My Word for 2021


It’s taken me a while to find my word for 2021. But several things dropped into place giving me a clearer vision, and “Pause” is the answer.

I want to Pause in several areas of my life.

Relational: I want to Pause when interacting, especially when tension is high. In that Pause, I can choose to respond rather than react. Last night, the final thing I did before going to bed was apologize to my son for the way I had reacted to him earlier that evening. A two-second pause would have made all the difference.

Spiritual:  Friends reminded me of the beauty of sabbath. Our family has gotten away from the joy of a day to rest from work and enjoy each other. I’m finding my way back.

After reading through the Bible in 2020, I’m also slowing down and settling more deeply into a smaller portion of the Word. I’m taking more time to pray and listen to the Lord.

Physical: The first book I read in 2021 was Why We Sleep. I’ve struggled with sleep for years and I know it’s important. But I didn’t realize how profoundly essential sleep is for our physical and mental health. Russ and I have set a 9:00 bedtime giving us the opportunity for eight hours of sleep. We’re Pausing our evenings earlier and making sleep a priority.

Emotional: Often I set my feelings aside and press on with my work-it’s the Enneagram 3 in me. I’m learning to Pause and feel my feelings, even when they hurt. Over the holidays I had a very sad day. I consciously let those feelings come, telling myself, “Feelings come and go,” knowing the deep sadness would lift.

Vocational: I’m choosing a slower pace in 2021. In preparation for the book launch, I got some great advice, “Say yes to everything.” And I did. Even without travel, book signings, and conferences, I managed to pack my days. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and totally worth it. Now I’m slowing my pace, taking more time for thinking, writing, and people.

Is there an area of your life you need to Pause?

Do you have a word for 2021? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear.

I hope your year is off to a hopeful start.

With love,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

1 Comment

  1. Jeanne Walsh
    February 1, 2021

    My word is START.
    I felt almost paralyzed in 2020 as if I had cement in my shoes. Yet I accomplished 3 major life changes in 2020. I think it’s because 2020 was a year of exposing so many untruths politically (I wasn’t surprised by them but I was stunned by the large population of haters in our country). Personally, I left the people and patterns that abused me. So grateful to step into my power and not hesitate. As a mother, I want to continue to support my AD9 even when it is So hard. Being a single mother is much much harder and easier in many ways. Praying for God’s guidance to support me on this path.

    I’m grateful to you Lisa. You ask and offer such thought-provoking life questions. Thank you!

    Jeanne Walsh


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