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Our special word of the year. It makes a difference.

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Our special word of the year is just that, special. I’m sure some scoffers out there think it’s all a bunch of hooey. So, of course, they will not find one anyway, so this post is for those of you who know it makes a difference. If you’ve never adopted a word for the year before, then this might be a great time.

letter blocks/word-of-the-year

Here are the many words I picked from:

  • Examine
  • Integrity
  • Deliberate
  • Listen
  • Connections
  • Remember
  • Intentional
  • Reflection
  • Authentic
  • Honesty
  • Seek
  • Deepen
  • Fearless
  • Change
  • Courage
  • Discernment
  • Learn
  • Grow
  • Pursue
  • Love
  • Leap
  • Dig
  • Illumination
  • Rest
  • Faith
  • Praise

You will notice my list includes verbs and nouns. I usually pick verbs because they mean action, but I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules. Yes, the word I picked is on the list, and it was almost the last one to make the cut.

I knew I wanted even better and more authentic relationships with everyone in my life, with myself, and, most importantly, with God. As I thought along those lines, it led to other decisions. That’s what a word of the year often does. I wanted to be more honest and more open, especially during prayer. I wanted the overall routine of my everyday life to be in keeping with my goals, writing another book being a big one.

Having a Word-of-the-Year benefits us in three minimal ways. I’m sure there are others.

First, our special Word-of-the year gives us focus.

Focus was actually my word for 2022. I finished three books! Whenever I got discouraged, I thought of my word, which nudged me forward. This year I expect my new special word to do the same.

It’s like it gives us blinders so we can concentrate on what is important to us, just like Proverbs 4: 25 states, “Let your eyes look directly ahead…..” If you get a chance, read verses 25-27. They are so good.

Second, our word can improve our relationships.

You might wonder how. Well, because it gives us a place to anchor our thoughts, and often when we do that, we find our thinking is clearer in many other areas, like relationships. When my word was “focus,” I found I could focus on the relationships and friendships in my life and weed out those that weren’t mutually beneficial. When I focused, I found I could let things go, like hurt feelings, easier.

Third, our word provides beacon.

lighthouse by sea against sky/word-of-the-year

Sometimes when I write, I can just hear the critics. Isn’t God’s words supposed to be my beacon? Of course. And how does God lead? Through words. Having a word of the year narrows in on one aspect of our faith journey, just like Joshua gave Israelites leaders one word when they crossed the Jordan. Do you remember? (That was a hint.) The word was “remember,” which, by the way, is a great Word-of-the-Year.

Fourth, our Word-of-the-Year keeps us intentional.

In my first book, Depression Has a Big Voice. Make Yours Bigger! I suggest that when we let our moods, like depression, choose our actions, we make our mental state worse. I don’t know about you, but I can be lazy and just let things happen as they will. Now, if I intentionally choose to do that, it’s perfectly OK because I made that decision, not some outside force like lethargy or depression.

There are lots of good reasons to choose a special Word-of-the-Year. I’ve only listed a few. But I could’ve added they give us energy. The open doors of possibility. It’s something we can narrow in on when we’re discouraged.

My Word-of-the-Year.

My word, after much thought, is “Deeper”. I want to go deeper into prayer and Bible study. I want to have deeper relationships with the people I love. And deeper into me, all parts of me, my writing, my leisurely pursuits, my hobbies. The word deeper encourages me to think before I act. It will remind me I want to make my life count.

So what about you?

Will you take the literary plunge and find a word for yourself in 2023? I have often waited until the end of the month. If you want to, there is always the list above. There might be something there that strikes a responsive chord.

God bless and have a great day.