It was inevitable. January would arrive and I was ready to regroup, refocus, and revved-up for a new routine. I would make detailed action plans to meet each of my New Year’s Resolution goals. Yep, I was one of “those” people! The planning process excited me enough to get through the first few months, but it wouldn’t take long for me to become overwhelmed by my own action plans and give up. Eventually I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions all together.

About 4 years ago I could feel myself yearning to make New Year’s Resolutions again. But I had 3 small children and I was expecting our 4th! I knew my old step-by-step action plans were out of the question. Then in a store display I saw a simple wooden sign, and on it was the word “love.” What if I focused my year around a single word? That sounded easy enough.

My goal for the year was to do things out of love instead of obligation. This is simple, but far from easy. I would make dinner for a family in need because I cared for and loved them, not because it was the “right thing to do.” Our family said no to fun activities if we began to feel we were just checking off from a list instead of being grateful and excited to attend. Instead of creating a new routine, I was working from the inside, creating a new course for my heart.

We decided to pick a word every January to guide us though the year. We display our Family Word in a prominent place in the home to remind keep us on track. This year you can choose a Family Word or pray about giving each family member their own word.

DIY string art letters

What You’ll Need:

– Piece of wood, size will vary depending on your word

– Paint or stain (optional)

– Paper with your Family Word

– Tape

– Small nails with heads

– Hammer

– Colored string or embroidery floss

What You’ll Do:

1. If you choose to you can stain or paint your wood.

2. Print out your word on paper in the desired font and size for your sign. Use an easy to read font.

3. Tape the paper to the sign. (You won’t need to cut out the letters in the word, the paper rips out easily.)

4. Begin to hammer your nails around the outline of the word. Space each nail about a half inch apart. Then rip off the paper.

5. Tie a knot to the top of your first letter and snip the excess thread. Then loop around the first nail head and move to the next nail head. Keep looping and stringing between nail heads until you have outlined your whole word.

6. Now you’ll start to fill in your outlined word. Make the color denser by going back and forth more often in a small area before moving on to the next. The step can be time consuming, but it’s also very forgiving. And if you aren’t happy with the way a section looks, just unwind the string and try another pattern.

Some suggested words or phrases: Love, Simplify, Be Present, Choose Joy, Brave, Genuine, Thankful, Hope, Generosity, Grace, Intentional, Do Hard Things, Forgive, Grateful, Content, Serve Others, Dream Big, Share, Home, Wisdom, Seek, Bless