Have you noticed everyone choosing a Word of the Year for 2017? It’s a thing now. You select a word to embrace during the coming year as a way to focus on what’s important to you. It’s much easier than New Year’s Resolutions and it’s a lot of fun! In fact, I’ve been quite creative with my Words in the past, making spiritual vision boards, collages, jewelry, tree ornaments and other lovely reminders to keep my Word alive.
But what if you can’t find a word that seems to fit? Or if your word is too superficial? Too practical? Not inspirational enough for you? That may because you are choosing a word without starting in The Word. Before you choose your Word of the Year, begin in prayer and study The Word of God. Find out what His plans are for you this year. Ask him to show you the message he has in store for you. Then choose a Verse of the Year to guide you and center you throughout the year. Here’s mine:
My Verse of the Year 2017: Romans 12:2
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
In Romans 12, St. Paul outlines the way to live as a Christian. This verse is so full of messages that seem to reach out to me and urge me to go deeper in my faith. It is a call for me to reject the pattern of this world – which is both daunting and refreshing at the same time. This world insists that I:
Do More …
St. Paul is telling me that I can:
Be Less like others and More like God created me to be.
What’s even more compelling about this verse is the role of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul is not telling me I need to do all of this on my own. He is inviting me to let the Holy Spirit transform me and renew my mind. I pray that 2017 is the year the Spirit works in me and through me to renew my mind so that I can live more like Christ.
And this verse also holds a promise. St. Paul claims this process will help me understand God’s will. I don’t know about you but I am constantly asking God to reveal his purpose for me in a given situation. I have trouble discerning his will at times. And sometimes – if I’m being honest – I’m afraid of his will because I think it will be difficult or uncomfortable. So I’m encouraged by St. Paul’s words and the promise of a “good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So if I am to live this verse in 2017, I need to embrace the Holy Spirit’s work – and release the influence of this world. I need to embrace joy and release perfectionism. I need to embrace love and rest and simplicity. And release comparison, busyness and chaos. I need to simplify.
My Word of the Year 2017: Simplify
I started choosing a Word of the Year in 2010. My words have helped me focus on what’s most important to me as I set my goals and take baby steps to accomplish them throughout the year.
My year of BALANCE reminded me to keep everything in perspective.
My year of SUPPORT gave me permission to reach out and ask for the help I needed.
My year of LIGHT propelled me forward with courage and confidence to be a light for others and taught me to seek the light in others.
My year of UNITY helped me play nicely with others and learn to collaborate more and connect in real life with those I love and cherish.
My year of NOURISH inspired me to feed my mind, body and spirit and to sustain and cherish my dreams and goals.
My year to LISTEN was a call to slow down and pause before acting, to really listen to God’s whisper and to the people I love.
My year to CHOOSE gave me an opportunity to make wise choices and reexamine my priorities.
And now, I am ready to SIMPLIFY.
My friend Grace always says, if the Devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. I think somewhere in my quest to be a better mom and a successful business owner, I’ve been tempted by the Devil’s busy trap. I’ve succumbed to the pressure to enroll my children in too many activities; to volunteer for too many responsibilities; to buy more than I can afford; to attend everything; to participate in everything; to take on more than I should.
So, with Romans 12:2 as my guide, this year I will simplify. I will:
Spend less. Save more.
Do less. Rest more.
Stress less. Love more.
Struggle less. Trust more.
Compare less. Accept more.
Browse less. Read more.
Say “yes” less. Say “no” more.
Complain less. Laugh more.
Eat less. Exercise more.
Commit less. Create more.
What about you? Do you have a Verse of the Year or a Word of the Year? Please share it with me in the comments!
Need Help Choosing a Verse of the Year or Word of the Year?
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Copyright 2017 Theresa Ceniccola