One Word and a Challenge

So it’s the first day of 2014.  Fresh start.  Leftover cookies are in the trash.  Cleaning and purging excess junk is on my “to do” list today.  The year stretches before us filled with possibilities.

I read back over my journal and reflected on my “one word” for 2013 – Fearless.  There’s nothing magic about prayerfully choosing a word to live into, to pay attention to and “fearless” was not the silver bullet for me.

I wrote that actually my year was more characterized by “undaunted” than “fearless”.  I prevailed more and feared less because God was present and empowering.  Running races, raising money for clean water, pursuing peace in personal relationships and internationally.  I truly believe none of this was possible apart from God.

So on to 2014.  My One Word for this year really should be “Cheater”.  I’ve prayed and reflected and pondered in my little heart of hearts, but I can’t play by the rules this year.  I’m going to be a cheater.  Or a rebel.  Rebel sounds edgier.

My “One Word” for 2014 is two words.  Or, “ChooseLife”, if you will.

Ok, you may think this is a sneaky way to do all of the things.  Or all of the words.  Maybe, but I don’t think so.

I believe God is calling me to focus on choosing

  • Activity over passivity
  • Treasure and truth over trash
  • Laughter and tears over apathy
  • Health over gluttony
  • Adventure over safety
  • Life-giving words over words of destruction
  • Redemption over regret
  • In vs. out on the sidelines

I believe this also ties into the theme of this blog – Awakening our souls…paying attention to  LIFE – the relationships, experiences, and practices God uses to form us into His likeness.

So, Fridays will be devoted to the sharing of ways we’ve found life in all it’s fullness.  Or totally tanked.  Or struggled somewhere in the middle.

Here’s my challenge for you today:  You are awesome.  I hear from many of you via email, text, fb message, or you speak to me to respond to posts.  I want to challenge you today to opt into this community of “Awakeners” and benefit from each other’s awesomeness.

Choose one word (Or cheat and choose two). One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

Post a comment here – a word if you’ve chosen one, or your thoughts on this practice if not.

Commit to our Fridays of focusing on choosing life and paying attention to the work of God.

“This day I call the heavens and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children my live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life…” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“The thief comes to steal, and kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  John 10:10


  1. Grace – for others and more importantly for myself as I begin the new role of Mom in early 2014!!

  2. Romans 12:12
    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


    • 🙂 This makes me think of a couple verses I memorized a few years ago (that of course I have to look up today!) ”
      Psalm 62:5-8
      For God alone my soul waits in silence,
      for my hope is from him.
      6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
      my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
      7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
      my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
      8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
      pour out your heart before him;
      God is a refuge for us.

  3. My one word is organic, which originally meant in the nutrition department, but I’ve expanded it to live organically- naturally, from a place of genuineness and honesty. I’m going to peel away the layers of the onion and live wholly and vulnerably. Thanks for inviting me to join this journey with you.

  4. “Identity” – as beloved and adopted not because of what I do but because of what He did

    • Such a good word, and I think a struggle for all of us to live into this one. I’m reading Batterson’s book, All In, and he writes about Abraham sacrificing Isaac. I wrote down this quote today.”What do you find your identity in? What do you find your security in? That’s your Isaac. God will test you to make sure your identity and your security are found in the cross of Jesus Christ. And God will go after anything you trust in more than Him until you put it on the altar.” Ouch! Serious stuff!

  5. Carol Cherne Konigson

    January 2, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    “Renew”. To make (my life, relationships) new, fresh or strong again; to begin again with more force and enthusiasm. “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Yes! My one word is going to be renew. Thank you, Laura! And hello community of awakeners!!

  6. After years of trying to “shrink” in size, I found it ironic that after contemplating this challenge I have chosen “expand” as my One Word for 2014.
    I want to expand :
    -my knowledge of the things of God and His Kingdom
    -my capacity to forgive those who have hurt me
    -my ability, determination and consistency in living a healthy life
    -my heart to love the unlovable
    -my sphere of influence to share God’s love and joy
    -my listening skills
    -my capacity to embrace all Truth
    -my ability to discern the schemes of the enemy
    -my capacity to experience joy in all circumstance
    -my contentment with the things I have

  7. My word for 2014 is Trust:
    Trusting God and his ways
    Trusting people
    Trusting in God’s love is always there no matter what

    Too often I’ve cruised through life letting events unfold around me. My goal for 2014 is to be purposeful with what God has blessed me with – particularly my time, relationships and money.

  9. My word is present. I want to be fully present in each moment that I am in. When I’m at work I want to be fully present there. And now that I’m a mom, I want to be fully present when I’m home with my baby. My word for 2014 is present.

    • Oh Kristin! I love seeing you as part of this community from afar! I really appreciate your challenge as a mom working outside the home – present is a great word!

  10. “Servant” following Philippians 2:1-11 as an example of humbling myself before God to serve others. Verse 4: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus……

  11. My word is Redeemed!

    To live as a child who has been redeemed by God’s grace and workmanship and to continue to allow God to redeem the broken and dark places in my life.

    • Isn’t the whole idea of redemption just amazing??? The fact that God ALWAYS can redeem ANYTHING??!! Even me and my mistakes can be turned around for His glory??!

  12. My one word for 2014 is Simplicity. Refusing to overcomplicate what it means to believe in and follow Jesus.

  13. Mine is “Listen” – with eyes, ears, heart – to what God is doing, saying, unfolding.

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