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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Budke

Word of the Year

Long ago a young Becky Budke, my mom, learned a concept that she taught my older brother, Brett, and I. This concept is simple, yet significant. And, it's stuck with us all our lives. Now, we share it with everyone we know and love every single year.

Today, with the launch of my website, I am beyond thrilled to share it with YOU, too. 

For the past 23 years, yes since I was 12, my mom encouraged us to think through our New Year's resolutions and write them down. We created vision boards for every year and our goals grew bigger and bigger. When I was 12, my goal was to be on the cover of Wheaties on the USA Olympic team. Not because I was a gifted gymnast (hardly!), but because I saw them on TV and knew I belonged in that type of arena. Once we had all our dreams in sight, written down and ready for the year ahead, the next, and most important step, is to create a Word of the Year. This Word serves as an anchor, your vision for the year that is strong enough to pull you through the lows and celebrate the highs. This word must encapsulate your goals and dreams, and your action for the year.

Without fail, the word is placed on your heart with the exact intention you need for the next 365 days. Then, as the year unfolds, you're amazed to learn how this word serves you.

"The word is placed on your heart with the exact intention you need for the next 365 days."

Over the years, the words get richer, more meaningful and truly shape your year. Every friend, family member, co-worker and acquaintances are challenged by Becky, Brett and me to pick a word—not just any word—YOUR word of the year. And, having done this for 23 years, naturally the words get more difficult to choose. I've learned the most powerful words are ones that have a physical representation in this world, too. Then, you inadvertently see the word everywhere—in songs, on billboards, in small trinkets at the airport. It's like a miracle magnet to your heart.

"It's like a miracle magnet to your heart."

2018 was a year of ILLUMINATION. It was by far one of the most challenging years of my life. And, yet, when I remained focused on being light in any circumstance, I was able to prevail, to grow stronger, to change from the inside out. Most importantly, it taught me to seek God's light when mine was weak, and to practice gratitude when my light was strong. 

Our wedding, being at the end of the 2018 year, was quite wonderful as it allowed our friends and family, all traveling from afar, to arrive in Vail Village, our most favorite place to recharge. My vision for the wedding was to illuminate love. I pictured our guests all having a weekend away in the mountains to recharge, focus on their love for one another, as they stood alongside Tray and I for the union of our lives. Every detail of the weekend, my measurement of the decisions was "will this bring light?", is this the work of the Holy Spirit, or am I overdoing it? And, following those instincts didn't make the planning easier, but it made the outcome far greater than I could even dream.

"My vision for the wedding was to illuminate love."

As a child I always imagined a white winter wedding. So, the past several years I prayed for a snowy wedding, knowing of course it was a one in a million chance. After all, Vail, Colorado is in off-season until Thanksgiving and it's considered the muddy season while the mountain weather prepares for winter. Our wedding was the first weekend of November and God delivered what is known to me today as the most beautiful miracle in my life. On the eve of our wedding, I went to sleep in deep prayer and calmness. I had not been sleeping well all week and I knew how important it was for me to be refreshed for the big day. With joy I woke up before the sun on Saturday morning, having the best night sleep in months. As I pulled back the curtains of our condo, tears flowed from my eyes and time stood still. God sent more than 10 inches of snow over night and it was still coming down hard!  

"God delivered what is known to me today as the most beautiful miracle in my life."

The heavenly Father encapsulated me—my heart, my dreams, my patience for 35 years to find the man of my dreams, my ability to seek Him first, my gift from above—in the most magical snow storm in the history of ever. Yes, it was that good.He sent us our very own snow globe in this tiny, little mountain village wedding. It brought everyone together, and our guests have a memory of this miracle imprinted on their hearts forever. 

Snow Globes freeze moments in time. It's as though they provide a protective bubble around the moment and energy. The gift that was given to me and shared with everyone I love, is something I promised God on the morning of my wedding, to honor, protect and share for the rest of my life. Because I believe that God sends us His love notes to change us, to heal us and to connect us. 

I promise to live every day in the illumination of the Snow Globe this year. I feel God's light of protection around our new marriage, my husband, my new children, and family. I embrace winter, which is normally the most difficult season in life, and let the snow make everything new. Most importantly, when I think of God's Snow Globe as the world and what He has so beautifully created, I also believe this is my year to impact it most.

Here is to living every day in the SNOW GLOBE! 


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