One word to guide my year

I’m bad at making–and keeping–resolutions. Who isn’t, right?

So when I stumbled onto the opportunity to simplify my new year’s resolutions into one word, I decided to give it a try.

A Facebook friend blogged about her experience with Oneword365 for 2012. And I was inspired by the idea that I could spend the whole year letting one word transform my life, my attitudes, my behaviors.

It’s not a to-do kind of word but a to-be kind of word, not a rule but a guide.

I’m totally game.

So I spent a couple of days thinking of possibilities. They’re endless, you know. So many words to choose from. Peace. Grace. Joy. Love. I’d be thrilled if my capacity for any one of those increased over the year. But none of those seemed to fit.

The right word came to me in the middle of an emotional breakdown. I’d shut myself in the bedroom, asking the kids to please play by themselves in the living room or their room for a few minutes so I could have some space to cry and journal and pour my heart out to God about how yuck I feel about life right now.

He┬álistened as I raged–on paper–and let my emotions spin wildly out of control.

Then He whispered, “Let go.”

I am a control freak, and nothing scares a control freak more than the idea that she’s not in control. Parenting has yet to break me completely of the notion that I have little to no control over anything. (Have you ever tried to get a preschooler or toddler to do anything you say? Not pretty.) But our circumstances have put me in a position to realize that I have no control. I can’t make anything happen. It’s not up to me to chart the course of our life. My job is to wait. And listen. And take the appropriate steps.

Since “let go” is two words, I wanted to replace it with a one-word synonym. “Surrender” is one, but to me, that sounds like giving up. I know surrender is a biblical thing, and I’m okay with surrender, in general, but I don’t want to put myself in a mental state of giving up.

So, here’s my word for 2013:



I’ve felt myself holding tightly to things in the last year. Expectations. My plans. My way. People’s perceptions. Excuses.

This year, I want to unclench my fists and hold my hands open and let go of what I think I need. Hold my heart open and let go of pain I’ve been harboring. Hold my mind open and let go of perceptions, of me and of others.oneword-release-rope

I’ve heard that when you’re at the end of your rope, you should tie a knot and hold on. I’ve heard, too, that there’s another option.

Let go.

And like a free fall, trust God to support you, even if you can’t see how.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners. (Isaiah 61:1)

Release. 2013.

I’m hoping to check in here once a month about what a mindset of release is teaching me.

Have you considered one word for the year? Find out more here. And join the journey.