Word of the Year

New Years Eve Cortez, Florida

It’s the end of 2022, I’m hoping to finish softly. For the past decade or so I God has chosen a word of the year for me. Some years, the word comes fast and furious, I’m looking at you overcomer.

As I am debating on what word to choose, the phrase ‘Begin Again’ keeps coming to me. What am I beginning, again?

I know not to dig too hard or question too much. Things are always revealed in due time. As I was climbing into bed tonight, thinking about my word, I realized with a start, that my word last year was adventure! I even got a bracelet stamped with the word on it.

Adventure….Noahscaping Adventure! When I finally landed on the word NYE 2021, I was envisioning a year of shark fishing, ceynote exploring, manatee petting escapades. While that was a part of last year’s legacy, adventure has manifested itself in a much more personal way.

Without consciously thinking of my word of the year, I stepped out in faith and began writing about my perspective on life with Noah. Having three adult children, their story is just that, theirs. Opening up to strangers, family and friends, this guarded part of my heart, has been hard. Vulnerability has never been my strong suit. Essentially, I’m learning about myself through writing.


For years I taught Malia and her friends high school English. One year I was challenging them to choose a word to reflect their heart for the upcoming year. In the class I began showing them how powerful words were. I had them write on separate pieces of paper the name of their favorite food, show, friend and the name of their mother. We went through each category and as they revealed the answer to the question, I had them crunch the paper up and throw it into the fireplace.

Food: pizza, tacos, sushi…read and then torched. Shows: The Office, Adventure Time, Dr. Who, again burned. Then we read the names of our mother’s. When it came time to burn the papers, no one could do it. Why? Words are powerful.

Whether we like to believe it or not, our subconscious mind is the driver of our decision-making and action-taking.The brain is constantly looking to solve the problem, fill the void. So when we choose our word, or it is given to us in neon flashing lights, pay attention!! Commit to it.

Resolutions are great, but they are often confining, we set ourselves up to fail. A word of the year allows for fluidity.

If you are having trouble narrowing down your word, here are some ideas:

  • What could I use more of in my life?
  • What could I use less of in my life?
  • What characteristics would I like to have?
  • By the end of the day, I feel (fill in the blank).
  • How do I want to feel?

The most beautiful part of choosing a word is there is no mistake! Perhaps it will take you a whole year as it has taken me to discover the why behind the word. Keep pressing in, it will become apparent.

As we entered into the last week of 2022 my new word was already working it’s way into my vernacular. Sicknesses, hospitalizations, old traumas resurfacing, had left me feeling shaky and emotional. Each day mistakes were made, things were said…and through it all, begin again kept swirling around in my head.

Apologize, and begin again. Make the call, and begin again. Prepare the soup, and begin again. For a just (wo)man falls six but rises seven, Proverbs 24:16. The older I get, the more I realize that failing isn’t the problem, I’m going to fail. It’s the not trying.

It’s impossible to get through life without having your heart broken. Marriages end, friendship fade, we grow older and more feeble, kids grow up…and we begin again.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” If you read my post, The Wedding you know Abe and I have a life connection so anything he says I take as gospel truth.

May we be surprised by joy and steadied by peace. May we trust in the dark what we know to be true in the Light, and may we never stop watching for redemption. May we dare to laugh, long and loud. May we rest without prerequisites. May we learn to build altars in the ruins and may we always find a hand reaching out when all falls apart. -Kaitlyn Bouchillion

I’d love to know if you choose a word of the year. If so, what is it? Please share in the comments.

Something About Ezra

Biking in South Beach Miami

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

One of the many blessings that happened from the Little Red School House was that Noah was always surrounded by friends. Some came for the school year then drifted out of our lives, others are still friends to this day 13 years later.

Ezra and his family came into our lives from Virginia Beach. His family came up to help with a church plant we were involved in. Since Ezra and his brother Titus were about Noah’s age and homeschooled, I extended an invitation for the boys to become part of our class.

Right away Ezra became Noah’s guard. Noah was a runner. When he was little he would escape the securest of settings. We had to install keyed locks on all our doors, and if he went to any event, he would have to have a sibling or friend on Noah duty.

Noah was 4 and Ezra was 3 so most interactions were short play dates or co-op classes on Thursdays. But as the boys began to mature, sleepovers and weekends with our family became the norm.

One day Ezra told us he was moving to Oklahoma. His father had been offered a pastoral position at a church in the area, and the family was moving. We were heartbroken! We knew that long distance friendships were hard and at such a young age, it would be almost impossible to keep the boys close.

Noah talked about Ezra daily often. Little did we know that hundreds of miles away, Ezra was doing the same thing! Ezra’s middle name is David and Noah’s is Jonathon and just like in the Bible, this friendship was destined to be for life!

My incentive to get Noah to read, was a trip to visit Ezra in Oklahoma. Everyday he would struggle with phonics and sight words, knowing if he accomplished his goal, he would get to see his friend. Months went by with little progress.

One day there was talk of the family moving back to Delaware! Could it be? Even if Ezra was somewhere in the state, that was better than half way across the county!

It turned out that Ezra moved a mere seven minutes from our farm! Reunited and it feels so good …The boys picked up their friendship as if no time had passed. They were inseparable. Ezra came everywhere with us. He knew all of our extended family and friends. I knew his likes and dislikes. When I’d do my grocery order, I’d always include Ezra’s favorites.

Trips to Miami, our beach house, birthdays, Longwood…you name it Ezra was there. He has prayed for Noah through countless hospital stays, and often modeled correct ways to handle chick buffets!

As the boys reached high school, their friendship looks completely different than it did years ago. We don’t see Ezra as often, but when we do, the visits are filled with laughter and inside jokes. For years, Ezra would go with mom, Noah and I to the beach house. we would refer to it as The Office. Soon a group chat titled the office was started between all of us. Touchdowns were shared, dates and times of games given, invitations extended.

Our last big visit with Ezra included a family dinner where Noah was presented a harmonica ( thanks Mom) soon the boys had set up stools, and were holding coat hangers (for microphones) in their toes while singing!

The Office

Minecraft camp, fishing at The Point, the infamous Jitters, Wawa run ….I could write a book filled with the boys capers. This brother from another mother will always hold a special place in our families lives. Not only did he help Noah grow up to be the amazing sixteen year old he is today, he completed our family! Ezra means helper and help he does!