ONE WORD

A couple of years ago I decided to forego the annual resolution gig. Not that I was always good about making resolutions. Nor was I good about keeping them once I made them. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes and result in guilt rather than growth. Honestly, if I made it to February, I would celebrate that as a win. Two years ago I stumbled upon a lot of friends and bloggers who had sworn off resolutions and instead were beginning each new year with a theme word – a word they would aspire to; a word they would grow toward – rather than a behavior, they would run away from.

I liked the idea. A lot.

Last year was my first year with a theme word and it made all the difference. Choosing one word gave me a focus that no resolution every had. It gave me a clarity about decision-making. It gave me a plumb line by which I measured growth and movement.  It pushed me forward without weighing me down with guilt.

After a lot of prayer time, the word I selected/received for 2014 was courage.  I made a promise to God that I would be courageous. I would take chances that were out of my comfort zone. I would say “yes” to invitations God sent my way that would challenge me or push me. Throughout the year I kept a list of how God participated with me in this theme word adventure.
Without a theme word, I would have missed the connections. With a theme word, I saw the thread woven throughout the last year.  With a theme word, I looked at invitations, people and experiences differently than I ever had with resolutions.

A month ago I began praying about a theme word for 2015.  My word is freedom. I want to truly live as a person who believes at her very core that her worth is found in God’s fierce love for her, nothing else.  My worth is not in my job or how busy I am. My contentment is not found in possessions or material comforts. My emotions are not enslaved to food nor a number on the scale.  My value is not dependent on the opinion of others.  None of these things are bad in and of themselves but when I expect them to do things for me that they are not meant to do, I abdicate my freedom to them. I become a slave.  And God loves me way too much to allow me to live a life enslaved to anything other than His righteousness.

Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
Romans 6:17-18, The Message

His freedom.  That is what I’m growing towards in 2015.
Want to join me in the one-word challenge? Already do this?  I’d love to hear your one word for 2015 and your own experiences with a theme word if you do this as well.  Leave a comment and share your story.

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7 Comments

  • Love this, Mel. Thanks for inspiring me once again. I will ponder upon a new word for 2015.

  • Joyce – I love those words and the idea of embracing a word that makes us a better Kingdom-follower, Kingdom-revealer! Thanks for sharing.

  • Debbie – Thanksgiving is a great word! Gratitude changes so much. Thanks for that reminder.

  • Deborah Walters

    I love this so much! Thank you for offering a fresh window to view the new year out of.
    My word for the year is “faithful”. I’m spending the year being intentional in noticing God extravagant faithful ways. As well I’m paying attention to my own heart and seeking to be faithful..which feels a whole lot more hopeful that perfect..which I some times fixate on. 🙂

    • What a great word, Deborah! Love it and your vision for the year. Reminds me of Philippians 3:12-14, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” You’re off and running, Deborah! May 2015 be overflowing in faithfulness!

  • Saundra Wiser

    Instead of a word, I needed a verse: “The Joy of the Lord is your strength.”

    • Love this verse and the idea of a verse being your phrase for the year. May His joy truly be your strength this year, Saundra!

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