I almost didn’t commit to a word this year. So many words bubbled up for me (deep and joy, most notably) that I considered simply being more open to my intuition and pivoting in a new direction when needed.

However, I realized that pivoting on-the-fly is a skill that needs practice and cultivation. I can’t flip a switch and suddenly become more easy-going. (Wouldn’t that be great, though?)

I went back to the drawing board. Then, on one long car ride in the dark I started leafing through words on an imaginary rolodex. This one? No. This one? No. This one? Eh, maybe. This one? Yes, that’s it.

When I came to grow, I almost dismissed it. It seemed too simple, not deep or profound enough. Space was so lofty, how could I “regress” to something like grow?

This unease drew me in. Perhaps I was being dismissive because I was nervous, afraid that it might take effort to, you know… grow.

I knew that intentional effort is what I most needed after a year of space-creating. Deep had resonated so much because I feel like I need to grow roots in many ways. But, it didn’t capture the evolution (and elevation) into greater joy I also want to experience.

Grow, however, seemed just perfect in that spot-on and totally uncomfortable way.

Growth is beautiful. Growth is messy.

Growing is as much about active, energy-consuming blossoming as it is about patient, energy-restoring rest.


Last year space helped me clear the fields, so that I could plant seeds of possibility. This year I’m eager and ready to nurture growth in myself, my family (No, not pregnant or planning to be!), and my business.

Grow up. This is about personal responsibility and making myself a priority. I can’t deny that it’s related to turning 35. I am in control of how I feel. I limit myself – and my own joy – with excuses.

Grow deeper. This is about feeling connected to people and places – and is definitely a next phase of the work I began last year. I made lots of space-clearing changes to make this more possible in 2015.

Grow intentionally. This is about doing the work to grow my business – and doing it with thoughtfulness and persistence. I need to dig in and get my hands dirty to nurture this next phase into being.

As in the past, I plan to blog throughout the year on topics related to my word. I’m also working on a post related to my memory keeping plans for the year, in which you’ll see how I’m seamlessly incorporating grow into my 2015 album.

One Little Word is a reflective personal project by Ali Edwards. Click here to see more posts about my own words.

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  1. Kim McKelvey-Smith

    Jennifer I have to say this post is truly thought-provoking. Or maybe it is just the mood that I am currently in. Shrugs.

    I love how you arrived at your One Little Word for 2015, and the way you described your process. Looking forward to seeing you grow in all areas of your life and how you grow our processes as well.

    I’d like to leave you with a phrase from The First Wives Club: Grow from Love.

    Yes, it’s a bit cheesy, maybe even cliche, but I think your members would agree that you help us to grow, from the love of memory keeping that you continuously share with us.

    So I’d like you to Grow from Love that we have for you and all you do for us!

  2. Jennifer Wilson

    Aww, thank you so very much Kim! What a wonderful (and not cheesy at all) sentiment.

  3. Honoré

    Hi Jennifer, I have to echo Kim’s comments as well…and add that I am adding your ‘word’ to my own: “Chronicle.” This year, I am too focusing on the words, the stories and the actions that come with getting those stories told…outta my head and into formats others can access. And I imagine that along the way, as I deliver on my intention , I will learn a lot: technical kinds of skills but most importantly, more about me…and that is growth all in itself. There’s always room to grow.

  4. KatieK.

    Seeds can’t grow unless they have the space for growing reaching roots and leaves. That’s the thought that came to mind as I read your word story for 2015. Seems like your words knew.

  5. Fawn DeMurl Carriker

    I shared this in today’s blog post, as you inspired me to find my own One Little Word. Thank you, Jennifer – Fawn

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Most welcome Fawn!

  6. Danielle

    I noticed in another post that you have a scrapbooking album for your 2014 one little word. How do you scrapbook something like that? Is it mainly a journal with embellishments and only a few photos? This is my first time having a one little word (stewardship) and I am intrigued to learn about how you scrapbooked your word. Thank you!



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