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The Evolution of a Word

| written by Kimberly Culbertson | 2 comments

Dancing Kiss

Last year I abandoned new year’s resolutions in favor of choosing one word to guide the whole year. As I prayerfully sifted through my own heart and asked what word should shape 2013, I was pleasantly surprised that the word that kept surfacing was “create.” 

Yes! I love creating!! And certainly, with a two-year-old at home, I wasn’t doing enough of it. What a great year this would be. 

But as it turned out, the word “create” started to infiltrate more than just my free time. Over the year it began to challenge me — What are you creating today?  How are you shaping your life? Could I create a better family ethos? Did I have the power to create space for the people around me to just be who they are? My word became about realizing how much I can shape the world around me through intentional choices. 

And I was not alone. I blog over at BeBeloved.com, and last year we each chose a word, and each of our words evolved over time. My friend Michelle chose “restore,” and her year of restoration, which sounds pretty wonderful, actually involved a lot of sifting in order to reset the broken pieces. Another of our writers, Zereta, bravely chose “discipline.” At the start of the year, she intended to get her act together and start getting things done. She anticipated moving all the balls forward, proverbially. Instead, God used her word to teach her a discipline of just being, of waiting, of being grateful for what was and not forcing anything else. The year of “discipline” frustrated the heck out of her, but it bore her fruit of peace and gratitude. Another friend chose “rejoice” and then experience one of the most painful years of her life, and felt challenged in how to find joy in the midst of it all. 

The truth is we just don’t know how our words will manifest as we enter into a new year. But the mystery of it is part of the wonder.

This year, the BeBeloved crew has chosen new words—Dance, Gratitude, and Abundance. Just a few weeks into January, we are all discovering the many layers of the words. Bre, new to our team this year, has already blogged about how her word has surprised her, how she may have initially misunderstood the lessons it holds. 

Have you guys experienced this? I’d love to hear how your word evolved last year. And if this is your first OneWord365 year, how tightly are you holding to your word’s perceived meaning this year? 

Photo Credit: Michelle Pendergrass

Kimberly Culbertson serves on the national team of Forge America and blogs at BeBeloved.com. She is a recovering approval addict, a paint brush loving workaholic, and a walking billboard for hope in all its many manifestations. Connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.