The Stay Fit Mom community is a special one. Through the years we have witnessed woman after woman do remarkable things with their nutrition and life through learning, commitment, hard work, sacrifice, and discipline. If your eyes have somehow landed you here we already know a bit about you. For one, you’re a goal setter. You are systematic in how you approach and carry out specific goals that you have for yourself, and while we have great goal setting content (read HERE) that will provide practical help as you head into the New Year, today I’m sharing a big picture strategy, Word of the Year, that has benefited me greatly. If you’re wanting to switch things up from typical “New Year’s resolutions,” join me, as I give you a little personal backstory into my own Word of the Year, but also share some strategies that could help you to formulate your own Word of the Year.
Last year a friend from my Bible study group invited me to a gathering at her house in December. The invitation came with homework. We were asked to pray about a word and verse that God had laid on our hearts for the upcoming year ahead. To be honest, I scoffed it at first. I wasn’t completely confident that God would somehow reveal a single word let alone a verse just for me. I even thought it sounded a little cheesy. But I’m a rule follower, so I agreed to pray consistently for a few weeks. One thing I did NOT do, was let the concept of “Word of the Year” consume me. I was totally fine with the idea of showing up to the gathering without any word or verse, as my expectations were low. I simply prayed as asked, a few minutes in the morning during my quiet time, and carried on with my day.
As the weeks went by I began to see and hear a specific word more and more. I’d see it more prominently in scripture and sermons. I’d hear it spoken more often by others and in the music I was listening to. I showed up to the gathering that night not only with a word and verse, but also feeling in awe that God had answered my request despite my reluctant and disbelieving heart.
My word and verse for the year of 2022,
For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37
And as if God was toying with me just as I made the announcement to the group the chorus to the song, “Believe” by Josh Groban came on in the background.
“If you just believe” was on repeat as I was telling them all how I scoffed at the assignment. God does have a sense of humor. I’m sure of it. “Believe” is most certainly not the word I would’ve come up with for myself. It felt almost too playful. It didn’t involve me “doing” or “going” which is much more up my “go get ‘em” personality alley.
Yet, the year of 2022 was indeed the year of God doing the impossible in our family. My own disbelief and God’s miracles on repeat. It was such a comfort during the hardest days (and there were some really tough days) to remember God’s word of the year so personally and specifically given to me. It brought me both hope and awe. Chris retired from his pharmacy job and we were baptized on the same day this year. Only God could have orchestrated the timing of that miracle. We saw prayers for miraculous healing answered. We prayed for life over a dear friend that suffered from infertility and watched God move miraculously. We saw a marriage on the brink of divorce, reconciled. And even in our deepest grief when Coach Courtney’s baby Lola passed away, I could hear God’s voice speak clearly in my word of the year to believe and trust that God would use this tragedy for His glory as He would move hearts to know Him as we await to see Lola in heaven.
This year, there was no “Word of the Year” party for me to attend, but I wasn’t about to go into 2023 without asking if God had a new word for me. For the past few weeks I’ve waited, expectantly this time.
My word and verse for the year of 2023,
Let your eyes look directly forward and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27
In 2023 God will have a really big opportunity to show off, because I am the Queen of easily distracted. In my flesh, I bounce from activity to activity as frequently as my 6 year old. Distraction has paralyzed me from moving forward in several areas of my life and what a gift to know that this year will give me a massive opportunity to yield to God’s plan for focus over my life. I know it will come with more “no’s,” but also renewed vision, purpose and commitment.
If you’ve made it this far and are wanting to participate in a new type of New Year, New You, here are a few actionable steps you can take.
- Pray. Commit to spending a few moments of quiet everyday over the next week asking for your Word of the Year to be revealed to you.
- Reflect. Reflect on the past year and ask yourself a few tough questions. Where have I struggled? What could I use more of? What could I use less of? What character traits would I like to have? Where do I need to see hope in the year ahead?
- Listen and wait. There is no need to jump to a quick conclusion. Really marinate on your reflection and wait for God to speak. In my own experience God typically gives me several validating unique encounters.
- Write it down. Highlight it. Print it out.
You may not remember your word every single day of the year, but it might just be the most beautiful opportunity to watch God move personally.
“Never forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light.” -Author Unknown