Once I shared my 2017 resolutions, I did not intend to select a particular word or phrase to focus on this year. But, as it happened, one was chosen for me. Once I saw this sign, it was confirmed. My word for 2017 is:

smallwood-home-gather-sign-01-18-17{ photo courtesy of Smallwood Home }

I chose GATHER as my word of 2017 because so many of these resolutions involve gathering with friends, family, or colleagues to nurture relationships and build community. This piece of art is now above the mantel in our family room and you can’t NOT see it (even though it was there two weeks before Husband noticed!) Every time I see this sign, I am thankful for a space to gather. Bonus: it came from a wood shop in Longview, Texas and I am supporting a local business by shopping small!

I’m 31 days into 2017 and already have a new #POTUS and goals marked off my list!


Use my Prayerful Planner every day – I am so glad I invested in a quality planner that includes space for to-do lists, daily priorities, prayers, and an appointment schedule. Responsibilities at work seem to increase daily so I’ve been intentional about goal-setting and prioritizing my time between work, family, and personal space. My planner is not elaborately decorated but it’s definitely useful!
Decorate my office (paint, hang diploma, arrange bookshelves, etc.)
Hire a housekeeper for deep cleaning (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12) – One month down, eleven to go!
Tidy up the house for 15 minutes every day – Loading or unloading the dishwasher, folding a load of clothes, or tidying up the shoe rack at the back door before bed has really helped. 
Unsubscribe from excessive blogs, websites, newsletters, etc. – Can I just say becoming an UNsubscriber from blogs, websites, and newsletter is the most freeing feeling in the world? I wish I had done this sooner!
Clean email inbox every Thursday
Organize photos and graphics on my laptop


Read the Bible in a year (using 5-day method and the Slacker’s Plan) – I’m behind on the reading schedule for two reasons: I have not read my Bible every day and when I do, I tend to focus on a particular verse or passage instead of reading the assignment. I will get back on track soon, I promise!
Write a prayer or reflection in a daily journal – I originally set this goal with a five-year journal in mind but that was before I purchased my Prayerful Planner. Things happen, life goes on. I seriously doubt this will happen. ‘Tis okay!
Continue monthly tithe to church (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12) – One month down, eleven more to go!
Begin an Inductive Bible Study
Attend a women’s conference


Deliver a meal to someone in need (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Mail a handwritten note (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Participate in “Lent Letter” project
Send an encouraging text 5x/week – I honestly forgot I set this goal but, thankfully, I have managed to send several encouraging texts this month.
Host a dinner with friends or family (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12) – Staff lunch on January 18. I will share my grilled chicken Caesar salad recipe soon!
Get to know our neighbors
Fun activity with girlfriends (1 2 3 4 5 6)
Serve on a mission trip


Intentionally pray for Husband and Kamden
Attend opening day at The Depot
Attend four Cleburne Railroader baseball games (1 2 3 4)
Play date with Kamden and a friend (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Gun range with Husband (1 2 3 4 5 6)
Midweek lunch with Husband (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12) Wednesday, January 26 – lunch with Husband on National Spouse’s Day!
Do something special for our 10th wedding anniversary
Keep my great-grandmother’s aloe vera plants alive – If my mom reads this, she’s liable to choke me because one of the plants she delivered to Texas is dead. There was ONE night we had a really hard freeze and I forgot to bring the plant inside. The other two are still hanging on. Please pray for me. And these plants. 


Prioritize my physical health (renew my gym membership, start jogging again, etc.)
Read 15 books (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15)
Transfer this blog to a dot com with new layoutWOW!! You can obviously see the dramatic visual difference in my blog. Thanks to my uber-techie and talented friend Lisa, Three 31 has a fresh look. Besides the aesthetic changes, Three 31 is now located at a personalized domain (nicolehutchison.com) and hosted by Port & Starboard, LLC, one of Lisa’s businesses in Virginia Beach. She has the patience of a saint and her team did a wonderful job. This is another opportunity for me to support a local business, virtually and for a friend!
Post to blog 2x/week


Host staff lunch in my home (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12) – One down (January 18), eleven more to go!
Launch MOPS
Create a communications plan with social media schedule – It’s a slow process, but communications is improving within our congregation and the greater community. Facebook is our main social media platform and my time and energy spent keeping it updated is reaping rewards. The monthly newsletter has been replaced by a graphics-based weekly e-newsletter promoting Sunday services, study groups, service opportunities, and major events. It has been well-received and the Communications Team has done a great job adjusting. I’m really proud of them!
Attend Change the World conference, March (Ginghamsburg, Ohio)
Launch a small group for team leaders
Find a mentor and be a mentor
Create a continuing education and life skills program for adults
Expand the backpack ministry to four elementary schools in Joshua ISD  – On January 12, Elder Elementary became the fourth school to participate in our backpack program. Every weekend, we provide backpacks with six (6) meals to 118 students. To put it a different way: we provide 678 meals every weekend!


visit Lisa (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
RV road trip to visit Mark & Jenny (Ashley, North Dakota)
family getaway to Memphis, Tennessee
family staycation to Great Wolf Lodge
Kaleb & Caitlin wedding, August (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Brian & Jessica wedding, November (Louisville, Kentucky)