Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's Your One Word for a New Year?

What’s Your One Word?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

I was getting one of those blinking neon sign messages. You know the kind—the same message over and over, everywhere you turn. Eventually, you realize you have to pay attention.

That’s the way it was for me with this idea: Choose just One Word for the New Year. I read through a number of emails and websites in the few days before Christmas. So many espoused the value of just picking One Word to guide us through the New Year, instead of a long list often forgotten before January 31.

So I prayed about it, thought about, reflected on this. What should my One Word be?

Here’s a little Christmastime story that led me to my word.

I was so excited about Christmas. Every one of my kids would be home. These days, that is rare indeed. My married daughter would be home for a couple of days with her hubby. My living in D.C. full-time working gal would be home for a week. My college senior would be home for a month (and even her boyfriend would be visiting!). And my youngest would be home for another year and half before she left my nest empty. This would be a full family Christmas. I was overjoyed!

But all too soon I was thinking about how short-lived this scenario could be. Maybe this was it? Maybe it would never happen again? Once my kids all live in their own homes, they won’t always travel to mine for the holidays. And once they start having kids, well, they’ll want to be in their own living rooms.

My joy quickly turned to grief, despair, fear…”Poor, poor pitiful me…Nothing lasts forever. What will I do when this happens?” I was beginning to get anxious, edgy, and angry about the upcoming reality.

But was it a reality? Or was it my imagination? My thoughts took me away from the beauty that was right in front of me and transported me to a place where my mind wandered through the pain and loneliness that might lie ahead.

If I kept thinking along these lines, I threatened to make life miserable for everyone. I might be lying on the couch crying, cranky, resentful, instead of contentedly munching on the Land of Nod coffee cake, sipping my Starbucks Mocha (yes, even on Christmas!?), and enjoying the glee as each one of my kids went to their stockings and opened up their gifts.

Which would I choose?

Snap out of it. “Be here NOW,” a not-so-quiet voice rang in my head.

NOW. That’s my word. It’s a good word. A constant reminder of living in the present.

NOW is the time you have.

NOW is the time to move forward on your passion and purpose.

NOW you have an opportunity to exercise or put it off.

I asked my family members to think about their One Word and the results have been revealing, touching, and even helpful as they guide my prayers for each person.

So what’s your one word for 2012? Think about it. Pray about it. And share it!

(If you want to read more on One Word, go to Jon Gordon’s site at You can even print out a FREE poster.)


  1. Lovely post! I do that all the time: predict all the negative things that might happen, letting that overshadow present joys. NOW ... what a beautiful word. Thanks!

  2. One word for this blog entry: BLESSING. Love Chris

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for visiting. Do you have One Word for the New Year?

    And love your word, Chris. Would love to know why you chose that one?

  4. Your choice of a word immediately reminded me of country music star Keith Urban's album "Be Here." Every song is about that perspective. At the beginning of each yoga class my teacher asks us to choose our one word intention for the class. Don't think I can choose one for the year, but often I choose one for the day.

  5. A few weeks ago, I was preparing the weekly prayer sheet for Moms In Prayer and I decided that we would praise God for being trustworthy. Usually I like to search the internet for a thought to ponder that relates to the attribute of God chosen. I found this quote about TRUST by E.M. Bounds, "When trust is perfect and there is no doubt, prayer is simply the outstretched hand ready to receive. Trust perfected is prayer perfected. Trust looks to receive the thing asked for and gets it. Trust is not a belief that God can bless or that He will bless, but that He does bless, here and now. Trust always operates in the present tense. Hope looks toward the future. Trust looks to the present. Hope expects. Trust possesses. Trust receives what prayer acquires. So, what prayer needs, at all times, is abiding and abundant trust." My word is for 2012 is TRUST and each week as I lift up my prayers to the Lord I am going to trust Him.... Let it be all for His Glory! God Bless you, Elise, and I trust He will!

  6. Toward the end of December I was given my one word...INTENTIONAL. God is showing me that I need to be intentional in so many areas of my life--in my marriage, in my parenting, in my writing career, and so on.

  7. Interesting Julie...Would love to hear some of your words.

  8. Trust is a good one...And really love the quote trust perfected is prayer perfected. What a relief it is that we can trust God with our prayers!

    YES, intentionality is an excellent word and ties into my Now word, I think. When I wander around, whether literally or on the Internet or in my imagination, I cease to be intentional and I often get away from being in the moment. There's a time and place for that. However, not in the middle of the one hour I've determined to write.

  9. Thanks for sharing Elise! I am a few years behind you but I seek to enjoy every precious moment of time with my family. My word for the year would be GRACE. I believe that all of my resolutions would be all the better if infused with a a bit of that stuff of God's that is so Amazing!

  10. Thanks so much for your lovely post on my blog. I really enjoyed viewing your blog too! Thanks again for your kind words.

  11. One of the things I'm learning in this current season I'm in is that God is always being Intentional with me about something and He is very attracted to my being intentional with Him. Your blog helped create more focus for 2012. My one word is HOPE. Some wonderful hopeful verses are Romans 5:2 and 5 and Romans 15:13. I love the Bible definition of hope: confident expectation of Grace's future accomplishment in me!
    I alwayslove your blog, Elise! This is the first time I posted here (or on any blog.) I love the postings and I noticed that someone else is focused on the concept of Intentionality also!

  12. Well thanks for coming by Susanne. I'm delighted to be your first blog comment recipient!
    I've often thought about my being intentional, but I love thinking about how intentional God is with us too. Thanks for sharing the biblical definition of Hope and the scriptures too. One of my favorites is Hebrews 11:1. "Now faith is being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see."

  13. I am sorry that I am so very late, Elise, in letting you know that my word for 2012 is TRUST! I remember mentioning to you several weeks ago that for many reasons TRUST would most likely be my choice. You told me about your friend who quoted E.M. Bounds. I couldn't resist researching him and reading his chapter on "Trust" in his book, THE NECESSITY OF PRAYER. "Hope expects. Trust possesses. Trust receives what prayer acquires." Count me in on that!!! TRUST it is. I intend to purchase his book and read the other chapters. Thanks also to Anonymous above for sharing E.M. Bounds with all of us. Thank you, Elise, for your wise and loving reflections and presentation of God's Word. Many blessings to you and your family, Charlene

    1. So wonderful to hear from you Charlene!! One of my resolutions in 2013...see Charlene soon!!


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