A Word Can Change Your Life

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I gave up on New Year resolutions years ago because I found myself disappointed, unmotivated and uninspired by mid-February. Maybe it was the season I was in or maybe I didn’t have the right system for setting achievable goals? It’s quite possible I just wasn’t adulting properly. Whatever the reason, I dreaded the social push for New Years resolutions. Until I discovered the One Little Word movement. It was a game changer for me!

A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
— Ali Edwards, www.aliedwards.com

Focusing on a single word eliminated the failure I felt from setting unrealistic resolutions. Instead, I found myself on a treasure hunt. Discovering that a single word could transform my perspective, it allowed me to seek God in every corner of my life. The Holy Spirit used my word to validate, guide and encourage me (like clues on a map!). And you know what? I accomplished way more goals and growth in my relationship with God than I ever had in the past.

Picking a word of the year has been a very special way to bring intentional focus into my daily life. With each passing year, this process has allowed me to see God in more intimate ways. He shows up with my word at unexpected, pivotal moments… keep reading to see how He confirmed my 2018 word is going to be “anchor”.

My past words have included Cherish (2012), Bold (2013), Simplicity (2014), Truth (2015), Delight (2016), and Aware (2017). Each word has shaped me in different ways. They have stuck with me as reminders of God’s faithfulness.

If you are interested in choosing a word for the year, I’ve got some great news… it’s a really simple process.

Step 1

Talk to God about your word. Pray and invite God into the process. Ask Him what word He wants to use to grow your heart to be more like His. Talk to Him about the upcoming year and ask for revelation about His plans for you.

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you.
— Matthew 7:7, The Voice

Step 2

Be still and wait. Many times my word will show up repeatedly in various ways leading up to the time I actually sit with God to talk about it. Remember, there is no real deadline here, just be patient and keep seeking God.

When I began writing this post, I wasn’t completely sure that God had given me my word for 2018. Yet, God is so cool and compassionate and always listening to my heart, here are a few stories of how He confirmed my word for 2018:

I had been hearing and seeing the word “anchor” for a couple of months. You know how sometimes, things like that just seem to start showing up everywhere? I was curious if that would be the word God had for me this upcoming year. Clearly, He had been planting seeds for me to gather.

As I was writing this post, the Holy Spirit nudged me to go back and read one of my blogs from 2013. In the comments, you guys, a person wrote that her word for that year was going to be… wait for it... anchor. God knew that years later I would see her comment! We are so cherished by our King.

I’m sitting in church, thinking how cool it would be if we sang a song with the word “anchor” in it and then we did. In the same service, our Pastor was talking about seeking God and how we need to be AWARE… hello, 2017 word. It was like God celebrating the New Year with me!

Once you’ve found your word, I highly recommend keeping it visible as a reminder of where you are headed this year. Here are some practical ideas to explore and experience your word:

  1. Dig into God’s Word. Find a core Bible verse that matches up with your word. This will allow you to discover the biblical truths behind it.
  2. Grab a Dictionary & Thesaurus. Try to really understand the meaning behind your word.
  3. Get artsy. I always create some kind of art piece (vision board, a canvas, Bible art, etc). Creating something inspired by my word allows me to process and take some ownership of the word. Checkout the One Little Word class for a year long scrapbook experience with your word, it’s awesome!
  4. Display your word. Put your word in different places (office, desktop, screensaver, fridge, etc.)
  5. Journal about it! I highly recommend keeping a journal or scrapbook about your word.
  6. Wear it. For the past few years, I have purchased a Giving Key necklace with my word etched into it. I love the heart behind this company! They offer employment opportunities for people transitioning out of homelessness, which is super cool. What I really love is they encourage you to choose your word, embrace it and then pass it on to someone who needs it more than you. Passing along my necklaces has given me the opportunity to share what God has done in my life through a single word.

Seeking God and having Him “talk back” through a single word has been such a rich, growing experience for me and I think it can be for you too! Have you ever chosen a word of the year? I’d love to hear in the comments what you think or if you have your word for this next year!

I pray you receive the richest of blessings in this upcoming year!

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