Why should you choose a “WORD OF THE YEAR (WOTY)?

Last year during a devotional at my small group, Joelle, my good friend, shared that we should choose one word to focus on for the year – to gain inspiration from – to have others encourage you – to find Bible Verses about – just one word.  That sounded easy.  I always had trouble with my Resolutions at New Years but I think one word was something I could handle.  I never dreamed what an impact it would have on me.  What’s funny is that I remember all of my friends in our small group’s “one word” and can remind them, encourage them and pray for them with that one word.

My word came so quickly, while I was driving to work one morning and a song came on the radio – “I will Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. I felt the word and TRUST became my WOTY.  I have shared in other blogs what it meant to me and how it changed my life.  Please refer to my blog entitled https://leighchristian.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/why-my-word-for-the-year-changed-my-life-trust/

From Wikipedia – The word(s) of the year, sometimes capitalized as “Word(s) of the Year” and abbreviated “WOTY” (or “WotY”), refers to any of various assessments as to the most important word(s) or expression(s) during a specific year. The German tradition, Wort des Jahres was started in 1971.

Choosing a Word of the Year helps simplify your life and helps you focus on one idea for the entire year.  It is easy to remember, easy to find inspiration, and easy to talk to God about.  I always had a hard time finding God speak to me in my Bible, but when I searched for my word – the scriptures seemed to come alive and talk to me.  It was so special!  It helped me and it guided me through the year.  Sometimes we make things so complicated with our to-do lists, our devotional books, our mind goes in so many directions and we get distracted.  Having that one word to focus on and to get us back on track is really a great way to grow.

There is a great book/website that can guide you in much more detail and I got many ideas from it!  http://myoneword.org/pick-your-word/     I started looking for my new word this year by Praying – talking to God about it and sharing what I wanted.  God didn’t give me any signs.  I was really starting to get frustrated.  I even thought God chose the word PATIENCE for me.  I googled, I looked up scriptures and I even looked for inspiration from Pinterest and Etsy.  After all this research I had written down words on a notecard by my bed.  I tried to figure out what these words all had in common; and I realized they all had a focus but I couldn’t find the right word yet.  All the words seem to focus on – impacting and inspiring the person I am with at that moment.  I continued to pray for the word and kept reading scriptures searching, then I decided I just needed to meditate and pray but most important – LISTEN.  I even thought that might be my word this year – I could see I needed to listen with God, and with others.  I am always in action mode and want to do something to solve issues; when sometimes I need to sit back and listen.  Listen – was not my word.  I wish I could say that I heard God speak the word DISCIPLE to me, but that didn’t happen.  The word just came to my mind.  It was not a word that I would have chosen because I really wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I went to the first verse that I knew included the word DISCIPLE.   Matthew 28:19-20

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It became clear to me that DISCIPLE was my word.  My focus for the year, my inspiration, my guide and my vision.  In some of Jesus’ last words – this was his instruction to us.  This was important and I needed to get busy.  I received confirmation several times over the weeks after I chose my word.  One was big – our church had chosen a word for the year and it was DISCIPLESHIFT.  I love when God provides confirmation.  I get excited over the word now and know it is my word for the year (woty).

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So I encourage you – choose your Word of the Year!  Pray, read scriptures, but most of all listen to God to give to you.  I would love for you to share with me in your journey for your word.  I would love to pray for you to find your word and most of all – I would LOVE to pray for you when you find your Word.  I hope this will inspire you and I hope that your word will mean something to you.

Always in prayer,

Leigh

 

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My word for this year – inspire others – DISCIPLE

So I had such success with my word of the year last year that I had to choose one for this year.  I started in December waiting for a song to clue me in –nothing….crickets…  Nothing inspired me, nothing came to me.  I tried to find my word by reading the Bible, looking on Pinterest, Etsy, Googling….searching and searching.  NOTHING    – no – that is not my word.  I began to think that Patience may be my word but I still wasn’t sure.  I would write down words that seemed to spark something inside me but I couldn’t find the perfect word.  Oh no – it was mid-January –and I still did not have my word.  Our athletes of our nonprofit ministry was going to each choose our word of the year and discuss at a meeting and I didn’t have mine.  Wait – I was in charge of the meeting and I had nothing to share, nothing to inspire.  I kept feeling that my word had something to do with the person in front of me.  No – not a specific person but to focus on the person I was with; when I was with them.  Well – so what word describes that?  I prayed even more and decided that God would give to me if I TRUST (my word last year) him.  I sat in the quiet and listened.

My word came – it was DISCIPLE.  Again – not a word that I would necessarily have chosen on my own but this was my word for the year.  I liked this word – it is a noun – DISCIPLE.  It can mean – a follower of Jesus; the chosen ones, Jesus’ inner circle – how cool is that?  Yes -that is my word!

Oh – it is a verb too – it is an action word – it can mean to teach or train others to be disciples. Oh that means I am committing to disciple to others and help them become disciples.  I am not sure about this now.

I quickly turned in my Bible to the Great Commission from Jesus. I knew it was about disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

 baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus wants us to reach people all over the world.  He wants us to share his love and that he died on the cross, and they should be baptized in his name.  We should teach them to use their story, share their talents and follow the Bible which says they need to go.  This is where I see my calling this year – I want to help others determine how to serve, what their talents are and how to share the gospel.  I am praying for the right way to share and encourage others to serve God – not just go to church but to have a real relationship and a real servant heart.  Some people want to do those things but they just need a little coaching.  That is where I feel God is leading me.

So funny thing – I got my confirmation of my word DISCIPLE the very same week at church.  Our pastors announced that the word for the year at church is “Discipleshift”.  We are going to focus on this very thing!  I love when God winks at me and I can feel him saying – I have a plan for you…  I also heard the word DISCIPLE and read it several times and every time I got that feeling of confirmation!  (Still haven’t heard a song with it in it like last year…)

I sometimes feel that I think too much of myself – why would God choose me to minister and disciple others?  This is where I get confused – why me?  But then I think – why not me?  I can share through my blog, I can work in our nonprofit ministry with the teens, I can serve in our kid’s ministry, I can lead small groups and I can be an example.  I can find lots of excuses not to disciple, but I am not going to this time – I am committed to follow Jesus.  I am excited!  You know I looked at the background of the first twelve disciples and they were nothing extra special – just plain ordinary folks.  Fishermen, tax collectors, tradesmen; they were doubters, liars, followers – and they did amazing things for Jesus!  I want to do that too!  I searched more in the Bible about how to become a Disciple and found these tips in Matthew and even in Psalms.

Matthew 16:24-26 The Message (MSG)

24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Psalms 34:19 The Message (MSG)

Disciples so often get into trouble;

still, God is there every time.

So I am focused on my word for the year – DISCIPLE and I intend to live it through my personal, spiritual, physical, mental and family life.  My goal is to help others become disciples too – I would love to help anyone that needs support and help in finding their gift to serve God.

Let’s go make disciples!

Leigh

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