Picking one little word for the year is a tricky thing, a personal thing, for me, a prayerful thing.
I often begin reflecting on how the current word of the year has been meaningful in late November or early December. I think back to the different ways the word impacted my hopes, thoughts, reactions, and plans throughout the year. How it has guided and directed me, reminded me of grace and brought me peace.
By mid-December, I find myself thinking about the year ahead. Thinking about my hopes and dreams, setting goals and milestones. Throughout it all, there is prayer, conversations with God about His hopes, desires, plans for the year ahead. Requests for that one little word that will guide and direct, bring grace and peace.
I thought last year’s word, steadfast, would remind me to be more consistent, more intentional. Instead, it comforted me in a year full of challenges, change, growth, and testing. It reminded me to stay on the path that was before me, put one foot after another and keep moving. I thought that the word would help me expand, but instead, it helped me refine. I had to cut out all things extraneous to move forward with the tasks at hand, the race that I had been given to run.
Things were so hectic this year that it was mid-December before I began reflecting on the year behind and the year ahead. But as soon as I began thinking about a word for the year ahead, almost before the idea was fully formed in my brain, my word was there. I brushed it off, thinking that surely a word that came so easily couldn’t possibly be it. Previous words had come after reflection, pondering and praying. So I pondered and prayed and there it was – the same one little word.
To be honest, it’s such a kind word that I’m a bit afraid of it. I’ve left 2017 feeling a bit broken and completely exhausted. While the word brings me so much hope, I’m frightened to think what else will need renewal. I hope to spend the year re-connecting with family and friends, adding adventures into my parenting, deepening joy in my work, and making time to renew my soul with deep rest.
Those are my hopes for the year, my prayers for the year.
My fears for the year are equally as simple – fears of more loss, disappointment, chaos, heartbreak, frustration, isolation, and anger. I fear the disruption that comes before renewal. I pray that I’ve left that in 2017 and that 2018 will be a year of healing.
So far, 2018 has been both disruption and renewal. We’ve had the breath taken from my lungs as we mourned with dear friends and we’ve found comfort in the hope of a life made whole in Christ. I’ve celebrated little joys with the kids, as we discovered new loves and spent time playing together. New ideas have sprouted forth from a desert. Husband and I have made time for date nights and connection. There’s been disruption, but there’s also been sweet renewal.
I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store and to see how my one little word, renew, will shape the year.
How about you? What’s your one little word this year?