Word of the Year 2021
Any one else feel a little apprehensive about the new year? It took me a few days to wrap my head around the idea of a new year. A little 2020 PTSD, me thinks.
My journaling yesterday morning went a little something like this:
Lord inspire me. Inspire my year. Plant new dreams in my heart that take root. Dreams that are grounded and established in You. My joy is feeling a little cautious. A little weary, and a little tired. Infuse me with fresh joy.
My word of the year for 2020 was DISCIPLINE.
2020 being the unexpected and unusual year it was, having discipline was essential to thrive. That’s why I know that God chose my word. Because discipline was essential when my work and home life collided into one space, discipline was needed to create structures in an unprecedented time, discipline created small healthy habits that kept me physically, emotionally and spiritually fit. Learning the art of discipline is learning the art of following through.
And my verse of the year for 2020 was Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
From this verse, light was the image I leaned into for 2020.
|| To be a light for others, to trust in The Light, to lighten my load, to lighten up ||
For 2021, my word of the year is DELIGHT.
DELIGHT was the word God chose for me. He desperately desires for me to delight in Him like He delights in me. For a life lived for Him is not something to endure... but to ENJOY!
My beloved grandmother who passed in 2020 was a beautiful example of delighted love. It’s the word I most associate with her. The way she took pleasure in and delighted in who I am, simply because of who I was to her. There is no greater joy for a child than to be delighted in. She delighted in me with her words, with her eyes, with her hands, in her prayers. She delighted in quality time spent with her loved ones. She delighted in small pleasures. She delighted in using her hands to bless others. She delighted in chocolate and Woolworths nougat. She delighted in feeding others. She delighted in others delight.
Delight is a verb — it’s a doing, a practice, a discipline.
To delight is to experience pleasure, joyful rapture and satisfaction.
Additionally another meaning for the Hebrew word delight is to be soft and tender.
I do not want to allow the hardness of 2020 to harden my heart, but to maintain a heart that is soft, malleable, teachable, tender toward the Lord and others, to remain delightable & delightful!
This quote by Maya Angelou sealed the deal.
So in 2020 I want to DELIGHT
in the Lord
to encourage others to delight in the Lord
in my marriage and the treasure that Drew is
in the spaces and places the Lord has called us to be for as long as He has called us here
in simplicity and unseen spaces
in everyday God moments
in my family, friendships and fellowships
in hosting and preparing for the small group we have been called to lead.
in my calling as a connection coach & counsellor
in gathering people together
in encouraging others with my words
in the way the Lord works in my life and in His ways even if they are not my way.
in the ways He makes me more like Jesus
in my seasons of waiting
in the present and not in the perfect
in the process
in God’s creation
in my salvation
in a good cup of coffee
in my hobbies, and making more time for them this year
What if everyday you and I got out of bed and looked at our lives through this lens — that we are playing a beautiful, honoured part in bringing God’s glorious kingdom to this earth. Wouldn’t that perspective fill us it’s energy and delight for the tasks at hand?
I love that the word delight encourages me to have a long term perspective. If I can learn the art of delighting, what a gift that’ll be for me, when I and my future generations face other unusual, unexpected years.
The following scriptures offers me encouragement as I lean into my word of the year, and they may encourage you too.
My son (and daughter) give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways (Proverbs, 23:26)
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
(1 Corinthians 13:6)
And my verse of the year is from Job 23:10. My treasured friend Claudia, (but you can find her as @Lionheart_Mama on the gram), encouraged me with this verse and I felt it was such an answer to the prayer I have on my heart for God to show us His next step in 2021.
How do you go about choosing your own word of the year?
Start by mindfully answering the following questions:
What are your areas of struggle?
What Bible verse speaks to your heart?
What are you passionate about? How can you use this passion to bless others this year?
At the end of 2021 what would you be most excited about accomplishing?
What word do I want to focus on in 2021?
Once you have worked through the guided questions, identify your overall vision or focus for the year.
Visualise your answers with pictures and verses. Often at this stage I already start to see a theme emerging.
I start to highlight key words from verses or pictures that stand out. I write them down. I circle my 3 favourite words.
I pray into these words and as I do my morning devotional time I see if God illuminates one of the words through scripture or the writings of others.
If you’re not coming from a faith perspective, then spend time journaling about these three words, define them, find poems, songs, quotes or what people say about the word to try it out for size.
Finally, choose one. You’ll see that it’s been that word probably all along. I like to also choose a quote or poem or scripture for the year. It might be related to the word but it doesn’t need to be.
Once you have your word of the year, write that word everywhere. And choose someone or choose a platform on which to share your word with others.
If you are in a relationship or married, I encourage you to choose a word or scripture for your marriage for the year. Choose someone to share it with, and what it represents for you as a couple for accountability.
Now it’s time to identify how to get the most out of your word of the year in the 7 critical areas of your life and how you can embody this word in these 7 critical areas:
Our marriage verse for the year is John 15:5. Praying that this is a year of bearing much fruit and God multiplying our efforts.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
I hope you found this helpful and encouraging as a way to live 2021 less out of habit and more out of intent. I would love to hear your word of the year!