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A WORD FOR THE YEAR

Kaylea Hutson

Are you ready for what awaits you in 2018? Ready or not, the new year is here: 365 days filled with untapped possibilities, promise, hope, and a bit of the unknown. What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year?

Are you making resolutions? If you are like me, the resolutions you make on New Year’s Eve are often left in the dust by Spring Break.

For the last few years, beginning in 2007, I’ve done something different. Rather than making a resolution to lose weight, to drink fewer sugary drinks, or to read my Bible, I’ve filled my days with a word to help guide my life. I’ve defined the year with a word, not a resolution.

I’ll be honest: Because I’m a wordy gal, I usually pick one word in January; and by midsummer, I’ve woven another word into my life. Such was the case in the first year, when I started looking for wonder around me and later found myself seeking God’s will for my life. Other past choices have included simplicity and joy (2008), dream and hope (2009), rest and Sabbath (2012).

One Word

Scrabble Words FTRI am continually amazed at the power of a single word, especially as I watch God use the word to shape and define my year. I am astounded by the way God uses the words I choose to speak to me through a wide range of experiences.

The year I picked the word rest, God taught me about the importance of taking time to renew and recharge my physical, mental, and spiritual batteries. Though painful at times, it was a lesson I needed to learn and, even now, to remember.

This year, my word is imagine. I found the word (or it found me) before Christmas, when a friend challenged me to imagine freedom that can be found only because of God’s love. God has used the word to challenge me to imagine a new direction in my life and a new ministry. Is it easy? Absolutely not! But challenges often bring us the greatest joy and satisfaction.

So How Do You Get Started?

What word comes to mind as you think about 2018? Maybe it’s new or adventure, words that describe the endless possibilities that await you. Maybe the word is friend because you want to focus on building friendships with people around you. Pick a word to help you define your hopes and dreams for 2018. Then start looking for how God will use the word to teach you. A new year and new opportunities: 365 days as blank as a page in a new sketchpad. What will you create this year?

 

DIG DEEPER

Have you picked out your word? In the next few days, look for your word in the experiences of your life. Maybe you’ll see it at school or at work. Ask God what you need to learn from your word. Look up the word in a dictionary and a thesaurus. Search an online Bible for verses with your word in it. Keep watch for how your word begins to shape your life.

Photo Credit: Scarycrow via Compfight cc

Kaylea Hutson is a freelance journalist and children’s pastor, who lives in Arkansas.

—from devozine (January/February 2014). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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