A Word Search….

MY ONE WORD.  Starting in 2011, I heard about choosing one word to guide/lead my year instead of the list of resolutions that I would give up in one month.  In 2011 my word was renew.  In 2012 I chose prepare and started a blog which I believe helped me to live my word out loud.   In 2013, I chose the word intentional and had over 20 people join me in choosing a word (10x the year before).  Through this past year I have seen people “live their word out loud”, have received personal messages of how their word changed a moment or day, and encouraging messages when they saw things to encourage me.

I have already been having conversations with people about their word for 2014. I have started to think of some words and I will likely do several blogs over my thoughts and ideas for my word.  It is a work in progress, and more importantly, I really have to pray over it.  Listening for the whisper that I found “the one’.  I can’t wait to hear the stories of how / why people chose their words.

In order for me to live my word and be reminded of my word so it becomes part of my daily living I have done the following:

  • Placed it on post-it notes in my calendar, my car dash, etc.
  • Have made magnets with the word (that I also sent to people who shared their word)
  • Put the word as my phone screen saver when it was a little harder to be intentional
  • Make it a password (combined with other symbols – lol) for a website
  • Made the song I chose as an alarm song
  • Wrote a blog.

What I am happy with in 2013 with INTENTIONAL

  • I started strong and ended strong – got a little relaxed with it in the middle
  • I was intentionally grateful almost every day to count my many blessings
  • I was intentional about reaching out to others with their words
  • I got intentional about getting my garage clean
  • I became intentional about my relationships with my peers (rough one)
  • I got intentional and did my first 5K in honor of Sam.
  • When I got stuck in a rut/mood/emotion, I would be intentional about a solution
  • I am intentionally NOT focusing on the areas I didn’t do what I hoped

For those who shared their word, I want you to know how much it means to me.  I loved reaching out and sending a note when I could, thinking of you even on vacation, etc… To me the ONE WORD is so personal!  I have everyone’s word with me every day on my phone.  When I go places and I see your word on an item I stop and say a small prayer and smile.  I have all your addresses so I can drop a note no matter where I am.  SO thank you for letting me part of YOUR ONE WORD!

The process of finding my word:

It is so funny for me when I start talking about a new word, all these words are in front of me suddenly and I think “That is a great word!”  And start a list with them.  This year my list started when I saw or heard a word:

  • The word list all started this year for me when I was finally intentionally cleaning our garage and came across a block of wood with the word SIMPLIFY on it.  By the way, today as I was going to let the dog out I looked down and saw the word SIMPLIFY as a title of a book I own (and didn’t know I had).  I put a second check by that word because I feel like maybe that is a second whisper for that word.  It is like I am taking a tally of how often I have thought of a word.
  • I listen to Elevation Network and a sermon I listened to recently made me add a very simple word.
  • I heard a song by Laura Story and thought that would be a great word and a great theme song.  I will share more about my words when I do a little more evaluating (that is a good word too!)

I also like to look back at previous years.  So, looking back at 2012 Prepare and 2013 Intentional, I think I was stronger with Prepare and here is why.

  • I realize one of the biggest difference is Prepare is an ACTION VERB – I had to do something.  Intentional is more of an adjective or a thought, and no action required.
  • For 2012 my blog titles included my word PREPARE in the title.  For 2013 I got a little more relaxed about writing and didn’t even include intentional in every blog.
  • In 2012 I put PREPARE at the top of every to do list in CAPITAL LETTERS, wrote it on every month of my calendar.  In 2013, not so dedicated (Oh, another good word – see what I mean, every word can become MY word).

However, I have no regrets about my word, it was where I needed to be in 2013.  In fact, I have truly used it a lot the past two months taking care of things that have been issues for years.  So even if it didn’t impact my life daily or weekly, it has made a huge difference overall in the areas I applied it.   I had a conversation with a friend and she only saw her word become alive only in one area or her life.  My reply was maybe that was the area God wanted you to be in, and not have your word cover your whole life.

So here are some guidelines so far for my selection, because I realize the power of a word.

  • I am leaning more towards an action word (for example, instead of commitment I may choose commit.  Instead of determination, I may chose determine).  Of note, I have a few in the running that are not action words.    But I think an action word in comparing the years is a little easier to LIVE OUT LOUD!
  • I also want to make a list of things that I have struggled with this year to see if I can find a powerful word to lead me passed those things this year. Also, look at areas of service, community, etc.. that I want to participate (another great word) in.  Please note this not resolutions of I will loose 10 pounds.. I will exercise everyday, but health is an ongoing issue for me.

So, I am INTENTIONAL about finding the best word for me in 2014.  I want a word that is like an invisible tattoo that I can see when I look in the mirror and people can see living out loud in me.  Or maybe I should start getting a tattoo with all of my words for a reminder!  ( =

I can hardly contain the excitement of hearing what other people decide!!!


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