Word of the Year 2018

Happy New Year, ya’ll! I hope that you made it to midnight to ring in the excitement of a new year and all of it’s promise and opportunity lying ahead. This year is especially exciting because it fell on a Monday—that means we start a new week not working, but resting (or in my case finishing a project I wanted to do all break which was re-arranging my office space).

Every year for the past several years I’ve chosen a word to set my intentions for the year. I ponder the word for weeks in advance of the new year and I am listening with my heart as I read, listen to music, and converse with others. This year I was most inspired by Hannah Kerr’s song “Radiate”. When I heard it I knew that Radiate had to be my word for this year.

Things I will radiate this year:

  • Hope. Hurricane Harvey devastated the communities surrounding me and I want to give a little hope back to their lives. I’m still discovering ways that I can do that, but I have a few ideas kicking around.
  • Encouragement–this is always a theme of mine and I aim to use this gift any way I can.
  • Courage. A new addition, but I want to make sure that those near me have the courage to take bold moves. I’ve done a few myself so where I can share these and inspire others I will. It takes a little bit of guts to move cross country only visiting your new home state once and then ultimately moving into a house you’ve never seen or set foot in (until New Years Eve 2015).
  • Stillness/Rest/Warmth. I completed the Whispers of Rest devotional by Bonnie Gray last year and it resonated deeply with me that we are striving so hard in our busyness that we forget to rest in God’s comforting arms. I don’t want to radiate frazzled or harried or hurried. I want to radiate the things I strive for in my home decor—warmth, comfort, relaxation–take your shoes off and sit down and take a nap on my couch.
  • Love…God’s love. I know I won’t be perfect in this, but I know I can do better. Random Acts of Kindness, charity, and even within my own circle will be on my to-do’s this year.

When I think about the word radiate it means “to extend, spread, or move like rays or radii from a center”, said another way, “to project or glow with cheerfulness or joy”.

It is a circle–a radius. In my circle, I have family, friends, community. I think of it like Dustin Hoffman in Meet the Fockers….”the circle of trust”. I want to be trustworthy and radiate God’s truths to those around me.

I will be imperfect, but that’s the beauty of it…the lives that Christ touched were far from perfect. He wants you to know today that you can come as you are, you don’t have to hide your flaws and imperfections. He just simply wants to capture your heart and set you free from guilt, shame, addictions, despair, grief, and the trap of perfectionism.

I mentioned above the song that inspired my word. Here is a brief excerpt of what I’ve written down on my word vision board in my planner for the year:

Lord, let my story be a glimpse of your glory.

‘Cause in the dark your light shines brighter.

No matter what comes my way, I’ll live my life

RADIATE your light

Now and always.

-Hannah Kerr

Comment below with your word for the year. I love hearing everyone’s word and how they picked it. If you haven’t chosen a word go to Pinterest or google word of the year. There are lots of ideas and word lists to get you started if you aren’t feeling inspired.

Wishing you an intentional 2018,


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