It’s January 6. It’s epiphany. It’s time. I know the word that will be my one-word resolution for 2014. I’ve known it for a week. The only trouble is, it makes me feel a little bit like I’m going to throw up.

Sometimes it’s like that, don’t you know? When you have a word or a mission or a call that falls on you? You know what I mean. When it is something that you know you need to do, and you know you want to do, but it also terrifies you. This year my word is like that.

I got the word from Jamie Bagley. She gifted it to me, and then I came to find out she got her word from me this year, too. Isn’t that tidy? Sometimes God is tidy like that. (Not usually. But sometimes.)

When I first saw the word I didn’t think it was the word. I just said, no. Not a crazy no, not a hell no, just a flat no. I’m not doing that word, that isn’t my word, no.

Then I posted an invitation to some folks, to work on a project with me, and I used the word three times in one sentence. I looked at that post, and I felt sick to my stomach, because right at that moment I knew. This word had come for me.

I went home and tried not to think about it. But I thought about it. And I knew I need to talk about it. And then the next day I talked about if for A FULL HOUR while sitting in the front seat of my friend Daiquiri’s brand new Lexus. Because, yeah, my friend Daiquiri has a brand new Lexus. It’s got like the butt-warmer thing, and it listens when you talk and it answers your questions. We sat in the front seat of that luxury vehicle and dished about what it really feels like to rise to the top, and –worse — what it feels like to want to rise to the top.

We talked about the mental blocks we have to our own successes. We talked about the way we have thrown up interior obstacles in the name of humility and appropriateness. We talked about how humility is sometimes (maybe) true humility, but also a lot of the time it’s fear, or scarcity.

Maybe it’s just refusing to grow as tall a tree as God has planted.  


My stomach still drops when I see this word, you guys. This word has come for me before. And the last time it came for me it chewed me up and spit me out. I am an opt-out story, sort of. But also I am very much a burn-out story. Ambition has not been kind to me.

You know this, too, don’t you? That we work through our lives in circles and not straight lines? My circle has brought me around and around to ambition and the drive to succeed. Can you blame me? I’ve got a famous mother. And I told you before that my mother had her success and failure like a rock on fire. I am all the way her daughter. Ambition is in my blood.

I have fought my way to the top of the list, and then regretted it, and then I have replayed it, again, and regretted it again, and yet–! Each time I come around the circle I know a little more about freedom and abundance. I can better imagine the difference between ambitious greed and ambitious generosity.

I can imagine growing as tall a tree as God has planted. 

Tell me you’ll hang out with me, please? While I do this? I went on the One Word 365 website, where hundreds of bloggers have entered what word they’re using as their one-word resolution for the year 2014. And nobody else is doing Ambition.

You might think nobody cares about it. But I don’t think that’s it at all. My most popular post of the entire year of 2013 is about knowing that you are called to lead and rise and take up space. And my second most popular post of the entire year is about feeling jealous of somebody else who is doing all those things.

I think Ambition has just been a bad word for us. It has been a bad word for women. It has been a really bad word for Christian women. It has been a bad word in my life.

But it has come for me again this year. And I am sharpening my pen to meet it. I will do my best to unpack and unwind and extricate…in hopes of setting us all a little bit more free.

 Happy New Year! And Happy Epiphany!  

Here’s to coming around again…and getting a little closer to the center each time.