The One Word that Might Change Your 2013

I’ve been reading and listening to boat loads of advice in the past two weeks on resolutions, goals, and all things to make the 2013 me stronger, more successful, and more godly (all with a flatter tummy of course).

You too?  Feeling a little overwhelmed?

Some advocate shorter term goals and then evaluation and refinement, instead of setting big year-long goals.  I like that.

Others suggest making a “stop” list.  Yeah, I like that too.

And others admonish us to start and end our goal-setting with prayer.  Yep.  Good word.

But the newish “in” thing seems to be choosing ONE WORD for the year.

Trashing a list of resolutions and instead focusing on one word, one word to live into with God for the year.

So… I’ve decided I’m game.  I’ve been praying about this and really trying to listen to God.  Oh the pressure!!!

The temptation may be to think it’s magic or it will change your life if you find “the” one, but I doubt it. Nevertheless, I want to listen well.

Years ago when our family was traveling around the world for two months on a sabbatical, every night at dinner we each shared our “word of the day”.  We each tried to choose one word that had summed up the day for us.  We had everything from “sparkly” to “never-ending”.

The idea was to look for themes.  And that has been helpful in this process too.  As l look back over the past few years I think perhaps some of my words of the year would be “loss”, “waiting”, “stillness”, “small”.  The loss of job, titles, community, place, and a time of waiting on God for His new directions.  None of them easy words for an “activator/achiever”.  But good words, nevertheless, because they have forced me to lean into my true identity as a beloved child of God.  No matter what is or what is not accomplished in my life.  He has become More.  Because He is stronger in me I am stronger and I like that. (That was really hard to write).

But that’s looking back and adding a word label.  What word would God have me (or you) live into in 2013?

The problem is I’m a little late to the party.  Apparently One Word has been around for  a few years.  There’s a part of me that wants to be super creative, totally original.  Edgy, even.  And choose a word NO ONE has ever chosen in the history of the world.  And that’s complicated by the desire to let God do the choosing and not me.

I’ve prayed and journaled and reflected and thrown out word after word.  I walked around the lake with God yesterday mumbling.

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But here’s the conclusion I’ve come to.  The word God has led me to is “Fearless”.  I’ve resisted it both because it seems a little recycled, and a little…scary (like where the heck might this word lead me???!).  It may have been used before, but I trust it will be unique in my individual story (and yours if that’s the word God leads you to).

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Here’s what I think of.  Fearless = Brave, secure, steadfast, gently truth-speaking, warmly assertive, non-affirmation addictive, go-wherever with Jesus.

It’s aspirational and inspirational, not descriptive (although it’s the path I think God has been leading me down with slow, awkward steps).

The fact that I’ve chosen “Fearless” isn’t going to change my life, unless I let it.  Unless I choose it daily.  Root it in Jesus, not in Me.  Let Him truly grow it in me.  Unless I say “yes” to Him even with my voice trembling.  His strength perfected in my weakness.

At the end of the year, I wonder, will this word that I’ve chosen with God in January be the word of the year I’ll recognize in me next December?

Want to join me in this?  What one word are you choosing for 2013? Share!

Many thanks to Melanie at http://www.onlyabreath.com for creating the Fearless button!

11 Comments

  1. LOVE this… will be praying about one word for 2013! Hmmmmm…..

  2. I like it. I need to live fearlessly too, but that’s not my word for this year.

    I pray that as you journey through this year, you will truly be fearless in the big things and the little things. I wish you much success with your word for 2013.

    ~FringeGirl

  3. My first thought is ‘Margin’…yeah, I know, I know…not very godly. I wonder, though, if that margin will allow for more of God to enter into my day. Ah!

    • I think it’s godly! Think of all the margin-related examples…”be still and know
      …”, “Jesus withdrew”…Sabbath…Love it Cara 🙂 (and I miss you!)

  4. Love love love your blog today! This is right up my alley. Several years ago, when I was attending Christos, I had a phrase that I lived with for a year. It is an amazing God story (affirmed and confirmed by His speaking to me & others in my class). It actually came to me in December and was part of me for the entire next year: Let It Be. Even today, it brings me peace and reminds me to trust in His all-knowing. So, yes, I will join you in the one-word for a year.

    Interestingly, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I have written new year’s resolutions – it just has felt really right. So I created some “work in progress” type resolutions for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in 2013. They are very fluid and I expect them to morph and change as I do throughout the year. I’ll keep you posted!

    • Thanks for being brave and posting about your experience – such an encouragement when we hear from others on the journey! I know you have an ear attentive to God and life-giving insights to share!

  5. Well I’ve never thought of a word for the New Year, but I’m going to give thus some thought and prayer as well. Thanks Laura.

  6. Love this, and how we’ll be enriched by the discipline of sharing even ’1st thoughts’ with others (usually I’m so proud I only want others to see finished work, so much less is done). What came to my mind to ‘try on’ was CONTENT; Paul says, “I have learned the secret of Contentment in all times”, and I certainly have not! And in my ‘job’, there’s an inclination to promote a dis-Contentedness to move folks, but I sense that on a personal level becoming more Contented helps sort out all the “if only this would happen” that keeps me Anxious… and dis-Contented! Good food for thought…

    • I like the idea of “trying on” a word as you process this idea :). And yes! So tempting to just show the “more finished version” of ourselves (because we fear what others will think of us?)

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