OLW 2016: TREASURE {CELEBRATE This Week: 170}

I’m glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.


For the last 11 years, I’ve lived one little word for 365 days. This year’s word makes me laugh a skeptical kind of snort.

The word came to me late, a few days after 2016 was underway. I was hesitant to claim it, but it kept following me, like a lost dog in need of a home. I have an affinity for souls in need of homes. This word was a lost soul and begged to inhabit my 2016.

Those who are closest to me would tell you the parenting terrain doesn’t get much more rugged than its been this year. We’re learning trauma can cause extreme behavior, even years after its supposed to be over. We’re learning overcoming a hard history isn’t a warm and fuzzy event.We’re learning that healing is a gnarled process. 

Sometimes love is tough. It calls for the unimaginable. It calls for choices that no parent ever wants to make. We’ve learned to love in unprecedented ways, in ways that a year ago were unfathomable.

Meanwhile, my word keeps begging for me to pay attention to it.


It feels like a cruel joke, this little word of mine.

As the year unfolded, the trials continued, increasing in intensity. Month after month, James’ words taunted me, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” 

I decided I wouldn’t like being friends with James.

I’ve put off reflecting on my little word, because I’m doubtful there will be any connection between my word and 2016.

Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds…

There is a single word that means the same thing as the phrase count it all joy...


Treasure, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
(James1:2-4, The Message)

James understood things about faith that I did not. 

He understood it is through challenges that faith is evident
He understood it is through tests that faith grows deep roots
He understood it is through trials that faith becomes indisputable.

I’m beginning understand these things, too.

It seems that 2016 lived up to its word after all. Although the events of the year have left much to be desired, my irrevocable faith will always be something to 



The Quick & Meaningful Writing Assessment course is still open for free. I know you’re busy right now, but here are two reasons to register.

  1. You get lifetime access. So even if you don’t have time now, it’ll be waiting for you when you do.
  2. There are 5 lessons and each of the videos are less than 5 minutes. You have time for this.

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Your faith is very evident, and I pray you treasure that people see that in you. Even across internet lines. 🙂 Once upon a time I read something that described James as “Thunderous”. I suppose to be a disciple you would have to be. I celebrate the honesty here in your faith.

  2. I'm glad you found your own special treasure, Ruth. It's rewarding to keep looking, isn't it? Hugs for this new adventure, too. Wow, you will spread your knowledge so very far!

  3. My word was revel which seems somewhat similar to treasure. I've tried to soak up what 2016 had to offer….there were so many great things but also some not so great things that impacted me and pushed me and that I'm learning from getting to experience. I'm feeling like my word for 2017 will be a more active word. I can't believe it's already the end of the year! You know what I think of most with the word treasure – it's you. YOU are a treasure to me. I appreciate your listening, your understanding, your inspiration, and all the knowledge you share with the world. You are a treasure, Ruth. xo