How My One Word for 2019 Chose Me

Do you choose a word for the year? I’ll be honest, I usually do; and by, oh I don’t know, March, I’ve forgotten what I chose. I think it goes back to that whole “loves to start, gets bored in the middle, and doesn’t finish” thing in my personality. I’ve had words like intentional, joy, and listen in previous years.

But this year, maybe for the first time, my word sort of chose me. Does that sound crazy? Probably so. But it did. And today I thought I’d tell you how it happened. Because, maybe, there’s a word that’s going to choose you — and this might help you be prepared for that.

My #oneword for 2019 chose me. And this is how I'm praying God will work in my heart and life in the coming year.

When a word jumps off the page, pay attention!

I started reading my favorite Advent book a week before Advent began. Because somehow I always end up behind and rather than beat myself up about it this year, I decided I’d start reading earlier and maybe that would help me finish on time. (For the record, it helped some but I was still behind on Christmas Eve.)

At any rate, I’ve been reading the same book for Advent since 2013. So the pages are pretty well underlined and filled with notes. In fact, I’d thought it might be a good year to skip this book since I was sure nothing new would stand out to me. I’m so glad I didn’t. As I read the Introduction, in fact, as I read page one, these words jumped out to me:

Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology, and join together in a community of wonder. The wonder keeps us open-eyed, expectant, alive to life that is always more than we can account for, that always exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make.

Peterson, Eugene, “God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas,” p. 1

A community of wonder

I promise, not once in the five years prior, had I noticed that paragraph. Not one word was underlined and not one note written in the margin. But this year — it was like it jumped off the page. “A community of wonder.” I drew a box around the phrase and wrote in the margin, “Lord, THIS is what I am longing for — WONDER!”

I underlined these phrases: alive to life that is always more than we can account for, exceeds our calculations, beyond anything we can make.

And, naturally, I thought about John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10 ESV, emphasis added

I love this verse! It’s the foundation of lopsided living and my journey to love well and live full. (More on that coming in 2019!) I’ve mentioned before that 2018 was a hard year for me. Some professional and personal disappointments pretty much left me questioning almost everything I’d thought was true about myself.

Missing wonder

Abundant wouldn’t be a word I’d use to describe about 90% of my life over the past few years. But when I read that paragraph one day in late November, I realized, wonder had been missing from my life. And over the next few weeks, that word jumped out at me from everywhere.

I sent a message to my friend Erin and told her I had my one word … one I couldn’t escape if I tried. WONDER.

Wonder: to think or speculate curiously; to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel.

My word for 2019 is WONDER.

My prayer for 2019 is to be awed by God, for Him to reignite my curiosity about Him and His Word, and to have my eyes opened to the countless ways He is at work around me. I want to go into this new year like a child — wide-eyed and captivated by all the ways the Lord is near and present and good and compassionate, the ways He provides and protects. I want to see His fingerprints in the minutia of my days as well as the miraculous.

My #oneword for 2019 chose me. And this is how I'm praying God will work in my heart and life in the coming year.

I have no idea where this journey will take me. But I’m planning to take you along. Each month, I’ll be sharing a little bit about what I’m learning, verses that are speaking to me, books that are challenging me, and all the ways God is opening my eyes and my heart to the WONDER of His love and presence.

My #oneword for 2019 found me and I can't wait to see where it will take me! What's your #oneword? Click To Tweet

So, tell me, do you have a word for the year? If so, what is it??


Teri Lynne

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I’m still trying to figure out if what I THINK is my one word really is the word…
    It’s “clarity”. I feel in my heart that this past year was a little muddled for me emotionally; God peeling back layers to allow healing (layers of fear, doubt, trust issues); things that left me shaken and saying “This is not me!!!” I’m a stable person emotionally. I’m figuring that I’d become stable in Most areas of my life, but there are still areas that he’s allowed “JOHN 15”; a pruning season to produce more fruit.

    So….I feel that this is the year of clarity; no more muddle. (and your blog is the first place that I feel that I’ve been able to put into words what my one word means to me!)

    • I love this … and what a great word! I have those same feelings of “muddled-ness” about last year. It was a hard, hard year in ways I still can’t quite articulate.

      And I love that this is where you first put it all into words! What a gift to my heart. Thankful for you, friend!

  2. This past year has been a hard onE for us. My husband had seven surgeries from february until december. There were many emOtiOns and a lot of chaOS in our lives. Though i knew god had us it was still hard.
    My word foUnd mE back in August and it is still in frOnt of me everywhere i look. In August it was “Be Still”. You think you know what something means but then god opens your eyes to a whole new meaning. It has been a learning process To understand what this meant for me but it had brought alot of peace to my mind.
    Over the past month it has changed to separate the word “Be still” to “Be”

    I am looking Forward to this journey to see what it mEans for my life. I will not assume i know what he has for me.

    Thanks for sHaring,

  3. I actually have tWo words that have found me this year. I have never had that happen before.

    “INtegration and Alignment.”

    My Life has been pretty scaTtered and overWhelming at times over the past
    Couple of years. 2019 will be a year of intentionally finding the commonality in the things that matter, letting go of the things that Dont, watching several things linE up, more order, less chaos, finding ways to merge things that are different yet oh so the same. I have no idea if that eveN makes sense but I knownitndoes to this restless heart.

    I need some of both of those things in my life!

  4. My word for the year found me this morning at churCh during the sermon, which is authentic. my pastor speaks on our churcheS mission statement every january and part of our MISSION statement is to ReAch out to god, he only mentioned being AUTHENTIC briefly, but the lord conTinued to speak to me about being authEntic in my faith, family, frienships, and community.


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