2016 Word of the Year

Today is the birthday of At Home with The Barkers! Today, 3 years ago, I bought the domain name and this little blog of mine was born. Although my first blog post didn’t go live that day, my dream did! I seriously can not believe it has been that long. Three years blogging and it really seems like I just started yesterday. As hard as it has been to learn so many different aspects of this online world, I really do love it.

I thought it would be a great day to share some vision here with you all. Some blogging, some home, some personal. By the way, YOU are the reason I created this blog! Teaching and inspiring you to create the home you love makes me so happy! I pray that you all use what I share to first and foremost create a home that is practical for you and your family but also a pretty place to live and love!

I’ve decided to create a word of the year mantra, something I have never done before now. 2016 Word of the Year is FOCUS!

Focus 2016 Word of the Year


Focus: the center of interest or activity, the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.

Many people set goals, it’s not a bad idea, but I needed to be more clear with my actions and focus on specifics.


Lets start with the personal. I plan to focus more on my relationship with Jesus, specifically reading in his word and embedding it on my heart, soul and lips in order to recall it as needed daily. This is the one thing that I know changes who I am and who I am called to be. My focus will be on Jesus, who he is and who I am in him because it is what sustains me.


As with any creative person, I find that things are never done. I recently had a conversation with my husband and daughter about this very topic. They were under the impression that I am never satisfied with our home, hence the reasons I always change things! I said “NO, that’s no it at all.” I change things because I love it. My creative mind just never stops. BUT I could totally see their point.

Are you guilty of this too?

SO to keep myself busy and my family happy I’ve created a chart with these categories: Fix it, Finish it, Clean it, Organize it, Buy it. I plan to fill this in with things in our home I need focus on. For instance, we built a bathroom upstairs for our son (over 2 years ago) but I never painted the closet or trim. I am going to focus on finishing it! I have a broken knob on my coffee table, focus on fixing it. AND this list goes on. If you have organization on your new year to do list I highly recommend my post about the Konmari method. This was life changing for me about the stuff I kept.


Now for blogging, the focus is on the new and improved website and shop! This part makes me very excited. I have spent the last 8 months debating the need to make the site better and I am going for it. Right now it has a basic look to it so stick with me over the next few weeks as it all comes together. The shop is also in the works and I promise to share more details on that really soon.

As far as blog post, I will be focusing on sharing projects that we completed during the holidays, when I wasn’t staying focused, LOL. If you follow me on Instagram (@athomewiththebarkers) you saw pieces of that madness. The mantel is so awesome I can’t wait to share. Hopefully next week. I have an idea for a couple of series that I think you are going to love. I’m still focusing on those details. I will also focus on using the resources from other bloggers who are way better at some things than I am. The awesome Kristen from Sweet Tea & Saving Grace is one of them. She is a goal setting, detailed oriented person who is helping hold us accountable.

I’ve mentioned before how I work best under pressure. This is true for my creative side. The painting, styling, decorating…NOT the business side. I’ve realized I have been trying to work on important things at the last minute and I’m terrible at it. I can paint a piece of furniture, take photos, edit and write a blog post at the last hour BUT I can not plan a business like that. It’s because it doesn’t come natural to me.

Focus Quote - Word of the Year

There you have it! I know it may seem like lots to focus on but I love having a clear vision for what it means for me and my family, our home and this blog. I created this blog because I thought I had enough experience to teach you a thing or two about DIY and home decor, I never realized I had this much to share!

THANK YOU ALL so much for your support and encouragement, your comments and shares mean the world to me. This blog, after all is a job but SERIOUSLY, you make it worth it with every sweet comment.





  1. This is so great! I recently listened to a podcast that talked about having a “word” for the year too. I was thinking about it, and after reading your post, I think I am going to go for it too! (Though I am a month late already…) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love your word, Focus! I am with you on needing to focus more on my relationship with Jesus and spending intentional time in the Bible. I am excited to see the projects you have been working on! And I look forward to reaching our goals together this year!

  3. FOCUS – great goal for 2016 and one that I, too, can benefit from. Bring Jesus to the forefront of my life will re-focus my thinking and eliminate many if not all of my bad habits. Having lost my only child to brain stem cancer 14 years ago when she was 20 had shaken my faith, but it is time for me to FOCUS and regain my ability to pray. My creativity is stogged, mired, jumbled with confusion…too many projects at the same time with not enough dedication to any one…FOCUS on one at a time, one life issue at a time, can only benefit me and those in my life. Thank you for sharing all your creativity and thoughts with us through these recent years! Blessings to the Barkers all!

  4. Happy Blogiversary! I loved this post, and your word of the year. Mine is stewardship, an area of my life in which I have plenty of room for growth. 🙂 Stewarding the hearts and minds of those I love, our resources, my faith, and my time are all priorities for me.
    I am so excited to follow along with you this year and watch you knock those goals out of the park!

  5. Wow, 3 years went by fast. I am very proud of you! I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings for you. Go Tigers!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this Donna! My husband knows how much I love to journal church notes and he gave me a beautiful leather one for Christmas with Jer. 29:11 on the front. I’m going to use it for my word of the year! I can write the bible verses in their that I can focus on for any given situation. Excited! Have a great Friday! ~Sonya

  7. Great post! The Lord laid on my heart a word in 2010, beginning of a HUGE trial and testing period in my life. He continues to give me a word for the year and I love it! This year my word is Freedom, it is amazing how God used each word all during the year teaching me through all kinds of avenues. I have a small journal that my grandson gave me in 2010, I keep my list of words in the front of that. I would suggest you keep some kind of notebook, you will be surprised how your word will come around 🙂

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