Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If you didn't catch the vision

There have been some interesting posts this month lately (whoops, it isn't January anymore) about what people are hoping for in the new year.

The "one word" theme seems to be especially popular. I wonder if that has always been true or if it's a more recent phenomenon. Some popular ones seems to be "focus," "simplify," "engage," "listen," etc. Interesting because some of those seem to be a natural part of a cycle. We get tired and find the need to simplify and be still. Then we get rejuvenated and start to dive into things with a new intensity. Then we have too many commitments and try to hone in on one thing more intensely. And then we get tired...

Do you have a word or verse for this year? I'm curious to hear. You could leave a comment here or even email me.

But...I probably won't join you. Partly because I don't understand how one goes about "choosing" a word. Certain things will be on our hearts in any given season, and those are the things we will pray about. If we are planning a move, we may have "home" or "dwelling" or some other such word running through our head. Naturally we may search the Bible for that theme. But I guess I wouldn't read any more into it.

And my other question is about whether or not we can join someone on the journey. One person feels called to fast...can we join that calling too, or should it be individual? Should we feel bad if we DON'T get the same nudge or feel moved by someone else's urge to make changes?

What about at a "corporate" church level? Should a church congregation have a particular verse for the year? What is the basis for choosing it and encouraging everyone to focus on the same verse?

I understand that many people believe that God is "giving" them a word. I don't doubt that, but for me it is as spontaneous as remembering a certain hymn which reminds me of a certain aspect of faith.

Is there a difference between "choosing" a topic/word, and God dropping one into our laps divinely? I do like to do word studies and I see a benefit in that. I think that the desire to study something in depth can come from the Lord. But I guess I just wouldn't go so far as to call it my Word of the Year.



  1. I've never been on board with this "word for the year" thing either...I guess it's fine if someone else feels like doing that, or that the Lord gave them a particular focus, but personally I don't know how it would can you tell at the start of a year that one particular word or theme would stretch through the remaining months? Sometimes I feel the Lord drawing my attention to a particular topic or theme but I never know how long it will last or when He might lead me in another direction. Just my thoughts!

    1. Maybe someone will comment here and tell us how it works! Sometimes I notice that I am praying about the same thing over and over, because I haven't gotten an answer yet. There are definitely some recurring themes there, but I don't know if things like wanting to sleep through the night count? Unless I called it something like "rest." One time last year I felt like I was tweaking things a lot to achieve better results, and I thought of it as a time of "troubleshooting." But, it was just a period that I knew God would see me through. It's definitely interesting to record these observations!

  2. I think you are right about the "one word" thing being a kind of trend. (Makes it easy to buy the letters and stick them on your shelf, maybe.) There's lots of books that have one-word titles, too, I've noticed.

    Earlier this summer I took photos, intending to write a post, about how often we say one [trendy] thing with words, but say the opposite at the same time. The photo was of the word "SIMPLIFY" that was artistically constructed into a sort of lawn ornament - that's not simple, in and of itself, but it was enmeshed in a whole array of "artistic" lawn ornaments and do-das hanging from the garage and arrayed here and there. Just struck me funny. Same thing with the magazine REAL SIMPLE. There's something contradictory in the first place having to buy a magazine to simplify, but when you read the articles, many purchases seem to be required to adapt to the "simple" lifestyle.

    IF I had to choose a word for the year.....I guess it would be Love. For this year and every year. I can't imagine doing better.

    1. It also might appeal to a specific learning style or sort of temperament, like someone who likes poetry? That's funny about the lawn sign, though metaphorical as well. Simplicity, purity, humility, even love... the most basic things can be pretty hard to achieve!

    2. ...and "minimalism"....that's a whole topic!

  3. Hi Elizabeth. My name is Akinyi. I think one word could be Peace s a trend. I love your blog. Is heir a way I can follow it? Happy blogging.

    P.S. i think you are doing fantastic job so far! Keep up the wonderful work.


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