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.
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.
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.dictionary.com
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.
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??