2018: Nurture

Joanna Zuidema1 Comment

January traditionally kicks off with a slew of new goals, hopes, and dreams for the coming 365 days.

But popular New Year’s resolutions — losing weight, eating healthier, etc. — now seem trivial in the shadow of cancer and loss. After a year in which every plan, goal, and hope was turned on its head, making new plans or setting new goals begs the question, “what if?”

So we've decided to do something different; instead of a long list of goals, I’ve picked a 'word of the year' that will act as a guiding light for our family in 2018.

By picking a word, we’re able to move into 2018 with hopeful intention while at the same time giving space to our grief and the unpredictable nature of life right now.

I did a variation of this last year, choosing three words instead of one: real, hopeful, and grateful. And looking back now, it’s easy to see how those three words were perfectly and intricately woven into the story of our 2017.

The word I’ve chosen for 2018 has been on my heart for some time. Maybe it stems from pent up maternal instincts, or maybe it’s simply from looking at our life and seeing a garden in need of tending, but the word I chose for 2018 is Nurture.


1. care for and encourage the growth or development of.

Care for.
Encourage growth.

Yes. Yes. And Yes.


To better understand what living this intention may look like, I made a list of my values and tangible ways to nurture each one in 2018. The list is both comprehensive and excessive – covering everything from fostering growth in my relationship with God to focusing on my physical well-being.

I won’t bore you with the entire list, but I will give you a glimpse into what ‘nurturing’ in 2018 means for both relationships and health:

Nurturing relationships in 2018 means allowing space to properly foster the relationships that are most important: God, Lane, Norah, family, friends. It means listening more and talking less, truly investing in people’s lives, focusing on quality over quantity, and always choosing face-to-face over Facebook.

Nurturing health in 2018 means caring for myself to the best of my ability and knowledge. That may look like going to kickboxing four times a week to focus on building endurance, or it may look like taking a bath and going to bed early for rest and rejuvenation. It may mean meditation, or it may mean therapy. It may look like pushing myself to grow, or it may mean respecting my limits. It may look like saying no, but it may also look like saying yes.


Whatever life chooses to throw at us in 2018, we will adapt and we will survive.

We will care.
We will grow.
We will develop.

We will nurture.

Ok, 2018, our little family of three is ready for you.
Are you ready for us?