One Word for 2018

Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions because within the first month (sometimes the first week!), I had broken them. You know, things like, “lose 30 pounds, have daily devotional time with God first thing every morning, travel internationally, have a hot marriage, be the world’s best mom.” Then I felt like a failure when they didn’t happen–even remotely. Do you relate?

According to speaker/author Donna Partow, here’s some facts about New Year’s Resolutions:

25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after 1 week.

60% of people abandon them within six months.

Most people make the same New Year’s Resolution 10 times without success.success-failure sign

I decided that instead of resolutions (or even “goals”), I’d pray to God for a Scripture and a “one word” and/or theme for the coming new year. This has worked out well for me. And I no longer feel like #wifefail or #momfail or whatever fail.

Last year’s “one word” was intentional. 

Each year, I’ve discovered how accurate the “one word” was for that year with both its blessings and challenges to overcome. Throughout 2017, I had to make very intentional choices. 

woman by mountain
woman on mountain peak

For 2018, my “one word” is JOY. Whenever I begin to see or hear a word or a Scripture two, three, or more times, I know that God is speaking to my heart and wants to teach me something. 

I’ve begun to see this word JOY a lot and recently found a Christmas decoration with two red cardinals (cardinals are very special to me), with the word JOY on it. I felt that was the final confirmation that I needed to use this as my one word for the coming year.

I look forward to this, as 2017 was hell, one of the worst years in my life (and I’ve had some bad ones before!). 

joy

My two Scriptures for 2018 are Nehemiah 8:10, NLT, and Psalm 126:5, ESV:

“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10, NLT)

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:5, ESV)

This verse in Psalm 126:5 is especially profound, because I cried a lot during 2017. (More than usual!)

On the Blue Letter Bible website, that word “joy” from Nehemiah 8:10 in the original language is chedvah. It simply means joy or gladness. 

You can have God’s joy even in the midst of painful circumstances, because our hope as believers is always in our faith in Jesus Christ and His second coming, not in what is happening around us. We fix our eyes on Him, not the storm.

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines joy as:

1: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight.

2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss.

3: a source or cause of delight. 

Here’s a virtual toast to you and me for a much better, joy-filled-to-overflowing year in 2018!

Toasting Glasses Image resource: https://www.graceplacewellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/champagne-toasting-flutes.jpg

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions or have a “one word,” theme, and/or Scripture for the new year? Please share what you do and what yours is in the comments below. 
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A new year gives HOPE

woman hiking mountain
woman hiking mountain

It’s a new year with exciting new opportunities, as well as new challenges like hiking a steep mountain as the woman is pictured above. The origin of the word opportunities comes from the Latin word opportunitatem, which means “fitness, convenience, suitableness, favorable time.”

Whether you’ve made New Year resolutions and goals, determining to be among the only 8% who achieve them, or you’ve chosen a “one word,” or you’ve decided to do nothing at all right now and que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be), a new year, like a new morning, always offers you a fresh slate to start over. Which is one reason I love it so much. A new year gives HOPE.

Hope
Hope

The definition above of the original Latin word for opportunities includes “favorable time.” God’s word says something about this, too:

“Thus says the LORD, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages.”–Isaiah 49:8

 

Speaker/Author Sheryl Griffin
Speaker/Author Sheryl Griffin

The year 2017 is a favorable time for you! God will answer you. He will help you. And He will give you hope. As my sweet speaker/author friend Sheryl Griffin says, “With Christ there is always hope.”

Yes, even in the eye of a storm, Jesus gives hope and is your anchor. 

And when the winds and the waves crash all around you, and you feel afraid like the disciples did, Jesus will calm the storm inside you as He speaks to the storm outside you. He doesn’t want you to feel afraid. He wants you to place your trust and hope in Him. 

Jesus is our peace in the storm. Image resource: http://farmersalmanac.com/weather/2012/05/28/2012-hurrican-season-forecast/


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Do you need HOPE today? Check out Beth’s first fiction and Amazon Best Seller eBook, Storm Tossed, about a woman who had to face the storm inside her, as well as the hurricane outside her. Is this the last Rachel will see of her husband Jackson and her daughter Faith? Will her beach house in Destin, Florida, stand? Will Rachel die in this dangerous storm? 

Storm Tossed
Storm Tossed at Amazon
http://hyperurl.co/vq9iaa
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#Oneword 2017

I believe that God gave me my “one word” and Scripture for 2017. I wasn’t looking for it. In fact, I thought about not having a “one word.” I’m not into fads. 

My precious sis Maria
My precious sister Maria

But as I sought my sister Maria’s counsel on an important matter at the end of 2016 (she’s my sister and a therapist!), she encouraged me about being intentional–doing things on purpose. Here below is what she emailed me:

“My word for the last few days is “on purpose.” We have to do things on purpose – get closer to God and family and friends. Make time to do things. Improve ourselves like health and money management. I guess my question is what can you do on purpose to make things even a little better?”

She also wrote, “I so get feeling like things are stuck in a rut, an endless pit of crap. We can’t control other people, only ourselves. If this was a therapy session, lol, I would try to have you identify three things that have shown improvement in the last month (exercised more, prayed more, went to a workshop, etc), then three things you can do on purpose to improve things. And I am preaching to myself! I love you immensely. Praying God will fill your heart to overflowing!”

Then as I sat in church yesterday in my black dress, cloaked in an emerald-white sapphire necklace and bracelet and many questions about life, our pastor Jeff talked about being intentional in 2017. There’s that word again. When God says something once, I listen. When He says something twice, I sit up and pay much closer attention. Third time, I know He’s a-shoutin’ at me!

2017 One Word Intentional

So my “one word” for 2017 is intentional. 

I didn’t really want the word. It’s tired, overused, much like the word “purpose,” which I’m all over and about in my mission encouraging women to use their gifts for God and doing what they love.

But it’s a word I need in my life. Down to my writing bones. (This phrase came to mind, remembering author Natalie Goldberg’s excellent book, Writing Down the Bones.

The definition of intentional, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online is:

  • done by intention or design; 
  • done in a way that is planned;
  • done in a deliberate way; not accidental.

Synonyms for intentional are:

  • voluntary
  • willing
  • deliberate.

Voluntary implies implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.

Willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.

The antonyms (opposite meaning) and near antonyms of intentional are even more intriguing:

  • nondeliberate;
  • nonpurposive.
  • accidental;
  • hit-or-miss;
  • aimless;
  • coerced;
  • forced;
  • casual;
  • impulsive.

As I look over and reflect on these lists of words, I ask myself: am I willing to do what God says to do in 2017? Will I obey Him? 

mule Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg
mule
Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn as a mule. I like to think of it as “being my own person”–independent, a free spirit. But many times it’s just plain defiance and obstinance. No one is going to tell me what to do, by God! Not even God!

Control. Pride. “Stiff-necked” the Bible calls the Israelites. This trait cost many of them their lives in the wilderness.

So I surrender. Thy Will Be Done. https://youtu.be/Dp4WC_YZAuw

Beth Jones Women's Conference Speaker & Author
Beth Jones
Women’s Conference Speaker & Author

My prayer for 2017 is that I’ll be intentional:

  • in seeking God and His Kingdom first;
  • in taking care of my health;
  • in my marriage’s healing and restoration;
  • in spending time with my children and grandchildren;
  • in speaking to empower men and women;
  • in writing more books;
  • in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and lead the lost to salvation;
  • in generous financial giving to others in need;
  • in intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare;
  • in walking in peace, not worry, fear, frustration, anger, stress;
  • in being  a productive, profitable Proverbs 31 woman.

My Scripture for 2017 is Ephesians 5:10, The Message: “Figure out what will please the Lord, and then do it.”

What is your “one word” for 2017 and why? Please leave your comments below.

Have a blessed, happy, and prosperous New Year 2017!

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