What's Your Word for 2022?

For this mom with a kid in college, “patience” will be her practice for the new year.

Posted in , Dec 21, 2021


If you’re like me, patience is a virtue that does not come without effort. It takes a lot of practice, and I’m devoting a year to the pursuit. Patience is my word for 2022. Maybe you’re still trying to settle on yours, and I’d love to hear about it.

I picked patience one Saturday after my daughter Evie had pressed the “Can I call you later?” auto reply instead of answering her cell phone. Twice. I’d waited a couple hours in between calls, and that was after having texted her first thing that morning just to check in and say hi. Worry built while I cleaned the fish tank, slightly envious of the simple aquatic life. 

Evie was a college sophomore, living off campus with three roommates. They looked out for one another, all were smart and careful, and I had no reason to think Evie was in real trouble. But maybe she’d had a spat with one of her friends or was running low on money. Maybe she was drowning in schoolwork. Or had tested positive for Covid-19 ... I imagined a million what-ifs. Weren’t cell phones made to put a parent’s mind at ease? Evie was going to get a mouthful when she finally found a free minute to reassure me that I didn’t need to panic.

I topped off the aquarium with fresh water, my impatience at a threshold. The fish swam laps in the crystal-clear tank. I wished I was more like these peaceful angels living in the moment. Instead I’d wasted much of the day borrowing trouble, expecting bad news. I knew that wasn’t what God wanted for me. I didn’t want that for myself—or for Evie. Patience was what I wanted her to hear in my voice.

Evie finally called late that night. She was at a party but wanted to catch me before I went to bed. “Sorry, Mom. Today was so busy—and great!” I told her that was just what I had imagined. I didn’t mention that I was practicing a whole new way to wait.

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