All things considered, the timing of my one word post is providential. A few weeks ago I thought I had the word, and then it slipped on by me for a more specific word which then competed with a very similar word. My one word choosing this year was not an easy process and ended up being after the New Year started; as a friend texted, “Jenny, it’s ok! Remember that your time isn’t always the right time!” Not sure I agree with that statement, LOL!
The Year of Grow
Two years ago my one word was GROW, and GROW I did. It was messy and painful, exciting and fun–in a nervous, unsettling at time, way. It was the year after losing my grandma, the year of a Melanoma in Situ diagnosis and excision on my face, a year that brought new friendships. You can read about the Year of GROW here and here.
And Then Be
Last year my one word for the year was BE. The Year of BE wasn’t as obvious as GROW. I think that’s to be expected. I considered the Year of GROW an active one, literally pushing dirt aside to make space, margin, and room for me…to BE. If GROW was actively pushing things aside to make room, BE was taking my space, holding my place, standing my ground.
In my Year of BE, I started doing things I wanted to do; things I wouldn’t have done before out of fear of doing them or what other people might think. For example, I realized I loved working out! I realized I loved working out at a gym and lifting weights and taking a BodyPump class.
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Next Comes Bold
It seemed like the next step in this one word process was BOLD; to BOLDLY take my space, flourish where I was, bloom where I was planted…and not just bloom, bloom BOLDLY and spectacularly! I also took the word te heart considering all the times Paul mentioned it in the Epistles–BOLDLY proclaiming the Word of God or preaching Jesus (same difference right).
But BOLD never settled. So I moved to BRAVE.; to BRAVELY claim my growth and continuing to BE who I had grown into and was continuing to grow into. To BRAVELY share Jesus! But BRAVE never settled either.
Back to the First Word
The very first word that came to mind as I was pondering 2021 is actually taken from a quote in one of my FAVORITE BOOKS EVER, Called to Life by Jacques Philippe. But the word seemed too broad, too ambiguous, and definitely not as solid and clear as BOLD or BRAVE.
It wasn’t until after our fireplace explosion on January 9th that I knew with absolute certainty this was supposed to be my one word for the year. (I will write about the explosion soon.) I also realized this word encapsulated any and all other words I had already thought of or could think of, including BOLD and BRAVE.
LIVE! I Want You to LIVE!
“The sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel beautifully expresses the calling to live…Live! I want you to live! Here is the first and the most fundamental call to us from God…Life is beautiful and full of meaning in its absurdity if you know how to take it as a whole.”
::Called to Life by Jacques Philippe pages 25-27
My one word was originally going to be LIVE, partly because I thought it was an adventurous continuation of GROW and BE. In my mind it represented LIVING life to the fullest, trying new things and experiences, not letting fear hold me back or fill me with doubts, anxiety, and questions. It still measn that, only in a deeper and more beautiful sense.
At some point immediately after the explosion, I kept hearing/repeating that phrase, “Live! I want you to live!” from the book. I thought of it right after it happened. I thought of it when Veronica said, “That’s the closest we’ve ever come to dying.”
I think of it every time I pause in front of the broken fireplace and consider how close we came to not being here; there’s no earthly reason why we should have walked away unharmed.
How God Wants Me to Live
And here’s where LIVE just gathers up any and all other words; God wants me to LIVE…BOLDLY, BRAVELY, and all the other words that one might consider a compass point word for the year. As I was searching the Scriptures I found so many examples that cover a life LIVED BOLDLY and BRAVELY all for the glory of God…and it’s not all holy-spiritual-hands folded-praying-preaching-teaching Jesus, kind of. I mean it is, but it isn’t.
“And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”
+Romans 12:1 (TPT)
Y’ALL!!! Saying “Yes!” to climbing a mountain or taking some adventure, BOLDLY and BRAVELY living in this world He created, for His glory and for His delight! That! That grabbing my one word LIVE by the horns, that becomes my genuine expression of worshipping my God!!! I don’t know if that made sense? I don’t know if I can explain it? But I feel it so deeply in my soul! I cannot wait to write more about what this verse means to me. I need the words first.
“Live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.”
+1 Corinthians 10:31 (TPT)
When I read the above verse, I immediately thought of my commitment to move my body, exercise, and strengthen my body–which also strengthens my mind and makes me a happier, nicer human. My body is a gift! Taking good care, allowing it to move and grow in strength glorifies and honors the Giver of my life.
I think of it like a beautiful race horse, bred to run, to move with strength and speed, bred for greatness! But what if that race horse were just tied up to one of those roundy roundy things, all day long, day after day. It wouldn’t be being used for and living in its purpose and for its greatest potential. We’d look at that poor horse and have pity on it.
I love moving my body. I love that I can move my body! It is a gift to let my body show me how strong and capable it is!
One more–although I will write more about the verses I found for my one word LIVE. Last year I had a necklace made with “Gal 1:10” engraved on it. Last year was the year I found a verse I wanted to carry especially close to my heart all the days of my life,
“I’m obviously not trying to flatter you or water down my message to be popular with men, but my supreme passion is to please God. For if all I attempt to do is please people, I would not be the true servant of the Messiah.”
+Galatians 1:10 (TPT)
As I was looking up and writing Scripture verses to go along with my word LIVE, I found 2 Corinthians 5:9
“So whether we live or die, we make it our life’s passion to live our lives pleasing to him.”
That verse compliments my life verse beautifully!! My life’s passion is to live a life pleasing to God.
Wait! I want to add two more. I don’t know if you’ve heard me say this before–I know our Online Bible Study Community has. Almost every day, if not every day, life surprises me. Lots and lots of times this surprise feels like a sucker punch! But I’m also taken by surprise by the beauty of life, the goodness of life; I’m in awe of God. And then I came across these two verses,
“…for we are to live our lives with pure hearts in the constant awe and wonder of our Lord God.”
+Colossians 3:22b (TPT)
“Live each day with a holy awe and reverence throughout your time on earth.”
+1 Peter 1:17
I am so excited for this year of LIVE! It’s already gotten off to an interesting start considering the explosion and the fact that we are still here, LIVING.
Do you choose a word for the year? Share your one word below.