Centered in Love (My 2019 Word of the Year)

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2019 word of the year

It seems like everyone has a “word of the year” now. Not that goal-setting (a.k.a. resolutions) is a bad thing—it can be great and wonderful! But, I think it’s catching on with more and more people, this idea of having one word that defines how we want to grow or approach life this year.

I got on the “word of the year” bandwagon a few years back, and I absolutely love it!

A word is something you can carry with you all year long, that continues to be meaningful and purposeful. I still set resolutions, but they’re really just goals, like I want to finally lose those 15 pounds, and this month I’m tackling my messy closet (already 1/3 done on that one!). In three months, hopefully I’ll be moving onto other goals, whereas my word for this year will stay with me all twelve months.

My Word for 2019

Y’all, I’m so bad at loving my neighbor.

I constantly allow my lazy introvert self to not ask someone how they’re doing, or avoid helping or giving a hand just because I don’t feel like being helpful. And I’ve noticed something else about myself lately: that I’m so task-oriented that I tend to get busy doing something and then I don’t acknowledge people. I have a hard time putting down the task (be it a project at work, or a smartphone game), so I can focus on listening to and/or helping someone.

SO, I’ve been thinking for several months that my 2019 word of the year would have something to do with love. Because it really is something I want to get better at! It is, after all, God’s greatest commandment.

And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’
Matthew 22:37-39 (AMP)

I sat down a few days ago to pray and ask God what the exact word should be. Then, I looked at the dictionary definition of love, and there among the “related words”, this ONE word really jumped out at me. It’s just perfect! Cherish. It means to hold or treat as dear; to care for tenderly, to nurture.

With this word “cherish”, I can remind myself to hold my relationship with Jesus as the most precious thing in my life. I can remember to hold people as more precious than tasks or things. And hopefully, to care for and nurture these relationships accordingly.

Going Deeper

When I do this “word of the year” thing, I like to make an acronym out of it. I started doing that back in 2016, when I put the word passion in my Passion Planner, and was inspired to add a sentence for each letter describing what “passion” would mean for me that year.

I really love how it makes the word even more meaningful and memorable, and it’s something I can even re-create and hang on the wall as a reminder throughout the year.

cherish love

This acronym for “cherish” took a few days to come together (the ‘s’ and ‘h’ were the hardest to come up with), but I think it really paints a beautiful picture of how I hope God will grow me this year.

Do YOU have a word of the year, or traditional resolutions, or both? Regardless of your method, you can ask God what he wants you to learn, focus on, or do this year, and follow his leading.

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