Posted by on February 1, 2018

This year my word-of-the-year chose me instead of the other way around. Don’t get me wrong. I did try to choose my own word. Some of the early contenders were:

“Less” – because last year my word was MORE and … well … I kind of got in over my head with that one

“Smelting” – because when you’re overwhelmed you need to smelt

“Balance” – because surely I could figure out a better way

But as it turns out, none of those are the prized word-of-the-year.

Every year (since 2013), I’ve chosen a “word of the year” to challenge myself to live intentionally.  

Here are some of my past words:

2013 – Horizon – because I was looking forward to healthier, stronger times

2014 – Expectant – because I wanted to be expecting good things and looking for God’s deliverance

2015 – Ummmm … I’m going to retroactively say the word for this year is “Chicken.” I could find no record of my word for 2015 until I ran across a script I’d written for a vlog I never filmed (that’s a video blog) about choosing your word for the year. Ironically, I chickened out from publishing the vlog and never chose a word.

2016 – WARRIOR – I made up for my lame 2015 with plans to fight back

2017 – MORE – This one I picked because I so desperately wanted to know more of the Spirit and life and more than what I was experiencing.

And now I’m to 2018, and all the words I so thoughtfully tried to make fit have not worked. Not one of them.

Surprised in the Stairwell

Instead, my word-of-the-year tapped my shoulder as I attempted to avoid a bunch of “Hi, how are you’s” and took the back stairwell at church. Somewhere between the first and second flight I realized that taking the back stairs, though much faster, doesn’t really bring me closer to anyone around me—except for other wayward introverts who are happy not to say a thousand hellos on a Sunday morning. Now, I like those people—they’re my people. I can sit in silence among them and not feel weird, but I think I might be missing something.

So, my word for this year is Community. I need community, and (this is hard for me to say) the community needs me. This year, I will try to live intentionally to find and be a part of community—deepen friendships, make new ones, and be open to life with others instead of the safety of my alone.

I will (like I wrote in that “Let-the-dream-go” blog post) look you in the eye, engage, and be present. At least I’ll try anyway.

And I’ll be brave.

To start that out, I decided to finally film that vlog with five tips for choosing your word of the year. Check it out, and if you have a word for 2018, will you put it in the comments!? I’d love to know what yours is.

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Emily Golus
6 years ago

Best wishes in this important pursuit of community, Mary Beth!

6 years ago


6 years ago



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