One Word 365: Have You Chosen Yours?




This was my One Word for 2014.

It was the word I had prayed about through December 2013 and a word I felt God was asking me to lean into.

And it made sense to me; I had been living at a pace I couldn’t keep up with, over-scheduling both myself and my family, multi-tasking all day long, and spending very little time in prayer.

Presence was required in every area of my life. It was a no-brainer.

And I was relieved to not have to make my old New Year’s Resolution list—the one I would always tear up come February, feeling like a failure because I had stopped writing 500 words a day, broken the diet, or quit exercising.

I like fresh starts. I like new years. And I’m fully on board with the concept of making an effort to bring about change and growth in our lives. But I never felt comfortable about the long list of everything I thought needed to be changed about who I was or what I wasn’t achieving.

I grew tired of always feeling like I wasn’t “enough” several weeks into a new year. And who was I making the list for anyway? The magazines that embellish the “10 Most Popular Resolutions?” Oprah? My favourite blogger?

No. That list I was pretty happy to say goodbye to.

Instead I prayed for one word. A word that would mean something in every area of my life, be it family, friendships, community, career, and my relationship with God.

And the word came as a gentle whisper. Presence.

It was a word that would challenge me, but one I knew I needed to lean into.

So I prayed to be grounded in each moment. To be present with my children as I helped them do their homework, rather than trying to make dinner and chat on the phone to a friend at the same time. To enjoy the sunrise on a morning run rather than thinking about all that I needed to do in the day. To pause and just be.

But most of all my heart was for joy—I was fully aware that all this rushing was draining my soul and I had a desperate need to simply enjoy the moment.

I admit that when I joined the OneWord community I thought it would make my life a whole lot easier. How could shrinking a list from 10 resolutions to one simple word not be easy?

But living into one word throughout the year is not the easy road it professes to be. In fact it has been quite the challenge.

I don’t think God ever lays out an easy path for us to walk upon. How then would we ever find Him? I think he gives us words that will challenge us. Words that aren’t comfortable but very much need to find their place in our hearts.

Being mindful of presence has been a huge challenge. It goes against my natural “get things done” instinct. It was also incredibly difficulty when I went through six months of depression this year. The last thing I wanted to do was be present with the way I was feeling. But I had no choice, and in being present with my emotions, I learned more about myself and my illness.

Even as I entered the Christmas season I was aware of my desire to simplify and not do as much as usual. And I didn’t. No cards. No Christmas party. And far fewer trips to the mall. I simply wanted to be in the season.

I haven’t lived out my word perfectly by any means, but there has been a shift. And I think a shift is all we can ask for. Personally, I find myself more committed to my morning prayer and journaling time because I know now how much I need that presence with myself and with God.

My one word for 2015 is Rise. I’m not sure exactly why at this point, but when a word makes my heart race and I can see how it applies in every area of my life, I know it’s the one.

I do know that it’s my time to rise. For so many years I have sat back and let others speak up, lead, offer up ideas, and use their talents. Rising up to a new challenge takes me out of my comfort zone, but I know it’s where I need to be. And I truly believe that timing is everything with our One Words. A year ago I wasn’t ready to fully rise into all that God created me to be. This year I am.

Finding your one word

So what will your one word be for 2015?

I encourage you to pray about it for days, even weeks if nothing resonates with you right away. I believe it’s more important to have the right word than to rush to find a word because we’re in the new year. Take your time and your word will come.

And if you are a person who prefers to set goals, consider a word you could apply to those goals—one that would help you to achieve them.

If you have your word already, share it in the comments. We’d love to hear what’s on your hearts for 2015.