12.31.2016

My Word of the Year 2017


     I had quite a challenge picking my word of the year for 2017.

     In 2015, it was relationship. In 2016, it was hope. But tomorrow marks a new year, a new season, and I needed a new word.

     I considered a lot of words...basically anything that came up multiple times (which is how destroy got in there...sorry).
  • Destroy
  • All
  • Impact
  • Grow
  • Strategy
  • Brave
  • Listen
  • Abundance
  • Compassion
     As I finished up The Broken Way late last night, she kept talking about compassion. She used the verse that says, "Jesus was moved with compassion."

     I thought: "Maybe I should give up on a word of the year and just have a mantra or motto."

     And since Hakuna Matata was taken by Pumba and Timon, I thought maybe "Move with compassion" or "Move toward the mess" (which I got from the title of a book I'll be reviewing soon).

     So maybe I wanted "move" to be my word of the year. But then it sounds too much like "doing" instead of "being." I did want something practical that I could put into action, but I don't want to be judging myself on actions too much. It's a difficult balance to strike.

     But then it hit me: presence. It summed up all my other words in one. Being and compassion and listening and brave and impact all came back to presence.

     God's presence in me and the world. My presence with others. The simplicity of being fully present, what Madeleine L'Engle calls is-ness, is so rare. But in 2017, it won't be rare.

     Can I be fully present for a year? Probably not. I'll fail. I'll stumble. But I can take presence with me. I can take it on mission trips, to camps, to college. I can remember to be present anywhere and anytime. So it is more practical than hope and more of a daily word.

     I know how powerful presence can be. For me, it looks like...

sitting in silence with a hurting friend
holding a tiny baby while its mama sits in church
giving family my face and full attention
understanding where another person is coming from
keeping my hands open for whatever God gives me in my time with Him
resting instead of worrying about the next task
living out the rest of my senior year peacefully
paying attention in class
giving my presence to those who need it most
being myself
sitting by my pond, meditating on truth
staring out over the Amazon River as the skies change
not rushing or getting impatient

     Do you have a word of the year for 2017? If so, share it in the comments below!

~Madeline

4 comments:

  1. Ohh, this is a great word. I love this so much. Two of the words that came to my head are "encourage" and "inspire." Those have to do with me with life and the world and others, but the word "grow" is also a good word, since I would really love to grow in God this year So I have three words, I guess. :P

    Again, I really like your word. It fits a lot of different situations in life, and a good mantra(is this the right word I'm thinking of? I think so. Hopefully.) to stand by.

    I hope your 2017 is fantastic. <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. Encourage, inspire, and grow are great words for any season of life! I love them all. I hope your 2017 is fantastic too!

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  2. We chose the same word! Or close...I settled on present a few weeks ago and have been thinking about all the ways I need to work on really being present in different aspects of my life. Love your choice (obviously)!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness! How cool! I am so glad that we can learn about this together. :)

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Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for making my day brighter with your encouraging words. I cherish each and every comment. If you check back in a day or two, I should have responded to your note. Thanks for dropping me a line!

~Madeline