Choosing a Word of the Year – 2023 Update

Choosing a Word of the Year
Some folks choose a word to guide their year. It functions like a mantra to help them manifest a goal.

My word of the year comes to me. She chooses me. She appears one day, bags in hand, ready to move in. As the months pass and we get to know one another, the word offers me much-needed lessons and wisdom.

What’s surprised me most about receiving a word for the year is the way they abide. So far, all my words have their home in me. They continue to offer grace year after year like a tribe of dear friends. They collaborate with one another and encourage one another to share even more with me as I’m ready to receive it. (or need to receive it)

In 2019, Practice arrived. She gives me permission to experiment, risk, prototype, and fail.

In 2020, it was Rhythm. She’s not a driving, disciplined march. She’s like jazz, the pulse underneath improvisation and adaptation that holds everything together.

Truth joined us in 2021. She helps me say what needs to be said, making space for deep conversation, healing, and peacemaking.

Last year, Curiosity surprised me. I didn’t know how much I needed her. She helps me lead with questions rather than answers, opening the way for unexpected possibilities.

Struggling For My Next Word
My word for the new year usually appears sometime in December, but that didn’t happen last year. The new year came, no word. Weeks went by, no word. Would one come?

I stepped outside myself and went searching for my word. Risk – Abide – Courage. Wonderful words but they weren’t my word. Others began sharing their word with me. Their words weren’t my word.

I wandered. I wondered. I worried. Was my grief blocking the way? Did I need to spend more time with the words I already have? It was unsettling. Where was my word? I knew I needed her.

Then last week, the knock came. I went to the door to meet Adventure. What a word! Expansive. Inviting. Eager. Daring.

I’d felt myself shrinking in recent months. Pulling back. Second guessing. I know it’s the shadow side of grief but knowing is not the same as making your way through it. Adventure is here, machete in one hand, compass in the other, cutting the clinging vines from the path, helping me move forward into places I’ve never been. Welcome, to the family Adventure. 

What word is choosing you this year? I’d love to hear your story. 

2023 word of the year

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Choosing a Word of the Year Update © 2023 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com 

Listen and Act, a prayer for the new year based on Matthew 2.13-23

Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Luc Olivier Merson
Rest on the Flight to Egypt by Luc Olivier Merson

ONE:
Joseph is silent
He listens and acts

ALL:
Lord, help us listen
Still the noise around us and in us
Still the urgency and anxiety
Still the destruction and falsehood

Lord, help us listen
Break through with your still, small voice
with your calm and clarity
with your leading and light

You reveal the needed next steps
You provide all we need to make the journey

Lord, help us listen and help us act
Amen

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This prayer is based on Matthew 2:13-23, the Holy Family’s escape to Egypt and return.

Listen and Act © 2023 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
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Why I Listen to the Scriptures as I Read Them

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I’m in a Bible study right now which asks me to read multiple chapters of the Bible per week. To help me finish the work, I began listening to a recording of the passages I was to read. It started as a practical solution but has become a favorite way to read the Scriptures.

The benefits I found:

1. Pacing
A great recording moves through the Scriptures at a steady pace. I better understand the grand sweep of the passages. It also keeps me from getting distracted or sleepy.

2. Pronunciation 
The reader knows how to pronounce every difficult name and location so I learn how to pronounce them as well.

3. Enjoyment
Listening to a gifted reader is delightful. It reminds me of being read to as a child. It makes reading the Scriptures feel communal rather than lonely.

My favorite Scripture recording is available free of charge through BibleGateway.com.

  • Go to their site or app
  • At the top of the page type in the Scripture you want to read
  • Next to the Scripture, change the translation to New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
  • Press search. It will take you to the Scripture.
  • Just above the Scripture, you’ll see several options including sharing or printing the Scripture. To listen to the Scripture, click the audio icon on the far right. It’s that simple.

This translation is read by celebrated actor Sir David Suchet. His reading style is simple, soulful, and engaging.

Blessed reading!

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Why I Listen to the Scriptures as I Read Them
© 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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Growing in Resilience: Eyes to See, based on Isaiah 51.1-3

eye heartGrowing in Resilience
Day 12, Read Isaiah 51
Reflection: Eyes to See, based on Isaiah 51:1-3

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

You woke me
You tore the veil in two
You wiped the scales from my eyes
Eyes now seeing your saving grace
Eyes to see and to follow
To pursue you
To pursue peace and righteousness
Right relationship with you and with others
Right relationship with the earth and myself

I now see you and seek you
The fullness of your grace
Your Kingdom come

What do I see?
I didn’t see it before but now I have eyes
Eyes to see
our wasteland- the dissipation and squandering
our wilderness- the isolation and preying
our desert- dry to the bone

I see
Look at all I see

Lord God, help me to keep looking
To see it all and to see even more
All that was, all that is, and all that is coming

Help me look to the rock
The hardness of who I used to be
Now broken against the cornerstone of your love
Broken for good

Help me look to the legacy
Foremothers and Forefathers of faith
Their following and frailty and victory
I am not the first, I am not alone

Help me look to the promises
The wasteland will be a garden again
The seeds of truth are budding
As are the seeds of justice and hope

Eyes to see your consolation
Eyes to see your redemption and new birth
Eyes to see joy and gladness blooming
Watered from springs of thanksgiving and song

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Click Here for more on the Growing in Resilience Reading Plan sponsored by Bishop Ken Carter and the Cabinet of the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Eyes to See © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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Grant Me Your Wisdom (Proverbs 3.19-24)

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Based on Proverbs 3:19-24

Merciful and Mighty God, how wondrous is your wisdom! Your wisdom is eternal, beautiful, creative, powerful, good. The strong foundation of life itself, all of life.

Grant me your wisdom that I may discern faithfully and be a bearer of your life, goodness, and truth

Grant me your wisdom that I may walk with you all my days, clear-eyed and sure-footed

Grant me your wisdom that I may be your peace and rest in your peace, each night and forever.

I ask this for the honor and glory of your name, for the building of your kingdom, for the good of my neighbors and myself. I ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Grant Me Your Wisdom © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.