Word for the Year


Some people have this really great “tradition” of picking a word (or more) for the new year.  I kinda like this idea and got to thinking I might like to do this to.  But. . .

I know how it goes sometimes when I attempt to do something someone else does and it’s not really born in my heart.  I have to totally own the idea or else it just ends up being a failed immatation.

And then I got to thinking, What if I would let God pick the word for me? And I thought more and thought about the fact that I really did have a “word” last year, and the year before.  And it wasn’t something I thought up.  It was something God brought to mind repeatedly.

Two years ago it was the word Hope.  And I didn’t really like that word, because so often when it came screaming into my heart, it brought pain with it.  Reminders that Hope doesn’t always provide what it’s “promising”.  And when I would feel hope beginning to lodge in my heart again, I would almost resisit it, sure that it would once again be deferred.

Last year, the word God gave me was Grace.  Grace was the most beautiful word for me last year and I clung to it hard.  Grace was the gift I experienced when we recieved devastating news in May.  Grace was the gift  I experienced those brief few days we spent with family in Texas walking through one of the hardest valleys ever.  Grace was the gift we recieved that day we stood in the cemetary and watched the dirt pile up.  Grace  – a gift of being able to spend a restful, challenging, encouraging, hard, powerful week in the mountains of North Carolina being healed, softened.  Grace was the gift of many friendships old and new that touched individual places in my heart that only they were gifted to touch.  Yes, Grace, God’s gift to me this year was perfect, really.  And Grace in the middle of our extreme losses of 2011, gave me longing and appreciation for Hope.

The Grace of 2011, redeemed the deferred Hope of 2010.

And so I think I’m gonna wait a little bit and see if God gives me a word for 2012.  Maybe it will be Grace again.  Maybe He’s bringing back Hope. Maybe it’s not one specific thing.  Maybe there will be lots of little thing this year instead of one big thing God will be impressing on my heart this year.  I just know that I want it to be another year of God “work” in my life.  And so I wait patiently, anticipating what God might have for me this year.

Some things that I know I do want for this year. . .

– to embrace life fully
– to enjoy, celebrate, and protect a slower pace of life
– to value (and pursue more) meaningful relationships
– to trust God more
– to be more God focused and less self focused

I’m off to embrace what’s left of my weekend.

And by the way, I really do think it’s a cool idea to pick a word for your year.  If you do that, I’d love to hear from you.  What word did you pick for 2012?  Any good stories of words picked from previous years?



  1. Michele  •  Jan 18, 2012 @4:01 am

    Before this year I had never heard of a “word” for the year. First mention of it that I heard was on the radio station that I listen to on the way to work. Second, this blog post, and then again today on a random blog I came across. Looking back I clearly see what the “words” were for the last couple years. I too am looking for what mine will be this year.

  2. Lucy  •  Jan 25, 2012 @7:48 pm

    Oh, Michele. I want to hear your “words” sometime if you care to share. Everytime something big is impressed upon my heart, I find myself thinking “maybe this is the word”, or “is it this?”. I’m a little eager about it. Just a little.

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