The beginning of a New Year. I’ve seen a lot of friends posting on their social media about choosing a “Word for the Year”. Have you done or seen this yet?
And along with all of this talk, there’s vision boards and setting goals and cute quotes and tracking sheets! It really could leave a sister overwhelmed. Especially if she doesn’t know how or where to start with any of this! Not to mention how does this even align with Scripture and what God says about how I’m living?!
The questions that should be driving us as Christians:
1.| How will this word of the year remind me to lean into the Creator?
2.| How does any of this align with Scripture and God’s purpose for me?
We are excited about all the possibilities and new opportunities for the things we want to try this year. So now we turn the page and begin a new chapter. We can forget about the failures of the past year because it’s over. We’re excited with all that can once again try in areas we might have failed before.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’re feeling like a failure. Maybe you’re thinking of all those hopes and dreams and goals that you missed, or opportunities you didn’t seize. Maybe you’re scared to try again because you’ve always failed in the past. Sister, I want to encourage you with this: Don’t quit. You are God’s handiwork and created for His purpose. (Ephesians 2:10)
A Past Failure
I’ve chosen words before that didn’t really stick and were long forgotten by the time March arrived. I’ve set goals and fell WAY SHORT of them. I’ve even set goals that I knew wouldn’t stretch me just so I could check off that I’ve accomplished them. (I know I’m not alone in this.) I’ve created a vision board that had no meaning with cute lettering and fun quotes that didn’t even make it to February.
But, I didn’t give up on claiming God’s promises or seeking out His purpose.
Last year, I chose to go a different route than what the world said I should do. I chose to go beyond a one-word approach and choose a theme passage of Hebrews 12. And believe me, sis, I ran a Hebrews 12 race last year. I threw off lots of things that were hindering me to fix my eyes on Jesus. (You can read a little bit about that here with how I simplified our space and purged our home.)
I heard the Spirit whisper, “PAUSE” at the end of last year. So I did. And let me tell you sis when the world is pressing for us to set goals that move us forward at a crazy pace this was difficult. Yet it aligned with the mission statement that the Lord placed on my heart.
- I paused the blog.
- I paused (or slowed) social media interactions.
- I paused coaching women.
- I paused e-mails.
- I purposefully paused so I could walk in obedience. And it was hard. I’m an Enneagram One. I thrive on efficiency, creating, helping, and always pressing forward. Slowing down and being still to let God work challenges me to my very core!
This year the Lord prompted me with the word: BELIEVE.
Towards the end of this past year, the word believe kept reappearing in Scripture. Last year while running a Hebrews 12 race, this word would pierce my heart when I struggled to walk in obedience and remove things from my life that hindered me. Over and over last year, I struggled to work through doubts and fears. I was challenged to BELIEVE God’s promises in my life. I was stuck in a very difficult holding place with negative patterns that produced negative results in my life.
I tested this word to ensure that it was what the Lord was placing upon me for the new year. It totally aligns with scripture. After all, the essence of faith is belief.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord’s word to her will be fulfilled.”
John 1:12 “To all who received him to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
John 5: 24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believe him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
I knew this year that I wanted to focus on deepening my faith, to leaning into the Creator, to believe that the good work he began in me will be carried to completion (Philippians 1:6).
I needed a word, scriptures, and affirmations to remind me that I can trust God. I can believe His promises. Even when I am surrounded by doubt and the Enemy is pressing in, I can believe His word.
I must believe (have faith, trust, and hope) that the goals I set are possible. They are possible because they are led by the Spirit in the direction He desires for me. I don’t need a quiz or the world to tell me what my word should be. I need guidance from the Holy Spirit.
It seems there are several quizzes out there to help you find a “guiding word” for the new year. I want to challenge you to skip that and use these Spiritual Questions to guide you instead. I want to challenge you to be intentional and prayerful when choosing a word.
A PURPOSEFUL PAUSE
God still speaks to us through His word. The Spirit whispers to us when we are in quiet meditation. Creating a purposeful pause to hear Him is a powerful tool. I challenge you to find a quiet place and journal out these questions below.
Sister, it does not matter if it’s Day 1 of your year or just Day 1 of a new beginning; His mercies are new every morning. Start wherever you are today with a Spirit-led approach.
HOW TO CHOOSE A WORD FOR THE YEAR
1.| Are there any scriptures tugging at your heart? If so, what are they? Write them out on paper.
2.| Are these scriptures similar in a theme? What is that theme?
Reflections + Growth.
1.| What have you been ‘struggling’ with?
2.| Is there an area, struggle, or challenge that keeps repeating itself? What pattern needs to be broken?
3.| Does God have me in a holding place? What do I need to learn in this holding place?
4.| What areas do I need to grow? (see above)
Write it Out.
1.| What words or themes are repeated in all of this? Write them. Doodle them. Highlight them. Put a star next to them. Sister, it doesn’t matter how you mark them, just focus. What is repeated?
2.| Grab a thesaurus. Sometimes we are slightly off with a word. This tool will help. Sometimes two words will mesh into one clear idea.
3.| Test the word(s) against scripture.
A Scripture Test.
1.| Does this word align with Scripture? If so, what scriptures pair with this?
2.| Does this word align with the life I want? Are you seeking spiritual or physical gains?
3.| Does this word align with God’s truth over who I am created to be?
1.| Write out a few words to pray over. You do not have to choose something right now just because everyone else has. Let the Spirit guide you. God’s timing does not align with the world.
2.| Once you choose a word, use this word to bring you back to God.
3.| Choose scriptures that align and use these to create Godly affirmations. Let His words remind you of His promises over you.
4.| Are your goals aligning with what God has presented for you? If you’ve written out goals for this year, pair these with your word + test them against the Scriptures. How will you track all of this?
The real guiding question for a word of the year is this:
How will this word of the year remind you to lean into the Creator?
A Simple Template
If you want to share your word on social media, download this pic right here and share your word!
Tag me I would love to see what you’re claiming!
A Simple Prayer
Today as this sister comes before you, let her heart be open to what you have for her. Pierce her heart so that the word and the path she chooses intentionally bring her closer to you. May she grow in perseverance, endurance, and faith throughout this next year. May she lean into You when she is challenged. May You bring forth blessings into her life.
In Jesus name,
Share the Blessings
Sister, if this blog spoke to you, challenged you, or encouraged you, then I share it on your favorite social media! And leave me a comment below! I would love to hear the word the Creator has prompted you with for this next year.
Blessings from my toolbox to yours,
MORE HELPFUL TOOLS
Sister, if you’re looking for more tips on how to simplify your life with a Spirit-led approach, I’ve got you covered! When it comes to organizing our homes and our kitchens, I’ve got 2 awesome resources to help you!
1.| SIMPLIFY IN THE SPIRIT
2.| SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE
I created an action-packed download to help you create momentum to simplify your space and get you results. I’m sharing what I’ve learned through years of moving (thanks, Army) reading, trial and error, and listening to the “experts” to craft a single document so that you can put your energy + effort where it needs to go: YOUR SPACE.
I share my story here in The Beautiful Truth Behind Simplifying My Space because this part of the journey can be super challenging!