My One Word for 2017

I knew what my OneWord for 2017 was going to be early last fall. I normally wouldn’t even think about such things until December, but when I started hearing a new song on the radio by a group called Jesus Culture, I just knew.

At the time, choosing this particular collection of letters as my word for the year didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem to fit me at all—quite the opposite, in fact. Honestly, I had no idea why it struck me so.

But it did.

You might think that, knowing the word so early, I would have written a blog post about it weeks before we said good-bye to 2016. Now that would be like me, to do something like that.

But again, no.

My lack of motivation may have been connected to the fall we had, which was full of events and developments—some expected, some not—that were taxing in all kinds of ways. Or maybe it had to do with the blogging tradition of recapping the previous year’s word before you talk about your new one.

In 2016, my word was “satisfied,” and it came with a daily commitment to pray Psalm 90:14: “Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love so that we may shout for joy and be glad all our days.”

I kept that pledge, mostly, but I don’t have much else to report about it. There were no big breakthroughs, no dramatic transformations or revelations regarding contentment or satisfaction. In fact, in some ways, I may have ended the year less satisfied than I began it.

That said, I believe God’s Word is powerful. I believe He is faithful to hear and answer our prayers. So I’m holding fast to my conviction that praying Psalm 90:14 (which I’m still doing this year, by the way) is accomplishing something, even if the results are mostly hidden right now.

I feel strongly about this because of what I’ve experienced with my word from 2015. That year, the word was “fruit,” and it also came with a daily charge—to pray for the fruit of the Spirit (from Galatians 5:22-23) to grow in the lives of everyone in my home.

Asking God to allow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to transform the hearts of my family members had a huge impact—on me. As I prayed for all of us, I realized my own desperate need for growth in each of these areas.

And, slowly but surely, it began to happen.

More than anything else, praying for the fruit of the Spirit has made me more aware of the opportunities I have to demonstrate these attributes (or not). Even when I make the wrong choice, as I often do, I’m much more cognizant of it, which—strangely enough—somehow makes me want to do better the next time.

But it wasn’t until this past November—after nearly two years of praying this way—that I caught a tangible glimpse of the powerful impact it was having in my life. Throughout my adult years, you see, I’ve typically been very anxious during presidential election seasons. This year, of all years, I would have expected more of the same.

That’s not what I experienced, however.

Instead of fear, I felt peace. I wasn’t apathetic or unconcerned, but I wasn’t obsessed or spun up either.

It was remarkable, maybe even miraculous. And there was nothing I could have done to accomplish it myself.

A few weeks after the election, I felt like I was one thread yank away from completely unraveling. (I’m a work in progress, obviously.) But during the weeks leading up to Election Day, the peace of God that transcends understanding was clearly at work in my mind and heart.

In the most circuitous way imaginable, this all leads to my OneWord for 2017.

The Jesus Culture song that caught my attention last fall describes God’s relentless pursuit of His children in terms of His “fierce” love for us. (If you’re not familiar with the song, you can find it here.)

Fierce is not an adjective I would ever attach to myself. But the idea that God’s love for me could be fierce made me start thinking that maybe my love for others could be fierce too. And if love can be fierce, why not patience, joy, gentleness and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit?

I’m not talking fierce in a Beyonce-Ronda Rousey-Bengal tiger sort of way. Rather, I see it as an attitude that is relentless. Deep. Intense. Determined. Intentional, fervent, unwavering. Exactly how I want to be when it comes to demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit to the people around me.

Fierce.

As I look ahead to a year that promises to be challenging—perhaps even transformative—for my family, I’m starting to get a feel for why God may have impressed this word on my heart last fall. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I know how I need to conduct myself on the way there.

By the way … I know I’m a little late to the OneWord party, but if you’ve chosen a word for 2017, I’d love to know what it is (and maybe even why you chose it).

Also … I’m linking up this week with the RaRaLinkup, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory, Holley GerthJen Avellaneda, Brenda Ottinger, Missional Women and Grace and Truth.



36 Responses to My One Word for 2017

  1. Carlie says:

    I always enjoy visiting your site, Lois; and I’m so glad I did today. I love your one word for the year and the profound meaning behind it. Thanks also for sharing how you’ve prayed through your ‘one word’s in the past. This year I’ve chosen ‘joy’ as my word, or should I say JOY has chosen me. Having lost both my dad and my brother over the past year and a half, I have been leaning in ever closer to God, and He has promised that ‘joy comes in the morning’, and that in ‘His presence there’s fullness of joy’. I’m looking forward to a ‘deep, intense’ joy that I’m ‘intentional’ about sharing with others. Blessings to you, Lois!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Hi Carlie! Thank you for taking the time to write this week and share your thoughts about my word–and yours. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and brother … what a hard journey you’ve been on recently. “Joy” sounds like the perfect word for you, and I love the verses you shared that go along with it. Psalm 16:11 has been one of my favorites since I was a young girl, and it’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately too. Blessings to you this week, and great joy as well!

  2. Heather Hart says:

    I love that! Have you read Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere? It sounds like it might be right up your alley.

  3. Ruth says:

    “relentless. Deep. Intense. Determined. Intentional, fervent, unwavering.” What great adjectives to describe God’s love for us and the love He wants us to have for others.
    My synonym, in lieu of one word, is abide/dwell. As in Psalm 91 and John 15. It’s a long story. But I did write a blog post that talks about it a little bit. https://plantedbylivingwater.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/push-buttons-power-sources-and-prayer/
    May the Lord fill you with His Holy Spirit who alone knows how to love this fierce love through you to those around you.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by this week, Ruth. I read your post about buttons and power sources and love the analogy! I also poked around on your site a bit and need to come back when I can spend more time … Blessings to you today!

  4. Brenda says:

    Lois! Hi. 🙂
    Love your 2017 word! Can’t wait to hear how it unfolds in your year. 🙂 I was a little late to the One-Word party, too. We can be late together. 🙂 Thanks for linking up at #ChasingCommunity today! So great to see you! 🙂

  5. Such a great word – fierce. Oh, poor Ronda Rousey, I think she’s feeling anything but these days. But I digress – I love the context of the word and how God is writing it over you – relentless pursuit of His love and yours for others. That’s exciting and so full of potential, Lois. I’m excited to see how it unfolds, friend. This I know for sure, you are one fierce writer!

  6. Trudy says:

    I love your definition of having a “fierce” attitude, Lois. Thank you for reminding me how fiercely God loves us and how fiercely we need to let His love flow out of us to others. I love, too, how you intertwine it with the fruits of the spirit. Love and hugs to you!

  7. Hi Lois,
    I love your word (and I like that song too!) and I especially loved how you described your journey toward it. Contemplating the different facets of God’s love for us allows us to consider new characteristics about him that we might not have necessarily pondered, doesn’t it? I’m excited to see how your word plays out this year too, in your family and your words! xoxo

    P.S. I’m still word-less thus far! 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Isn’t that song amazing, Valerie? I just heard it again this afternoon on my way to pick up my girls from school, and it’s still a favorite. I think what you said about the different facets of God’s love is absolutely true … I love how He reveals Himself to us bit by wonderful bit. I hope the rest of your week is lovely!

  8. Somer says:

    I like your take on the word fierce. You’ve given me an idea. In praying the fruit of the spirit I mean. I want to do that too. Thank you

  9. Linda Stoll says:

    Hi Lois … No wonder your Word bore fruit last year … you prayed over it, basked in the Scripture for it, kept it on the front burner.

    Now I know why my feeble half-hearted attempts at claiming a One Word never panned out …

    Fierce. Go for it, friend …

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I know what you mean, Linda. I think if I didn’t have an action associated with my word (like praying a particular verse every day), I would quickly lose interest and forget all about it! The best part is that praying for the fruit of the Spirit has sort of become a lifesaving spiritual discipline for me … I definitely miss it when I don’t do it. This whole One Word thing isn’t for everyone though … I’m glad you’ve figured out what works best for you! Hugs, friend!

  10. Dawn Boyer says:

    I like that word! And I really enjoyed the way you tied the words from previous words in here, I love the way you were able to see how He was working in your life in both of the examples and how He is continuing to do it.

    I haven’t written about my word, or actually… a prayer of words, that the Lord has put on my heart but it is coming soon. I tend to forget to join the crowd when I am supposed to, so I am often late to the party. 🙂

    Blessings!
    Dawn

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Dawn, I’m not really a crowd-joiner, either! In fact, even last Friday I was still debating whether I wanted to write about all this or not. I’m glad I did, though, because it helped me clarify my thoughts about how God has used these prayers in my life. I will keep an eye out for your post about your prayer of words! 🙂

  11. Mary Geisen says:

    Thank you for sharing your one word and for giving us insight into God’s fierce love for us. What an amazing blessing.

    I love how you prayed Psalm 90:14 last year and are continuing to do so. That is practice I would like to embrace. Blessings as you open yourself to God’s fierce love.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Mary, we can’t go wrong when we pray God’s Word, can we? And Psalm 90:14 definitely is a wonderful verse for that! Thank you for your kind words here, and many blessings to YOU in the coming year as well!

  12. What a great word, Lois. And I love how you’re seeing the application coming in your life this year. I hope you’ll share more as God shows you what it looks to live fiercely for Him.

    I’ve been truly amazed at how God has used my One Word over the past few years to make me more like Him, to reveal more of Himself to me, and to work healing in my heart and life.

    My one word this year is Intentional. As God worked on teaching me how to live an authentic life, a lot of other things slipped in my life (not because of God’s lessons, but because of what last year held for me). I believe this is the year God will teach me how to live intentionally in a lot of areas in my life.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I think I’ve experienced something similar with my One Words, Jeanne. I love how one thing God stirs up in our lives always seems to impact so many other areas, don’t you? Speaking of intentional, God is that, for sure. 🙂 I so appreciate your encouragement here, and I look forward to seeing how YOUR word plays out over the next 12 months too!

  13. Lesley says:

    Fierce is a great word. I’m also grateful for God’s fierce love for us and I love your description of what it means to be fierce in showing love and the other fruit of the Spirit to those around us. I agree that sometimes we can struggle to see God’s work in us at times but often if we keep persevering we can see deep transformation when we look back.

  14. What a great word, Lois!! Thanks for the insight, too- I didn’t really pick a word last year, but kind of had one come up often (create), and I’m seeing the fruit of it now. Going to be trying to focus on “brave” this year, me thinks! I’ll be praying for fierceness in your life : )

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I can see why “create” was a good word for you last year, Bethany, and “brave” for this year? That will be exciting to watch as well! Thanks for your prayers … when I have a chance, I will email you some specifics. 🙂

  15. Yes, we are called to a life of fierce devotion, fierce commitment, and we are fiercely loved by God. What a powerful word to carry your thoughts and your writing for 2017! I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out here in your blog!

  16. Joanne Viola says:

    What a beautiful song & I had not heard it before. I am so grateful for the fierce love of our God. May God unfold this word over the course of this year so that you know even more deeply His intense and eager love for you. Blessings!

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