I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Power of One Word

by Beth K. Vogt

I call myself a "one word woman."

For years I followed the New Year's Resolution crowd. I wrote a list of do's and don'ts for the upcoming new year before I finished watching the lighted ball drop in New York's Times Square.
No more.
Now I'm all about one word -- that's right -- one word. 2014 will be the ninth year that I focus on one word for an entire year. Yes, I know what my word is for the upcoming year -- it's hidden in the quote in the photo at the beginning of this blog. But before I tell you what next year's word is, here's a review of my words for the past eight years:

  • 2006: gratitude - I kept a gratitude journal and found my "glass half empty" attitude revolutionized.
  • 2007: simplify - A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
  • 2008: content - as in "be content with such things as you have." (Hebrews 13:5) I bought a lot less that year!
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness - I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.
  • 2011: hope - A word I clung to when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. There where times I could have asked, "Why?" Instead, I asked myself, "Are you going to abandon hope? My answer: No.
  • 2012: trust - During a year of change, I faced doubting vs. trusting -- and chose to trust. I also began posting trust quotes on my Facebook page to encore myself and others.
  • 2013: confidence  - I feel so much stronger emotionally after keeping my heart and mind set on "not throwing away my confidence." (Hebrews 10:35-36) And yes, I continued the tradition of posting confidence quotes on my FB page. 
So why one word? For me, it's all about focus.

“Rather than making a list of all our faults, bad habits and regrets, then trying overhaul every aspect of our lives each January, what if we focused on God and just one thing at a time – trusting Him to do the work He’s initiated and promised to complete?” (From the My One Word Blog


How do you find your word for 2014? Here are the steps I use:
  1. Be patient. Listen and wait for God repeating himself to you through His Word.
  2. Wait for confirmation. Sometimes God confirms a certain word -- a focus for the upcoming year -- through a song or through a book I'm reading or through conversations I have with those who know me best (family/close friends).
  3. Consider these 3. I always like to have 3 things for my word: a word, a Scripture verse, and some sort of visual reminder. 
  4. Read these books: My One Word by Mike Ashcraft  and One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber.
My word for 2014 is Think, based on the first few verses in Romans 12 where we are encouraged to have our thoughts transformed by renewing our minds and where we are told not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. I'd love to know if you do resolutions or if you focus on a word each year -- and how that works for you.  


  1. Gail Helgeson12/17/13, 9:15 AM

    Isn't it just like God to affirm my word in this blog! This past week I had some time to get away. I brought some books along to read. One being ONE PERFECT WORD by Debbie Macomber. I had dabbled last year with the word TRUST, but never really devoured and studied it. I have had two people now tell me that "for someone who knows God, you sure seem to worry and fear a lot!" Whoa! I know God is speaking to me. ONE PERFECT WORD is so helpful, as is this post Beth. My word TRUST is not waiting until Jan. 1 to start talking to me. I think it is going to be quite a ride. Blessings. Gail Helgeson

  2. Beth, every time you write on this topic, I learn a little bit more about focusing on one word well. My word for 2014 is Enough. God is already speaking to me about it. I'm looking forward to focusing on this and embracing all He has for me with this one word.

  3. Beautiful & helpful, & He's already exercising me in mine for 2014 = Ask... (and He's answering). Thanks, Beth

  4. I love this post. In our crazy, fast-paced world, it's so hard to catch up, let alone measure up. But stopping, taking a breath, concentrating on one word is so doable, so important. Thanks so much for continuing to teach me how to focus on just. one. word.

  5. I've often had one word too, Beth. I tried to wait for the Lord to make it clear. I'm still listening for the word for this year. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I thought I had my word for 2014. Strength, as in the Lord's strength, but lately doubt has plagued my mind. Several times in the past few weeks God has brought scripture to me about trusting Him. Three times lately Psalm 27:1 has appeared, either in a blog post or a devotional I'm reading. Yesterday and today God sent me encouragement, almost like He's nudging me, saying, "See. I told you I would provide more than you can imagine or ask." So, I'm thinking my one word for 2014 is trust. We'll see.