My One Word for 2018

I’m a writer and editor by trade, so it probably doesn’t come as a big surprise that I love words.

I get excited when I’m writing and a word that has been eluding me pops into my head, or when I’m revising something and the perfect replacement phrase just flows off my fingertips. But while I put a lot of thought into the words I use in paragraphs and sentences, when it comes to choosing a word for each new year, my approach is much more—um—arbitrary.

I’m intrigued by how other people select their words—how God often directs their hearts and minds through a process of elimination, Bible study and prayer. I actually look forward to early January because that’s when blog posts about One Words such as surrender, hope, voice (a favorite from last year) and incognito (the most unusual one I’ve seen so far this year) start flowing fast and furious.

That’s not normally how it works with me, however. For one thing, I rarely get my One Word post done in time to publish the first week of the new year. And for another, while past words like fruit and satisfied are connected to specific scriptures, they didn’t really come about as the result of study or prayer. They sort of just grew on me.

When the right word presents itself, “my knower knows,” as a former mentor used to say.

In December, I wrote a post about how fierce, my word for 2017, influenced my life. I’m not exaggerating when I say that, as the year unfolded in unexpected and sometimes heartbreaking ways, this One Word served as a sort of North Star for my heart, mind and emotions.

Even so (or maybe as a result), I had absolutely no energy or desire to think about choosing another one for this year. I was ready and possibly even eager to just ditch the whole idea for 2018 when another word started popping up on the radar screen of my mind.

In sermons, in my freelance work and other random places—there it was.


My first thought when I noticed what was happening? You have got to be kidding me.

What comes to mind when you think of this word? Maybe phrases like “bold and brash” or “bold and courageous.” Perhaps that oft-quoted line from the beginning of the Star Trek television show—“to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

In these contexts, the word bold implies traits like bravery, impetuousness or an adventurous spirit. (Just what I want to need more of in my life this year, right?)

But the word is used in other ways too. Interior decorators incorporate bold colors in their designs. Creative chefs blend bold flavors in their cooking. Successful coaches call bold plays. Bold statements, bold print, bold choices, bold moves—you get the picture.

After the year we just finished, maybe I should have selected a word for 2018 that evokes feelings of peace, grace or rest. Instead, a word that brings to mind synonyms like aggressive, stark and fearless chose me.


I had one idea about what fierce was going to mean in my life last year, and what actually transpired looked nothing like I had envisioned. So though it sounds a bit oxymoronic, I’m a bit apprehensive about where bold is going to take me in 2018.

If choosing this word only meant I could continue to wear bright colors and enjoy my favorite spicy chicken sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A, I’d be fine. But you and I have both been at this long enough to know that probably not how it’s going to go down.

I’m not about to make any predictions about how the word bold is going to influence or inspire me in 2018. I’m just going to leave it up to God and hang on for the ride.

Because whatever happens—in my life or yours—this much is certain: “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” (Psalm 46:7)


I’m not about to make any predictions about how the word 'bold' is going to influence or inspire me in 2018. Click To Tweet

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Welcome Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, Faith ‘n Friends, Faith on Fire and Grace & Truth.

40 Responses to My One Word for 2018

  1. Maria says:

    Hi Lois,
    I love your one word. Bold. That word just kind of gets your attention.

    I received my one word while praying. “Obey.” You know what I said? “Who, me?” Face palm.

    God will accomplish His purpose in us. And that’s why you will be bold and I will obey.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Ha ha, Maria … it sounds like you had the same first reaction to your word as I did to mine! Yes … God will accomplish His purpose in us … He will NOT abandon the work of His hands. Good to hear from you this week!

  2. Natalie says:

    I appreciated your honesty about your response to your word and that you chose (and are choosing) to allow it to unfold rather than instantly directing and controlling the word and its influence. There’s beauty there. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Natalie. I’m sort of in a season of letting go and not trying to control so much, and what you said shows me how this applies to my word for the year too! It’s continual process, that’s for sure!

  3. Brenda says:

    I never get my annual-word post out early in January either, Lois. I didn’t get mine out till last week, and I thought that was rather early (for me), haha. 🙂 — I enjoy reading all the “words” this time of year, too. — I look forward to hearing how “bold” will bless and teach you this year. (I know what you mean, I don’t seem to get sing-songy words often, either. One year my word was “control.” Icky. But, it was good. They always are, aren’t they? God’s got something to say, and when we take a moment to listen, He blesses.) xoxo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who follows the “better late than never” approach to these annual word posts, Brenda! I love your word for this year: Remember. I am doing a lot of that these days … sometimes the memories are sweet, sometimes they come with pangs I don’t really understand. But I’m glad when God calls things to my mind that help me as I move forward … Hugs, friend!

  4. Stefanie says:

    I love your word of the year! I always think of bold in positive terms, so I think it’s a great word to live by!

  5. If we aren’t a little bit scared, I think we miss the whole point. Bold means you are trusting!

  6. Melissa says:

    Bold is a word that can have so many implications. I pray that the word does not mean pain to overcome but rather opportunity to seize!

    My word for the year is growth and I’m anticipating with that word will also come challenge and pain! But I’m so excited to see where God’s growth will take me.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Good to hear from you this past week, Melissa. It sounds like we both have words with similar potential ramifications … I’m so thankful that we can rest in the knowledge that God knows what we need to fulfill His purposes for us this year. 🙂

  7. Joanne Viola says:

    Lois, it is funny how our words find us. As I sat thinking on your word for a brief moment, one thought came to mind – “clear”. As I read, bold letters, cause a message to stand out or be made clear. Praying the Lord will cause His Word, His message to you – to be bold in the days ahead. Blessings!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Joanne, I love your application of the word bold: that bold type makes things clear. That’s actually something I really need right now … to be able to see certain aspects of my life clearly. Thankful for you today, my friend!

  8. Liz says:

    Whooo! This is a power packed word! Can’t wait to see what God does with it in your life this year! Many bold blessings to you!

  9. Ahhh, Lois. God does give you fear-fighting words, doesn’t He? I like this word, Bold.

    I loved your reminder that, regardless of what happens in our lives this year, God Himself is with us. That is a truth that can spur confidence no matter what this year brings.

    I’ll be praying as God teaches you what Bold looks like in your life, my friend.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Jeanne, as I’ve answered comments, I’ve been trying to figure out how confidence plays into all of this, and I think you’ve articulated it perfectly: The truth that God is with us will spur confidence no matter what the year brings. It’s God’s truth, not our own strength, that gives us confidence. I love that! Hugs, friend.

  10. Dear Lois, when I read “bold” it made me think of strong. When I think about the challenges you’ve shared with your mom this year, BOLD sounds like a perfect word for you. It sounds to me as though you had to fiercely grab hold of your faith these past months, and now you’re ready to boldly go to whole new levels. Blessings and prayers that God will boldly bless you!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you for these encouraging words, Alice. I have to admit I don’t feel very bold or strong right now, but I’m trusting God will provide whatever we need to walk through whatever comes this year! Hugs to you, my friend!

  11. Lisa notes says:

    Wow—fierce then bold. Those would be scary words for me. lol. But what courage you have, Lois! I’m excited for you. I know God will give you great things through it.

  12. Lesley says:

    One of the things I’ve loved most about choosing a word for the year, and reading about others’, is seeing how God can use it during the year and take it in unexpected directions. In 2016 when my word was “surrender” it was a word I didn’t want at all at first but I knew it was where God was leading and he definitely used it powerfully. Thanks for linking to my “voice” post. I look forward to seeing how “bold” plays out in your life this year!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I agree, Lesley … it’s so encouraging to read how God uses these words in other people’s lives. I’m glad to hear that a word you didn’t want ended up being a powerful tool in your life … that gives me a lot of hope for this year. 🙂

  13. Trudy says:

    I love this, Lois. This especially encourages me – “Because whatever happens—in my life or yours—this much is certain: “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” (Psalm 46:7)” What a comfort that is!

    As I was reading about your word, Hebrews 14:16 popped into my mind – “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Love and hugs to you!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you for sharing Hebrews 14:16, Trudy. It’s so comforting to know we can go to God boldly and know that He will provide exactly what we need. If I’m able to display any kind of boldness this year at all, it’s going to be because of God’s strength, not my own! Hugs back, my friend!

  14. Tammy says:

    I’ve never picked a word for the year, but as I was reading your post, the word love came to my mind. It’s simple and can mean so many things. I wondered why it popped in my head. I’ve been watching a lot of politics and it’s frustrating. I want to understand why people defend President Trump and his divisiveness. I do appreciate my 401k going up, but the issue of racism, black lives matter and the #metoo campaign keep bringing me back to love. Why can’t we love ALL other people and show them they matter? On a different note, I was reading an article online about how to raise a happy kid. The one point that stuck out to me is that it’s not enough for a child to know they are loved, but they need to FEEL loved! This reminds me to hug and kiss my 2 year old even more. Praise her with every accomplishment and encourage her when she’s frustrated. And last but not least, Darrell and I always say that the secret to a good marriage is to always try to make the other person happy, aka feel loved.

    Lois, I love your choices of fierce and bold and I need some more of those in my life right now, but I’m going to stick with love and see how this pans out.

    Happy New Year!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Hi Tammy … it was so good to hear from you this past week. Your insights about love are wonderful. What you wrote reminds me of the importance of showing love to people in the way or ways that THEY feel loved, not in the ways that are necessarily the most convenient for us. That’s something I definitely need to work on in my own life. Good luck with “love” this year!

  15. My word is rest, because I wrote about it so much, it was a necessity. Not just physical but mental and spiritual rest from Hebrews 4. We have to enter it or wander the desert. I love words too, and I like my knower knows. So you will know what bold is. Blessing in 2018 -Becky, fellow wordy from Ra-Ra.

  16. Lois,
    This post is pure poetry! Have you read Brazen by Leeana Tankersley? She had similar feelings about the title of her book but beautifully weaves all the ways we can be brazen, just like you mention about the word bold — I love it! I also love how you’re not going to have any preconceived notions about how the word will influence your year and let God lead you onward. Inspiring! xoxo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Aw … thank you for your kind words, Valerie. No, I haven’t read “Brazen” but I just checked my local library and put a hold on it. Thanks for the suggestion … It sounds really good. 🙂

  17. I so look forward to seeing bold “shows up” in this next year for you, Lois!

  18. I look forward to seeing how God uses bold in your life as you seek Him in 2018.

  19. I think you’re right on track with “bold.”
    I enjoyed reading about fierce as it showed up in the weaving of 2017. Trusting that you will be blessed in the living out of this new word for 2018.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you, my friend. “The weaving of 2017.” What an apt way to put it. I’m not sure what the tapestry is going to look like for this year, but I’m not afraid, and I’m thankful for that! 🙂

  20. Linda Stoll says:

    Fierce and bold! From a gentle spirit such as yourself, Lois. It’ll be fascinating to see how this unfolds for you …

    And hopefully, in the process, this year might be a bit more gentle with you …

    * smile *

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