Wow! One word for the year is catching on. Having chosen a word for several years, I can testify without reservation that focusing on one word for 52 weeks or 365 days, can change one’s perspective. I’m so excited that several of my friends, for the first time, have chosen a word for 2018. I look forward to seeing how One Word will play out in their lives.
I’ve shared in the past that sometimes I know why a word is chosen for me and other times I’m clueless. When I pray asking God to reveal my word, I also pray asking for a verse. Sometimes they go together and sometimes they are as far apart as the east is from the west. All gets revealed in time.
Many have asked what I do after a word is chosen. The goal of course is to explore my word from all sides and angles. For instance, my word for 2018 is peace.
- In the beginning, this isn’t actually a step, it happens however, every time. I simply become aware. I begin to notice how often that word appears. Maybe in books I’m reading or road signs as I drive. Perhaps it might appear in ads on television or talk shows might have a guest who shares about my word. It always fascinates me the different and most unlikely places my word may show up. A friend once told me there is a word for this process of the mind called reticular formation. I will do my best to explain this but if I get it wrong, please be kind. For example, you buy a red car. Until you purchased a red car you never noticed how many red cars were on the roads. Why, because your mind didn’t focus on them. You now own a red car and your mind is not filtering them out as it did before. You are more aware of all the red cars on the road. They were always there the mind simply filtered them so your focus could remain on other things. Fascinating how our minds were created. In our case it’s not a red car but a word we’ve chosen for the year which will shift our focus.
- I look specifically at how my word is currently active, or not active, in my life. I ask questions, such as do I see peace at work in my place of work, in my interactions with my children, my marriage? Do I have peace about my future? What robs me of peace? Is peace something I can control only in certain situations or do I not have control whatsoever over peace. And of course I look at what the written Word of God, the Bible, has to say about peace.
- In January I look up all the Scripture references which contain my word. With today’s technology this is not near as time consuming as it once was. Using a simple website like biblegateway.com I enter my word in the search box and a complete list will be compiled. 249 times the word peace is found in Scripture according to Biblegateway. Throughout the year I will study each Scripture within context of the passage. One thing I’ve learned is when we take a word or verse out of context it’s like eavesdropping on a conversation and only getting part of the details. Boy could that lead to trouble and misunderstanding and …….. usually does.
- Later in the year I will do a word search on other words meaning peace, such as tranquil, harmony, reconciliation calm, etc. I will study each of those references similarly.
- I love to ask my friends or pose a question through Social Media in regards to peace. Today I asked some of my friends what visual do you get when you hear the word peace. On a more personal level I will ask those closest to me if they see peace exhibited, in any sense of the word, in my life.
- Sometimes I read a book. Last year my word was Joy. A few months into it I realized that gratitude was foundational in experiencing true joy. I purchased Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, hoping to learn from her journey to joy.
- In 2017, I purchased mugs for a couple of friends who also chose a word. What joy to picture my friends sipping their favorite beverage, from a mug with their special word beautifully displayed before them each day. I’ve not purchased any mugs for me yet, but as I shared in my previous post, I like this idea a lot. I can almost picture the scene. A friend comes to my house for a “spot of tea” and eventually our conversation is drawn to the words on my mugs. In that moment I would get to share how the Lord provided different perspectives in my life over the years.
I know a few of you are itching to know what I learned about joy over this past year. I will share more on my journey to joy in an upcoming blog. I will try and share some more fun ways to have fun with One Word too. Please be sure to leave me a comment if you would like more blogs on One Word and if you have any ideas on how to creatively incorporate one word for 2018 into our lives?
Have you choosen a word yet? It’s not too late.
Until next time,
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulations; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33