Y’all. In three days, I will turn 29 years old.

This does not feel like a very big deal to me. Maybe because 29 is not one of those “signature birthdays” (it’s not “30,” after all) that you’re supposed to make a big fuss over. But also because I have never been much for celebrating birthdays.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a celebration. And I think we can all admit that sometimes surviving three-hundred sixty-five consecutive days on this Earth can feel like a feat. But for whatever reason (not really liking to be in the spotlight? preferring my pjs and couch to heels and a nightclub?), every year when January 20th rolls around, I find myself in much more of a reflective mood than a partying one.

I find myself craving solitude, peace, a quiet place for me and my thoughts to hang out with each other for a little while.

Unfortunately, this year, with things crazy at work, a baby on the way, a house in the process of being built, and a new business in the process of being launched, large swaths of reflective alone time have been at a bit of a premium. Still, over the past few weeks I have carved out small moments of reflecting on and processing my twenty-eighth year and even thought a little bit about what I’m hoping twenty-nine might look like, moving forward.

I’m not one for resolutions but for some time now I’ve wanted to try selecting a yearly theme and I’ve decided that this year (my inaugural themed year, y’all!), my word will be “discernment.”

Discernment. Noun. 1. the ability to judge well. 2. (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.

The ability to make wise choices based on your attunement with a higher self and a higher power. This is what I want for myself in 2017. Because in a lot of ways, you guys, 2017 represents the unknown. A big, vast ocean of uncertainty upon which I am attempting to sail a boatload of hopes, dreams, and unspoken promises.

In 2017, I will become a mother for the first time.

In 2017, Zora’s House will finally be finished and my first attempt at running a brick and mortar business will commence.

In 2017, I’ll be putting down roots for real for real in a way that I never have in my adult life.

And you know what? I want to plan it all. I want to schedule it, create an editorial calendar for my life, tie each of my goals and transition to a to do list and a timeline. I want the security of knowing I’ve got it all handled in advance. But I don’t, y’all. I don’t have it handled. Because honestly I don’t even know what “it” is.

I don’t know what it’s going to be like to be a mom. I don’t know what it’s going to be like to open a brick and mortar business. I don’t know what it’s going to be like to claim someplace as my own. I. JUST. DON’T. KNOW.

There is no way to plan it out in advance. All I can do is tap into that small still voice inside me and trust myself to make the right decisions as they come about in real time. To rest when the voice says rest. To leap when the voice says leap. To wait when the voice says wait. In so many ways, I feel that God is pushing me to step more deeply into my faith, more deeply into the waters of uncertainty with Him as my only life raft.

Even though honestly, I’d prefer my to do lists. I’d prefer my timelines. Anything other than situations I can’t immediately understand or control! But one way or the other, that seems to be what 2017 has in store. And so my word for the year is discernment.

The ability to make wise choices based on your attunement with a higher self and a higher power.

Wish me luck!

Your turn! What’s your word for 2017? Why?