Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My One Word

I can bet most of you are probably familiar with the concept of choosing a word for your year.

When I first stumbled across the My One Word website just a handful of years ago, the simple power of the concept instantly grabbed hold of my heart. And I’m not the only one. In a pretty short space of time, the concept has ignited a firestorm of followers: an ever-increasing number of people determined to ditch those long lists of New Year’s resolutions in favor of choosing just one word to encapsulate their year. 


The words are as different as their bearers. Uniquely gifted to us. Because when God shows us our word for the year, it is a gift. Amazing how one simple word can give us laser focus. Can trigger radical change. Can be so simple, and yet unleash such growth in our lives.

Unlike a long list of resolutions, which are quickly forgotten and serve only to document our shortcomings, one word is a seed planted in our spirit. It resonates through our weeks and months and helps to frame our year.

Even this scatter-brained mother-of-three can remember one word.

I’ve seen the power of one word clearly in my own life. The last time I prayed for God to reveal a word to me for the year, he gave me the word “Connected.”

Connection. It was something I craved for, as a writer tucked away on the other side of the world. I longed to be part of the thriving writing community I’d caught a glimpse of at the one Stateside conference I’d attended. But I hardly knew where to begin.

This one word, given to me by God, informed the decisions I made that year. It takes time and effort to form relationships with others, and that’s one thing I have little of. Not to mention that I’m an introvert by nature. I don’t put myself out there. Yet, every time I hesitated before typing an email or leaving a comment on a blog, the same word whispered through my spirit. Connected. And so I would forge ahead. Take the time. Reach out a hand. Interact with openness and transparency. Communicate love to others.

And soon, sooner than I’d imagined or dreamed, strangers become friends.

The miracles God brought about through that one word? A critique group of American ladies who’ve become treasured kindred spirits. An overseas trip to ACFW conference, where I formed many wonderful new relationships. And finally, the chance to become a part of the Writers Alley, where I found my writing family. What an unexpected blessing.

All because of one simple word.

Fast-forward to this year. I sought God. I prayed about my word. I dreamed up various possibilities that I thought might help me along the path toward my goals. Words like Focus. Discipline. Self-Control. Good words. Useful words. Words I need to apply in my life.

None of them felt right.

It wasn’t until post-baby hormones and stressful circumstances recently combined to leave me an emotional mess that God finally whispered my word, clear and true, through the email of a fellow Alleycat.


See, God seemed to be saying, you’ve had it all back-to-front. Don’t focus on the fruit you want to achieve. Focus on me. I am your source. I am your lifeblood. Abide in me, and I will bring the fruit.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, ESV)

I’m excited about tapping into God’s vision for my life this year. I’m excited about growing one word closer to the woman God wants me to be.

Why not take the One Word challenge yourself?

Do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything.

Will you join us?

What is your word for 2013?

Karen Schravemade lives in the land of Oz and likes to confuse her American friends by using weird Australian figures of speech. When she's not chasing after two small boys or cuddling her baby girl, she spends her spare minutes daydreaming about the intricate lives of characters who don't actually exist. Find her on her website, on Twitter or getting creative over at her mummy blog.


Jessica R. Patch said...

A wonderful word! Loved reading your story. My one word this year is "joy!" :)

Jeanne T said...

As always, a beautiful post, Karen. I love your one word for the year.

Beth Vogt talked to me about this idea a few years ago, and it resonated with me. This year, my one word is Perspective. God's shown me this is a word He can use to do some healing in me this year. I'm looking forward to it.
The verse accompanying it is Romans 8:29--"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." (ESV)

Being conformed into the image of Jesus will require some serious changes in the way I see life's circumstances.

I hope you'll share more with us what God reveals to you about abiding. :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

I love your story and hearing how God used your one word to inform your decisions. My word for 2013 is "rejoice." I don't know why God gave me that word--whether I'll actually have something big to rejoice over--but I do know that I aim to "rejoice always" (Phil. 4:4).

Melissa Tagg said...

That's a wonderful word! My word is "embrace." :)

Joanne Sher said...

I always say I like the IDEA of one word, but have never taken one. And the thought in my head right now is "I'll take one for next year." But, of course, it's not too late to pick now. Praying about it.

And I LOVE this post, Karen!!

Angie said...

Ever since you all mentioned it in the loop, I've been thinking of trying to stick to one. Mine would be "rest". Rest in Christ knowing He's got my back, rest at home and enjoy my family. I don't give Rest going to start this year.

Pepper said...

Beautiful, as always, Karen.
I love this concept. I think it adds focus and direction, and frames our way of thinking in a Godly direction.

For me it sliced through the 'noise' of lots of expectations and gave me a focus.

I had several words I was praying about too. Self-Control and Focus were two of them.

But I finally realized what the word of my heart for 2013 was:

I LOVE your word. Abide. What a beautiful reminder and comfort!

Karen Schravemade said...

Ladies, I love reading about the words you've chosen! So wonderful and personal, each and every one.

Joanne, I've seldom had a word ready to go at the very start of the year. It takes a while to pray about it and sift through the possibilities to hear what God is saying. The great thing about One Word is that it's more of a year-long journey than a 1st of January sprint. In other words... it's never too late to jump on board! I hope you do! :-)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Amazing post, Karen! I have loved talking through this with you... loved that I could share about resting in Him and needing him. My word for 2012 was "abide." It was an incredible and challenging year.

This year my word is "refresh." Looking forward to getting rejuvenated in my walk. And I also feel like God is going to move in a new way, re-purposing things that have been broken or lost. Looking forward to more of 2013!

Krista Phillips said...

I blogged about this on Monday on my own blog!

My word is joy... or more aptly, finding joy in life's journey.

Ruth Douthitt said...

I love your word! Says so much. Thank you for sharing.

My word for this year is Endurance.

With the Lord, I will endue to the end!

Suzanne said...

I love this post! My word for this year is "focus." I am easily distracted and need to maximize the precious time I have.

Thanks so much for sharing your heart. It's refreshing to read!

Mary Vee said...

You were so right! Look at all the words in the comments today. Each one is different. Each has a story I wish I heard.
Great post.
My word for this year is "deeper"
I want to deepen my relationship with Christ, deepen my writing knowledge and skills, deepen all that God has given me to do and thereby do it better.

Karen Schravemade said...

Amy, you're my inspiration! (As you know!) :-)

Krista, I'll check out your blog. Would love to hear what you had to say.

Love all these words, ladies!! Each so significant and special! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm inspired.

Karen Schravemade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth K. Vogt said...

I'm with you on the One Word journey -- and I just finished reading the My One Word book! (Excellent, by the way!)
My word for 2013: Confidence, based on Hebrews 10:35, which says, "Do not throw away your confidence ... " -- and I have Alley Cat Ashley to thank for helping me select my word!

~Heather said...

So, I tried this two years ago but the word I picked was too broad and it really didn't work at all. But this year I'm trying it again and my word is peace. I'm working at being at peace with where God has me in life, and trusting His peace, even when I'm tempted to be stressed or worried. I love your word too!

Karen Schravemade said...

Beth, the book looks wonderful! I must read it! Love your word. Isn't Ashley great?!

Heather, wishing you abundant peace this year!