Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: Word of the Year
November 10, 2017
"…Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
Thankful November is a wonderful concept of purposefully identifying one thing you are thankful for each day of the month. But, it can also be a nice lead in to focusing your life on a biblical principal for an entire year.
I first heard what I'll call the word of the year idea while listening to the Christian radio station, K-LOVE, several years back. The DJs discussed identifying a word encompassing a biblical concept or principal to focus on for an entire year. Suggestions ranged from joy to humility and grace to truth.
They continued, encouraging listeners to take the time to pray and read the Bible, asking God to identify what word they needed to select. After all, God is the only one who knows what the year ahead will entail, and what each of us will need to successfully maneuver through its earthly ups and downs.
Once a word is selected, it's time to really dig in. Study up on it, write it on sticky notes and plaster it throughout your life. Concentrate on coating your world with patience, strength, love, etc… Whatever word you have chosen. This is also an excellent lesson in training the mind to seek God and reflect him in all ways, they noted. To work at improving a specific component of your faith and self instead of cruising through the big picture. The DJs added the word should be used in an all-encompassing fashion; toward others, in every situation, and with yourself.
As I sat at a red light on CY Avenue in Casper, Wyo., the word I needed for the upcoming year hit me dead on, and I committed to focusing on the word grace for 12 whole months. And, it worked. Through quitting a job, moving home, renting my house to a less than desirable tenant, starting my own business and countless other roller coaster highs and lows, focusing on having grace and extending grace made the whirlwind of life changes not only manageable but far more enjoyable than they would have been otherwise. God would give me a reminding nudge countless times that caused me to recollect scripture, or pause and consider my words or actions, and it made all the difference. Even chasing cows goes better when you make an effort to have grace.
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I was by no means perfect in my efforts, and you won't be either if you decide to take this on. But, I grew as both a person and Christian as a result of participating in the word of the year endeavor, and that is never time wasted.
As we head into the second half of Thankful November, I encourage you to at least think about finding a word to commit to for 2018. And, don't take the easy route. Dig deep and take some time to really think and pray about what you need to make your internal focus for year ahead. I'm planning to do it again, and must admit that my next word has not been obvious like it was the first time. But, when it becomes clear to me, I'm sure it will have been worth the wait.