the beach, so I woke up early and watched the sun rise over Wrightsville Beach.  From that day, I was hooked.  Waking up to a quiet neighborhood at 4:30 AM, driving to the nearly-deserted beach while singing along with the radio, and then arriving and spending some time watching the majesty unfold.  Just God, the beach, the sunrise, and me.

sunrise at topsail island.  one of my favorite pictures from my time at the beaches in the wilmington area.I know I’ve posted this picture of the sunrise at Topsail Island before, but it’s one of my favorites, so you get to look at it again.  🙂

For the next ten months or so, I’m going to be living where the nearest beach is a long train ride away and is probably too cold to enjoy except during the summer.  But I’m so thankful for the memories of living in Wilmington.  And when I get back to the USA, I gotta plan a vacation.

frankfurter buchmesse

I like reading.  I may not have as much time for pleasure reading as I’d like, but I still enjoy curling up with a good book.  And where better to celebrate reading than the Frankfurter Buchmesse?  (Buchmesse means something similar to Book Fair or Book Convention.)

So yesterday, a friend of mine from church and I went to explore the final day of the Buchmesse for this year.

the entrance to the frankfurter buchmesse Flags for the Buchmesse waving at the entrance to the Messe (convention center).

there were a lot of publishers and a lot of people at the buchmesseThere were a lot of publishers and authors selling books, a great number of books (duh) and audiobooks for sale, and a lot of people.

a lot of people at the buchmesse

Exhibit A of there being a lot of people at the Buchmesse.  But that’s cool.  The world needs more bookworms, right?  🙂

All in all, my friend K and I had a great time.  We each bought a book or two and wandered around looking at many more, picking up brochures and catalogs as well.  There was even a guy in the international books section who was packing up his booth and gave us free tote bags that say “Mexico means culture” on them.  Thanks, mister!  You saved my hands from cramping up from carrying around my posters and my Folkmanis catalog (yep, Folkmanis, the puppet manufacturer, had a booth, and I really exercised a lot of restraint in not buying any of the cute fuzzy puppets).

(Seriously, who doesn’t love Folkmanis?)

And then K and I ate cheesecake at a cute little cafe to end out the day.  Any day that involves books and ends in cheesecake has to be good, right?  Yes.