Shannon Dittemore




I’m not one of those Word-of-the-Year folks. You know, the clever people who pick a word on January 1 and hold it tight the whole year through. As an author, the whole idea of it is intriguing, but on the one occasion I gave it a little effort, it felt silly. Very contrary to my wiring.

On January 1, when some are making resolutions and others are doing the word thing and still others are simply trying to sleep off the night before, I find myself wondering.

That’s who I am. I wonder. And I watch. And I hope.

I hope a lot of things, really. That those in my circle facing hard times will find the next year softer on their souls. That our own efforts throughout the past year will have planted something lovely that will flower in the years to come. That I’ll be a better giver and a better friend and a better believer than I was in days past.

And while the beginning of the year is full of these kinds of hopes, it’s the end of the year that demands I find a word. Something in my nature wants to put a label on the past 365 days. How did I do? How did I handle 2015? Which word best describes the twelve months leading up to now?

As it happens, it was not at all hard to find that word this year. It floated to the surface of my holiday-addled mind with no effort at all. There wasn’t even a runner-up vying for the privilege.

My 2015 word: Waiting.

This entire year was spent waiting.

In nearly every aspect of my life, I’ve had to wait.

I’d love to report that I’ve been the most patient of waiters. It’d make me feel so much more grown-up to say the waiting has brought with it a sense of deep-seated joy. But the truth is, it’s been hard. I’m a selfish and spoiled girl, living in a fast-food, pampered culture and it’s amazing how little we wait in our day-to-day lives. When we are asked to wait–to truly wait–on something that matters, on something that we want desperately, we find ourselves out of practice.

As least I do.

And so I circle back to the girl I was on January 1 of this year. The girl who hopes. The truth is, I’m still waiting on near-everything I was waiting on a year ago. If I were to jot down my hopes for 2016, I’m absolutely certain the list would match perfectly my hopes for 2015.

With one marked difference.

I’m a year wiser now.

And this Bible verse makes a lot more sense to me than it did a year ago.


I’m under no delusion that waiting has earned me anything at all. But as we approach the dawning of a new year, I hope that anxiously waiting will grow into patience and that, regardless of how each situation turns out, the waiting itself will have completed me in a way that instant gratification never could.

I truly hope the end of this year, and the beginning of the next, is full of peace. In your families. In your homes. In your hearts. And if you’re looking for a sweet little Christmas read, consider giving Pearla’s First Christmas a try. It’s a short story that follows a beloved character from the Angel Eyes trilogy as she experiences the very first Christmas. It’s my gift to you, free to read and share.

Merry Christmas, friends!



  • Comment by Karen — December 24, 2015 @ 5:08 pm

    Love you Shan… beautifully written…

  • Comment by Katie Van Wyhe — December 25, 2015 @ 5:28 am

    SHannon, you are my favorite author of all time and I wanted to thank you for how your books touched me and that short story was the best present I have ever recieved. Thank you!

  • Comment by Amanda Fischer — December 25, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

    Oh, this sounds like my year. Waiting. In so many things–writing and relationships especially.

    Thanks so much for sharing. It’s nice to know you’re not alone, isn’t it?

    And I’ll definitely read that short story. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Comment by Rachelle — December 26, 2015 @ 6:28 am

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart on this–I hope this coming year proves softer on *your* soul and sees the celebration of all you’re waiting for. 🙂

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