New Year –
Time to reflect, reassess, reorganize and make decisions for the coming year.
One of my New Year decisions in recent years has been to choose ONE WORD.
I was introduced to ONE WORD a couple of years ago. As with many other things, it seemed to come at me from everywhere: the radio, a friend at church, a blog post on the internet. I’ve learned that when something keeps coming at me, it usually means God is trying to get my attention. So that year, I chose ONE WORD – Eucharisteo. (I had just finished reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.) The next year, I chose – Grace.
Choosing ONE WORD for a year can help you simplify your life by providing you with just ONE WORD to focus on for an entire year. It can also help you turn your focus to Jesus if you ask God to help you choose your ONE WORD.
Simplicity as a spiritual practice is total surrender and abandonment to God. It is having a singularity of heart or of purpose. Discovering ONE WORD that God has for you can be a catalyst for life-change.
I’ve been praying about my ONE WORD for 2016 for a couple of weeks, and yesterday began looking over my collected list of words. Here is my process for choosing my word each year.
Step 1: Buy a journal. I typically buy an inexpensive composition book or pull a journal I already own off the shelf. This way I’m not upset if I decide to abandon mid-year, spill something on it, or “mess it up” in some way.
Step 2: Pick a word. I select ONE WORD on which to focus for the entire year. I make this choice prayerfully. (The possibilities for the word choice are endless. Consider where you are currently in your walk with Lord, listen to those around you, narrow down your list, pray.)
Write your ONE WORD on the cover of your composition book or journal.
Step 3: Gather your findings. Pray. Ask God to show you what He has to teach you about your word as it relates to your life. Collect everything you can find: quotes, Bible verses, sermon notes, conversation tidbits, graphics, etc. by jotting them down in your journal. (Stay mindful, listening for God’s whisperings on the topic as you read scripture, talk with friends & family, listen to sermons, scroll the internet, etc.)
That is all there is to it. The process is easy, uncomplicated, manageable, and simple. However, it is also meaningful, and life-impacting.
I hope to have my ONE WORD chosen in the next few days. I’m eager to begin my 2016 journey. How about you? Will you join me this year in choosing ONE WORD as one way of intentionally Simplifying — developing a singularity of heart and purpose to God?
To help you, below is a list of words I have compiled to date. Before you begin reflecting on the list of words, spend some time in prayer asking God what ONE WORD He wants to awaken you to during 2016. Then spend a few moments reflecting over the list. Circle any that you feel compelled to discover more of in your life. Pray some more. Then choose ONE WORD from your list of circled words.
Abandon Abide Abundance Adoration
Alive Ask Balance Believe
Blessing Boldness Brave Challenge
Change Church Confidence Consistent
Content Courage Deeper Devotion
Diligence Discernment Disciple Discipline
Enough Faith Faithful Family
Father Fearless Focus Follow
Forgive Freedom Fruitful Generosity
Gentleness Go Goodness Gospel
Grace Gratitude Growth Healing
Health Holy Hope Humility
Integrity Intention(al) Jesus Joy
Kindness Kingdom Lead Less
Life Listen Love New
Now Obedience Optimism Patience
Peace Persevere Power Pray
Prayer Presence Present Purity
Purpose Rebuilding Redemption Relationship
Release Remember Renewal Rest
Restoration Restore Sabbath Sacrifice
Seek Self-Control Serve Service
Shalom Silence Simplicity Soul
Spirit Stillness Strength Surrender
Time Today Tongue Transform
Trust Truth Unashamed Unity
Wait Wholeness Wisdom Worship
What word have you chosen?