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2023 Word of the Year


I had a walk with God today. The best kind of walk. I had been feeling stifled. Off. I’d been needing it – connection. I’d been waiting for a word – my word – my “word of the year”. I’d been trying not to force it. Not to select my own word. Not to move too fast. I’d been … not impatient necessarily … just … curious. What would it be? What would God have for me this year? What verse was meant for me?

I was trying to surrender to it. To the process of it. But, December had left me feeling more depleted than connected. I was feeling … detached, maybe? Clinchy, maybe? Is that a word? Clinchy? I couldn’t seem to open myself up enough to receive it. For me, the practice of choosing a “word of the year” has become a completely spiritual practice. I try to receive it, rather than choose it. And, then I treat it like a guide for the year. A gift. A direction. I allow it to lead me into and through the year. It creates a focus for me.

Two things I know to be true – but that probably sound a bit weird: 

  1. I’m not finished with last year’s word (“roots”) or last year’s verse. There is too much left there. (You can read all about Roots and what that means to me here.)
  2. 3 years. Last year, when the word “roots” was placed on my heart, I kept seeing “3 years” pop up everywhere. It was the oddest thing! I knew it was for me. I didn’t know why and I still don’t … but I think I’m beginning to understand it a little bit more

As I was walking, I kept seeing a man and his son. They were riding their go-karts up and down the streets of our neighborhood. The boy was small… maybe 4ish … and his joy was palpable. It was all still so easy for him. Joy. Fun. But, it was his father’s face that I couldn’t help but study. His grin was wide. His eyes were bright. He looked so free in that moment that I couldn’t help but smile as well.


I want more of that. Do I want to ride go-karts? Probably not. But, Maybe?! Mainly, I just want to feel alive and free and full of joy. Who doesn’t?

Yet … while I feel certain that I need more fun in my life in 2023, I also knew it wasn’t my word. It was a side focus. It was not the main focus.


Another big focus for me this year has to be healing. I spent much (too much) of 2022 fighting inflammation, rashes, extreme itching, new allergies, chronic sneezing – and all of the weariness that came with it. I took too many new meds prescribed by well meaning doctors that were, frankly, just guessing. I felt lost in an unfortunate cycle … unsure how to get out. By the end of the year, I was done. I AM done. So, God willing, I pray for healing this year. 

Yet, while healing is going to be a big part of my year, I knew that “healing” wasn’t my word either. 

I walked on, enjoying the chilly air … tilting my face toward the sky. Feeling the warmth on my skin. “I surrender. Again and again.” I knew that my heart already knew. I was on the right track. I just needed my soul to catch up. I needed the pieces to snap together. The dots to connect. I felt calm. And, I knew. I didn’t get a new verse this year because … it’s the same verse. It’s the same as last year’s. It’s still for me. This year. Last year. Next year.

Isaiah 37:30-32 ~ “This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. Put roots down in your own soil and grow up and flourish.”

As I contemplated this, I considered the word “flourish”. But, no. Not yet. The thought of “3 years” settled over me again and I knew instinctively that “flourish” would be my word next year. Not yet. I let the power of fresh air fill me as I tried to untangle the meaning. Isaiah 37:30-32 was meant for me … for 3 years. This is year two. So what about this year?


“Align yourself.” 

The pieces snapped together. It seems like such a standard (generic, even) word to choose. 

Yet …

Alignment: the act of aligning or state of being aligned; the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to.

Simply put, to be spiritually aligned would be to continually move forward, to remain unstuck, to be at peace.

It fits. It fits with healing. It fits with fun. It fits with “roots”. It fits with flourish. But, before one can flourish, they have to be aligned with God, right? They have to be in alignment.

This year will be about aligning myself with God, with my core values, with who I truly am. 

“Lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” Ephesians 4:11

“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. Quietness and confidence is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

*Align my mind, body and spirit*

Align with God. Get aligned spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, professionally. Speak your truth. Live your values. Live life as the best version of yourself. Align with God’s will. Submit to His wisdom.

It’s something I’ll have to choose over and over again. Each day. We all do. Choose. Pivot back to God. Let his purpose and plan unfold. Allow Him to shape us. This is a practice. A journey. There is grace here. No need for perfection.

{Consistently live as your best self, consistently come from your best place, consistently show up as the person know you are}

Some of what is pressing on my heart needs to remain just for me for now. Some of it feels too private to share. Some of it will have to unfold and be told another time. Some of this story still needs to be written.

“Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Let’s get aligned. Let’s go!

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