Monthly Archives: January 2014

My “One Word” from 2012 and 2013

I did not know about “One Word” until January, 2013.  However, if I had to choose “One Word” for 2012, it would be suffering!  For most of the year I struggled with a debilitating pain on the left side of my head.  This suffering left me side-lined from my normal life and ministry for many months.

No one wants suffering to be their “One Word” for the year, but as the pain began, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me, “I am going to allow you a season of suffering…”  How do you respond to something like that . . . “Um, thank you, but I rather not?” *smile*

2012 was the most difficult year I have ever experienced on many different levels.  It was a year of sufferingSuffering physically, suffering mentally & emotionally, suffering relationally, and yes, even suffering spiritually.  The good news is that God is faithful, especially in the midst of great suffering!!  He got me through that year and did such a deep work in me that I still (to this day) have a hard time articulating it.  All I can say is that He changed me through my suffering.

As that season of my life came to a close in the late fall of 2012, I wanted to forget it.  However, in January, 2013, I came across the “One Word” concept.  As I began prayerfully considering what my “One Word” should be, imagine my surprise (and reluctance) when I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking the word “Remember” to my heart and soul.  Remember, really??  Why would I want to remember that painful year?  Yet that was the word He confirmed to me.

I reluctantly got on board with remember.  As I did, I realized that all too often we want to forget the difficult things we go through, but when we do we also forget:

  1. How God showed up
  2. The specific things He did
  3. The ways He changed us

Then we fall back into old patterns and ways of life in an effort to “get back to normal”.  Yet, when He brings us through something difficult and painful why would we want all that hard work to be wasted by going back to the normalcy of our old life?

These were the specific things God wanted me to remember from what I went through in 2012:

  • Remember how God got me through 2012
  • Remember His faithfulness no matter happens in 2013
  • Remember my priorities – God, my husband, my kids, then other relationships & ministry
  • Remember to remain humbly dependent upon God when I’m well and have strength of my own
  • Remember I am deeply loved and valuable enough to be inconvenienced for
  • Remember God has a good plan for my life, He used that season of suffering to birth something new in me – this website/blog is the fruit of that
  • Remember how my family & friends stood by me, praying, encouraging, helping me the many months I was sick

My Scripture for the year was Deuteronomy chapter eight.  Verses 2-3 were especially meaningful, Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

I spent 2013 remembering.  As I did, it brought closure and value to the year of suffering in 2012.  If I hadn’t spent the year remembering I wouldn’t have been ready for the “One Word” God has for me in 2014.  I will be sharing that in a post to come!

Your Friend in Ministry,


Integrating Your “One Word” into 2014

At this point, I hope you have your “One Word” for 2014.  In upcoming blog posts, I can’t wait to share my “One Word” from 2013 and this year as well.  Once you start with this discipline, it becomes an important and meaningful part of your life!

Here’s how you begin to integrate your “One Word” into your life.  Let’s begin by getting a piece of paper or opening your journal (I HIGHLY recommend journaling, but that’s a series of posts for another time –smile-).

  • Write your “One Word” at the top of the page.
  • Next, write several statements using your “One Word”.  These statements reflect how you plan to grow with your “One Word”.
  • Then, find one or more Bible verses that have your “One Word” in them or that apply to your “One Word”.
  • Finally, write a prayer of commitment to the Lord, asking Him to use your “One Word” to help you grow this year.
  • See example below:


  1. I will daily remember God’s grace to me in sending Jesus so that I can have a relationship with Him.
  2. I will pray that I can grow in grace with those around me, not treating them as they deserve, but as Christ treats me, remembering that grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
  3. I will have grace with myself when I fail, and not be so hard on myself.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • 2 Peter 3:18
    But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9
    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Prayer of Commitment – Thank you, Father, that You are a God of grace.  You sent Jesus as a gift of grace to me, so that I can be in relationship with You.  I pray that this year I will be able to intentionally grow in the grace of Jesus.  May I remember to treat others not as they deserve, but as you treat me – with forgiveness, kindness and love.  When I mess up, may I give grace to myself, knowing that you can work mightily in my weakness.  May 2014 be a year of growth in grace in all ways.  In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, amen.

These steps take a bit of time, but they go far in allowing you to intentionally grow in your “One Word” this year.  Why not take some time and do it right now?

Your Friend in Ministry,















How to Choose Your “One Word”

In my last post, I introduced the concept of focusing on “One Word” for the year, rather than making a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” which have a very low success rate for real life (or more importantly, heart) change.

So, how do you go about choosing just “One Word” for an entire year?  For those of us who take life very seriously the pressure may seem overwhelming.

  • What if I am too indecisive and can’t choose “One Word”?
  • What if I choose the wrong word?
  • What if God doesn’t speak to me?
  • What if, what if, what if…

Here are step by step guidelines to help you choose your “One Word”

  1. Relax.  There is no wrong way to do this.  It is a process and that process is as individual as each person who is doing it.
  2. Pray.  Humbly ask God to show you what He wants to do in you this year.  Ask Him to give you the mind of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Wait.  Some people instantly know what the word is, others have to wait a while.  In this instant everything society, we have become uncomfortable with waiting.  Yet, often, God’s timeframe is not our timeframe and He allows us to wait.
  4. Brainstorm.  If you have prayed and waited and still don’t have your word, I recommend doing a little brainstorming.  Begin by listing the current themes/circumstances in your life.  Last year one of my friends had a lot of hard things she was working through, self-esteem issues, relational issues, life not turning out the way she would have chosen.  As she was considering what her word should be for the year, the overall theme she sensed the Lord speaking to her in each of these areas was acceptance.  She knew that her “One Word” for the year was “Accept”.
  5. Consider.  If after you have done steps 1-4 and still don’t have your “One Word”, consider using one of words from the list below.

Faith, Rest, Trust, Grace, Hope, Humility, Peace, Abide, Lean, Loving, Pause, Strengthen, Remember, Joy, Self-Control, Abide, Accept, Discipline, Help, Gentleness, Daily, Intentional, Multiply, Train, Teach

 6.  Confirm.  After you have chosen your “One Word”, ask the Lord to confirm it to you by “sleeping” on it.  If after a few days you still have a peace about it, then that’s your word!

After you have your word, then what?  My next blog post will encourage you with the next steps to take to integrate your  “One Word” into your life.

Your Friend in Ministry,