One Word 2016

We are already a week into the new year, but I feel about 3 weeks behind. It’s how my life has been lately. That’s what buying a house, renovating it and moving during the busiest time of the year will do to you.

But as I sit fireside in our new home, I am grateful for all of it. What a gift we have been given! All of the stress, the exhaustion and the craziness of this time has only increased our family’s desire to live well and to live with intention, bringing glory to God in all things.

We are currently memorizing Psalm 1 right now as a family. It is the first passage of scripture I ever memorized, way back in Mrs. Cornfield’s 3rd grade class. But when you memorize a passage in one version and then try to memorize it in a different one, it can be quite the challenge! Let’s see how I do…

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked,

or stand in the way that sinners take,

or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord

and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season,

whose leaf does not wither. Whatever that person does will prosper.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away!

Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. ~Psalm 1 NIV

I’ll have the kids check me later. They like keeping track of how everyone is doing! Our goal is to memorize a new verse or passage of scripture every week in 2016.

I don’t share this because I want you to think that our family is awesome. I share this because I believe we are to spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) and there is nothing that changes our hearts like the Word of God.

The first time I chose “one word” as my goal for the year, I chose “intentional”. It continues to impact my life in a huge way. Living with purpose changes everything. It’s choosing to make a difference in the world, by having a plan and then following through. Choosing one word each year has helped me to focus and to live with intention.

As I thought about 2016 and prayed about the word God would want me to focus on, I was leaning towards “trust” or “walk”. I have had to trust God in deeper ways in recent years and the concept of walking with God has been extremely important to me since my teen years. But the morning after I wrote my post on dignity (my one word for 2015), I woke up with these lines from a song running through my head…

We were made for so much more than ordinary lives,

it’s time for us to more than just survive.

We were made to thrive. ~Casting Crowns

And there it was- my one word for 2016.


Over Christmas Break, my oldest daughter and I watched the movie “13 going on 30”. Since my girl will turn 13 this year (gasp!!), I wanted to watch the movie with her and talk about the importance of not skipping ahead in life, but living fully now. The themes in the movie about popularity and seeking your own pleasure and status are so contrary to a joy-filled, God honoring life and I wanted to have the opportunity to talk with her about what truly matters in life. In the movie, 13 year old Jenna is wishing she was 30 and starts chanting, “Thirty, flirty and thriving”- a line she read in a magazine. When she opens her eyes, she is suddenly 30 with no recollection of how she arrived there. It is a humorous take on what it would be like for a 13 year old living in a 30 year old body.

As we got to the end of the movie, we had a great conversation about what thriving truly means. It’s not about being rich or having a high profile job. It’s not about having an impressive dating and social life. The movie makes this obvious and I am so glad for that.

There are tons of pressures on my middle schooler to seek popularity and to be the best at everything. But as a follower of Christ, thriving is about knowing God and making him known (another line from the song “Thrive”!). It is about knowing who you are in Christ and then living that out. To thrive is to not be satisfied with where you are at, but instead to be actively seeking the full and abundant life that Jesus came to give to us (John 10:10).

As my husband prayed last night, he thanked God for what Jesus has accomplished for us, making us righteous, so that we are able to live out the exhortations of Psalm 1.

To thrive means to live out what God is already doing in us.

I can’t wait to dig into this more and discover what God has for me to learn this year.

We picked Psalm 1 completely separate from my thoughts on thrive. But isn’t it just like God to take one area of our life and speak to another through it? That’s exactly what happened as we started to memorize Psalm 1 together. Verse 3 says, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water… whatever they do will prosper.” And then in the song “Thrive” is this line, “like a tree planted by water we will never run dry”. I don’t think these things are coincidences. God is at work all around us and we see his hand when we are determined to search for him and to bring him glory.

This is what it means to thrive.

Many of you have shared with me that you are choosing one word for the year and I think this is wonderful. While I understand the desire to keep this choice between you and God, there can be great joy and accountability when we share with others. If you have chosen one word for this year, I would love to hear what it is. Let’s encourage one another in 2016 to love God more fully and pursue him more deeply!

One Comment

  1. Tonya Reiner
    January 8, 2016

    My word is Overcome. I am more than a little terrified. So many fears and issues I know about me, what others will He reveal for me to overcome? (Shudder)


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