My 2019 Word (& how it's shaping up!)

Every January, I sit down and ask God to speak a word over my coming year. I’ve done this for the past five years, and I have never been disappointed. If anything, it gives me the opportunity to take a big breath after the chaos of the holidays, and meditate on a focused thought, feeling, and directive for the coming months.


This year, as I sat with my pen and paper and an open heart, I kept hearing the word potential. I kind of brushed it to the side, opting to tweak the idea for more grasp-able words like “rooted” or “connection,” but there was something specific in that word potential that hit something the other words didn’t.

Potential is a concept most commonly associated with children and young people. If we see a bit of spark or talent or leadership, we commend the potential that could take them anywhere in life that they might want to go. But after school, exploring our potential seems like it no longer applies to our adult life.

I think there’s something about the pressure to go to college and choose that one great lifelong career that adds to this disappearing potential in adult life. Additionally, I feel like adults project their idea of potential on younger ones because of what they felt like they didn’t or couldn’t accomplish, like there is some hard stop to our ability to have potential.

But you know what? POTENTIAL still applies to me and to you, right where we are right now! If you’re breathing, you’ve got potential to consider and explore, if you want to.

That kind of rocked me in January.


It was this idea of having the CAPACITY to grow in, try, or become something different in the future. Applying the idea of potential to myself broke open a fresh sense of possibility, promise, and ability to gain aptitude for new things. It gave me a sense that I am still developing, and even though I am in my adult years, I don’t have to have already developed perfectly in all the areas of my life. Potential means we are all always in process!

So I thought about me having potential this year. And I felt a childlike hope and fresh ability to dream! What if I explored my potential in my creativity, in sharing myself, in building relationships, in my career, in my body, in my talents, in growing my home, in loving John, or in the adventures I want to experience?


How it’s shaping up

Giving myself to permission to say WHAT IF, and to tell myself “Sam, you have so much potential!” allowed me to be brave enough to take a crack at some pretty bold, scary things so far this year!

  • I significantly decreased my hair and makeup clientele (and completely stopped booking weddings) in order to provide space for different, new creative endeavors that I wasn’t sure how to do or if they would make me any money.

  • I shared my writing with the world through this newfangled website and decided to write honestly. I launched it as a new business, too!

  • I got in the recording studio for myself (after many years in solo-music hiatus) and released a brand new song to the world. Scary!! But so rewarding!

  • I tried 40 days of Keto to honor the Lenten season and to challenge my body and mind. It was one of the most rewarding experiences around food that I’ve ever had! And it made Easter that much more celebratory!

  • I chopped my hair short, something I had been wanting to do for years but was too scared to. And I have to say, I’ve had no regrets!

  • We built a vegetable garden and actually grew stuff… that we ate!

  • Because my HMU schedule was so free, I was able to say YES to some pretty incredible HMU opportunities that popped up last minute (something I would never have been able to do with a full schedule!) I had my very first cover feature on Good Grit Magazine’s Harvest issue, doing hair and makeup for Eva Shockey, Jim Shockey’s daughter and darling of the outdoor sports world. And then, I got to provide hair and makeup for 3 days in a row for Academy Award nominated actress Mary McDonnell, most known for her role as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves. I was so nervous, but it ended up going SO well! We got along wonderfully and she loved her look each day!

  • I said YES to traveling to Nashville, and got to write in an actual co-writing session at a label. WHAT?!

  • I shared the unfiltered version of my testimony to a room full of people I admire and was sweating everywhere and was SO nervous, but the testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life broke chains that night! More on that testimony to come.

  • John and I have fallen more in love because we’ve chosen to be each other’s best friend during the tough season of infertility, job changes, and being first-time homeowners. And even though it has been tough, it has also fostered so much growth, fun, romance, and laughter!


There is still so much potential to explore this year, and there are 80-something days left! SO much can be sought after and leaned into! I can’t wait to share how it all turns out.

Did you have a word for 2019? How is it shaping up?

Here’s to exploring your potential, starting now. It’s never too late!


Images by Lindsey Cash Photography

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