December 2, 2013

One Word 2013 and 2014...and God's Dreams for Us

It's now December. Time to think about the season, Jesus' birth and all that means, gifts, family, and more. And it's time to reflect back on the last 11 months.

Last year about this time, I chose a word.

I determined to focus on this one word throughout the year. It was the first year I'd done this and I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I really be able to do it? Would I forget about the word come March or April?

But as the months wore on, I found myself clinging to the word. Claiming it as a promise. Thinking on the command evident in it.

The word was "REJOICE" and the verse to go with it was Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice!"

And when I look back on 2013, I can see so many things worth rejoicing over:
  • Being able to attend two writing retreats and one professional writing conference.
  • Spending time with good friends.
  • Taking a week-long beach vacation with my husband.
  • Signing with a LITERARY AGENT! (I announced this amazing news last week on Facebook: I am signing with Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management.)
But the thing is...we are told to rejoice not just in the good times, but in the bad as well. In the difficult and the trying times. God continually brought my One Word to my mind throughout times like these in 2013. He reminded me that He had brought all of the good stuff to pass...and that He was allowing the bad stuff for a reason too.

This year has been an amazing one, but not just because of amazing things happening. It's also been a year of growth for me. Of wandering and wondering. Of waiting. And for an impatient girl like me, waiting is the worst.

But it's also the best. Because it's in the waiting and the questioning and the comparison and the doubt that God does something awesome.

He reminds us that His dreams for us are SO MUCH BIGGER than our own dreams for us.

His timing is not our's BETTER THAN our timing.

The mountain highs are that much higher when you've been stranded -- or felt stranded, anyway -- in the low valley.

And the thing is...I know He's only just begun to work in my heart, to bring me to an understanding of who He is and why He does what He does. I'll always be on that journey, but I want to be as purposeful as I can be in walking it.

That's why my One Word for 2014 is "LEAN." 

As in, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When I feel faint, I want to lean into the Lord. When I wonder where He's leading me, I want to lean on his understanding, not my own. When I am tempted to sway one way or the other, I want leaning in his direction to be my first instinct.

Oh Lord, may it be so!

Your Turn: What did you learn in 2013? If you chose a One Word for 2013, what was it and how did God use it in your life? Do you have a word for 2014 yet?

*Given the busyness of the holidays, I'll be taking the rest of December off from blogging. I'll see you back here in January! Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.

*Jeanne Takenaka is the winner of Amy Matayo's giveaway for The Wedding Game. Yay, Jeanne!


  1. Love that word and all it implies. My word for 2013 was Joy and I think I've been filled up and my cup ran over and is spilling into 2014. I'm still praying about my word for 2014, but I think I have it--just need a little more confirmation. :) Love you!

    1. You are definitely someone who embodies joy. I love that about you!! :)

  2. I love this post, Linz! And I love all the awesome things that have happened in your life and writing this year. Good stuff.

    I did choose a word for 2013. Embrace. There was, well, a LOT to embrace this year. And it's been pretty awesome. I wasn't sure 2013 could get better than 2012, but I actually think it did. :)

    Confession: Haven't thought yet about a word for 2014. But we shall see... :D

    1. I'm so glad I was there to embrace so many of your 2013 awesome-ness along with you! Can't wait to see what word God leads you to for next year.

  3. Loved reading this post, Lindsay! My word for 2013 is/was "confidence" -- and I feel so much stronger, so much more confident as this year draws to a close. My confidence is anchored in who I am in Christ, not in my circumstances -- and I refuse to throw that confidence away (Heb. 10:35-36.) My word for 2014 is THINK -- and I am so eager to begin the journey of growth God has waiting for me as I begin to understand this word better. It's based on the first few verses of Romans 12 where we are told to be transformed be the renewing of our minds and to not think too highly of ourselves.

    1. Ooo, that's a good word, Beth. I can't wait to hear what He teaches you in 2014. And I'm so glad you've grown more confident this year. (You should be confident...cuz you're amazing!!)

  4. Yay for rejoicing--in the good times and the bad. My word for 2013 was Hope, as in "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future." God definitely delivered an incredible year in my life. So many things to be thankful for--and so much to hope for. I still need to cling to my word as the year wraps up, but I will be thinking of one for next year soon. So happy you've chosen Lean for next year. Proverbs 3:5-6 are some of my very favorite verses in the Bible. The next two are just as powerful: "Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."

    1. It's been a great year for you, Gabe!! I'm hopeful for you and for all the Lord has in store. :)

  5. What an apt word for 2013! It was quite a year for you!! I haven't prayed about next year's word yet, but I'm looking forward to whatever God tells me.

    Congratulations, again!!

    1. Thank you! :) It has indeed been a great year. So glad I got to spend some of it with you, friend.

  6. Oh, Lindsay, I just LOVE your word. It's such a picture of your heart running hard after Jesus. What an incredible 2013 you had! I'm SO SO glad we're agency mates now. Hugs!

    1. Aw, thank you, Donna!! I'm so glad for that as well. :D

  7. Hey friend! Soooo sorry I didn't get over here yesterday. It was...a day. 'Nuff said.

    Thanks for the book! I'm so excited to read it.

    My word for 2013 was Perspective. I learned a lot about how to look at the circumstances in my life through God's lenses, His perspective. When I can choose to see it through a lens of trusting Him and His plans in the circumstances, I can walk through it in peace. This was so good for me this year.

    My word for 2014 is ENOUGH. I'm curious to see what all God will teach me. Love your word and verse!

  8. I love your word Lindsay and I cannot wait to see, read and hear about your victories in LEANing in 2014. You go girl! I haven't figured out my one-word yet but I've done everything else. Lol. I've got my goals and my action plan, but still working on distilling it down to one-word. Funny huh?