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Word of the year 2015

word of the year

The last two years instead of making new years resolutions, I have chosen a word of the year. One word to guide the upcoming, new year. It’s strange how it’s worked too, because somehow I look back and see how relevant and pivotal those words have been.

I look back and wonder if I would’ve traveled the road the way that I did, without my little word.

That’s not to say the word has been on the front of my mind the whole year. Not at all. In fact, I wasn’t entirely sure what my word was this year until I looked back to see what I wrote down exactly one year ago. I am convinced, there couldn’t have been a better word for this year. You see, it’s not necessarily about the word. I believe there is something intrinsically rooted in the choosing of the word. It’s not about our commitment to it, as much as God’s commitment to us.

I believe with all my heart that God doesn’t waste a single thing. Every experience, every heartache and heartbreak, joy and sorrow can be used to mold us into the person He desires us to be, if we let it. Though we may forget the word as we go about our year and our trials and joys and suffering, He doesn’t.

For me, choosing a word is part of the surrender: to let Him have His way with me over the next year. I pray over it. I give it to Him to do with it, with me, what He will. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been easy. But it’s been good.

For 2013, I chose renew. As the year went on, I thought perhaps I should have chosen an easier word! God decided to honor my choice and test my resolve. He challenged my belief that through hardship we are refined, molded and crafted to be made more fully into the person He designed us to be from the start. That year I was presented with challenges to test my conviction, my steadfastness and my faith.

There were times I felt I was walking around inside out. Everything I came in contact with hurt deeply. The pain of many years was trapped just beneath the surface of my life. So close to breaking free, and yet afraid to come out.

2013 was not an easy year, not by a long shot. But just as it was heavy, it was light. One of my favorite poets is Kahlil Gibran. I believe so much in his words, “Sorrow carves the heart to contain more joy.” To the extent that we experience sorrow and grief and pain, we will experience wonder and beauty and joy. It’s the flip side of the coin.

Filled with extraordinary moments, incredible joy and supernatural peace, the year marked the birth of freedom from decade old chains. A new beginning of sorts, a beautiful ending in a way. Looking back, renew was a good choice. A hard one, but so worth it.

2014 my word was intention. That my life would match my heart, and my heart would match my faith. The Lord knew how much I needed this word too.

This last year God has brought many challenges to test my intention. We don’t get to plan everything; some say that’s when God laughs at us. But there are small ways we can design our lives. That the course we take, the things we do, the things we say, the time we spend and the way we love, would be the result of a thing intended. A plan executed. A life well lived.

I can’t imagine a word I needed more this last year. A word that could have better guided me to choose wisely: when to go, when to stay, and when to say goodbye to things that were no longer good for me. This year I was presented with challenges to test my character, my resolve and my notions of fairness and justice.

There were times I just wanted to walk away. I wanted to run from everyone and every thing that wanted to strip just one more piece of me away. But choice after difficult choice, my life was intentionally pruned. Pruned of people and things that were no longer serving me or my family well. And with the pruning, God has brought so much fruit. My husband and I are enjoying the best season of our life.

As a result of intention, our lives have been pruned of some bad things, of course, but also of many good things that didn’t leave room for the right things. Our God is faithful. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but we know His plans are for us.

This year I’m choosing the word trust.

My family is entering a season of change. We’re ready to take an adventure, to risk, to dream a little bit bigger, or different than we dreamed before. To step out before we’re ready. Before we know where we’re going, or what God has planned for us, we’re doing a few things that don’t really make sense.

As much as I believe His plans are far better than mine, sometimes I still want to pull it all back in. To stop the forward motion and just wait. Wait for a better plan…wait for something more sure before we risk. But what kind of faith is that? What kind of faith says I’ll wait until I know better? Or I won’t trust unless I’m sure?

So this year I’m going to stop worrying. I’m going to stop worrying and waiting about a future I cannot begin to know and start moving, believing and trusting that God has already gone before us and prepared the way. Worrying only creates the illusion of a problem that doesn’t even exist anyway! When we surrender worry and embrace trust, then we get to enjoy the journey knowing God will fulfill His promises because we BELIEVE He is who He says He is, and He can do what He says He can do.

Every year, so many of us propose to set new years resolutions and we barely make it through the first month before they’ve fallen by the wayside. The last two years have been marked by change. Change around me and change deep within me. I’m convinced it wasn’t because I was committed to remembering a word or sticking to a resolution, but because God had committed to remembering me. This year, choose a word. Together with God, in thought and prayer, present this year to Him. Ask for His guidance as you choose your word and then let Him direct it’s course. Let Him change you, from the inside out.

And if you feel like sharing, please tell us. What’s your word?


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{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Becky December 29, 2014, 8:47 pm

    My word last year was DARE and I definitely dared myself to do many things, some were life changing and thrilling, the hardest thing I dared to do was to trust God and claim his victory through the second toughest life challenge I have faced. I am not sure what my word will be this year, I am thinking of two words, Be Present, but still thinking and praying on it.

    • Tammy December 30, 2014, 9:25 pm

      I love these words Becky – “To trust God and claim His victory.” AMEN to that! Prayers for God to guide you to your new word this year! xo

  • Gina December 30, 2014, 5:48 am

    I will use this posting as a confirmation from God. Just this morning I was thinking what word can I use for 2015. My first thought was rebuild but then I thought “renewing of the mind”. So “Renew” it is. Love your emails.
    Gina

    • Tammy December 30, 2014, 9:24 pm

      I’m so glad it was confirmation for you Gina! I love how God uses each of us to minister to the hearts of each other. Renew is a powerful, life-changing word. Prayers for you to live into it fully in this new year! xo

  • Andrea December 30, 2014, 7:05 am

    The word The Lord gave me is BEAUTY. Yesterday as I was chasing it, going to Ulta
    And the various stores I go to- hoping to find it. Looking for just the right lipstick color or blush. Maybe the right size curling iron would do it? The Lord softly spoke to me the verse in Isaiah about how HE GIVES BEAUTY for ashes. He gives it!!! I don’t discover it.

    What a revelation it was for me.

    • Tammy December 30, 2014, 9:22 pm

      This is so beautiful Andrea. SO gloriously beautiful! What an incredible gift. xo

  • Lanette Haskins December 30, 2014, 7:28 am

    Beautiful words friend, thanks for the encouragement <3
    Praying for blessing for you and your family in 2015!

    • Tammy December 30, 2014, 9:21 pm

      Thank you Lanette! Love seeing you here sweet friend! xo

  • Melanie December 31, 2014, 9:19 am

    My word for 2015 is going to be…Wholehearted: adjective 1.fully or completely sincere, enthusiastic, energetic, hearty; earnest.
    My prayer is that I may show the love of God wholeheartedly on a daily basis, so that others see the hope and joy of our Lord through me. Our Savior’s grace and mercy extended to us is unending, so shouldn’t our devotion to Him be wholehearted? Yes, indeed!
    Happy New Year and God Bless You!

    • Tammy December 31, 2014, 9:28 am

      Happy New Year Melanie! I love your word and the thought and purpose behind it. Blessings to you! xo

  • Michelle December 31, 2014, 11:15 am

    Last year God gave me the word Joy. It was hard to find in the roller coaster that I call life. I was going to continue on with Joy for 2015, but at the beginning of ADVENT He kept whispering HOPE to me. Hope for His Promises. Hope in freedom. Hope for peace. HOPE has been fleeting in our home and we need it more than ever.

  • Fawn Atwood December 31, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Thank you Tammy. I had forgotten all about having a word for 2014, which was “reinvent”. And like you, I did not even think of it the whole year! It was having to do with reinventing myself and who I was. So many ways God did that… No, it’s not easy. It’s terrifying at times! But our Heavenly Father is so faithful, gently loving, and refining us. I do not have a word for 2015 as yet, but I know one will come. 🙂 Thank you for your blog and sharing your heart. Happy New Year!

  • Belinda December 31, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Awesome article…my one word for 2014 was “patience”. Now…. I wait on the Lord to give me a new word for the new year!!

    Cheers!

  • Sandy Born January 2, 2015, 6:58 pm

    2014 – my word was Patience. This held true for me as I faced divorce, my daughter graduating from high school and my moving from PA to NC without knowing friends or family there. Patience kept me calm when life could have easily sent me into a tailspin. God is good and Patience with His answers for our lives is not easy, but so worth it.
    2015 – the word that comes to me is Courage. I’m not sure why or how, I just feel it. I know there are many new things I will have to have Courage for — and I’m ready. Whatever God’s will is for my life, I will have Courage.

    • Tammy January 3, 2015, 8:27 pm

      Amen Sandy! Courage…which doesn’t mean we won’t have fear…but that we will step out in faith in SPITE of our fear!! With you on that this new year! xo

  • Crystal January 3, 2015, 3:01 pm

    I love your statement about how the word we choose is God’s commitment to us! My word this year is Peace. 2014 was a rough year for me and I’m believing that 2015 will be a much more peace filled year.

    • Tammy January 3, 2015, 8:27 pm

      I’m praying it will be too Crystal! xo

  • Amy A. January 4, 2015, 8:11 am

    Thank for the ideas. I’ve been thinking of what my word could be. I have chosen “REALIZE”. It works for me because sometimes I act (ok a lot ) before thinking. With my kids, my husband I say things that aren’t kind and are immature. The word will remind me of what needs to be done instead of realizing later I or we should have done it. It will help me focus, I hope and pray. Thanks for your blog I hope to read it again. Happy 2015!

    • Tammy January 4, 2015, 6:33 pm

      That’s a great word Amy! And I love the reason behind it too. I know I too can certainly act — or REACT — before I think about it and regret it later. Praying it helps you focus & glad you stopped by!

  • Cari January 4, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Positive. My word for 2015 is positive. 2014 was hard. Straight up hard, and I was hard. Negative in my faith, my family, my job, my mind. Positive. I will be positive. Because God promises to be in me if I ask. If I ask to see the good, he will show me the good.

    • Tammy January 4, 2015, 6:33 pm

      Love this Cari. Blessings!

  • Heidi January 5, 2015, 6:27 am

    My word is Love. It was clearly my word. It was been knocking on my heart for longer than I have been aware, now that I am hearing and paying attention, I will make it official and welcome all that It has to offer. Thank you for such an inspired idea and achievable goal for 2015!

  • Holly January 11, 2015, 10:23 am

    Do you have any advise or tips on how to choose a word of the year?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Tammy January 11, 2015, 3:11 pm

      Holly, usually I just have a feeling. It’s usually a word that has been sneaking around me for awhile. A word I’ve been avoiding or dealing with directly. My best advice is to quiet your heart and mind and see what word that comes to you in the silence. Hope that helps. It’s probably something you don’t feel prepared for or capable of. Those are the best kinds. 🙂

  • Anonymous January 20, 2015, 2:31 pm

    You have no idea how much I needed this article! Both your words for 2014 and 2015 were dead-on for me personally. I think the word for the year is a genius idea, btw! And yes, you’re right it’s amazing to look back at the end of the year and realize how true they’ve become! Hope you don’t mind if ‘trust’ is my word for 2015 as well. I don’t think anything could be more appropriate! God bless you 🙂

    • Tammy January 20, 2015, 7:47 pm

      I don’t mind at all! So glad you’re here and you found what you needed. Blessings! xo

  • Cindy January 22, 2015, 5:21 am

    My word is PURPOSE. I’m approaching an empty nest with my son going off to school Fall 2015 and my daughter Fall 2016 . While I’ve been helping with researching colleges, scheduling SAT test dates, etc., each has needed me a little less. While I’m ecstatically happy that they are ready to begin their young adult lives, I’m feeling a little lost (and sad). So while I am fulfilling my ‘purpose’ as a mom this next year, I’m seeking the Lord in prayer to reveal His new ‘purpose’ for me as I begin a new season in my life.

  • Jayne January 25, 2015, 1:45 pm

    I came upon your site today….WOW!!!!! I feel on a parallel trajectory of your life, yet learned so much from your amazing way of teaching. As life changes “our chosen” path (yes, God laughs), it indeed leads us to His purpose for our lives if we let Him.
    I find it very difficult at times to know when to push forward, and when to “sit and be still” as I would love to fast forward, yet stall this season of my life for different reasons.
    Gosh did I identify with so many of your other posts this morning!!!! I too have been choosing key words for the last couple years. 2013 my year crumbled (yet it was the best thing) my chosen words were “intentional & purposeful” (yes, I chose two. Perhaps to make up for lost time, OR I want to feel like an overachiever), it was a year of healing. Last year I chose “Discover”. I wanted to discover who I was as a child of God, a woman, an employee, friend, daughter, sister, athlete etc….. It was my year of “foundational growth”. This year, I wanted to liven it up a little due to some amazing new adventures that stemed from what I “discovered”, so I chose the word “Fascinate”. I can hardly wait to see this year unfold!!!! This years intention is on “measurable growth” now that I’ve had focus on healing, then foundational growth.
    My long response is just an indication of my excitement for this New Year. I look forward to measuring my growth in being more vulnerable, trying new things and deepening connections. Thank you!!! Now, I shall run as that is some of the best time for self evaluation and epiphanies. I look forward to future posts!!!

    • Tammy January 25, 2015, 8:08 pm

      Wow Jayne, your comment makes me excited for you! What an incredible journey you are on and what amazing words God has given to guide you on your way. I just do believe that this year will be one to be fascinated by. 🙂 What a beautiful story in words! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad you’re here. xo

  • Rogina January 2, 2016, 7:28 pm

    My daughter has been battling stage 4 breast cancer for the past 4 1/2 years. My word for the past 2 years has been HOPE. I am going to hope in the Lord. No matter what the outcome I have come to a place of hope, refusing to live in worry, refusing to live in fear but daily living in hope.

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