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I'm Aly Kirkpatrick.

I'm a wife, business owner, and photographer fueled by Dr. Pepper and anything sweet! I am married to my high school sweetheart, and love living in the Arizona desert!

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My 2019 Word For The Year

January 1, 2019


Theme Word for the Year 2019


“What’s your ‘word’ for the new year?” It’s like the cool thing to do now – have a word. A word to use as a theme for your next year. Everyone’s doing it, which kind of makes me not want to do it just for the sake of going against the grain.

I’ve never really done the whole word thing, and if I did… 1) I can’t remember what the word was, and 2) it lasted about halfway through the day of January 1st.

I don’t know for sure if this time will be any different but I caved and picked a theme word for 2019.

Why? Well the honest and boring answer is that my father-in-law (who also happens to be my boss) challenged our church staff to pick a word, a verse, and a prayer for 2019. He assured us that he’d be asking us what each of them are, and so because I’m a rule follower and don’t like to be caught in moments I’m not prepared for, I began thinking of what my word, verse, and prayer would be. It’s a lame reason, I know, for picking a word that is suppose to focus and direct you for a whole year.

But, to give context to my 2019 word, you’d first need to understand my 2018…probably one of the craziest years  of my life up to this point.

I left my corporate job last January to work on staff at my church. I had my busiest and most successful year in photography with weddings, engagements & couples, families, contract work for a local magazine, and launching my online print shop! (PS if you want a 15% off coupon to the print shop, join my email tribe here!)

My husband and I also sold our first home and bought/built our new home! That journey in itself was one of the most stressful processes (you can read all about it here) full of uncertainty, doubt, worry, and a lot of tears.

But not as many tears as the second half of 2018 would bring.

I’m not quite ready to go into the details of the nightmare my husband and I are facing, and it’s not because I don’t want to be “real” or “authentic”, but because it’s just extremely personal and it’s still an open wound honestly. I think I’ve cried more in the last 5 months than I have in my whole life.

The only word I can think of that can accurately describe 2018 would be “crazy”…times a million. It was a year of pruning… relationally, professionally, and definitely spiritually. Over the past few months, I have been extremely sensitive and analytical of just about everything. I began to analyze all the cliche Christian sayings, the lyrics of worship songs, and even verses of scripture. In the beginning, I have to admit I was looking at things with a skeptic’s eye. I wasn’t re-evaluating my faith, but I was re-evaluating if God would really prove to be faithful in the middle of our mess. But, I believe God was really taking me on a journey to figure out for myself, in the most personal way possible, how to handle and deal with grief and disappointment. I had to go through the phase of pruning… pruning of my tight grip on control and pruning of my emotions. God had to strip everything away. Recently though, I’ve had an interesting perspective shift on life. I still have my moments of frustration and sadness, and that probably won’t change, but I have chosen to intentionally pursue God’s peace.

And that’s my word for 2019.

PEACE. It means to be content. Free from worry. Still.

I came across of verse of Scripture that really spoke to me…

“Then you will experience God’s PEACE, which exceeds anything we can understand. His PEACE will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” {Philippians 4:7} 

My prayer for this year is that God would guard my heart and mind through the avenue of peace. God isn’t picking on me, but He has hand-picked me. I’m praying that His peace will comfort my heart when my emotions are low on joy and hope and that His peace will transform my mind when my thoughts are negative, insecure, or doubtful.

If you have a word for 2019, I’d love to hear it and the story behind it. Feel free to comment it below if you’re comfortable, or email me at alykirkphoto@gmail.com.

Aly Kirk Photo Mesa, Arizona Photographer

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