2019 Word of the Year

Most busy women who are scrambling to fulfill all the roles in their lives aren’t looking for more pressure. They don’t want anyone telling them to run faster and jump higher. And they sure don’t need one more thing to make them feel like they’re not enough. “New Years Resolutions” can feel like another expectation heaped on their plate, and they’re saying “no thank you.” But there is a way to start the new year with a theme and focus that isn’t demanding or guilt-producing: choosing your “one word” for 2019.

This is the 7th year I’ve chosen a word of the year. The amazing thing is that the word has stuck with me for the entire year, each year. By stuck with me, I mean it has impacted my life, it has truly been a life theme and it has taught me throughout the year. It didn’t fade away in a few weeks like a resolution.

I first learned about the concept from the book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen (available on Amazon as a print book or Kindle).

Here are the words I’ve chosen in the past:

2013 – Purple (This word symbolized royalty for me, to realize my identity as a daughter of the King)

2014 – Fearless (Not so much boldly going where no man has gone before, it was more fear-less–as in absence of fear–since anxiety and stress are shades of fear)

2015 – Believe (To believe big for what God could do in my life, and to believe in myself)

2016 – New (To renew my mind, see what new things God is doing in my life)

2017 – Identity (as in “Live Your True Identity in Christ)

2018 – Brave (same idea as courage but I so love the song “You Make Me Brave” it became my theme)

And for 2019 the word is Grace. What a beautiful word. There are many Scriptures with the word grace, but “My grace is sufficient for you” and “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” speak to me. My daily spirit needs grace overflowing, to pour out on others.

The funny thing about choosing a Word is that it doesn’t always turn out to mean what you thought it would mean. In 2016 I thought that “New” would be rather exciting, like new places and new ways of thinking. Instead the year held many difficult challenges and changes which required a new season and new trust.

Past yearly words never leave me, they remain meaningful and they still belong to me. They’re like a stack of favorite books with worn covers and underlined passages. Those words help me remember the years and the events and lessons.

Because the One Word stays where I see it often, my 2019 word has already impacted my life. The word is reviewed daily because it’s the wallpaper of my phone (this is my #1 tip for sticking with your word!):

I look for jewelry and small home decor pieces with my word of the year–and so does my husband, to surprise me! I’m looking forward to finding special mementoes of Grace in the coming year.

With this new year’s word, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to check whether I’m living grace and giving grace: to others and to myself especially. As in, all day, every day. It’s a means of taking thoughts captive and renewing my mind. I have a feeling it will be life-changing.

Choosing a word doesn’t have to be a huge process. Don’t overthink it, you can’t get it wrong. You can change it quarterly….or monthly. I usually make a list of several words, sit with them, look up Scriptures, pray about it, and narrow it down. This year it was more like paying attention to what stood out after praying for insight. The word “grace” showed up in unusual ways so I knew in my heart that was it.

A friend joked that this year my middle name is Grace: Charlotte Grace Siems. Not bad, I like it! (One of my daughters has the middle name of Grace. Guess she was named after me). 🙂

Why choose a word? It tends to impact every area of life throughout the year, unlike a list of a few resolutions that are forgotten in a drawer in two weeks. For instance, “Grace” affects my relationships, my thoughts, my prayers, my health, my words….you get the picture. It’s an over-arching theme and it’s sort of fun to see how it plays out and what God is up to! It’s simple and it’s One Thing, which lends itself to focus.

I’d love to hear what your word is, and maybe a brief explanation of what it means to you. Maybe you’ve already chosen one. If not, maybe now you’ll give it a try. Please share YOUR One Word for 2019!

15 Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking about it the last few weeks and I’m torn between Strength and Courage. They are both key words in Joshua 1:9, and strength had come up often in my Bible readings lately, but also my thoughts have been going to the “Courage, Dear Heart,” line from the Chronicles of Narnia. I just found out I am expecting baby 4, and considering my last pregnancy, Courage is kind of necessary, as I probably won’t have much strength… At the same time, is like to have a lot more strength this time, and “His strength is made perfect in weakness.” So I can’t decide! Maybe both?

    1. Charlotte says:

      Someone gave me a necklace with the words “Courage, Dear Heart” and it’s one of my favorites! Just from what you said, I would lean towards Courage BECAUSE of those words from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. That’s a powerful reminder and visual for your word, especially for the journey ahead. <3

  2. ‘TRUST’, Charlotte. “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You – in both inclination and character], because he TRUSTS and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Is. 26:3. Amp

    1. Charlotte says:

      Beautiful and powerful word! Pretty much covers everything in the year ahead.

  3. For me it’s PEACE. And it’s the first year I’ve actually chosen a word. Already I’m seeing verses pop up with it, and friends encouraging me in their comments and mention the word peace. So the Lord is sharing how I’ve picked the right word. It’s so I don’t worry as much and rest in Him. He knows my future. He’s got me. I will rest in Him.

    1. Charlotte says:

      Congrats on your first year to choose a word! It will be exciting to see how it weaves into your year. Peace is a great word.

  4. Donnella Looger says:

    This year I’ve got two words or a phrase: “Comfort & Joy”. Years ago I received an assignment from God and that was “Teach them faith and be an example”. I did a lot of overthinking, planning, writing, teaching, etc., but how would I know if I were successful? I thought about the Scriptures where one plants, another waters but in my desire to please God, didn’t know if I was. Then I received the words “comfort & joy”. Whether it’s the checker at the grocery store, a new neighbor, a friend that calls with a problem, I respond with “comfort & joy”. That’s it – that’s all!

    1. Charlotte says:

      Truly love this! Comfort & Joy–deep words.

  5. My 2019 phrase: Live Loved. In years past my words have been: Believe, I am enough, and Calm. Living Loved wraps all of those thoughts into a closer walk with my loving Father. I can be calm and believe that I am enough because He loves me, praise God! As Author, Lysa TerKeurst says: “His love is not based on me. It is placed on me.” I’m learning to receive that gift more and more. I’m allowing myself to live in His love for me and it is transforming my entire life. I’m so very grateful!!!

    1. Charlotte says:

      I heard someone say this week: In the gospel of John, he never refers to his own name, only “the one whom Jesus loved.” We can ALL call ourselves that! And Live Loved is the perfect reminder of your identity, loved one! 🙂

  6. I’ve never chosen a word before. I prefer very specific goals and I usually do enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. But maybe this year I’ll try a word, too

    1. Charlotte says:

      Try it! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  7. Thank you for sharing your words with us. I have never chosen a word before but was just talking with someone about it yesterday at church and then read this. God seems to be pointing me in this direction. It also seems clear that me theme for this year is LET GO – Let Go of past hurts or offenses that weigh you down, let go of material possessions, let go of guilt about items on your To Do list that didn’t get done and most of all Let Go of the need to fix everything, so I can Let God, trusting in His promises.

    Thanks again Charlotte

    1. Charlotte says:

      Love that theme, Meredith! (And it’s okay if your Word is Two Words) 🙂 It’s always interesting to me when something keeps cropping up–there are no coincidences!

  8. My word this year is ‘resilience.’ I chose this word because my 8 year old daughter was told she was very resilient and never gives up in her gym class. Last year was a tough one as I watched my dad go through triple bypass surgery and my mom go even deeper into mental illness. But if a family at its core is ‘resilient’ they can get through anything, especially with the Faith of God helping them too! Thanks for the word of the year inspiration.

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