A Word of the Year. It has become a very trendy thing to do, and I bet you’ve been seeing and hearing people all over social media talking about their words. For some, it’s simply a guideline for how they want to live their lives. Others are more intentional and set very specific goals based on their word.
My word of the year pretty much fell into my lap this year. And while I wasn’t expecting it, I have already seen its effects in my life.
In this post, I’ll reveal my word for 2019, tell you what it means to me, and describe how I plan to live it out.
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My Word of the Year For 2019
I actually wasn’t going to set a word of the year this year.
I did it for the first time in 2018, and it was a very positive experience. My word was “courage,” and focusing on that did help me take some pretty brave steps outside my comfort zone.
- I self-published and sold my first book
- I started making videos, including weekly Facebook Lives — something I swore I would never do
- I reached out to businesses and pursued opportunities (and yes, was rejected more than I would have liked, but simply having the courage to try was HUGE for me)
- I agreed to do a cooking talk & demonstration for a ladies’ ministry event at our church (The event, unfortunately, ended up being canceled… but I agreed to do it even though I was completely intimidated and plagued with thoughts of “who do you think you are??”)
Yes, choosing a word of the year was very good for me last year.
So, why wasn’t I going to do it again?
There were a couple of reasons, but mostly it was because I simply couldn’t think of one. Nothing was coming to me. I did not feel at all inspired to choose a single word to define the next 365 days of my life.
So, I decided to let it go and not worry about it this year.
And then one day, driving in my car, I suddenly thought to ask God about it. (I know, I’m ashamed to admit that it took me that long to consult God on the matter.) “God,” I prayed, “do you have a word for me this year?”
Honestly, I prayed it not really expecting a response, and I didn’t seek one out. But a word instantly dropped into my heart:
And it wasn’t at all confusing. I didn’t have to wonder, “What does that mean? Where do I go with that?” I knew exactly what it meant and why God gave it to me.
WHAT MY WORD FOR 2019 MEANS TO ME
I knew that I hadn’t been very loving lately. Not in a God kind of way.
I like to think I’m a fairly nice person. And of course, I love my family.
But I haven’t been loving them or anyone else like I should. And I knew that by dropping that word into my lap, God was inviting me to think deeply about what it means to love the people He’s put in my life and how I can better show His love to them this year.
HOW I’M GOING TO LIVE IT OUT
I don’t necessarily have specific goals attached to this word. I’m inspired and impressed by the people who do (Crystal Paine of moneysavingmom.com, for example, has an awesome blog post about her word). But I don’t know how to create goals related to loving people.
And honestly, I don’t think I want to.
I don’t want this to turn into a to-do list or something I cross off an agenda. I don’t want to feel pressure or guilt. Since I am powerfully motivated by achievement and completing goals, this could easily turn into something that I do with the wrong heart.
So instead of having a list of goals, I’m simply letting my word of the year guide my decisions. When faced with a challenge or a crossroads or even a small, daily choice, I’m asking myself, “What would be the loving way to respond here?”
Here are a few examples to show you what I mean:
- I’ve been very short-tempered and impatient with my kids lately. So over the past week, I’ve been asking myself, “What would be the loving way to respond to them?” It doesn’t mean I don’t discipline — correction and discipline are loving responses — but it does remind me to be kind and calm as I do so.
- At the end of long, tiring days with the kids, it’s easy to give Levon my leftovers — leftovers of my patience, leftovers of my attention, leftovers of my affection. But choosing the loving response to Levon means putting him first and making an effort to meet his needs, even (especially) when I don’t feel like it.
- I can quickly fall into patterns of grumbling and complaining as I feed, clean up after, and generally care for my family. And that not only sours my attitude, but it’s just plain not loving my family well. So thinking about love in the area of homemaking changes my attitude from one of “I’m tired of doing this” to one of “I’m doing this to show love to my family.”
- It also means making more of an effort in friendship and being kind to everyone, even those people I don’t particularly care for.
- Finally, it has affected the decisions I’m making in blogging and business by intentionally thinking about how I can love on my audience and better serve them.
Basically, when I feel the urge to react in unloving ways — anger, impatience, annoyance, jealousy, laziness, selfishness, etc. — I stop and ask myself, “What is the loving thing to do in this situation?”
I can promise you that I won’t get it right all the time, and I’m sure I won’t always choose the loving option. (Oh, that flesh can be tough to fight sometimes!)
But I’m only a week in, and already I can see the powerful difference it’s making in my mothering, my marriage, my relationships, and my overall attitude. After all, it’s pretty hard to be grumpy when you’re truly loving the people in your life.
My word for 2019 is “love,” and I’m pretty excited to live it out this year.
Do you choose a word of the year? If so, share it with us and tell us one way you hope it impacts your life this year!
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