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Word of the Year

If you had to define last year in one word, what would it be?

If you had to set an intention for this year in one word, what would it be?

Last year my word was CHOOSE. Choose to spend time on things that matter. Choose to respond with love instead of anger or judgment. Choose what I engage in and try to connect with what resonates somewhere within me. Choose to move vs. watching TV.


I would say it to myself when I needed a kick in the butt. Behind this word was the idea that my choices are mine. I am choosing to sit on the couch and watch another Netflix show vs. working on my book, cleaning the house, going for a run, spending time with my family.

The weight of responsibility behind this is my choice compelled me forward. Or at least made me own my decision to zone out, drink more, not reach out, etc.

I thought about just carrying choose over into 2019. There are aspects of it that still linger in my life. But it didn’t fit well. It wasn’t the right word. I thought about going with intentionality, deliberate, or longing. But again, none of those capture where I am.

Then it came to me: breath.

Breath. Not breathe (though that is important too) but breath.

In the morning when I rise and seek to meet my Lord, it’s my breath that takes me there. On my in-breath I say His name. On the out-breath my need.

As I train for my marathon it is my breath that sustains me. I must be aware of it. Deliberate with it. It has to come deep from my stomach, beyond my lungs, and fill my body.

When I am overwhelmed, which seems more and more frequent, it is my breath that grounds me. A few deep inhales – again beyond my lungs into my stomach. And I eventually calm.

Breath grounds me. It reminds me I am not in-charge. It connects me to my God.

As you think about your word for 2019, here are some practical questions:

  1. Where do I want to be when I’m 30? 40? 80?
  2. Is my life currently on a trajectory to get there?
  3. What isn’t in alignment with how I want my life to be?
  4. Where do I struggle with time, energy and money?
  5. What am I currently not able to do that I would really love to fit into my schedule?
  6. What is one small thing I can take off my plate that would make room for what I really love to do?

As you ponder and work through your word for this year, I’d love to share this journey with you. Let me know what you decide, what is going on as you try to pinpoint what you truly hope 2019 will be for you.

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