In Others’ Words: My One Word for 2018

 
Let’s talk about choosing One Word for the coming year. 

 

2018 is just over a month away, but if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you know that I gave up New Year’s resolutions over a decade ago. Why? All those good intentions — the “I wills” and the “I won’ts” — faded so quickly, and I always misplaced my list of resolutions before January was over.
I believe in choosing One Word and focusing on it for 365 days. Doing so changes my perspective. My heart. My actions.
Before I tell you the One Word I selected for 2018, here’s a quick recap of my One Words for the past 12 years.

 

  • 2006: gratitude – I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.
  • 2007: simplify – A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
  • 2008: content – as in “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5) I bought a lot less that year!
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness – I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.
  • 2011: hope – I clung to this word when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: No.
  • 2012: trust – During a year of change, I faced doubting versus trusting — and chose to trust.
  • 2013: confidence – I’m so much stronger emotionally after keeping my heart and mind set on “not throwing away my confidence.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
  • 2014: think – I anchored my thinking to truth more and more, rather than letting my thoughts go wandering around in doubts and lies.
  • 2015: collaborate – “to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.” I focused on collaborating with God in my writing life.
  • 2016: prosper – to act wisely, as in “And David was acting wisely (prospering) in all his ways for the LORD was with him.” 1 Samuel 18 14. This word stayed with me as I confronted a lot of major (and minor) decisions.
  • 2017: inheritance – Psalm 16:5-6 talks about having a “delightful inheritance.” To be honest, I wasn’t as intentional about my One Word as I’ve been in the past. Life was just one challenge after another. But God continued to show me the word again and again in small ways … and I’ve been encouraged that there’s more to this life than the here and now.

 

My One Word for 2018 is kindness. Why? There’s been a lot of divisiveness in the world this past year and we need more kindness.The verse I’m anchoring this One Word to is “Be kind to one another …” (Ephesians 4:32a). I also found a fun, multicolored visual on Etsy that says, “Throw kindness around like confetti.”

 

 In Your Words: I’d love to know if you’ve selected One Word for 2018 — and what it is. Or if you prefer to do resolutions, tell me why!

 

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11 Comments

  1. November 28, 2017, 12:29 am   /  Reply

    Kindness is a good word. The world needs more of it.

    My One Word is actually a phrase, and it solidified today. It’ll be familiar to all who remember Viet Nam.

    Don’t mean nuthin’. Not a thing.

    My failings have been forcibly brought home to me; my inadequacies as a Christian and as a human being highlighted. Heck of a Thanksgiving. I’m thankful it’s over.

    So, it don’t mean nuthin’.

    I don’t care. The world can glitter on, and I will no longer be aching to join the party. I’ve got my waling papers, and I’m outta here.

    • November 28, 2017, 12:30 am   /  Reply

      Argh. last paragraph, “walking papers”. I’m not wailing, and my keyboard is having problems with the ‘k’.

    • November 28, 2017, 7:34 am   /  Reply

      Andrew:
      “Don’t mean nuthin’. Not a thing.”
      I’ve seen you shake off pain and discouragement time and again. “Seen” being a relative term.
      I would distill your phrase down to one word: Perseverance.
      Yep.That’s your One Word because that’s what you do. You persevere.

  2. November 28, 2017, 10:26 am   /  Reply

    You already fully exemplify this word, Beth, and in fact my instant thought on hearing it is that you carry it to what I consider its next application, tenderness–which may be my word for the year–you’ve just reminded me to tune in and consider 🙂

    • November 28, 2017, 12:09 pm   /  Reply

      Dee: Thank you for the kindness of your answer. It means the world to me. Truly. I treasure your friendship.
      And I do want to be kind … and even more so in the coming year. I want to be intentional — and I realize this word can tend to be overused these days (kind of like the word “authentic.”). I’m excited to see how God is going to use this One Word in my life next year.

  3. Bernadette DesChamps
    November 28, 2017, 12:23 pm   /  Reply

    My favorite kindness quote, paraphrased, “be kind to everyone you meet, for you don’t know what battles they are facing.” There is no one in my sphere who is not facing a battle. What we perceive as weakness, apathy, or even stupidity is often the bruised face of a bludgeoning season, years of seasons, or even generations, of battle. It’s so easy to judge. Kindness is still a better choice, even if our judgments are correct.

    Speaking from the dust of inner battle, my word has been, and will continue to be, engage. Weariness, wounds, and stiff-arming the Lord led to a pulling away from those I love and much that I enjoy. But self-protection gone amok only made me a prisoner – counterfeit safety. So my daily road less traveled is to engage – to not hide and to be present – with the Lord, with my loved ones, with myself. It’s a hard, dusty road many days, but I know I’m headed to true refuge. And He sends streams in the desert. That’s kindness.

    • November 28, 2017, 3:04 pm   /  Reply

      Bernadette: Thank you for sharing that quote about kindness. You provided much needed perspective.
      Thank you even more for sharing about your One Word. I am so sorry to hear of your weariness and wounding — and I do understand about stiff-arming the Lord. I pray, truly I do, that the road back to your refuge is short. I’ve discovered that God is much closer than we ever realized during days of battle. Much love to you.

      • Bernadette DesChamps
        November 28, 2017, 3:50 pm   /  Reply

        Beth, thank you for your kind words and your prayers. The Lord is near. He has been all along… wooing, waiting, sending His word and the words of others to call, convict, and encourage.

        My response above is the first meaningful piece of writing I’ve composed in a while. It was good to stretch neglected muscles, to mull and shape my thoughts once again. A chance to engage. Thank you for that. Life-giving to me already, the ripple of your one word.

        • November 28, 2017, 4:46 pm   /  Reply

          May your first step … a brave first step … lead your deeper into God’s gracious will for you. (Romans 5:1-5 The Message)

  4. Tracey
    December 6, 2017, 6:27 am   /  Reply

    Hi Beth, I was catching up on my emails from yesterday and saw your reference to resolutions and ONE WORD in your newsletter. I agree with you completely and have been choosing a Word to focus on for the year long before it was even a “thing” to do because of the book.
    What really struck me was your choice of kindness for 2018 as that was my word for 2017. Even your key verse is the same as mine! However I don’t feel like I adequately put it in to action and am going to continue focusing on it in 2018. I even found The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness devotional at the local Christian bookstore. I want to be more intentional about the “doing” not just the thinking about it. Concrete ways to put action to our focus is always a good thing, so I thought I’d mention the devotional in case you could also benefit from a tool like this. Blessings for your Christmas and New Year!

    • December 6, 2017, 7:48 am   /  Reply

      Hi, Tracey: I hadn’t heard about the devotional, so thank you for mentioning it to me. I will try and find it. 🙂

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