Give Me a Word 2013: Fourth annual Abbey giveaway

Share your Word for 2013

In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to God and to their own inner struggles at work within them. The desert became a place to enter into the refiner's fire and be stripped down to one's holy essence. The desert was a threshold place where you emerged different than when you entered.

Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word –  this word or phrase would be something on which to ponder for many days, weeks, months, sometimes a whole lifetime. This practice is connected to lectio divina, where we approach the sacred texts with the same request – "give me a word" we ask – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into.  The word which chooses us has the potential to transform us.

  • What is your word for the year ahead? A word which contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold in your life?

Share your word in the comments section by Tuesday, January 8th and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).

A free 12-day online mini-retreat to help your word choose you. . .

This year I am offering all Abbey newsletter subscribers a gift: a free 12-day online mini-retreat with a suggested practice for each day to help your word choose you and to deepen into your word once it has found you.

Sign up here and you can start your mini-retreat today. Once you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email with access to the mini-retreat content (and you are free to unsubscribe at any time).  If you are already a subscriber, the invitation will be in this week's email newsletter.

Win a Prize – Random Drawing Giveaway on January 7th!

Some wonderful friends of the Abbey have offered fabulous prizes to be included in this  drawing held from all of the names who participate:

Pretty wonderful, isn't it?  Make sure to check out the links to their websites for all kinds of goodness and thank them for supporting the Abbey!

So please share your word (and a sentence about what it means for you) with us below.  Subscribe to the Abbey newsletter for your free gift. Share the love with others and invite them to participate.  Then stay tuned – on January 7th I will announce the prize winners!

844 Responses to "Give Me a Word 2013: Fourth annual Abbey giveaway"

  1. Toni says:


  2. Melissa says:

    Home, primarily "inner Home".

  3. Jeanette says:


  4. cynthia says:


    from a quote from dorothy day… '…. duty to delight….'

  5. Ann says:


    After thinking my son was missing for over 5 hours, I struggle with trust, and wonder how is the Lord directing my heart to trust again.

  6. Liz White says:


    I was given a word , which I began to explore last week. The word is Enclosure, from the word Temenos which means sacred place, or what I am more drawn to, sacred enclosure.

  7. Barbara E. says:

    Our word for 2013 is "Align".

  8. Diane says:

    Not fleeing, but as a bird.

  9. Dennis says:


  10. Barbara B. says:

    My word for this year is "Struggle," as I attempt to notice all areas of my life that need to be gentled.

  11. Mary Van Denend says:

    COMPANION. This word seemed to drop in my lap out of nowhere this morning. Then I saw it again twice within five minutes. I like that it's both a noun and a verb.

  12. Mardi says:

    focus… too many issues in my life, people coming to me with their problems and my own can cause me to get diverted from the task at hand

  13. Julie says:

    Deliberate, as in my deliberate theology. What I believe from a lifetime of theological input.

  14. Beth says:

    EXPRESSION. The Expression of Life and Love through me. That the expression of my eyes, my voice, my movements, actions, thoughts, however small, grand or mundane are the Expression of Life and Love.

  15. Clare says:

    Coming into Being

  16. Susan S. says:


  17. claire says:

    My word for 2013 is Sacred as in Sacred Mystery :-)

  18. Jan Lawry says:

    Release. I turn 60 just after the start of the New Year and it seems time to release many things: regrets, sorrows, things I no longer need, relationships that cannot be sustains, etc., etc.

  19. Dominique says:

    My word is RESPECT born of a thought to keep self-respect at the centre of my soul. Bearing this in mind I hope will allow adjustments that can make a difference internally and externally, to me and to others whose lives I touch.

  20. Jacqueline says:

    My word is "unearth." I seek to refine and focus my path after the recent death of my mother after a very long illness.

  21. ena lehane says:


  22. ena lehane says:

    I hope I can accept whatever comes my way.

  23. Cindy says:

    Release is my word…

  24. Kay Day says:

    I've been doing this "word" thing for several years. This year the word was "Grow." And did I ever. Wonderful, lush, sweet, growth.
    I've been praying for a couple of weeks about the word for next year. I'm eager to learn what it is.
    I'll be doing your lovely 12 day retreat which may help me along, but usually it shouts at me, even if it's a word I'd rather not hear. Maybe especially then. :)
    I'll post my word as soon as I find it!

  25. Mary Theresa Migliorelli says:


  26. Therese says:


  27. Annette says:

    Compassion – to be come compassion for others and self.

  28. Carolyn Sargent says:

    2013: 'Leap fearlessly' is the phrase; I'm more drawn to the 'fearlessly'….cannot wrap my mind or my body around the thought/action of physically leaping: time will tell, as it always does :)

    [My word for 2012 is delight and what I notice more than anything is the practice of being intentional about delighting, about using the word, about allowing the shift that such a word brings to a spirit.]

    …come to think of it, 'fearlessly' feels like a bit of a leap from delight ~ I'm coming to love the thread of words I'm collecting through the years!

  29. Joan Dolinger says:

    Thresholds- may I be open to responding to the Holy One's gentle invitation to courageously cross the thresholds that are beckoning me.

  30. Janis Lovecchio says:

    The word that resonates within me is "wait."

  31. eileen kosik says:


  32. Phil says:

    Liminal Space is my word. It is a term that applies to those uncertain times in our lives when we stand in the "threshold" between the "old" which may no longer work and the "new" which is not yet clear.

  33. Evelyn says:

    My word is delight. It's been showing up in everything I read these last few days. I want to delight in every aspect of my life. Delight goes beyond acceptance. Delight leads to creativity, and love.

  34. Pat says:

    RELISH …is the only word I heard when I first read the request for "words"…as in, to delight in something…not pickle !

  35. Dorisanne says:

    My word found me this morning as I sat watching the sun bounce thru the window blind and onto the wall. Sun has been infrequent around here lately so I rejoice when I see it. My words: Light and Lighten up….many layers of meaning as well as practical application to experience this coming year!

  36. Mindy says:

    Surrender – I keep hearing that word in my head; surrender to the love of the Universe.

  37. Valerie says:

    Blessing – to be grateful for many blessings received and to be a blessing to others.

  38. Julia says:

    Engage — to move beyond the space of personal comfort and detachment, to move beyond myself and into commmunity with my fellow human beings.

  39. Sonja says:

    breaking open

  40. Sally Meyers says:

    My word for 2013 is RUMINATE

    I tend to rush through things, especially when it comes to reading, either thinking that it is something I am familiar with, or presuming to understand what the author is saying. It is my intention to take the time to ruminate, think through, spend time with… whatever it is that I am doing – reading, sewing, housework, planning…etc..

  41. Karen Hastings says:

    Meditate is my word.

  42. Jane says:

    A word that "shimmered" for me in the last weeks is INNOCENCE. What does it feel like to be both innocent and wise? Is innocence only a characteristic of the young? Once we have lived so many years and accumulated so much knowledge, and a bit of cynicism too, how do we regain our innocence? How can I allow myself to reclaim my innocence?

  43. Christine B. says:

    to provide light, make easily understood or clear, enlighten, adorn with light or with colour (or gold or silver), to make resplendent.

  44. Cynthia says:

    My word for 2013 is "explore"…..spiritually exploring my heart and discovering new avenues and paths to a deeper love of God.

  45. Aleksa says:

    I don't understand it, but – "tender curiosity".

  46. Janet Stanwyck says:


  47. Jo says:


    There have been so many hopes but with hope more often than not comes disappointment and hurt. Even when the things hoped in were good things. So my challenge is to hold onto hope despite this.

  48. Caroline says:

    My word is ‘hope’

    -Hope always- no matter what…

  49. jennifer says:


    after years in the desert of depression, i have received the blessing of community
    i have travelled a stony road and suddenly entered an oasis of abundance

    when you see a chance, take it
    when the mold is death, break it
    open your heart to love, welcome it

    blessings to all of my fellow monks/travellers

  50. Joan says:

    Position. The word chose me after I signed up for the retreat BUT before I did the first day. Pondering what He has for me with this over the remaining Advent season.

  51. Ghita says:

    "Fulfillment" – is the word that came to me. Sounds promising.

  52. cheryl says:

    to see with new eyes to that end, g Im starting a word study on see, in genesis. To see with new eyes means to see (notice) something first. Interesting. I will see what I will begin to see and play with the word forms and scriptures thoat will reveal new seeing if only I see firstwhich also implies stayingpresent, etc……already so much!
    Focus…I will need this too. be seeing you!

  53. Laurie Waitz says:

    SHELTER – from violence, violation, mayhem and despair

  54. Peace.

    I had been feeling a lot of resistance to taking part in this year, but the word has been insistent. I feel the word knocking, I feel peace working its way into me.

    Thank you Christine for the sanctuary you offer here, to so many of us, in so many ways.

  55. Cathy says:

    Whatever –

    Not trying sound flippant or depress . But just how I feel about the new year. Whatever happen next year, will happen. I 'm throwing next year into the Creator's hand.

  56. Aimee says:

    When my Nia instructor said, "The root of all love is self-love," I realized that I've been looking to others to give me the love that I should have been giving myself.

  57. Earthy says:

    The phrase that shimmers for me is: "be not afraid."

  58. Valerie Hess says:

    Shipwrecked (from Brennan Manning's essay of the same title)

  59. Vicki says:

    The word that has chosen me is, tenderly.
    It started with the old hymn singing itself in my heart; Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling then it blossomed into, tread tenderly on this earth, and then it spilled over into treat others tenderly. My prayer it that my heart, mind, body and soul will embrace "tenderly" this coming year.

  60. Tanda says:

    Each year a words chooses me, and I live into a deeper, richer meaning of that word through the months. It is a beautiful lectio experience. This year the word that has chosen me is: BEAUTY. There is so much beauty around to invite me into a deepening awareness of all that is God, and to allow that beauty to embrace me each day. As I receive the gift of beauty each day, may I let it flow through me to others who need the embrace of beauty.

  61. Shona says:

    My word is:
    El-Shaddai – (God, the Almighty One)

    and who knows where this study will lead me.
    Best wishes to all

  62. Sandra says:


    Both inward and outward simplicity

  63. rebecca says:

    tranquility – just saying the word calms and yet uplifts me

  64. Teri says:

    Resurrection. April 2010 husband diagnosed with cancer–died in June 2010. God's presence was palpable–every thought an answered prayer. Then came the tomb time–alone in the tomb with Jesus. Slowly emerged into the long hallway–not quite ready to come out–walked out–into the wilderness–really God? This Advent season entered the womb nourished by God working in and through an amazing group of people of the Abby. God's presence is palpable and in living color!

  65. Margarita Young says:

    My word for 2013 is "gentle" – as both an adjective and a verb.

  66. Amy says:

    I woke around midnight. I had been having a dream about writing, and an angel told me softly that I needed to write to enlighten and delight. The juxtaposition and presentation of the two words was fascinating to me. I fell asleep again, but woke three or four more times, each time reciting the words over and over to myself so that I would remember them in the morning.

    I believe that I will learn what these words mean in the coming months. It may be that I alone will be enlightened and delighted by the time I spend writing or in other modes of creative expression, but I do believe that God calls us to be part of His family as complete individuals.

    I present my pen and by brush to Him this coming New Year.

  67. Arini says:

    The phrase that leapt out at me during this morning's meditation is, "choose love". It will be good to reflect on during meditation and I hope it will help guide my decision-making in the year(s) to come.

  68. georgi says:

    My word is BREATH.

    Last night I awoke unable to get a full breath. I am OK this morning , but find myself sucking on a cool menthol cough drop and very aware of a cool sensation in my throat and the wonderful feeling of getting air into my lungs. Breath is truly a wonderful gift.

  69. Kate says:

    My word is presence. My conscious and reflective presence in every moment; God's presence in my life. These are continually transforming my attitude and whole way of being.

  70. Yvonne Morland says:

    My word is

    Hard to summarise what it means for me but it's about recognising that every sinew, blood vessel, muscle and tissue in our body is a sacred creation of God and that we carry within our material selves every life event and the wisdom to heal every wound if we truly believe that we are an embodied creation of God and open up our awareness to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit. I plan to write more on this over the coming year. Shalom

  71. Stephanie Mann Reed says:

    Dream, which within this word is also hope and possibility.

  72. Jim says:

    My word is "sailboat." This year I will explore what Fr. Carl Arico calls "sailboat spirituality" that is open to the Spirit's blowing as I sail on the waters of life.

  73. Deborah says:

    Vigils (night). My stress level is high right now. A history of insomnia has reared its head this past week, but has been transformed into a release of prayer. Instead of anxious hyper vigilance, melting and tears- tenderness in God's presence. I want to be vigilant with the eyes of faith.

  74. Bo Mackison says:

    My word is SOUL-CENTERED, an expansion, in many layers, on the word 'self-care'.

  75. jean Wise says:

    I am enjoying the mini retreat and it has helped me find a word for next year. Actually the word DID find me. For me, one who rarely remembers dreams – you suggested to have a pad and pen available over night – and sure enough, that is when it appeared:


    I held it for a number of days, praying and pondering and it kept calling me. Gave me energy. made me smile at its possibilities.

    Thank you!

  76. Colette says:

    My word is "shift". I am invited to shift my perspective from one of judgement to one of compassion and acceptance. It's a process and I find myself going back and forth.

  77. Amy Evans says:

    My word is "rest". I am being called to rest …while snowshoeing this word came to me.Nature is at rest under a blanket of snow…Waiting with God for the renewal of Spring.

  78. Carla says:

    My word is 'joy' – the bright thread that runs through the ups and downs of daily life, one sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the constant, always happening, exuberant expression of wildly creative God/dess. My intent is to open to joy every day and reflect it outward in whatever ways I am able.

  79. Morgan Wildrose says:

    My word is "Sanctuary". To create a safe and soul-filled space in which to be with Spirit.

  80. roxanne says:

    My word is "home." I am called to put down roots, both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  81. Louise Crossgrove says:

    It took a few days to find my word. When I looked at the last two years' words they started with Invitation, followed by Acceptance. I wondered what could follow that? I was hearing "go deeply" but I felt that wasn't quite right, yet. This letting whatever wanted to come to me has been difficult because of preparations for the holiday season were speeding up and I had a lot on my mind and heart. Then I heard it – "Infusion". To infuse is to "pour into, to fill". For two years I have been working on letting go in order to make space for what I thought wanted to come forth from deep within me. Now I am to work on letting ? the Sacred, ? inspiration , ?what- come into my depths and then what? I think I am glad I have a year to work on this. I find that I am excited with that prospect.

  82. Sharon says:

    My word is "heart." It claimed me a few weeks ago–i carry it in my pill boxnon a narrow piece oc paper. Each time when I open my pill box (3x/day), I see it and feel a soft spot in my soul–God's love touching my innermost being. This has been such a gift!

  83. Tanya pike says:

    My word is wholeheartedly. I want to live 2013 all in.

  84. Kathy says:

    My word is ABANDON. It is stitched into a phrase, an instruction: "Abandon yourself to God". A dictionary definition that captures this: "to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control". This word has had such negative connotations in my life but now is coming alive in me in a new way.

  85. Sue Cash says:

    My word is SANCTITY….in all of life & in every moment of mine & everyone's life,,,,through the Divine presence

  86. valilama says:

    THIRTEEN: moving from the intensity and shift at the end of this Mayan long count twelve, into the profound and expansive energy of the thirteen, where mypractice of knowing the I AM , the oneness of humanity is truly an invitation to a Holy Practice indeed.

  87. Eileen says:

    "Grateful" …. how I want to spend my days and the response I feel after a very fruitful year of "yes"

  88. Rosemary Grundy says:

    My word is DEPHING

    Unless I consciously deepe my life with the God of Life and with Life itself, I risk taking as normal the ugliness and sadness of this world – violence, poverty hostility …. when there is so much beauty that has the power to heal humanity and bring us all to hope. And the responsibility for this transformation lies with each one of us – and for me in deep stillness nd openness

  89. Sybil says:

    My word is DELIGHT. I tend to always be thinking of the next thing to do, the next thing to deal with. I want to take the time to savor things, to delight in all the wonderful things in the universe.

  90. Carol says:

    Listen – I feel this word, listen, in my heart as I want to listen more to what is said and not said, to what I see and do not see, to what may be under the words people are speaking, under the words that I am speaking, and under what I think I see around me. I want to listen to what is under the surface. I want to listen to who I am, what is under the surface of me. I have much to learn from this word – listen.

  91. Betty Chrastka says:

    My word has been and is DESIRE.

    The desire for a connection to God is an ongoing longing in me. One that just won't be satisfied. I'm not sad about that. I am happy to desire.

  92. Barbara Fox says:

    My word is PAUSE
    I am an interpreter for the deaf so clarifying the meaning of a word and the intention of the message is of paramount importance to me. Should the word "pause" come up without context I would need to know "pause" as in suspend speech/activity for a brief moment/ the breath between thoughts or "paws" as in large clumbsy (sp?) hands or the "feet" of an animal. This word came to me clearly as something for me to ponder…In this new year I will pause,take a breath before I put "feet" to my thoughts or offer "clumbsy hands" hastily.

  93. Karen says:

    My word is Embrace…. or me there have been so many changes in the past year and challenges that this year I believe I am being asked to to relax and embrace the place they have brought me to.

  94. My word is 'ekklesia,'… -come, gather at the stone.
    This is my word for the next two years, crossing the thresholds where the heart lifts up and is draped by the soul.

  95. Pat Culpepper says:

    My word is Beloved. Its challenge to me is to truly believe that I am beloved of God and intrinsically deserving of God's blessings and graces.

  96. Erika D. Walker says:

    My word is "trust."

    Life is calling me now to step out beyond the small identity I have been into a braver, bolder, more action-oriented self. I need to trust this call and act on it.

    My son, now 17 and soon to be 18, will be leaving in the fall for college. I need to trust that he will find his life's path and be well.

  97. Carol Mills says:

    My word for the year is…."Abundance"….opening to the abundance that is so available..when we are open to receiving…

    Thank You!!!!

  98. Kathy Pigg says:

    My word is Soulness – it has a warmth that is nurturing and a protective softness. It calls me to pay attention to what welcomes me in love.

  99. KSR says:

    My word for 2013 is Zerrissenheit, from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, Gift from the Sea. It means "torn-to-pieces-hood." I was caregiver for my mom for over 8 years; Mom passed away December 4. Though I am still homeschooling, I desperately need the quiet time and solitude Lindbergh speaks about in this chapter, "Moon Shell."

  100. Karen Benson says:

    The word that has chosen me for 2013 is Sabbath, as in the sixth principle of the Monk Manifesto, particularly the part about "resisting a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do."

  101. My word is Expectancy. I am looking forward to the surprises and synchronicities to occur in 2013 as they did in 2012. I will try to be more alert to these than ever.

  102. Margo Nagle says:

    My word is "Live!" Live the joy, live the pain, live the exuberance live the hope live the love.

  103. Allison Shonyo says:

    My word is serendipity, despite my reluctance to embrace it. To me it sounds so twee – like the name of a country cottage or grandads sailboat perhaps. But, no matter, it is my word because it sticks even thought I have tried to throw it away many times over the last week. So there it is, serendipity.

  104. Linda Rufi says:

    My word for 2013 will be "tenacious". I had a cardiac scare the end of October and realize that I need to change many things about my lifestyle in order to live the amazing life I have been given and share this journey with those who may also be struggling to find balance and courage to face the challenges of becoming an woman of more mature years. I want to face the new season of my life with courage, humor, wisdom and friendship. My life will become a treasure to share and to nuture, and I will with guidance and a listening ear begin to renew and restore my health and vitality to carry me through this season and the season and changes to come. Fear has no room to settle in and take over, I am on watch.

  105. julianne hollingsworth says:

    My word for now and 2013 is TRUST. I am growing into trusting in the promises of God and living in this trust associated with so much mystery. I want to live a life of trust without the need to understand.

  106. My word for 2013 is JOY…J…Jesus…O …others…Y…you. This was my theme for my Christmas cards and even my Christmas candle. Thanks for all the JOY you spread in this world, too, Christine.

    Merry Christmas.

  107. Milena says:

    My word is Desire. I want to slow down my life to begin listening and discovering what is my heart's desire. Desire speaks to me of a longing, a craving – I want to know what it is I desire. I work very hard, I take care of my family, but what is it that I truly desire? Not merely what I want or need, but this word "desire" speaks to something in me that much more elusive – something more soulful, more intimate, more grounding.

  108. Judy Nolde says:

    My word is Emmanuel. I don't know that I've ever felt more deeply a desire for God to be with us. God seems far away this Christmas as the darkness of violence and the potential of financial disaster loom in our society. "God with us," coming in the flesh, today.

  109. Claudia Gregoire says:

    My word for 2013…Reflect….

  110. Deborah says:

    My word for 2013 is Integrity. Which represents truth,wholeness,and authenticity. Doing what one said they would do, know that is right to do,be true to oneself and being in an empowering positive frame.

  111. Kathy says:

    My word is TEMPLE.

    Ancient traditions designated the time after the "Householder" role (raising children, working in the world) for "Entering the Temple": devoting several years to spiritual study, after which one was ready to do their Life's Work.

    Alternatively, one may embrace the world as a Temple, and each dawn we are invited to "Enter the Holy."

    From the mini-retreat, here is my poem:

    T – take time for Being
    E – each day is young
    M – make a quiet space
    P – pause from the Doing
    L – leave all cares behind
    E – enter the Holy NOW

  112. Melanie Reuter says:

    My word is reset. My coach and I are discussing the concept of prayer as a type of reset. Here are some of the definitions for reset that I'm reflecting on:
    1. to set again or anew
    2. to adjust again after an initial failure
    3. to change the reading of often to zero
    4. to restore a gauge or dial to zero
    5. to clear out a system to make it work again
    6. change the time on a clock
    7. to put a broken bone back into the correct position
    8. On a computer, factory reset is essentially the same as reformatting the hard drive. A factory reset may become necessary on a device which is no longer working, but the function should be used with caution, as it destroys all stored data. Many problems such as freezing can be resolved by performing a factory reset. System restore is similar to factory reset except you can choose the place on the computer to return to and no data is lost.

    • Melanie Reuter says:

      I thought the word "reset" *seemed* like the right word for me, and indeed I kept telling myself that it *seemed* right. But last night I awoke, startled, from a deep sleep, and I knew my word was "acceptance." It tingled within me, even though I didn't like it much – didn't think it sounded creative or interesting. On the other hand, in a short 24 hours, that word has resonated within me several times as I have tried to *strive* for this or that. It says, "Be at peace. This is how it is, and that's okay. Sometimes it's even better than okay."

  113. Lynn White says:

    My word is surrender. I want to be completely open to God's guidance in everything that I encounter in the new year. I have written a poem about surrender and would like to share it.

    S – Saviour God, to you I do surrender
    U – Under your guidance may I always be
    R – Rejoicing fills my heart as I ponder God's love
    R – Remember always that you are a precious child of God
    E – Each breath and day of life is a precious gift from God
    N – Nothing can ever separate me from God's love
    D – Daily may I be an instrument of God's peace
    E – Every moment I will strive to be of service
    R – Remember to always seek God's guidance

  114. Barbara Fox says:

    My word has taken root and is growing in my heart. As I have meditated on the word…breathing it's sound another "pause" has come to me…."paz"…Spanish for peace and tranquility.

  115. Barbara Romfo says:

    My word is house. I believe that it will come to symbolize many things but first of all the spiritual home that is being created through my life, my discipline, and my art.

  116. Bobbi says:

    FREE is my word for the year-

    Free to…… – choose, start over, feel joy, be healthy, rejoice, love, be me etc – I am free with no baggage that will deter the year of growth and wonder–

    Free from….expectations, worries, second guessing , etc….

    Free and unburdened to make the most of this coming year no matter what comes along – Free to choose my path and act upon that choice. Just God and me!

  117. Sheila Dougherty says:

    My word for 2013 is UNRUSHED! In this busy world where life tends to go
    by so quickly, I seek to live in an unrushed way…..thus contributing to greater
    peace in my soul, as well as in the world.

  118. Kathy Bence says:

    My word is 'follow'. It came to me instantly but I have no idea what it will mean to follow. I know I will follow Jesus and whatever it means–with Jesus, I will be safe.

  119. mary benton says:

    The word that chose me is "Obedience".

    Last year, a word jumped out at me quickly but this year it was slow coming. As I was considering different words, I thought of words that I liked but none of them really stuck… then this one hit me (hit, as in whacked me over the head) and it is sticking to me like glue.

    I've never been real fond of obedience :-). But it is time to learn. It is, after all, not my will but His. May I learn to embrace this word in all of its holy meanings.

  120. Noreen Joyce says:

    The word that came to mind was connection.At first I had a feeling of resistance towards it and tried to tell myself that it wasn't the word meant for me!However as a result of it's persistent presence I accept this word as my guide and mentor and have no doubt that it will open up new Pathways for me to follow and explore!

  121. Carol MacDonald says:

    And this word, listen, chose me. I feel this word in my heart as I want to listen more to what is said and not said, to what I see and do not see, to what may be under the words people are speaking, under the words that I am speaking, and under what I think I see around me. I want to listen to what is under the surface. I want to listen to who I am, what is under the surface of me. I have much to learn when I listen.

  122. Valerie Hess says:

    I had posted a word earlier and I think that word is still valid but am discovering it is a subset under the real word. My word comes from point two of the monk manifesto: hospitality. Rather than "love," it is the idea of making a space for others and more importantly, for myself.

  123. Lisa Whitlow says:

    The word that has chosen me is "discipline." I have never liked that word – it brings to mind a teacher rapping a student's knuckles with a ruler! But I know that spiritual practice and creativity depend on discipline….So, I am being challenged by the Holy Trickster. If anyone knows of some good spiritual books on the topic, I'd appreciate recommendations!

  124. Gwen Buckingham says:

    The word that has chosen me is Freedom. I have a bit of insight, but just that. Our youngest of 4 graduated high school in 2012. I have been in the full-time parent role for 28 years as well as part time nurse and nursing educator for the past 30. I have finished my graduate work in theology and am nearly half way through a clinical pastoral residency to become a chaplain. This word came immediately, but just what I need freedom from, or freedom to become, or likely both, I look forward to finding out!!!

  125. As I consider the many unkowns of the coming year, I hear "accept" and wonder what that might mean for me. It might be about suffering and loss, but it might be about surprise and delight. In any case, it reminds me that everything significant in my life comes to me as gift from One worth trusting.

  126. Jenna says:

    First, I have to say how much I love reading other people's posts about their words–sometimes one forgets there are others out there in the world who do crazy things like letting words choose them!

    For quite a few days I thought my word was "tender." I liked the multiple meanings of the word and the fact that it could be used as an adjective, noun or verb; but I just kept letting it be, not really sure if that was the word. And then yesterday as I thought about things that had been going on lately and my own reactions to them, I realized the word for 2013 is "loosening." Loosening body and feelings, loosening judgments and expectations and reserve, loosening into tenderness, into grief, into deeper relationship with myself, others and God. In celebration of that, I took a walk in the rain yesterday and pretended I was Gene Kelly and splashed mightily in the puddles! Wishing everyone a fruitful and blessed 2013!

  127. Pat Koetter says:

    My word is balance.

    I was having trouble "finding" a word so I asked a friend for help. She asked what I wanted most in the new year and I immediately said, Balance. I hope to practice this in daily life and also in my spiritual quest.

  128. Suzanne says:

    My word for this year is COURAGE. Not so much in terms of bravery, but in acting from the heart.
    The past few years have introduced many challenges, and I tend to move into the rational mind. This year, I will follow my heart.

  129. Kelly says:

    I love reading that others have discovered a word that they don't really know what it means yet. My word is PATH and I am completely clueless as to what God will do with this word in the coming months. Sometimes being clueless, though, is very exciting!

  130. Ann says:

    The word I received was Wonder……the invitation to have a sense of wonder …….

  131. My word for 2013 is : Effloresce–to burst forth in bloom.

    I struggled to be open to the right word and thought of several, more serious ones, but they didn't seem quite right. Yesterday I decided to try a SoulCollage to see if anything at all might reveal itself. It did! I've posted a couple of photos on the Flickr site of the collage. I found the word in the very back of an old magazine in an ad for a florist shop. As soon as I saw it, I knew the right word had finally found me!

  132. Seamus O'Reilly says:


    This word came to me early in the retreat and I put it aside looking and waiting for something else, it kept coming back to me. What it will mean to me I don’t know. Yesterday I watched as the Brent Geese, who winter here in Ireland, sweep across the sky in long lines, each goose knowing its place as they supported each other in flight. Maybe, all activates of my life should fit together and there will be a place for everything. Each event supports the other.

  133. Camille Hurlburt says:

    My 2013 word shall be Re-Envision: I shall re-envision all of the areas in my life in order to cultivate Goddess Spirituality and Creativity's Whimsicality!
    Christine, thank you so very much for your wonderful website and all of the inspirational/practical e-courses you provide!
    Yours Mot Sincerely, Monkess Camille Hurlburt

  134. Bard Judith says:

    My word took a while to find me, or perhaps it was that I did not want to hear that particular word. I wanted 'rest', or 'simplicity', or 'peace' – an easy, comforting, sound-bite of a word – the sort of word one can put up on the wall or create inspirational posters with – a word to snuggle up with and relax into. But what I got – clearly, firmly, gently and persistently… was 'CHANGE'. I wasn't happy. It seemed so active, when I wanted and needed to be passive for once, so evocative of upheaval and spring cleaning and disruption when all I wanted was rest and comfort.

    In my devotions last night Christ's words in Luke 5:32 (in the Message version) simply leapt from the page and insisted yet again that I see/hear them: "…an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out…" I took a deep breath of acceptance in, a deep sigh of anxiety out.

    This morning, I shared my thoughts/feelings with my husband, letting him know that my word had finally settled on/into me, and my continued unease with it, my hope for a word like 'peace', or 'rest'. He responded, quickly and confidently, "You can change *into* rest." I blinked, absorbing the simple truth of his thought, and he continued, "Or change from stress to peace. Change doesn't always have to be upsetting and stressful. Often it's very positive." Of course, I hear you wise ones saying softly, of course – but for me at that time I needed to hear that simple assurance: "You can change into rest." I can change and allow change ,as sweetly, simply, fearlessly, as an otter slipping back into water, as a tree sheds its leaves, as a dragonfly takes to the air or lands again.

  135. Helen says:

    It has taken some time for my word to grab me. Christine you are so right about the waiting and it will come. As I read Macrina's reflection for Day 4 this week it jumped off the page into myself and fits so well. The word is INHERITANCE. It actually seems to include some other words that were lurking around but did not grab me – believe, faith, trust, tender. It feels so right on two levels – to allow myself to own and acknowledge the inheritance that God has given to me and at the moment I am also looking further into my own heritage. That too is an inheritance. And I think what enabled it to jump out at me was further in her reflection speaks about songlines of Australian Aborigines and YES I am Aboriginal. Unfortunately it was not spoken about by my Mum from whose side it comes so we are making a journey into finding out about our heritage – our inheritance. This will be so exciting on both levels.

  136. Terry Laidig says:

    I didn't think a word was going to come to me, but in the early morning of the 24th, during that sacred time when we are in that thin place just before awakening, I heard a very firm voice tell me that my word was "MYSTIC". I believe my journey this year will be to look for and explore the mystical part of myself as well as the things and events I encounter.

  137. Judy says:

    Christine, I deeply appreciate this 12-day retreat. It helped my process be a bit more intentional. I moved from "trust" to "home" to my final word, "container." The past few years have been disruptive and my trust muscles have been strengthened. My 2012 journal has numerous references to finding a new sense of home, an anchor, a place to rest. However, I recognize that my deepest desire is for movement rather than a permanent residence. As I take all of this new life that has come from the ashes, I seek a moveable container that will hold all of this as I explore new lands.

  138. Bud says:

    Dear Christine, my word is "EXPRESS". I want to EXPRESS my gifts to others in need as I travel along my journey; as He guides me down my path. Keeping gifts to myself is not cultivating community or welcoming a stranger; only by expressing them am I truly sharing what He has given to me.

  139. Cynthia Holly says:

    My word for 2013 is "Enough". I hear the invitation to explore the question "What is enough" and walk with gratitude for what I have.

  140. RL says:

    My word, apparently, is "forward." It was given to me by a wise and intuitive woman with whom I have been writing and conversing for several years now–a friend and spiritual advisor.

    It's funny how I think I know what my words will be each year, and I do this exercise…and I always end up being wrong. This past year, I thought my word was "move." It wasn't. It ended up being "listen," which I didn't pick up on until, oh, about November! (Haha on me.) So I listened to wiser ones than I for this coming year's word.

    Forward means no regret, no second-guessing; it means doing what I know I need to be doing. It means being unstuck and faithful, which seem to feed one another.

  141. I wasn't going to participate this year (I've chosen a word for several years now) but when you gave the prompt, and I began to ponder it…"GIFT" chose me for 2013: generously giving, graciously receiving, and most of all being a gift to whom, whenever and wherever I am called to do/be so…Ten days of the mini-retreat and it didn't alter, so there it is. "Gift".

  142. Margo Nagle says:

    My soul-friend/ancester is my mother. Her word to me is, Stay There. Don 't leave. Don't leave your Body don't leave your place don't leave your family don't leave your life.

  143. Nicodemia Lee says:

    My word for 2013 is "preparing." Thank you for this opportunity to pause and ponder about my life in God.

  144. Karen ( foundfeather) says:

    The two words that I keep coming back to are "uncover", and "embody". I will keep listening this week to hopefully hear what fits best. Thank you for the exercises in the online class.

  145. Susan Dougherty says:


    Christmas Eve morning, as I was awakening from a dream in which I was feeling harassed and overwhelmed with "stuff" to do and "stuff" to organize/take care of, I clearly hear the word "enough". I continue to smile at this invitation from the Dreamer to explore just what IS enough in my life…

  146. Mary says:


    My word for the year is "Rejoice" and it feels wonderful!

  147. Lisa A. says:

    My word for 2013 is "TRUST"….which evolved from a phrase given in the "Birthing the Sacred" Advent retreat.."the still heart that refuses nothing". I'm excited about living into the year with this word guiding my way, and am so grateful to you, Christine for the richness your wonderful online programs at Abbey of the Arts have brought into my life in 2012.
    New Years blessings to all, Lisa

  148. The word that I received is "present". To all the gifts and Presence in my life. To slow down and be in the moment- that is where I encounter God.

  149. jan jett says:

    Wisdom–may I sit with the facts and 'stuff' that make me seem wise and truly develop and live wisdom!

  150. Laurie Klein says:

    Dear Christine, thanks for this fresh take on the twelve days of Christmas. Reading the entries is equally wonderful. Thank you, all! A phrase shanghaied me on day five: extend your orbit. I duly googled, Roget-ed and prayed some more. Dipped back into Rilke ("I live my life in widening circles"). Seems my phrase is about deep space–outer and inner–and oh, how I long to engage more deeply and broadly with God and this world, although, to be honest, I'm alternately inspired and dismayed, curious (in slang, orbit means ecstatic, euphoric, over the moon), unnerved (will this heart hyperextend, again?), and delighted (in Singlish, orbit means "desperately out of fashion").

  151. Ann Whitaker says:

    The word with which I will sit in 2013 is "explore." I am looking forward to the possibilities…

  152. Laura says:

    relax, reset, refocus

  153. My word for 2013 is CHOICE. My life thus far, is mostly about going along with what others choose for me. In 2013 I want to make choices just for me. To practice choosing in 10 second increments each and every day. Thank you for this lovely practice!

  154. Ann C says:

    My word for 2013 is nourish. To nourish the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of my life.

  155. Treva Whichard says:

    My word for 2013 is 'stop.'

  156. Laura Joseph says:

    My word for 2013 is "afoot" because I have heard it used several times in the last month and each time I hear it something inside of me stirs. The dictionary meaning is simply to go "on foot" or something is "astir".

  157. I am amazed at how this works. Every. Single. Time.

    Perhaps it is BEing open to the word.

    My word for 2013 is Enough.

    Through 2012 and my word for it, Discipline, I have recognised that Enough is somewhere I find great JOY in BEing and Living.

    I think, though I prefer simply feeling its rightness for me, that it will give me great encouragement to BE Present in my Life in each breath. No holding on, holding out, or holding back. Simply BEing "enough" in that breath.

  158. Joanne Obrien says:

    Thank you Christine for your gifts of wonderful word reach into my heart and awaken my soul to dance ,to experience, and to know the divine. I choose " BELIEVE " for my word in 2013. I am open to believing in miracles from me and from this life in all its many colors.

  159. My word is "create"! I'm excited about all the possible ways this word will unfold in my life in the coming year.

  160. Deb V-W says:

    Not at all what I had in mind….subtle, has found it's way on to the page before me!! Today I think it speaks to being awake to every little thing, to the wisdom of the body and to not having to understand everything. However, I have learned that what I think is rarely what it is. Happy Subtle 2013!

  161. paulette boyt says:

    Tree – about the middle of last year, God told me I was a tree. I interpreted this as I am someone to whom others can come and sit or nest for awhile, perhaps a safe place for others. I work out of my home and so am mostly rooted right there. Anyway, I have been sitting with this word and wondering if it will continue to be for me in 2013. This morning I had a different sense about it, that "tree" is also about the many parts of my own self or "limbs and roots" if you would, that I need to become aware of and what that will produce, heal or prune I do not know yet.

  162. Krista says:

    As soon as I opened my mind for a word, "Nurture" came to me. So it will be my 2013 word. There are many, many ways I can approach it.

  163. Diana DeSpain Schramer says:

    Be–as in Be yourself, Be present, Be still, Be aware. When pondering a visual image, a bee came into my mind and with it the reminder that its flight defies aerodynamic theory. In researching this, "nonlinear, unconventional flight" whispered to me, instilling the realization that this has been, and still is, my path through life. When I considered writing a poem, this acrostic came to me:

    Beginnings are endings
    Endings are beginnings.

  164. Nancy Flowers says:

    My word for 2012 was BE–and it has become part of my DNA.
    I am still wrestling with the word for 2113. So the free mini retreat is
    perfect. This will be my 3rd year to chose a word and I think it will become
    a lifetime habit. Thanks, Christine.

  165. Jane says:

    My word for 2013 is Balance. I have come to understand through my recent life circumstances that the only way to achieve a harmonious life is through balancing, uniting and combining seemingly opposite ideas to find new truths.

  166. Shelley says:

    Well, I may be doing this wrong, because instead of just one word, I keep getting seven! Great Tenderness, Deep Joy & Peace of Christ. The great tenderness words came from a very interesting & moving dream I had recently; it seemed like Christ was reaching out to me – reminding me of how much He cares. The other words may just be what I am "wanting", rather than what is being "offered". Things have been very difficult here with dad's cancer treatments on-going. Deep Joy & Peace seem far removed. But Great Tenderness seems closer and easier to access (when I'm not numbing out my feelings because I'm so scared & overwhelmed). So, I think I'll stick with the words from the dream. Great Tenderness it is. Thanks, Christine, for offering this space to learn & share….

  167. InSpirit says:

    so appreciate this encouragement – have shared on fb and about to post to blogs.. my word for 2013? PEACE … anticipating the watering of the seed sown

    • InSpirit says:

      Understanding increased having spent time reflecting on this word of 'Peace' ~
      Isaiah 30:15
      For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength.
      Isaiah 32:17
      And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.

      Isaiah 30:15
      Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
      15 For this is what Adonai Elohim,
      the Holy One of Isra’el, says:
      “Returning and resting is what will save you;
      calmness and confidence will make you strong.."
      Is 32.17
      The effect of righteousness will be peace;
      the result of righteousness, quiet trust forever.

      powerful stuff! grateful for this initial watering of the seed sown…

  168. Chris says:

    My word for 2013 is 'leap'. As in 'Leap and the net will appear'. Happy new year!

  169. Italanette says:

    Embrace Christ's love, embrace circumstances…good or bad.
    My son started this 'image' when I had to walk back in the rain after shopping, seeking sympathy. He said: 'embrace it, it was a special moment'.

  170. […] into some creative exploration with the words which have chosen you for this year. (Make sure to share yours here if you haven't already and enter to win one of several wonderful […]

  171. Vicki J Carlson says:

    My word for the New Year is "turning".
    I'm entering a new stage of life and I'm turning
    In my journey. Creating new spaces to grow.
    Doing things I've had on hold.

  172. Jayne Johnson says:

    “finish” is my word for the new year. Its definition to me is “to accomplish that which I have been called to do with triumph and victory. Amen

  173. Barbara says:

    I love this exercise every year. It is so nourishing to pause in the stillness of the deepest winter darkness and allow a word or two to choose me. Several words have tugged at me over the past week or so but this morning I awoke to my word. It is COMPANION. I love that it is both a noun and a verb, suggesting attentiveness to all it can open up for me. There is much to ponder with my word and I am overjoyed to embrace it and all it may mean for me this year. Thank you Christine!

    listen and walk
    with the gentle companion

  174. Joanne says:

    My most unusual word for 2013 is " camel". I've waited a week to share just to be sure and it has been confirmed several times. There is mystery with this so I await it's unfolding meaning…

  175. My word for 2013 is "immerse." Like a pot dipped into a well of water, I'm to immerse deeper into those things thing bring me life and then I can give out of the overflow; I realize by my fatigue level that I've been pouring out more than I've been taking in.

  176. Fe says:

    I have just joined the Flickr group "Give Me A Word 2013" under the screen name
    Fe 108Aums.

    I look forward to walks alert for my word of the year: mindfulness, or to look through past photos/art.

  177. Aggie says:

    The word that chose me is COURAGE. For the choices I need to make in the upcoming year, I will need courage. In good times, the difficult circumstances, I will need courage.

  178. Susan S says:

    My word is completion

  179. AynE says:

    My word is "Released" I was trying on words such as renewed, restored, replenished and returned. We are leaving this island after 12 1/2 years of being in what I have considered exile because I have been cut off and isolated from community is so many, many ways but every word I tried on didn't fit. The shoulders were too small, the arms were too long, the waist constricting, the length not right and then in the midst of the chaos and explosion that goes with trying on garments from the verbal closet, there it was…the perfect accessory to tie all the other words together into one cohesive outfit. This is the year I am released. Released from isolation, from sorrow, from making do, from restricted thinking. Released to heal, to restoration, to joyfulness, to possibilities. Released from everything so I can be released to everything…

  180. Debbie Headley says:

    I really enjoy hearing about the words expressed by others. My word for the coming year is OPEN- HANDED. I am feeling called to do less pursuing but to be more open to the gifts that present themselves; new things, new opportunities, new people…. And I also see that in order to receive I must also be willing to let go and release certain things. So I will go open- handed into this coming year.

  181. My word for this year is "butterfly". Butterflies can have many layers of meanings-when I was feeling somewhat "jaded" awhile back, I encountered a black butterfly which I had never seen before. Glistening black-violet wings reminded me of the beauty, magic and hope waiting to be discovered.

  182. Jennifer W. says:

    My word this year is BREATHE. I have made my sign to post on my mirror already- I have found over the course of the last year that some of my stress in work and family has left me breathless. By giving myself time to BREATHE, I can center, reflect and focus on what my oblate self "should" be doing in any certain situation.

  183. I have thoroughly enjoyed this short and informative course. I like the brievity of it that it can be quickly read but meditated on as long as required. My word is OPEN.
    Simple but so comprehensive to be open to what comes across my path during the next year. My prayer is the the Holy Spirit will help keep me awake and watchful so I may be open to His bidding.

  184. […] with it in the months ahead? Something you can grow into and don't fully understand? (If so, please share it here. If not, Abbey of the Arts is offering a free 12-day mini-retreat to help […]

  185. Carol Moyle says:

    My word for 2013 is LISTEN to Spirit, to my soul, to the wind, the river and all of nature, to other people – where I usually get answers from Spirit and my guides when I ask for help. This is my first experience with the Abbey of the Arts. Thank you, my dear friend, Claire, for introducing me and Thank you, Christine for this deeply meaningful exercise.

  186. As a year ends, and another begins, I listen for the word that will be my guide throughout the year. This year, 2012, my "One Word" was 'suppleness'. I needed to be supple, flexible, giving as I entered this year without employment having chosen to leave a job and place I loved, knowing I needed to stretch. Suppleness was a good word for me. Being conscious of the need for suppleness in my thinking, doing and being has added great value to my life.

    This coming year, 2013, the "One Word" that's come to me is "Rejoice". To find value in all things, to celebrate life, however it appears, to rejoice in life without judging, measuring or controlling its unfolding…

    And, to celebrate 'Rejoice', I created a painting of it which was a wonderful way to welcome it in.

  187. Maureen Koth says:

    OPEN…my word for 2013 i was given this word in an instant after a good deal of wishing and pondering it just slipped out of and into my heart. i pray i will be open to creative efforts…open to peace and to change and uncertainty…open to relationship and solitude…open…

  188. Mary Campanelli says:

    My word for 2013 is Reveal. With God's grace, I'm looking for how to reveal myself to myself, reveal myself to God and reveal God to me.

  189. Deb Tripp says:

    My word is Nurture – as a beacon to guide me, as a question to help me let go of the unnecessary, as a way to treat the least loveable parts of myself.

  190. Nancie Chmielewski says:

    My word has been growing in me for months now–simplicity–it will be my mode and challenge!

  191. Maureen says:

    Mine is, simply: Enough.

  192. kimbol says:

    My 2012 "word" was – loose ends. Really? I said in January. Really it was… and on December 21st I felt the last end tied securely, my heart opened, and I was at ease down to the roots of my feet. For the first time all year (and even before 2012).

    In that great relaxation, I went waiting for 2013's word. It was shy – or moving slowly, the way I was :) – and it didn't manifest until Day 10.

    My 2013 is Presence. And I suspect it's not just God's presence, or my stillness in abiding in God's presence (always my challenge!), but how I use my presence in my days. Happy new year!

  193. Sheila says:


  194. Doris says:

    The word that has chosen me is "water." Water revives the desert land and land tormented by drought. I don't know what all this means to me, but I will trust in the Lord to lead me and guide me as I discover what He wants me to know. I look forward to the journey in the year ahead!

  195. Sarah says:

    The word that chose me for 2013 is "create".

    • Lucia Van Ruiten says:

      trusting in the slow work of God-
      the seeding of a dream-
      the call of evolving consciousness

  196. Sarah says:

    The word that chose me for 2013: "create".

  197. maggie says:

    The word I have chosen for this year is "savor". It reminds me to slow down and taste, touch, hear, see, smell and most of all to be grateful and most of all to be grateful for life in all its fullness.

    Thank you dear Abbey friends and a wonderful year of "savoring" ahead.


  198. Claire says:

    Eventually, my word/phrase revealed itself to me…
    It is BE A VESSEL
    You are very welcome to read my blogpost about it
    And thank you, again, Christine, for the mini-retreat and this wonderful community you have created :o)
    Wishing you a blessed 2013!

  199. Imogen says:

    Thank you for the help in choosing my word the reflections have been very encouraging. I have finally let my word find me, instead of trying to find it! My word is "Oases". I am to go to those places that refresh me as I live in a desert place. I am to open my eyes to the many oases that are all around me as well as those that lie further afield.

  200. marthalouise says:

    My word is Hope. A friend just sent this quote from the prophet Isaiah that sums up how I begin my journey with this word this new year: “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” – Isaiah 42:9

  201. Jane says:

    My word for 2013 is SHINE – which is not something that comes naturally to me! I’m happiest behind the scenes (safe under my cozy bushel basket :) ), so I’m both curious and a little apprehensive about what this might bring. It’s been very persistent though, so “shine” it shall be.

  202. Trudy says:

    My word this year is 'seek.'

  203. Larry says:

    My word for 2013 is "present." My desire is to be fully "present" to what and who is standing before me and what is going on inside of me.

  204. My word is still revealing itself, but the best one I can find right now to capture it is "effort-less," which stems from a desire to find a greater sense of ease in my relationship with God….which of course will make for greater ease, more flow in every area of my life.

  205. Beth C. says:

    My word for 2013 is "new" as in, "Behold, I make all things new" from Revelation, 21:5. My hope is become renewed, to see the world with new eyes, in new ways, and to respond with increasing faith and joy.

  206. Elaine says:

    My word is receive ..I wish to receive with with gratefulness rather than reluctance

  207. Ann Kelly says:

    Freedom has emerged as my word of guidance, freedom from many bad habits and behaviours and freedom to be, just be.

  208. Wendy says:

    My word is "honor" – to honor what God is doing in me, to honor His presence with me, and to honor the same activity and presence of Him moving in the lives of others.

  209. gemma says:

    My word is trueheart. I went on a contemplative walk and asked for a wild word. A bird "cawed." I felt that as a sign calling to my heart to be open to the natural world,
    and all things true.

  210. Jan says:

    My word is LIGHT. I have had a recurring dream of a pitch black room, so dark that it was difficult to see the ninjas that filled the room. When I engaged the ninjas; I noticed a still small light, "the light that darkness cannot overcome." (Jn 1:5) That is my image for 2013.

  211. Christy says:

    My word for this year is HOME.

  212. Elaine P. says:

    Enough. I am enough. There is enough. This is important as I go over a threshold in this new year. I am moving from a lifetime of being a solo act to being in a "duet". And as I move into a new stage of living a "retired" life of meaning.

  213. Theodosia (Teresa) says:

    Dear Christine,

    Love this discipline. Your retreats help me so much. For 2012 my word was Suffering.
    It was a very diffilcult year. I have cancer and it progressed to Stage Four. I discovered that my husband of 43 years was unfaithful to me. I had to quit my job due to the side effects of all the chemo. Yes, very tough.

    2013 – the word that really spoke to me was Sanctuary. This word will be one I can work with all year…I need Sanctuary and have it in the Holy Trinity….I will run to my Sactuary every day to deal with my trials and tribulations. I have to create that sanctuary anew every day in order to protect my own soul….there is so much I can find in this word to nurture me for what lies ahead.

    Please keep these mini retreats coming!

    • jennifer says:

      Dear Theodosia,

      My prayers are with you. I am so happy that you have a Sanctuary … what a beautiful word.


      • Theodosia (Teresa) says:

        Thank you Jennifer, I really appreciate your prayers and reply. I am finding I have to remind myself every hour to retreat to my Sanctuary, much better than New Years Resolutions ……I know this will stay with me every day this year, giving new insight every day. Today I was given new meaning for myword – that I also need to be, and can be – a sanctuary for others…….wow.

    • Sally says:

      Dearest Sis, Theodosia, Teresa, Terry!

      Thank you for introducing me to the online Abbess and all the treasures to be found here!
      My prayers are with you, along with the prayers of many others, to help you to 'feather the nest' of your sanctuary.

      Much love as always,


  214. Millie Mellgren says:

    The word that has chosen me is "undulation". This word has appeared over and over in the last few days–undulating through my life. I think I am learning that there are times of moving forward and growth and times of resting before the next wave of growth and forward movement. Sometimes I forget that resting is ok. It will be fascinating to see how undulation works in my life this next year.

  215. Beatrice says:

    ~~ playfulness ~~~

    May a spirit of playfulness infuse my life.

  216. sheila says:

    Like you Christine, I had a word I was ruminating on for a while, it was 'curious' and I liked the idea of being more curious about everything in 2013 and allowing myself the freedom to express curiousity about everying. But quite unexpectedly, while reading something I felt a deeper call to the words 'let go', 'release' and 'surrender'. I have been on a journey of 'letting go' over the autumn and I beleive this is a call to go further, so my word for 2013 is 'release – let go'. Thank you for all you share with us. May you know many rich blessings in 2013.

  217. Carrie says:

    "Ladder" – from the Ladder of Divine Ascent, St. John Climacus. 12-Step program on steriods…to attain theosis

    • Theodosia (Teresa) says:

      Carrie, love this, I was given the audio book for Christmas/nativity….so wonderful….! Great choice!

  218. Kris Telfer says:

    My word for this year is WILD.
    I'm not sure where it is going to lead me. As I have been pondering over the last week, I wrote down, "Wild is enormous, but very inviting!"

  219. Roz Cawley says:

    My word is 'Enrichment', which I invite into my own life and hope to add to other sentient beings lives.
    (Thank you for your wonderful website and encouragement).

  220. jennifer says:

    Early on, in the guided process, of receiving/choosing a word, I had chosen the beautiful word – 'community'. I still love the word and am not abandoning it. But, after two very powerful dreams, I now welcome (it wasn't easy at first) the word – 'careful'. Being careful is not always my strong suit. In my new life, in a new town/community and in a new year; I intend to be careful. Careful as in 'watching my step' but, also, as in being caring with others and myself. In many ways, the word 'careful' is similar to 'mindful' and I look forward to exploring the relationship between being careful and being mindful.
    Thank you, Christine, for your guidance in choosing a word for 2013.

  221. Claire says:

    My word for 2013 is discovery. I've just given birth 9 weeks ago to twin boys and everything is new. It's an exciting and also scary time as I learn what it is to be a mummy for the first time, learn how to let go for my need to control outcomes, and learn how my little men will develop over the year. I will discover things about me, about my relationship with those around me, and my boys will be constantly discovering new things. Discovery helps me remember this sense of wonderment that my babies bring to this process as I may struggle at times to remain in the moment myself

  222. Christine says:

    My chosen word is "compassion"
    For myself, for others, for all this year

    Thankyou so much for the free online 12 day retreat, a wonderful way to embrace the new year.

  223. Joy says:

    "Give me a word!"…. What a wonderful prayer! It is a basic desire in every spiritual tradition , the word that awakens my body, my soul, my spirit, encouraging, loving, healing, life giving as "talitha kumi"…, enlightening like a "koan"… When I read first about this wonderful suggestion immediately the word "TENDER", "TENDERNESS" came to me. It is a vessel that can be filled with many interpretations, many activities, and all are compassionate and loving. I chose the word "tenderness" for 2013.

  224. Mary P says:

    The word that continues to enter my thoughts is ' bewilderment'. As I embrace daily the mystery of life I realize that there is a fine line between Surprise/Awe/Amazement and Confusion/Discomfiture/Disorientation. I love how this word challenges me to rejoice in wonder and yet to also embrace disturbances necessary for growth… I also like playing with the words inside the word – be wild – perhaps a message to me to let go and reclaim who I am apart from societal/cultural conditioning and roles… to be who I am – untamed. Bewilderment – my word for 2013.

  225. Regina says:

    be·calm (b-käm)
    tr.v. be·calmed, be·calm·ing, be·calms
    1. To make calm or still; soothe.
    2. To render motionless for lack of wind.

    May our hearts be becalmed in 2013.

  226. sharon says:

    Yesterday I turned 54 and last night I dreamt I was "pregnant". And i am …. spiritually pregnant. This is how I have been feeling through advent, through the gift, through my body and through my emotions. So, so much in one word.

  227. Alice Kirsche says:

    My word is 'presence'. I was going to choose surrender but presence seems to encompass the idea of surrendering to the mystery which is my centre of gravity just by being present.

  228. Rivka says:

    My word is liberate.

  229. Tarianne says:

    My word for 2013 is "engage". I KNOW this will bring many discoveries and I am curious to see them!

  230. Susan says:

    "Deep" is the word that has found me. I am feeling the call to go deeper into my contemplative and creative practice. Thank you.

  231. rachel dewey says:

    My word is "openness". I have been living in Zambia for three months and have learned alot about contentment, satisfaction, love, and trust. But being receptive and open is the lesson that I am learning the most in the moments of discomfort , of silences, of inadequacy.

  232. Judith says:

    The word that is calling me in 2013 is "homecoming." It is luring me to come home to myself, to come home to the Holy One, to come home to the Great Earth Mother, to sink my roots deeply into what is and what is unfolding…all in the spirit of welcome!

  233. Nanci says:

    My word is Presence. I want to feel the presence of Spirit in my life and be in the presence daily. A form of presence is present…to be present in all I do.

  234. Bridget says:

    'grace' seems to be my word. It's one we Christians hear all the time. I just started noticing all the different meanings or uses. Grace as in God's mercy, grace as in gentle, smooth and beautiful actions, grace as in giving thanks. I want to explore the connections and interrelations.


  235. Cara says:

    I've done an Epiphany Star word practice for years. This year I'm at joy. And I think it's going to be a good fit for what I need in my life.

  236. My word is "trust". I have a poignant emotional response to this word. I recognize that trust is difficult for me. It is my desire to allow myself to get closer to this word in my life.

  237. Mary L says:

    My word is "accept."
    Circumstances, people and
    most of all myself.

  238. Lynn Sullivan says:

    Vitality – not a word I would have chosen but something I do struggle with: the state of being strong and active, energy. I am feeling both excited and intimidated by this word for the year ahead.
    Blessings of vitality to all my fellow monks and seekers!

  239. Kathy says:

    My word is Move.. It has a few variations….move, movement, moving…Looking forward to living that all of those in expected and unexpected ways in 2013.

  240. Lisa Dunn says:

    My word for 2013 is CHERISH.

    Cherish means to take care of with love, to cultivate with care, and to nurture. I intend to cherish myself this year. And I'm looking forward to exploring the concept and seeing what I learn.

  241. my word for 2013 is BALANCE.
    It's definitely a growth area for an overachiever sort like me. More than that, it is about finding the right place to be. I look forward to exploring what I will learn and how I will change through this.

  242. Lorna says:


    This will be a year of covering and uncovering – layers from the past and new ones added – an ongoing collage…

  243. Whitney says:

    Many new things are happening in my life. God is calling me to step into them and not run from or fear what is to come. My word is embrace. After reading the following definition, I'm reminded there is much to grow into with this word in the coming year.

    1 –
    a : to clasp in the arms : hug
    b : cherish, love
    2 –
    : encircle, enclose
    3 –
    a : to take up especially readily or gladly
    b : to avail oneself of : welcome
    4 –
    a : to take in or include as a part, item, or element of a more inclusive whole
    b : to be equal or equivalent to

  244. anne says:

    my word for 2013 is "gold" ~ as in the japanese art of "golden joinery" – the powdered gold and resin that is used to repair broken vessels rendering them stronger and more beautiful.

  245. Kay says:

    My word is insight. During Birthing the Holy, this word kept coming up and I am looking forward ti spending the year with it.

  246. Pam V says:

    To me it means a partnership with creation: nurturing and bringing out what is underneath. For me, I know something has already been planted and I am helping it grow. In growth there are times of dormancy when the growth is about nurturing it's potential. Then the potential transforms into movement and action, many times with an unexpected result.

  247. My word for 2013 is DEVOTION. I'm looking forward to infusing my life with the energy of ardent dedication.

  248. Karen says:

    My word is "unbind". It came to me during a deep meditation where images of unwrapping cords around those I love and those who have harmed me were undone as each person was released in trust. As each person or idea was released, new ones arose from deep within me. It was and continues to be a very liberating practice.

  249. Cynthia says:

    The word knocking at the door of my heart for weeks now has been "mindfulness." It's not always a pleasant feeling slow down – to abandon my impatient nature – to be aware of the wonder of each moment. I have a sense the blessing to come out of this world may take some time – if not a life-time.

  250. Georgianna says:

    The word which has revealed itself to me in many synchronicities is FREEDOM. Once found it was enhanced by this quote from David Foster Wallace: " There are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about in the great outside world of wanting and achieving. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people." I will work with freedom FROM and freedom TO…

  251. Shestelle says:


    • Shestelle says:

      Alone! the Truth is that I need to be alone with the Alone. Again today, someone said this; and I, said, "My fingers are filled with honey." And, I remembered that the call to the Desert is still real for me today as it was long ago! I wonder if the Word that chose me is still with me in
      this unknowing in which I find myself. . .

      • Shestelle says:

        TRUTH in other words:
        Alone with the Alone!
        Desert Call!
        Cloud of Unknowing!
        Here Now!
        Now I begin!
        Deeper into the Unknowning of the Unknown of the Unknowable!

  252. Karen says:

    I am still sitting with it, but my word so far is "Believing". Seems an invitation to understand belief is a constant choice, an action, in motion. The word did not present itself as "believe", but definitely "believing". I actually found it when watching "Finding Neverland" at 4 am. The word shimmered as they spoke it at the end of the movie.

  253. Angela says:

    My word for this year is "viriditas"–greening. It came to me while reading Hildegard of Bingen and I have been encountering it, in one form or another, ever since I received it.

  254. Tammie Thomas says:


  255. Olga says:

    Honor… God, myself and others.

  256. Olivia says:

    My word this year is "dream." There are so many connotations of the word to explore–the aspect of pursuing a dream, an ambition, a goal of sorts; of being in a dream-like state; of imagining, and realizing. . . . There have been many changes in my life–I'm no longer actively teaching in the classroom; my children have "flown the coop," and are living their own lives as adults; we have a new home after our last one was destroyed by fire. I am looking forward to the "dream" of creating a new reality.

  257. Tammie Thomas says:

    This journey started a year ago when I started writing my gratitude on facebook. This year I am extending my gratitude to folks that I come across. I watched a movie called " The Letter Writer" This is where I want to focus on this year seeing focusing on meeting people where they are, not meeting folks where I am. Honoring people that I see need to be honored.

  258. Barbara says:

    The word finding me this year is really a phrase: "inner landscape"…it is that deep down tilling of the "soul", discovering what is inside my inner landscape that calls me to freedom, compassion, soul-stretching. It also calls me outside….to appreciate the landscape of others…..different and sacred.

  259. Dyck says:

    …softly calls, do you want to become friends, maybe lovers? Through filthy glass she watches, seeing my sometimes contemplative movements, unpredictable or outlandish innocent acts… sensing my possible readiness for new freedom…

  260. Barbara DeCoursey Roy says:

    My word is "open." It calls me to cultivate a sense of spaciousness toward all that is, to make room for the unexpected revelation of truth or beauty.

  261. Daisy says:

    My word for the year is FINISH.

    Finish what I begin, either by completing the project/action/promise or acknowledging that it will not be completed and laying it aside so there is energy for what really needs to be done.

    Thank you for the mini-retreat. The photos were beautiful.

  262. Jane says:

    The word that found me for 2013, my 19th year of having a "word for the year" in lieu of a New Year's resolution. Integration points to "making the road by walking", in the way a regular practice moves from something I do, to who I am. A reminder that the moment by moment choices make the path, and the path itself becomes formative of where I go.

  263. Dawn Anderson says:

    My word for 2013 is OPEN.

    To be open to life.

  264. Lee Ann says:

    At Mass on Christmas, Monsignor Harris' homily was on "Surprise". His words really touched my heart so I've chosen "Surprise" as my word. Given all the tragedy we experience/read about I'm committing myself to finding Surprises given to me daily by God. I think, however, that I will have to work at looking for them at first because I'm so accustomed to passing things right by. I am also praying that those I dearly love find their own wonderful surprises during this NEW year. As e.e.cummins says, "I thank you God for most this amazing day……."

  265. Suzn B Jeffers says:

    TALLOW — a word that still puzzles me but has definately "found" me and won't let go. Something to do with light and the rendering of excesses to come to know its bounty.

  266. Carol says:

    Attentiveness – the journey of detecting the movement of the Divine in my everyday life.

  267. Julett says:

    Started out with Beauty but two more words suddenly appeared – kindness and gentle or gentleness. Gentleness beckoned strongly and seemed to include the first two words. So I will rest in gentleness – with myself, with others, with the earth, with the world, to still my troubled heart at times, and to rest gently in all the blessings received daily.

  268. Linda says:


  269. Julett says:

    Thanks to Christine and to all who have shared what seem to me – Sacred Words. My heart filled with compassion for you, Theodosia – may your sanctuary be a safe and gentle place in which to rest from harsh changes in your life – and hopefully to be replaced with new beautiful ways of being in the world.

  270. "Harmony" is my word for 2013…..after many walks and contemplations about the words that have spoken to me over the past 12 days this is the word that has claimed me. While I walked with other words….it was when I was reading an article about the beauty of the cosmos, the beauty in our world and beauty in my life that the word and idea of "harmony" peeked in and I got my attention. I want and need to explore and be with this word that is calling me for 2013.

  271. Tessa says:

    delight is the word which inspires me this year. It enlightens the dark, and brightens the light….God's delight in me…my delight in all that is good….in others…in me. The enterprise of seeking that delight is one which takes huge energy…and is full of surprises, and one which leads to fuller life.

  272. Jeanne Choy Tate says:

    My word is tenderness.

  273. Olivia says:

    My 2013 word is EASE.
    As a noun – appreciate my life of ease and comfort, and also, don't make things harder than they are. Approach myself, family, and circumstances with a sense of ease and less aggressive management.
    As a verb – ease myself into unfamiliar situations.

  274. "Harmony" is my word. "Flowing" and "Clarity" were words that came up while I was
    walking and contemplating over the past 12 days, but just yesterday while reading about
    the beauty of the Cosmos; the beauty of our world and the beauty in everyday life "harmony" jumped out and claimed me. This is the word that I want and desire to explore and be with this coming year.

  275. Elisabeth says:

    After reading the article in today's newsletter, it is settled – my word for 2013 is "mystery".

  276. Colleen says:

    My word for 2013 is HOME. I am feeling a pull to spend time creating a welcoming HOME within me for God. I also am feeling the pull to create a more welcoming and comfortable HOME for my family. I feel pulled toward HOME as well because that is where my art supplies and studio are. I haven't been allowing myself enough time and space to nurture my inner artist. I am so excited that I discovered your website. It is absolutely perfect for what my soul is being drawn toward! Thank you!!

  277. julie+ says:

    My word is "conversion." It is a reminder that it is a process, not a one time thing.

  278. Bridget says:

    My word is HEART, come to me as I prayed on the Christmas story in Luke: "And Mary treasured these words and pondered them in her heart." My hope is that I can move ever more into the practice of listening with the heart, rather than just the mind, and responding from the heart to God and to others.
    Thanks, Christine, for the idea and the online retreat. Lovely way to pay attention to the threshold of the year.

  279. My 2013 word chose me several days ago, and it is Surrender.
    Resistance and repetitive patterns
    Ripening and
    Nothingness and
    Dancing into

    Surrendering the known and opening to the unknown.

    • Pat says:

      Thank you for sharing your word. Mine is the same-Surrender. I was surprised by the Spirit. May God help both of us to live into this word. Love, Pat

  280. Sally says:

    My words are Creativity and Imagination.

    My words for 2012 were 'Carving out Space' and this year I believe these new words will be the ones that inhabit the space. As a hospice chaplain, I work within the gap, or bardo, between life and death; and I am often struck by how this gap seems to offer an opportunity for growth and blossoming.

    For myself I hope the space opening up before me this year will be rich with images and creativity of all kinds as the fruit of imagination.

    Thank you so much for the rich resources of this site.

  281. My word is 'reach' with overtones of stretch and possibility, of taking up the space that is truly me.

  282. Eileen Chwalibog says:

    My word is OPENNESS: As I have crossed a Threshold in November of Deep Surrender the word Openness invites me to be open to all that God wants to do in me and through me this year.

  283. The word that came to me spontaneously wasx "green". Doesn't seem like much until you consider all the different meanings.

  284. Natasha says:

    My word for 2013 is FAITH. I feel that I am at a junction in my life where I must choose a new path. The path that I have been traveling feels the safest but has not been serving me or my family well. I am frightened to imagine a new life and traveling a different path and scared of the uncertainty it will bring. However, I feel that if I focus on FAITH that I will not be journeying this new path alone – all will be well. Jesus will be with me and my family every step of the way.

  285. Sandra says:

    so simple — seemingly obvious — but new in the way it has suddenly chosen me: LOVE

  286. Marybeth says:

    "Focus" – in this I am called to freedom, letting go, decluttering, to attend to what is needed

  287. Ann Homer says:

    My word is GIVE:
    of self
    of resources
    of time
    from the heart, soul, and head

  288. Emily says:


    many small
    colorful pieces
    carefully chosen
    brought together
    for one complete creation.

    Looking forward to fitting all the pieces together in harmony this year!

  289. Mattmarie says:

    My phrase for 2013 is: manna for the road. I'm excited to receive, be nurtured, by surprise, in the ordinary…in the extraordinary…in 2013…

  290. Pat says:

    The word given to me is Surrender. I would not have chosen this word, but the word rings true.

  291. Sharon Sauer says:

    My word is HUNGER. In all the layers of meaning that may evoke. Blessings and Shalom to you, Sharon

  292. Kathy Barlow says:



    a protective skin covering
    a tool for measuring
    a range of values for grading


    to remove scales from
    to weigh or measure
    to climb up or over
    to make in accord with a particular proportion
    To alter according to a standard or by degrees

    The word “scale” has a rich, complex etymology. In noun form scale suggests weights and measures, or a tool with which to balance. In verb form scale implies developing perspective, moving forward while adjusting that which needs attention.

    As a spiritual word, scale may evoke images of depth or height, such as “He brought me up from a desolate pit” (Ps 40:1). Within that image is embedded gratitude and joy, although in its entirety the psalm exhorts patience. Such a complex word, scale….
    How will I use it to underpin my intentions? How can I develop it into a meditation? Where will the word bring me?


    These words are the foundation. The journey will be interesting…..

  293. Sharie says:

    My word is "hope".

    The word "hope" has been circling me for a few weeks as I grapple with recent news and events…and search for a flicker of light when life can feel so dark at times. This morning I realized the word had chosen me 24 years ago while waiting for my 4th child to be born who I gave the middle name, "Hope" when she arrived. Currently I am again waiting for another 9 months for this child's safe return from her adventure of teaching ballet in New Delhi. This can be another time to infuse my time of anticipation with HOPE!

  294. Michelle says:

    my word for 2013 is INTERDEPENDENCE

  295. andrea Cox says:

    I was chosen by 'Happiness"
    Dear Christine,
    I was overwhelmed this season with a move and a midlife transition. I was so numb from all the events and crisis's that came up that I noticed the lack of creative space to contemplate, which is so special to me each year at this time.
    I subscribed knowing I might not read every prompt but praying that just being part of your guidance would help me stay focused on my spiritual path.
    Behold! On the first day of the new year I awoke early and felt the urge to go into my beloved woods release my dogs remains who, non expectantly past earlier this year. As i walked and reflected on the year past the word Happiness came and I knew right away that it was indeed the right word for me.
    Thank You and many Blessings to you in the new Year.
    In Happiness,

  296. Thank you Christine for the reminder of this wonderful practice which you first introduced me to a few years ago. It has blessed me immeasurably in the past. I had almost forgotten about it this year. This morning, not long after reading your email, a word virtually leapt into my heart: Devotion. After letting it settling all day, it has continued to unwrap and enfold me and I am looking forward to all that it will reveal this year. Your gentle spirit constantly nourishes me, even from across the seas in my beloved Ireland. Bless you.

  297. Bet says:

    My word is TRUST.

    My word for last year was "watch". I knew I needed to watch for God's work in my life and the lives of my dear ones, as I sometimes missed it. That word took on a painful irony as I watched a loved one crash and burn while I could only look on and pray. So for 2013 I was thinking along the lines of being alert. But the lectionary reading a couple of days ago was from Isaiah 26: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is an everlasting rock…

    I resisted at first, because of the negative connotations in my past. "Just trust God." "Trust and obey, for there's no other way…" But I knew then that my word had chosen me!

  298. Amy says:

    My word is change.

  299. ZOOEY says:

    Hey Christine;
    My word for 2013 is RENUNCIATION

    I feel it will strengthen my spirit, my actions and my wellbeing for 2013!

    Out with fears …In with action!

  300. Maria says:

    My word is "savor" – to simmer in the present moment and really know and feel it through the senses and in my heart. To pause in the busyness and to savor the sacredness of things.

  301. Barbara says:

    My word is peace…………

  302. Laura says:

    My word is JOY.
    Joy chose me a long time ago; it's my middle name. It has chosen me anew and it is time now for me to embrace joy. I feel I'm stepping over that threshold described in the first Day's message. Like stepping into Narnia from the close dark wardrobe. I am still in the wardrobe but I can see the light as my foot poises, hesitant to step into it. I feel this word will be with me and work on me all through 2013.

  303. Catherine+ says:

    My word so far is "darkness." I will be exploring what it means to me, and I hope to use prayer, quiet time, journaling, collage and other art to figure out what darkness means in my life and what this journey may uncover. Is the darkness a shadow, a place from which to see the light? …

  304. Maura says:

    Free. Free to be me. To dance freely. To speak freely. Me, free.

  305. Vicki says:

    As I have focussed during the Advent season on Isaiah 61, the word "integrity" has chosen me: the notion of being clothed with integrity or with what is "integral" to being sound, whole, complete, well…. When something loses its integrity it may be assumed to be in a weakened, compromised or vulnerable state…. I work with addictions, and relative to my work, I see my calling as a ministry of restoration…. the restoration of integrity.

  306. Shandeen says:

    My word for 2013 is "with". A connecting word
    with joy
    with peace
    with reverence
    with courage
    so much can come for me from using this word in 2013

  307. Patricia says:

    My word is PURITY as in "Create in me a pure heart, oh God" Ps 51:10.

    I desire to see life through the pure lens of God's eyes and not see God through the distorted lens of life. To do that I must cleanse my heart of the impurities of the world. Two years ago my word was wait, last year it was courage. Perhaps in learning that waiting is not passive and courage is not aggressive was to prepare me for the heart-work this year.

  308. Rebecca says:

    My word is peace – as in the opposite of the anxiety that has been far more common in my life in the past years.

  309. Carol says:

    BELIEVE! is the word that chose me ~ 2013

    Believe* the uncharted territory and the chaotic path ahead is grace disguised!

    Believe * I can be detached from ups and downs by turning my gaze inward.

    Believe* Throw open my heart to workings of God and Holy Spirit in each day.

    Believe* I have everything I need if I JUST BELIEVE.

    Believe* 'God makes all tings work together for good' (Romans 8:28)

  310. Carol says:

    BELIEVE! is the word that chose me ~ 2013

    The uncharted territory and the chaotic path ahead is grace disguised! I have everything I need if I JUST BELIEVE.

    'God makes all things work together for good' (Romans 8:28)

  311. Carol says:

    BELIEVE …. is My word.

    "God works all things for good". Romans 8:28

    In the challenges ahead , chaotic path and uncharted territory to BELIEVE all is Grace Disguised! I have everything I need if I just believe for the journey.

  312. Stephanie says:

    My word is "listen",

    I want to listen more deeply, to have this become a way of living – ascolta profundamente. As I make some life changes and wait for what comes next I desire to listen deeply and be willing to risk to follow where Lady Wisdom leads.

  313. Mary says:

    My word is "sing." I recently felt drawn to take voice lessons and am discovering a new voice for myself. I feel this has awakened my spirit and that there will be some new songs to offer the Lord in this year.

  314. Susan says:

    My word is 'open.' At first I thought it was 'discern' since that word kept coming to mind but then during a lectionaries meditation session I had this very strong, very clear image of my chest opening along with the very clear 'open' and it's continued to resonate so I'm going with that.

  315. Pearle says:

    My word for 2013 is TRUST.

    I am a worrier by nature and have battled anxiety for as long as I can remember. My focus word for the past few years has been peace. But I'm learning in order for me to have peace, I'm going to have to put my trust in God to take care of all the things that I worry about.

    After reading through your article on Embracing Mystery in the New Year, I realize that also requires trust that I don't have to have all the answers. Embracing the mystery means trusting my future to God, that he is working things out for my good as I trust and follow. It's about enjoying the journey and living in the moment.

    Trust brings so many of these gentle practices into my life. I'm really looking forward to this new year!

  316. JoAnn says:

    the word that has been ripening in me ~ s p a c e ~

    ~ taking time and space ~ inner and outer ~ listening, listening ~ being with, opening to what is stirring within, sharing from this spacious self ~

    ~ with gratitude and love ~

  317. Bonita Stutzman says:

    My word came to me while I was cutting fabric for new curtains for my friend who just bought their first house, a fixer-upper. It is "generative". I want to engage in whatever task/thoughts/practices that are generative i.e. having the ability to create life. I feel called to support all kinds of life-giving opportunities–art, spiritual direction, grandparenting, mentoring, gardening, cooking, mending worn clothes, hospitality.

    • Linda Rufi says:

      Bonita, That is such a visual word, I hope that you will experience the energy and joy that comes with your word.

  318. Linda Fernandes-Bailey says:

    Gratitude….Meister Eckhard reminds us if the only prayer we ever say is "thank you" that would be enough. Gratitude is so easy to forget amidst the chaos and stresses and dramas of life yet gratitude is the very thing that bring deep joy!

  319. Lisa McGehee says:

    My word is Presence…I desire to be more aware of The Presence and to be an intentional presence to and with others.

  320. Em says:

    My word is publish.

    And it choose me. (I had thought of several other maybe words, the one I was leaning toward most was home because of feeling without one … and I had decided it was what I really wanted.) This word kept floating up out of the unconscious and then really pushing itself in front of me and so it's my word.

    In the past, I have chosen fruition and love (as examples) so this very concrete verb is a very interesting one for this year!

  321. Eadie Martin says:

    My word is joy.
    Today is my 75th Birthday. First time in days, clear blue sky overhead. On this cold, crisp morning, two dozen geese flew over headed south. Louie (standard poodle) and I watched amazed. God is pulling me into a far deeper level of trust & dependence on Him which will result in joy!

  322. Susan Kasper says:

    The word that calls to me is – "Be" –
    it means to exist or be true, to have presence or live
    My 2 year old Grandaughter helped me to confirm this word. As I was thinking about being present – she yelled out the word b, b, b and then on the TV there was a bee flying around and then the letter b displayed all over the TV. I got my message.

    I will "Be" – I will be true – I will be present – I will live – I Am

  323. Nancy McInnes says:

    My word is Resonance. Big changes are coming this year, but I'm not sure of what they will be. Learning to really listen and sense when something touches my soul, then moving toward it is what I trust will guide me. Making time to listen and sense Resonance will be key.

  324. Bill says:

    My word is OPEN.

    It came to me in a dream this morning. I couldn't believe it…..5:09 am dreaming and at 5:10 awake with a revelation. To be honest, I think I had given up on the idea that a word would surface somehow from the sea of possibilities. Intellectually many words were appealing and possible but none felt authentic to the process. And then, it was there….open.

    "Open" and I are fast becoming friends and are already on the road to discovery.


  325. Denise says:

    The word 'presence awareness' came to me at first. I looked for confirmation and other words to appear but the idea of being aware of presence within and without grips my being for the year ahead.

    It's simplicity made me search for more and yet be satisfied with the now.

    I am looking toward what will be discovered on this journey of presence awareness.

  326. Susan Talbot says:

    My word is: REVITALIZE
    I quieted myself, even picturing myself in a desert setting waiting on a word to choose me. In that peaceful place this word popped into my mind, and as usual, I wondered if it was the one! But then I realized how it seemed to arrive out of nowhere (somewhere actually!) and rather than writhing over whether it was the ONE important word, I accepted it. The challenge is to allow God to work more vitality in me concerning my journey with Him and to exercise my writing and drawing talents more energetically for His glory!

  327. Marilyn says:

    My word is: FLOWING
    When I heard the song " Ever- Flowing " by Velma Frye during the advent retreat, the phrase " protect us from congealing " hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so shut down within and without. The song continues to call me day and night so I receive the word FLOWING as my call for 2013 …. to be open to God's transforming breath and let the flowing begin.

  328. Leanne says:

    "abide" is my word of the year.

    I've never done one of these before, but realized that one picked me late in 2011 for 2012 (that was "be present") … so gave it a shot. I signed up for your e-course, went off to chant Lauds and "inhabit" leapt into my mind mid-psalm. And I noodled on that, reviewed my year per your e-course, shared it with my Mum who declared it an "interesting" word … tried a different exercise another blogger suggested where "inhabit" popped up again ….

    And then yesterday, during the closing meditation at chair yoga, the instructor asked us to set an intention for the year. "I want to abide with you, Lord" popped into my head. And so, abide it is. I still need to run it by my spiritual director, but we don't meet until next week, but I'm feeling like this is a word that's chosen me.

    Today I shall unearth my camera and see if I can take a photo of something that exemplifies that either today on my walk or tomorrow…

  329. Teri D. says:

    "tending" a gentle discipline is what comes to mind when I think of this word. This is how I will be approaching positive changes in my life and deeper relationship w/Christ, finding purpose in my life.

  330. Rachel says:

    PURITY is my word for 2013.

  331. randi k says:

    My word is story. It's funny that I didn't see it sooner. I have always been a storyteller. I'm a docent at my local art museum and I'm always talking about the "story" behind the art. Or asking people if they want to hear the artist's story. I've kept a journal for years, so I'm also a story keeper, but never sought out what my particular story is or the stories in me that want to be written–so this year I'm embracing story, and writing stories, and poems and believing that my stories matter.

  332. Lois Perron says:

    I received a FB quote that helped me with finding a word.

    "Well done is better than well said" – Benjamin Franklin.

    "Service" – is my gentle reminder for growth and transformation through my actions as well as my being and thinking. There is a swinging back and forth that is important for my wholeness.

  333. jeanne says:

    Hi… I have so many words rolling over me that to choose seemed impossible. One Word only? Eek. Even sitting here writing, I still have not chosen . And when I am done writing this I will know.
    Last night reading Christine's news letter. I was struck in the heart with the poem by Hafiz
    Just sit here right now
    Don't do a thing
    Just rest
    For your separation
    From God is
    The harder work in the World.

    I started to cry. it was so unexpected and heart opening. I still feel the tears well just writing it and letting it pull at my heart.
    The word that chooses me for this year. STILLNESS.
    'Be still and know God.'

  334. Robyn says:

    My word took forever. I tried breathe, I tried stretch, I tried relax. Then I read suffuse in one of your posts.
    That was it. Suffuse. Bouyant, spread out, integrated.

  335. Beth Rose says:

    My phrase is: Natural Mysticism

    This has to do with the beauty and mystic features of nature itself as well as "following nature". I find myself back in my home town in MN – having moved back from Seattle. I received a mystical message that it was "time to go home" and within that contains a God-blessed family story. :-) My 1st full week back there was a beautiful snow fall – the 1st of the winter season. I walked out to a pier on a nearby lake at dusk. It appeared absolutely serene, calm, peaceful, and absolutely mystical. Out on that pier I felt closer to God than I have in a long while. I thanked him and the natural world for all the wonderful events and blessings in my life. Even though I continue to search for work and am down to my last few dollars – my heart and soul are content – knowing that I have listened and followed into this Natural Mysticism.
    I have a great picture that shows the place of which I speak. Happy to share if I knew how. :-)
    God bless you Christine and all that you do. I attended your Creative Spirit workshop this past summer out by Hood Canal. It was amazing! Thank you.

  336. Christine says:


    I have been reading a book by John O'Donohue titled Beauty: The Invisible Embrace.

    For a long time I have struggled with whether or not beauty has any purpose. As a visual designer, I often feel as though what we see has no meaning. Does it matter if the wall is gray or yellow?

    O'Donohue has helped me realize that beauty is a gift from God. Instead of pushing it aside and saying it has no significance, I want to be more aware of and grateful for beauty in 2013.

  337. Cindy R says:

    My word for 2013 is EMERGE — emerge from a year of grief and hard challenges, see what wants to emerge in me. In the Online Etymology Dictionary I found "rise out or up, bring forth, bring to light. The notion is of rising from a liquid by virtue of buoyancy. " And then I returned to this from Kathleen Dean Moore's book Wild Comfort: "There are waves—the chaotic movement of time and substance, change through time, the living and the dying, the striving and the giving up, the struggle for meaning and safety, this beauty and danger. There is water—the form of this, the transparent substance, the fact of lifting, that grace. Waves can dash us down. But water will hold us up."

  338. Colin P says:

    My word is 'await'.

    I thought it might be 'wait' but 'await' seems a more true reflection of where I am at the present moment in time. 'Await' feels more active and not simply a passivity to what may be this coming year. I feel no obligation to move myself in any particular direction as I am enjoying the present for what it is giving me right now.

  339. Deb says:

    I had this word in November, and then as I sat with it, it changed…but then it came back. It is SIMPLICITY. At the age of 62, I am feeling a strong urge to simplify my life, get rid of excess baggage, and bring a simple uncluttered joy to my life. It will require some work this year, but I'm game to begin!

  340. Janice MacLean says:

    My word is "here". I've held and let go a lot of words in the past days. Today I rushed into an email that was on my "to do" list and the receiver, in the way of a friend, reminded me that a "happy new year" might be in order. I asked, after I apologized, for wisdom on a word. Here. Here, has a lot to teach me,

  341. Marilyn Burrell says:

    This word attracts me. I'm not sure what it will teach me, but after a year of experiencing several significant losses, I wonder if I need to learn again how to rest, how to be at peace with what is and embrace simplicity.

  342. The word that keeps coming is "Reliance" as in "Reliance in God" rather than "Reliance is my awesome abilities" :). Recently I wake around 4am every morning with prayers going in my head for His hand to help with every detail of the coming day. This is something I haven't experienced since I was much younger and far less capable. The settlers moving across the plains referred to the moment they realized how far they really had to go as "seeing the elephant". I have seen the elephant

  343. My word for 2013: "attentiveness" — sort of like mindfulness in some situations, except I want to be attentive to the presence of God among us and within our hearts–wherever and in every moment. "Pay attention" to others, but also to the Holy Spirit within…

  344. Eve Davila says:

    My word for 2013 is " integrity" . I had several words that kept coming including Courage which was last year's word. Today suddenly Integrity just grabbed me.

  345. pam cox says:

    My word for 2013: "movement" to shift the way I feel, to be able to grow into the sensation, noticing inner feelings, and paying attention to the slow and steady movement of God.

  346. Anita says:

    My word for 2013 is ABIDE – "to be with".

    I love to "be with" friends, family, nature, etc…What I struggle with is "being with" solitude, emptyness, presence, silence – even as I LONG for these…
    So it is a paradox.
    My word is a reminder of what I treasure most, and what I struggle with the most.

  347. Nancy Delich says:

    My word for 2013: "ripeness" – with my Masters in Transforming Spirituality in Spiritual Direction from Seattle University and my doctorate degree to be completed in June 2013, there is a sense of fullness, readiness, and ripeness in the service of the Holy this year…

  348. Julia says:

    My word is presence. I hope to know God's presence more fully and then to be more present to others in truth and grace.

    • Julia says:

      My word has changed to what I originally thought it would be, "embrace." To me this active verb seems more positive and through it I hope to know God's presence more fully and be present to others.

  349. Lynn Whittaker says:

    My word for 2013 is 'wait'.

    I have been on a journey of deep grief which is leading me into discovering who I am and where I fit. It is a journey into mid-life spirituality. It is a journey which I would seek to hurry through yet I am being reminded continually to 'wait' – in the Presence of the One Who accompanies me, before making major, life-changing decisions – to 'wait' as all things come to fullness in God's time and not mine.

  350. E Tannesen says:

    I have heard my word spoken by my cat, dog, the coyotes at night. It prefaces so much in our animal hearts. It is "Oh".

  351. Ailsa says:

    My word for 2013 is "listen"

    The word is appearing in so many forms in all I am reading. This morning: "God leads me to still waters, that restore my spirit." Be still – and listen. I am looking forward to quiet moments and much listening during 2013.

  352. Madeleine says:

    My word is DETACHMENT.
    I have been surprised by the presence of many lizards recently, and have become aware of how they detach their tails when threatened. This has led me to ponder on how many times I drag old, negative 'stuff' with me, instead of detaching and allowing new growth to happen.

  353. Dale says:

    My word is BELIEVE.
    In the past I would pray but still have anxiety about what would happen.
    This year, through doing my own Lectio meditation with my journal daily, the word believe started leaping out at me. Huh!
    Believe is the next step of accepting real faith and living it.

  354. Deborah Abram says:

    Hi I had previously written that my word was Intregity but now I have discovered that my word is actually Enthusiasm. That is what I bring into the new year-enthusiasm.

  355. My word is still PRESENT to be present to all that is Sacred. To slow down enough to experience the holy in each moment. Because the Holy Presence exists in the present, not the future or past-NOW. 2013 is the year I am more present (with God's grace!).

  356. I am uncertain if I posted my word already. I have been enJOYing some unwellness and fuzzy thinkering this past week and have been extraordinarily blessed by my word, Enough, for 2013.

    I AM Enough. I HAVE Enough. I DO Enough. It IS Enough.

    So much of Life is missed in seeking MORE or regretting LESS than perfection. I am deeply content with Enough.

  357. Lilian Revel says:

    All of a sudden it hit me. It found me! My life is a holy LABYRINTH. To move toward the center I must trust God – I have no overview over the many twists and turns of the way, but I know it will take me to the center, to God, where I will basque in God's love and grace, renew myself, re-energize myself to move back towards the outside to fulfill whatever God's mission for me in God's kingdom might be. Only trust in God along the labyrinth's way will guide me to and from the center.

  358. Allison O'Gorman says:

    My word is 'courage' as I feel the time is almost ripe to step out into the unknown and find myself again. As I step out in faith, I believe I will feel 'the everlasting arms' underneath me, bearing me up. A wondrous path and adventure awaits!

  359. Brett Benson says:

    My word for 2013 is TRUST. I had health and relationship challenges in 2012. So I considered the word TRANSCEND, thinking that this year I will listen to the call of the divine indwelling and live from my highest self regardless of my worldly entanglements. But that word for me conveys a certain self-determinism and carries an energy of conquering or striving.

    I considered SURRENDER instead — as in surrendering to God's will for me without investing myself in a search for cause or meaning. But that word for me carries an energy of passivity or even defeat.

    So in 2013, I will TRUST God to provide the help and nourishment I need. I will TRUST God to open me to discover how He is at work in my life — even the parts of my life I wouldn't think to ask for.

  360. Carol Mazurek says:

    The word that keeps coming through is "trust" and "timing". When to hang on and when to let go. When to leap, when to wait. It is a struggle and hope a crisis doesn't need to occur to push me forward.

  361. Patty C. says:

    My word for 2013 is ENOUGH. I am enough. I have enough. Whenever I feel the darkness of scarcity and lack creep in, I remind myself, there is always enough.

  362. Esther says:

    My word is GRACIOUSNESS to try to help me not to sink into despondancy and not so gracious replies to others whom I feel may be ungracious to me and to try to practise this in our hopitality department!

  363. Richard Brux says:


    Streamlined, with deeply planted instinct.
    Maybe something about calling and having a body for low resistance.

    The past two years, my word has been a true companion of challenge and grace. Thanks to the Abbey for this community to witness our year-words.

  364. Susan says:

    My word for 2013 is gentle. It has become especially meaningful in my centering prayer time. It is the invitation to continue to return to the deep, abiding love always available to me. I trust at the end of the year I will see its impact as I did last year's word – Breathe. Amazing how that word and experience has transformed me, may Gentle have its way as well!

  365. Beverly Bienemann says:

    The word that has come to me is "abundance". 2013 will be the Year of Abundance. This has nothing to do with material or monetary things. It is rather an invitation that I live in an abundance of grace. I am also being invited to live from and in a place of abundance of love. The call is to be abundantly aware of the Holy Presence which surrounds me. Happy Abundant New Year to All!

  366. Shannon says:

    My word for this year is "hidden."

    I'm not sure what it holds for me, but it feels right and like a gift, and I'm eager to see what comes.

  367. Liz says:

    My word is STORY.
    To share my story
    to listen to stories
    to retell story
    to receive the wisdom of story
    to create story.

    In the telling of STORY, there is
    collecting of ideas, dreams, thoughts

    STORY honours
    the teller
    the listener
    the creator
    the essence

    The vessel in which the STORY is held may be

    Out of STORY emerges

  368. Laura says:

    My word is RELEASE, both in the sense of releasing/letting go of fears and lies of the past as well as being released into the fullness of life in which I have been called to live, being released into my calling. I created a little video for my word on my blog that posted today:

  369. Brandina says:

    My word for 2013 is "growth". It's been the main word that has come to mind over the past month or so when I would think about 2012 and all that happened and then about what 2013 held for me.

    Just that one word makes me feel excited – about what I will encounter over the next year, about the growth that I know I will experience. I have recently been making art a part of my daily life – and it has reached the point of almost being a necessity each day for me. Being creative, finding a way to express myself through visual renderings – it's something that I've felt a need to do for years, but only learned how to bring it out towards the last quarter of 2012. I can't wait to see how I grow artistically this year!

  370. deborah says:


    My word is journey…but not as a noun, as a verb…this year will be an incredible journey of self compassion, loving curiosity, and loving kindness. Today when I wrote up a list of tasks that needed to be done, I stopped, thought about it and then titled the list "steps on the journey." Everything I do will be thought of as another step into the mystery of life, whether it is paying bills or going on a retreat….I will be doing a lot of the jouneying within, a never ending source of new "sights and sounds!"

  371. Anita says:

    My word is 'Believe'.

  372. Barbara says:

    After much soul-searching, a chat with my spiritual director allowed a word to appear: BALANCE. Like the tightropewalker (I prefer the French word funambule), little adjustments to the way one walks keeps you on track. No extremes, just a few wee changes to my lifestyle and the longed-for balance will ensue. I long for the peace that a balance of the activities and forces that tug at me brings me. It is a quintessential Benedictine virtue. My last year's word(s) were second naivete and it has brought gifts of simplicity and joy that I hardly expected. You have to be like a child to play with balance.

  373. Cheryl says:

    It was so fun to see a "word" for the year in the list! I was visiting my daughter recently, and we passed a license plate that read "SimplyB". I KNEW in that moment THAT was my word for the year, days before I even saw this posting. However, within the week, it expanded to: "SimplyB Joyfull" Remembering to hear that phrase in my mind daily has already lightened my outlook and my spirit!

  374. Jillian says:

    For 2013, I want to SPEAK LOVE because I have been unable to for so very long. I have lived an emotionally shut life for over 50 years. Through God's grace, a miracle has occurred and all I want to do is reflect His unconditional love. Love, love, love.

  375. Cheryl Macpherson says:

    My word this year is space. It came to me over Advent while participating in the Advent retreat.I was waiting , praying and watching for what might be coming to birth in me and not seeing anything clearly until I realised that in fact what has been and is being birthed is simply that, "space." This birthing is ongoing. My part is to stay open to being an expression of Love in what ever form is given to me in the moment. A daily practice of allowing and surrendering to Mystery.

  376. Jo Ann Power DC says:

    I seem to have been walking in circles resisting the word it seems I need to accept.. it is SURRENDER… ouch!! If I am able to 'pick it up gently' I am sure it will be a wonderful companion and guide during the whole of 2013.

  377. Miracle is the word that has chosen me. I choose to see the miracles in and of life everyday.

  378. Marianne V says:

    The word that came to me is "emptying". It's very different from last year's word (captaincy). In fact, it's not a word that makes me feel comfortable, but I suspect that is the point … Thanks for this annual word invitation, Christine.

  379. jeannette says:

    My word is "learn". I am excited for the unfolding of what this will mean.

  380. Ananda Amritmahal says:

    Open Hands, Open Heart. Some years ago, this was the theme song to which my soul danced. Now, as I take on anew role, with new responsibilities, I hear again the old invitation to welcome into my world, all that life brings me, trusting that all of it – happy, sad, affirming and fulfilling, challenging and stress-filled, painful and even devastating – bears within it the seeds of new life and growth.

  381. Mary Kerns says:

    My word for 2013 is OPEN.
    I am opening like a flower and my heart, mind and soul need to be OPEN to God's presence. I need to be OPEN, willing and ready to be and to do what is put before me. I need to be OPEN most of all to the Divine Love and let it flow in AND out of me. I need to be OPEN to grow and create, to create and share the Divine Love, the God within me.

  382. Sharon Mungo says:

    I have been practicing Centering Prayer for a long time. My word for years was Amen…so be it. Then during a lengthy and recent upheaval, surrender chose me. My SD pointed out that perhaps I was preparing/needing to let go of something. She was right. I spent Advent on that journey and came to see with clarity where the Lord was leading and the bunch I had to let go of (still in process:). However, the decision was made, I am at peace with it, doing the next right thing, praying away the emotions that come with letting go and focusing on the "knowing" where I am being led. So….this morning a new phrase was born in me. 'All is well'….from Julian of Norwich.
    That is a word born from 'knowing', not from knowing. As I say/write it, I can feel it settling in my bones.
    Once again thank you Christine for your holy work. I wonder what the desert mothers/ fathers would say about spiritual direction on an IPad:)

  383. Mandy Gero says:

    The word that chose me this year is AMAZED. Every rhythm of life contains breath amazed; this ever dawning glorious light!

  384. Martha Brunell says:

    My word is "release." While making my way through this online retreat, I had a very difficult day in a challenging place of work. Waking in the middle of the night, I was filled with two words: Let Go!!! The following day as I stood at the window wondering how to compress "let go" into one word, "release" simply tapped me on the shoulder. It has already danced its way across pages in my journal and promises to be a sturdy companion with a light touch in coming months. Thank you and Happy Epiphany. Martha Brunell

  385. Susan says:

    the word that found me is Trust. I have difficulty trusting when I don't know what is coming next. This will be an exciting year to learn how to completely trust that God knows what He is doing in my life.

  386. Susan Hager-Smith says:

    My word is LEAP INTO THE FIRE. Some other things were shimmering and considering … read about a stellar Latin teacher in Seattle whom students called Nora Incitata… hem incitata… was writing some work goals with a friend and tried to write start a private practice of counseling and it came out PIRATE practice… hem…

  387. Peggy says:

    I know the word for me this year is compassion. It is becoming an invitation from God to enter into the deepest parts of God in Christ growing into that love and woundedness to share with my world.

  388. My word is "speak your wisdom". I have been on an incredible journey of healing for the past 33 years, beginning with a near death/out of body experience followed by a 12 step recovery program and some non-traditional therapies such as Movement Therapy, Jungian Dream Work and expression through Art. These therapies were available when I attended Seattle University in 1985-86. Today, I continue on the path the Lord has opened for me. Also, much of my healing continues in my connection to nature. I am so grateful!

  389. Jillian says:

    Despite myearlier doubts, my word has been insistent , cropping up all over the place. The word is COLOR. The final emphasis came just moments ago as I read the John O'Donohue excerpt on this website……

    When your eyes freeze behind the grey window
    And the ghost of loss gets into you,
    May a flock of colors, indigo, red, green
    And azure blue, Come to awaken in you
    A meadow of delight.

    May the significance for me of COLOR unfold throughout the year. One evocative thought is that in Christ, darkness and light meet and become color.

  390. Ruth Ann says:

    Vulnerable is the word I keep slamming into and can no longer avoid. I AM vulnerable, whether I like it or not, whether I choose to be or not. What would it look like if I were to become voluntarily vulnerable?

  391. Mary says:


    On a recent retreat we reflected on the unnamed women of scripture; the woman with the hemoragge, Peter's mother-in-law, etc. The unifying elements these women possessed were: courage, integrity, a sense of human and lastly, vision. This word has taken root in me as the needed element for myself to move forth actively in desire for authentically expressed, spirit infused living!

  392. Charlotte says:

    The word that has chosen me is BLOOM. For the past year I have tended the garden and used the herbs to heal and comfort others. This year is time for me to bloom, to tend my creative juices and make a salve for my soul.

  393. Jill says:

    My word or words is "holy listening", taking more time to sit and ponder with the Holy Mystery in nature and beyond………….more and more lately I have noticed the synchronicity of specific words or phrases, this is going to be a year of excitement and expectation and a letting go so that I can become who I was always meant to be.

  394. Deb says:

    My word for 2013 is DELIGHT.
    This is an inviation each day to delight in God's goodness, in discovering all the gifts, joy and abundance waiting there.

  395. Ellen Ratmeyer says:

    My word is ENOUGH. I will dwell with this word throughout the year….letting is show me the way to a transforming way of being with myself and being in the world. I pray to release what is no longer needed….making space for the Holy.

    • Jo Alexander says:

      Ellen, I had to smile when i read your word – enough.
      Four years ago, I used it in its Italian form, basta! Enough, Stop!

      With it, I dealt with all the weeds in my life and soul, well, most of them, anyway.
      I hope you harvest as much spiritual freedom with your word as basta afforded me.


  396. Vicky says:

    Shine is the word that leaped out at me during a small group two days ago. I have a sense it is going to be an interesting word to live in to this year. "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you."

  397. Claire says:

    FREEDOM. For so many years, I've felt I was in a perceputal box. I knew there was so much more out there than I could "see." I knew that my own paradigms we penning me in. But I couldn't figure out how to see beyond my neurological, cultural and constitutional blindnesses. Then Temple Grandin, bless her autistic heart, opened up another world to me. For me, freedom from my old box is the breath of life. Thank you Temple for your perseverance, discipline and kindness to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing your world and enlarging all of ours. Thank you for breaking me out of my box.

  398. gwen says:

    STOP: Listen

  399. Mikki says:

    A few words popped into my head while walking on a cold yet bright winter's afternoon: "patience," "quiet," "kindness." They all sounded good, but somehow they sounded not quite right, as if they were words for years past. Then about three minutes away from my home the word "curiosity" popped into my head, and that word made me smile. The smile let me know that was the word for this time, and I see that even more than kindness, I need to approach those sides of me I don't want to see with curiosity. "What is this?"

  400. Fe says:

    My word is MINDFULNESS.

    M inding mind, minding action, moving with external alertness brings
    I nternal alertness
    N oting every in and out breath
    D evelops the muscles of concentration and awareness
    F ull concentration and right mindfulness brings
    U nderstanding, insight or Holy Spirit
    L etting go of the past, letting go of the future, full conservation of energy
    N oting the troubled thoughts and emotions that linger and
    E mbracing
    S miling to them, may eventually bring
    S erenity as thoughts slow down, a transformative path to happiness is revealed

  401. Melanie Taormina says:


  402. Diana Kekule says:

    my word is:

    "Walk in Spirit"

    To "Walk in Spirit" means deliberately moving through one's life journey with the highest ideals ever-present. This divine act embraces all the virtues of LOVE ~ Joy, Grace, Blessings, Thanksgiving, Peace, Harmony, Unity, Truth, Beauty, Wisdom, Freedom, Abundance, Praise, Inspiration, Magic, Power and Glory. This devoted path requires the purity and power of COURAGE, as we share ourselves openly with community. It truly is a life-long passage of our True Selves in unity with God.

    Bright Blessings!

  403. Joan says:

    "Contentment" has reached out and chosen me by encircling me in her arms. As I breathe deeply…I feel myself relax… and smile. I know 2013 is beginning in the way it's meant to… for me….as Im led forward.

  404. Jodi says:


    To become more aware of Gods presence and voice within and around me.

  405. Katie says:


    For me this means cultivating and becoming; it means allowing time for opening and growth no matter how small. To bud means the small act of beginning to blossom into myself.

  406. Cassandra says:

    Promise- This is my same word from last year and I resisted it, but as I unpacked it using the 12 day Mini-Retreat I realized how different this word will be used in my life this year. Glad to have this community to share 'words' with!

    P-present journey
    R- roads leading
    O- out
    M-moving me
    I-in to
    S- see the
    E- extravagance

  407. Susan Richmond says:


  408. My 2013 word: HEART-WORKS
    For me, the word engenders both inner and outer work. Inwardly, I will allow my heart to work at its best-openly and compassionately. Outwardly, I will allow my heart to work through me as a woman, hospice nurse, and artist.

  409. Anne Dobbs says:


    I came upon this word when reading through one of my favorite spiritual memoirs, When the Heart Waits, by Sue Monk Kidd. Trying to wait patiently for my word, I knew immediately when I read it…it finally had come.
    "The way to bloom and grow our true self (spiritual flowering) is to confront our false selves – the ego patterns we have created – and to come home to who we really are inside."

  410. […] rather issues the invitation—each year to find, select, choose (but really be chosen by) a word for the new year. I have taken this challenge for a couple of years…and been wrong about my word […]

  411. Sharon Mungo says:

    Well, I tried out 'All is well' for a few days and feel more comfortable with 'Amen'. I guess I have moved past 'surrender' which lived there for awhile….back to 'Amen'. So….I shal use Julian's 'and all shall be well…al manner of things shall be well, as a mantra or prayer sentence. Amen returns as my sacred word.

  412. Laurie says:

    My word for 2013 is HEART.

  413. Audrey says:

    My word is REMEMBER. I often read about being present and talk about being present. I even write poems about being present but somehow find it very difficult to remember to be present. So here's to remembering in 2013.

  414. Sharon says:

    BALANCING is my word for this year. "-ing" for the continuousness of this act that strengthens core muscles.

  415. Linda says:

    My (compound) word is whole-hearted.

  416. Terry says:

    I had planned Enoughness as my word but upon sitting by the sea and reflecting, the word TRUST settled into my being. Trust in what the universe has to offer me as well as working on trusting myself.

  417. Randy says:

    My word for the year is CONNECT. I will continue to make a conscious decision and act of connection to my God. No matter where I am in life, I will continuously maintain my connection to my God of my understanding. During victories or dealing with life's curve balls, God first and always.

  418. Linda says:

    At first I was pretty confident that the word "courage" had chosen me for 2013. It made me a little uneasy….what may be asked of me, that I would need courage for. Yet I know I need to make some changes in certain areas of my life. My difficulty is in knowing what direction I am being nudged to go. So then, the word "reveal" popped out at me… in being at peace, that it will be revealed to me…..much like Christine's encouragement to stop grasping…..what comfort and reassurance that gave me. I'm still not sure that I feel one word more strongly than the other, so I'll continue to hold both of them for a while.

  419. Candace says:

    There is no doubt that the word for me this year is "balance." I've already purchased a candle with "Balance" printed on its holder. Now that my eyes and heart are in search of it, I'm already beginning to see it appear in numerous places! Thank you for this opportunity and encouragement to pursue it and live it.

  420. Karen says:

    Traveling on my camel this year of 1013 with the word, Sphinx.

  421. Sister Mary says:

    My word is TRANSITION as I transition from a more active life to a more contemplative lifestyle. My Symbol for this is the caterpillar to butterfly.

  422. Liz says:

    "True" is my word for 2013. This is the year to be true to myself and my spirit.

  423. Deb.Kirkpatrick says:

    It is a phrase that has found me this year. I have been in a silent retreat for Nov and Dec in the Sonoran Desert…. the phrase that has come to me is "Surrender into the joy and freedom of my true nature"….. The part that is interesting to me is you would think that it is easy to surrender into joy….but I can see that this will be the shape of my journey as I continue the sabbatical that I am on. I am at the ocean now for three months….exploring all the nuances of this phrase. It would seem the word 'surrender' would suffice….but it doesn't. The important part for me is that to which I am surrendering…. the joy and freedom of my true nature.

  424. Marilyn says:


  425. Deb says:

    Power. Power made perfect in weakness. Power, as Simone Weil says, is used always for good or for evil. Power, which in Gk. is dynamis, from which we get our word dynamic or dynamite.

  426. Lisa Blinn says:

    As I reflected in the first few days of practice, I truly thought my word for 2013 was simply Thresholds; I am undergoing an incredible amount of changes in my life and all of them are in preparation for the next chapter. I've planned and analyzed and thought and mused; there are vision boards and action plans. However, then, like a bolt of lightening, I realized the word is Serendipidity. Without looking for and allowing for the Divine to enter in when I least expect it this year, I may miss the big lessons, small graces, and beauty in the year. Serendipidity on my lips and in my heart this year!

  427. lorette says:

    ….embellish….not just to live my life…but to embellish it every day with smiles and thoughts….to notice the little gifts nature strews in our path….to share goodness with those that connect no matter how briefly with me….to whisper thanks for the comfort and security in our lives….embellish!

  428. Jane Wirth says:

    My word for 2013 PURGE…"to become clean, clear".

    To lay aside the attitudes and literal, physical things that slow me down like an anchor dragging. Things that keep me from my painting, gardening, writing. I think of the unfinished projects of my Mom who died almost 20 years ago…my husband's aunt, my ex-husbands grandmother! Time to purge them from my closets and drawers along with unneeded clothes, papers, etc., so they won't continue to whisper, "You have to finish me before you can go out and play."

    • Janet Servis says:

      Thank you Jane. Your whispers have played over and over again in my head. Yes, for me purging things is good, purging thoughts is ever more beneficial. Your words have helped clarify the answer to a question I have been praying about. Now is the time time to become clean and clear and make the right choice for me. Time to purge!

  429. Cindy says:

    On December 29, 2012, I went to the beach to gain clarity on my word-of-the-year. After listening to the waves and journaling…my word-of-the-year is RELEASE. I journaled on the following questions; What do I need to release to be spiritually nurtured? What do I need to release to be physically nurtured? What do I need to release to be emotionally nurtured? What do I need to release to be mentally nurtured? The insights were illuminating and I felt a jolt of vulnerability.

  430. jansie says:

    "Open" is it. Open to life, open my eyes, open my ears, open my heart, open to the god within.

  431. Barb says:

    A word popped out at me this year when I was taking stock of many things that I am grateful for and that word is UNLEARNING. I am very grateful for the things I am unlearning in my life… and there are many more to come. The word unlearning describes the beginning of the second half of my life and I will embrace it's call to paradox, wisdom and freedom this year.

  432. Marti says:

    NATURE – it represents God to me.

  433. Sandy Hernandez says:

    In recent months I have struggled with too many things at once – all of my choosing. Recently I've decided to de-clutter my life, lighten the load – most of which is unnecessary, both in material things and in complicated relationships. I've been thinking of de-clutter being my word but I think SIMPLIFY sits better at this point. It feels right for me right now. My daughter, whose been living in my home, is married now and moving away, my partner and I are speaking of changes in our relationship that will encourage our spiritual growth, and my art and photography continue to ask me to spend more time doing what I love. So Simplify, I believe will help with all.

  434. Peggy says:

    The word that slipped into my consciousness and stayed there with certainty is "Transformation." The wheels of that had already started to turn in late 2012, but it's starting to move into its real momentum now. I think it is going to be an exciting year!

  435. Judy Locher says:

    My word is Peace. It is what I need now, and at the end of my life.
    It will help me trust God.

  436. Lynda says:

    My word is "breathe" , vital to life and a reminder of the spirit which gives us life, how we breathe slowly when we are at peace, rapidly when excited or scared. A capacity essential to all life on earth.

  437. Kate says:

    My word for 2013 is "current," as in, fluid; the magnitude and direction of flow. Wikipedia describes it as "a continuous, directed movement of ocean water generated by the forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences and tides caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun."

  438. My word is really a phrase, or several phrases: a TSUNAMI of joy, hope compassion, love, contentment. (I had a dream: I was on the North Shore of Lake Superior—a favorite place—heading for a friend's house, when I spied a tsunami coming from directly in front of me. I braced, and then let go, and when I opened my eyes, it had dissipated. I felt that grace had descended on me. (And, interestingly, a mini-tsunami—which does occur with some regularity on the Great Lakes—is called a seiche.)

  439. Kate Jones says:

    When we meet in person or spiritually, "Namaste" embraces each of us, wherever we are on our journey. So much expressed in a single word.
    A blessing…hope…promise…friendship…oneness…eternity……..
    It was first expressed in a less complex world. My journey starts there. When shared, it is a gift most precious. "That which is holy within me, bows to that which is holy within you. When you are in your holy place, and I am in mine, we are as one." Once uttered we connect with humanity and the divine.

  440. Janet Servis says:

    ALCHEMY – A medieval chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea, and the preparation of the elixir of longevity.

    A allusive
    L learning
    C charged with
    H heavy
    E emotions
    M manifesting
    Y yammer

    I begin this year challenged by this word, for I am part of a community where this word is central for it is the theme of a conference to be held later this year. I am taking this weekend to prayerfully consider if I want to continue to serve on this committee. Is it any wonder that the word the word I see as I write this is PURGE – to become clean, clear though whispers of “you have to finish me before you can go out and play” initially attracted me. Yes, the answer it right in front of me. Will I have the courage to make that choice? Letting go of my ego and trusting transformation is possible, I open myself to a new alchemy…

    A attracting
    L love
    C changing
    H hearts
    E each day
    M mindfully
    Y yearingly

  441. Priscilla says:

    I have been spending time searching for the right word. None of the words I came up with really grabbed me.

    Today the word 'soften' came to me. Hmmm… yes. I will now contemplate what this word can mean in my unfolding as the new year progresses.

  442. caren Teichmann says:

    The word for 2013 is "poetry."

  443. Lee says:

    My word for the year is "senex" which is the masculine equivalent of "crone" — I want to cherish my aging process this year … the great gift of wise aging is becoming more childlike, I suspect. Something which Nicodemus in the gospel finds hard to swallow.

  444. Donna says:

    My word is 'audacity'.

  445. Janet says:


    Taking time to be more aware, more appreciative that all is wondrous.

  446. Gay Getz says:

    My word is "LIGHT". A friend posted a poster with the words "Travel LIGHT, live LIGHT, spread the LIGHT, be the LIGHT". My husband and I have just retired, and I feel the need to LIGHTEN up, LIGHT up, live in the LIGHT, reflect the LIGHT…so many applications of one word to explore!

  447. patricia boutilier says:

    My word for this year is mystery. Allowing what is unknown and unrevealed come forth…new gods, new altars, a space to contain all that is. All is mystery…life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived. No longer wishing to fix myself, but to accepy myself with my quirks, imperfections, and gifts.

  448. Julie says:

    My word for this year is rest. I struggled with the acceptance of this word since my life is so active; however when I stopped to remember my word last year was music and when I think of a REST (my word for this year ) in music, I realize it is a time to take a breath. This meaning of rest totally resonates with me as a monk in the world.

  449. Jan says:

    Abide ~ dwell, remain, accept, stay. It seems like a lovely old-fashioned word…abide with me, goes the evening hymn. A part of me is savouring this word, another part resisting, as I wrestle with acceptance in some areas of my life. For now, I 'abide' with this word as I walk the river paths.

  450. Mary says:

    Creative is my word for 2013. Many of my things I want to try and do are not new to my list. I want to be willing to try new and creative ways to live, love and laugh.

  451. Robert Close says:

    My word for 2013 Awakening

    I want to be more conscious, lovingly present to each moment
    of the sacrament of life ,awake and aware of the Presence all around,
    about and within us.


  452. Sr Nancy says:

    My word is STAR and it finally came on the feast of the Epiphany. I will look for the star in each day pointing to Jesus.

  453. Cathy Roby says:

    Greetings…my hearts word is "Cuilidh" pronounced cool-ee which is a Gaelic word meaning treasury,sanctuary,retreat or secret hiding place for precious things. I pray in this year of 2013 that my heart becomes a cuilidh for all of the precious things that the Lord wants me to hold true. Peace and blessings….

  454. Nancy says:

    transcendence ….. Going to sit with this one for a bit(hopefully under the
    Winter sky!) it's meaning for me is coming slowly. Happy New Year to you all!

  455. Ann says:

    Adore. With the help of tbe Holy Spirit I will try to keep the spirit of adoration within me that it may keep me humble before my God who loved me into being.

  456. Jo Alexander says:

    Artemisia, both the artist and the plant.
    Artemisia Gentileschi was an amazing artist in a time when women in the arts were considered an inappropriate intrusion. Her paintings clearly state that she understood strength and suffering … and beauty. Sometimes that beauty was horrific.
    The many plants, artemesia, are also strong and hardy, tolerant of adverse conditions, yet they can possess soft or silvery foliage. Their leaves dance hypnotically and beautifully in the breeze.
    As an artist and a gardener, I hope to learn from both Artemisias this year.

  457. Teena Lurlene says:

    Pace….pace changes all things…At what Pace shall I move to accomplish this task Divine one? At first I thought it was slow down…but then I realized that that is directive…if I change it to a question…I am connected…if I listen…then I am guided. A blessed Epiphany to you all.

  458. Journey is my word for 2013

  459. My word is DEVOTION. I'm guided to profound dedication to the beauty way.

  460. Kristine says:

    My word for 2013 is LOVE….It is the desire of my heart that I deepen my understanding of its vast & varied meanings & applications to my life…. That I increase in knowing that nothing can separate me from God's love; increase in my awareness of God's loving presence ; and that I increase in my receptivity to receiving His love & my ability to pour that love out to others…. LOVE is the Key that can open any door, any heart!

  461. Hannah says:

    Hi, My word for 2013 is Light. I will with Gods help move from Darkness to Light, I will carry my cares lightly, and will feel Light in myself, I will welcome each day's dawn and praise the Light.

  462. Pia says:

    "Fix your eyes on Jesus" Hebr. 12:2 – This word was given me for the new year and confirms me in the task of new evangelization. Jesus is the light, the life, the truth. Jesus guides my life.

  463. Laurie says:

    My word is "behold." I feel like God is telling me to keep my eyes open for something new, and I have a sense of wonder and anticipation as I wait for what he will reveal in the coming year.

  464. Cindy says:

    This year I was sure that my word would be grateful because being grateful opens my heart. However, as I read through other monks' words and saw the word 'soften' I knew that was it…to soften my approach, my words, my attitude and to soften the razor standard I hold myself to.

    I am grateful to the person who shared 'soften' and thank you to all for sharing your word for the year.

  465. Angie says:


  466. Shelley says:

    Sing! Sing praise, sing aloud, sing joyfully, 'let Heaven and Nature sing,' 'tune my heart to sing Your grace!, 'sing Your songs in me.'

  467. Brynn Morris says:

    After a time of waiting, ripening, my word finally found me earlier this week – Pause. I'm still sitting with it, listening, but it both comforts and daunts me at the same time. I hear it as an invitation to make space in my busy routine for silence, breathing, inner reflection. I also hear it as an invitation to stop running from some painful things, allow the transformation that comes from entering fully into the pain, and wait on God's leading in this and not create my own agenda.

  468. MaryEllen says:


  469. Joyce says:

    "Confiance" French for "trust." It leaps out at me from every side. When Jesus says
    "Come and see" in the Gospels of the last three days, one must have "confiance." All
    of Therese de Lisieux's thought is permeated with "confiance". May it be so for me.

  470. MaryEllen says:

    Certainty, the nub of assurance in the maelstrom.

  471. Edelle says:

    My word is ALIVE. Too often this last year I felt dead, almost like a corpse going through the motions of a life. No way to live! I struggled in my choice of words between TRUST and ALIVE, finally coming to see the tremendous TRUST necessary to be truly ALIVE. It feels safer and oh so much sadder to retreat into something less than real life. GOD calls us to Live fully ALIVE. I will answer that call as fully as I am able in 2013.

  472. Ruth says:

    My word is ACCEPTANCE. It is the word that found me and stayed with me. It requires me to surrender to what is and to accept what is. It is a time for me to become smaller so that I can be eyeball to eyeball with smaller things, subtle feelings, often unseen but important beings, and savor them. With Acceptance I can move forward.

  473. Nancy Donatelli says:

    Hi Christine—my word for 2013 is RE-BIRTH! My Mom died in the fall and I loved her so much!! I am learning TO BE in a different way and I am being very quiet, hermit-like in order to learn how to communicate in a new, different and creative way. My roll has now changed and my prayer is to transform in a NEW way

    Nancy ox

  474. Rosie Benjamin says:

    EXPLORE. To take off my fear like clothing, take a long breath and dive deep. There are treasures in that cool darkness we call mystery – riches stored in secret places. Deep has called, the breakers are waiting to take me down, I just need to dive in and EXPLORE.

  475. Kimberly says:


    I'm feeling the cumulative effects of decades of meditation, retreats and opening to life are finally bringing me to fruition.

  476. Sheila says:

    The word that has come to me is WONDER. Both in the sense of the verb of asking questions, wondering where life will lead me this year and also to cultivate a sense of wonder. I want to be more present to appreciate the wonder in small moments each day and to re-kindle my curiosity about creation,people, life and God!

  477. Mellow is the word that rose within me near the end of December as my word for the year. One always arrives unbidden and I know to honor it. This is a beautiful word for me, lovely on the tongue yet challenging to my busy, productive life. May the Mellow be with you!

  478. Janet says:

    My word is not what I expected. It is HARVEST. Evidently what has been planted and nurtured over many years of growth and change is about to yield a crop. This surprising word deserved research and I see it's a season, a product, and an action. I am grateful for all that has been and all that is to come. Blessings!

  479. Anne Darling says:

    My word is GENTLE. I need to bring this word into my actions, my words, my thoughts. Gentle in my conversations, gentle in my actions, gentle with myself, gentle in my work, when I play, gentle when driving even! I am so very happy this word chose me because it gives me the chance to allow love to enter into my life, particularly when the word 'love' seems too big for me to attempt.

  480. Kimberly says:


    After decades of meditation, retreat and responding to challenges I'm feeling their cumulative effects coming to fruition.

  481. For the past three years I've attended the Interfaith Community Sanctuary's (Ballard-Seattle, WA) New Year's Day Inention setting service. This year I came with three words in mind relating to caring for my health better since I struggle with low immunity issues, accepting and flowing with life, and blooming (where or how I'm planted), as I let go of the first half of my life career and try new meaningful pursuits. We were guided to choose one intention word (which of course I resisted), a word that was a feeling, a gerund-ing word so it's an active process. Well, the word arrived gently and broke down my stubbornness. We were invited to introduce ourselves to others using our word. Let me introduce myself, I am welcoming. I welcome all this year: the invited, not-so-invited and uninvited (of course, uninvited-intentionally shouldn't occur) guests whether they are people, challenges, joys, annoyances or anything in my life, including this viral bronchitis I came down with around Christmas. All is gift and I believe all "works together for good." One gift of the virus, which seemed to lift last night, maybe not coincidentally on the Twelfth Night, was I read Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance.

  482. Win says:

    The word that is pregnant with meaning for me is FORGIVENESS. In the last quater (to use a football image) of my life I hope to ask forgiveness and offer forgiveness with abundant love.

  483. Dale says:

    Believe in the promise God makes to us.
    Believe in the ability to

  484. Nancy Flowers says:

    This year's word has been so illusive. I have journaled, scribbled, meditated and struggled. Then today, Epiphany, it came by way of the Henri -Frederic Amiel quote—-MYSTERY. Perfect timing. Thanks, Christine.

  485. Ann says:

    My word is congruence. That is the way I want to live this year in congruence with my belief's

  486. Liz White says:

    A poem inspired by my word, Enclosure~

    Enchanted in my enclosure, nature has its way with me.
    Close by, always, the keys for letting in and out.
    Only noticing when I have let my guard down-
    So frightening then, underneath all that I fear, until I remember
    Enchantment has returned to my Enclosure.

  487. Betsey Beckman says:

    Go where your soul is leading you! xoxo

  488. The word for me is: "It's time." For forty years as a Christ-follower I have kept in the shadows a person, an Eagle woman, with a vision. Yet, I realize now that I was being formed into the shape of the vision and as I waited for the shape to form, I held onto Habakkak 2:2-3. What I hear in this new year: "It's time." Now, I own the Eagle woman that He has shaped and come out of the shadows . . . For, I now hear and know: "It's time."

  489. Marie says:

    The word that has chosen me is "steps" – at this moment this seems to be speaking to me in a painting I'm working on – and it keeps surfacing in daily life.

  490. Elaine says:

    My word is incandescent. It stands for the love light that illuminates each human face if only we choose to see it.

  491. Judy Senter says:

    The word that chose me is "Discovery." It grabbed me when I read this sentence written by Peggy Tabor Millin: "….commit to a life of perpetual discovery." On this journey of discovery, I jump off my familiar path and take the one that is full of surprises and uncertainties.

  492. Illuminate~ For myself and others. When I turn on my light to remember who I am, others nearby receive light also. When we illuminate our essence, it cannot be contained. It seeps out under closed doors, through closed blinds, or even if our eyes are shut, we still see some light. This year I want to share my essence like a crystal chandelier!

  493. Anne says:


    That which nourishes my body, mind and soul.
    That is of which I will partake of this year.

  494. Hollis says:

    From sinking into this word during Advent , I realize that life is asking me to linger a bit longer in THRESHOLD, where I'll trample the unknown!

  495. kj wuest says:

    Savor what has been, what is now, and the possibilities and opportunities ahead.
    Savor being present to this moment, myself, my grief and my joy.
    Savor where I am and the wonder of what surrounds me–water, mountains, trees, rivers, all of it.

  496. Aria says:

    ALLOW is the word resonating with me now as I work with doorways and thresholds. To let go of resistance and allow the unfolding.

  497. Colleen says:

    My word is HEAL. My spirit has been hurting for sometime as I did everything I could to detach with love while remaining in my marriage with an alcoholic husband. March will be the one year anniversary of our separation. I continue to struggle with letting go and letting God, moving through the grief process to acceptance and forgiving myself for the part I played in our troubled relationship. Being a part of the Abbey of the Arts has given me many resources that help me daily to experience peace and serenity. Thank you Christine. And thank you Louise for leading me to her.

  498. Marlene says:

    Since 2011's word was "listen"; somehow "open" has continued to hold my attention…………the open door; open heart; etc.

  499. Naomi says:

    The word FRIENDSHIP came to me through a dream, specifically friendship with Jesus, and what that means. Friends help each other out. Not only will I receive help when I ask, but also I am to give help to friends of my Friend who may be in need or trouble. That's what friends do.

  500. Maribeth says:

    My word for this year is "shifting". I am shifting from mothering & homeschooling as my primary time & energy pattern to an openness to
    new possibilities as my children are growing up.

  501. Anita says:

    The word that has lept out at me is MOVE. I've been hiding comfortably behind a respectable occupation for too long and holiday visits with old friends as well as family have urged me to reconsider many things.

  502. Audrey says:

    My word started calling to me in the second half of 2012. As the new year rolled in I heard it again, more insistent this time. POSSIBILITY, as in looking at the possibility that life contains more than we can see or hear, more than science has acknowledged, more than I have believed.

  503. Deb says:

    The word that came this year is Stillness. I speaks to me of refuge, solitude, reflection, calm and giving time to going within.

  504. I may have put my word for 2013 in a different location…so I speak it out once again. My word for 2013 is Rooted. Having moved more than 23 times my soul longs to be rooted to place and in Spirit. I am expectant for all the new ways that I will encounter nature, community and God in this new beginning.

    Thank you for this blog and all that goes into it. It truly is a gift to my soul.

    May you have many Breakthroughs in 2013!

  505. Anneclaire says:

    It's words, not just a word! But at this time in my journey these words are healing me, supporting me, nourishing me and filling me with peace and gratitude:

    Anneclaire, you are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.

  506. Susan says:

    The word phrase that has chosen me is "life-giving tension." I thought and believed for so long that if my life was tension-free all was well with my soul. A shift is taking place and I'm being invited to live the tension in a centered way. I sense a realigning happening in my whole being – hallelujah!

  507. Mona says:

    My word is "Patience". Things take time here to manifest in Hawai'i, so I am learning to let go of expectations and know that when it is time, my positive thoughts will take fruit.

  508. Wendy says:

    My word is Surrender. It came to me on a contemplative walk with my mother in the falling snow a couple of days after Christmas. I was searching for a word in the wild and named words as I walked, such as Spacious, Radience, Deep, Stirring. But they were words I thought of as I walked, words I wanted. Then I turned a corner, and ever so quietly, I heard "Surrender"; then even quieter after that I heard "Mercy". It took me awhile to discern, but it was Surrender that chose me. I think Mercy chose to accompany my word with me. Perhaps it is only through Mercy that Surrender is possible.

  509. Barbara L Miller says:

    My word for 2013 is PASSION. It is my year to follow my passions in love, creative arts, writing and grandparenting.

  510. Sibylle Batten says:

    My word is "daring" – it challenges me to take risks in all kinds of ways, be braver, open to change, maybe a bit feisty, speak out my truth.

  511. Linda M says:

    After time spent first trying out another word, EMBRACE choose me during a walk along the bluffs above the ocean several days ago. Yes! It feels right to embrace what the moment brings. I am ready for the journey.

  512. Janet Servis says:

    noticed a few typos so here's a corrected copy:

    ALCHEMY – A medieval chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea, and the preparation of the elixir of longevity.

    A allusive
    L learning
    C charged with
    H heavy
    E emotions
    M manifesting
    Y yammer

    I begin this year challenged by this word, for I am part of a community where this word is central for it is the theme of a conference to be held later this year. I am taking this weekend to prayerfully consider if I want to continue to serve on this committee. Is it any wonder that the word I see as I write this is PURGE – to become clean, clear. Whispers of “you have to finish me before you can go out and play” initially attracted me. Yes, the answer is right in front of me. Will I have the courage to make that choice? Letting go of my ego and trusting transformation is possible, I open myself to a new alchemy…

    A attracting
    L love
    C changing
    H hearts
    E each day
    M mindfully
    Y yearningly

  513. joanna says:

    My word is : NOW

    I was given this word to remind me that everything God gives me now is enough….to remind me that He wants me to be present to today…not the regrets of yesterday or the urgent planning for tomorrow….that He holds me in His hands now….
    This word continues to unfold more meanings as I dwell with it.

  514. Tonja Reichley says:

    In 2013 I will RECEIVE. The gifts of silence, Divine presence and all that is.

  515. Carol Mills says:

    Thank You for changing my word from "Abundance" to "Allowing"…..

    I love the sound and feeling of this word….and it opens me to Allowing mystery, transformation, being fully alive in every moment……and it allows things to fall apart with Grace.

  516. Marjorie says:

    My word for 2013 is "hospitality". This word definitely found me at the end of 2012 and into 2013. I look forward to exploring its many meanings, including "hospitality for the soul."

  517. Tanya pike says:


  518. Delores says:

    Hi Christine,

    Blessings on your new journey. Ireland is on our list of places we desire to visit.
    As for my word for 2013, it came to me in that wonderful place between sleep and awakening after seeking it for weeks ~ "Wonder". My words for the previous three years have been colour, beauty and paint.

    2013 holds a lot of wonder and Wonder, a beautiful word to accompany me on this creative journey.

    May your breakthroughs be filled with wonder …

  519. Pam says:

    Amongst the ancient Greeks, a threshold was a place of the unexpected spiritual manifestations, a place to be approached with care and ready protection. It is a sacred space, a transitioning space.
    The word I choose is NUMINOUS, from the Latin numen, numinis meaning the spirit at work, the divine will impacting our lives "out of left field" when we pause moving from one place to another and offer our willingness to listen and risk.

  520. capri grimes says:

    my word is circle. of life, Mandalas, labyrinth, etc. I have been doing so much circle research that my head I'd spinning! can't wait to see where God takes this.

  521. Donna says:

    My word for 2013 is Open Door, as in, "See, I have set before you an open door." I'm aware that this will require initiative–Christ has opened it, but I have to walk through it–and trust in his goodness: the spaces on the other side are full of promise.

  522. Melissa says:

    My word/s are "Return to Holiness". Returning to the awe, mystery, and presence in the noble virtue of exceptional faith.

  523. Emiily Wallaced says:

    These three words came mid-2012 and have sustained me well..

    "Beloved, transforming Presence"

  524. Becky says:


  525. Nancy says:

    My word is PEACE. It comes from a song we often sing at my church: "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." I suddenly actually heard it speak to me when we were lighting the candle of Peace during Advent. I realized that it really meant me–I have to bring peace!

  526. Marat says:

    My word is OMPHALOS. Womb of the world to the Greeks. Navel, center, source of life which helps me to stay grounded in this new earth orbit.

  527. Marie Rodichok says:

    The word that has chosen me for 2013 is "steps" – it seems to recurring in many forms such as some artwork I am working on and in my daily life – So why "steps"? That is something I hope will be revealed.

  528. Kimberly says:

    For the past couple of weeks I sat quietly and no word had come. Then today on Epiphany I was reminded of a vision I had a few years ago. The word that came from that was "WELLSPRING," "an original or bountiful source of something." I'm looking forward to exploring this word!

  529. Nancy says:

    I will live into ABUNDANT BLOSSOMING. Thank you Christine.

  530. Kate Thompson says:

    ~Wholeheartedness~ My prayer is to use all of me. How can I be wholehearted as I write, eat,work, chop wood, carry water, plan, vision, serve and live this precious mystery called Life. Thanks Christine!

  531. Angela says:

    Dependency. At times, I have a tendency to do things myself, without taking time out to think matters through. I know that God wants all that I am, and all that I have, so I am depending on God this year to settle my heart, and sow me direction, both personally, and business wise.

  532. julie r says:

    my word is belonging

  533. Caroline Moore says:

    The word that seems to have 'chosen' me is 'incarnate' – both as an adjective and as a verb. I want to ponder more of the holy wonder of God incarnate on this planet, and all that means; I want to be aware of God incarnating himself in ordinary life here and now; and I want to explore what it is that he wants to bring to birth in me. I seem to also have a symbol which came to me in a dream – turquoise stones – my birthstone – which it seems signify deep stillness and calm and healing. I want to find and use some as prayer beads or to wear as a reminder of finding the incarnate God in that place of deep wonder and stillness within. The Artists' Course, plus Word 2013 and 'Birthing the Holy' have been so rich for me, I need to find a simple way to distil and remember the essence of it all, and that, I think, is what the turquoise stones will mean.

  534. Hazel Price says:

    The word that has arisen for me is "Glory".
    To do with the awe and dazzle of wonder
    forever shining under,
    and through
    all that is.

  535. Peg Conway says:

    My Word for 2013 is Nurture. I had forgotten all about my 2012 Word — which was Dare — until the email came about this year's Word process . I was then in the midst of intense year-end review and realized that I had in fact "dared" quite a bit in 2012! I was feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed by the results of all that daring, wondering where to next. "Nurture" arose for me along with an image of a flower garden. I sat with it for several days until it settled. I like "nurture" because it encompasses my own self, other people, and all my various projects, connotes intuition, and reminds me that I don't have to control everything, just do my part.

  536. Lynn says:

    I am new to this community of spirit-minded folks; still, amidst the contemplation of a word for 2013 I found last year's word to be Focus. This year that could continue but I am moved to embrace ENGAGE, to step out of my contemplative, creative retreat in the woods and pledge, commit, expose myself to risk, attract and entangle the world and embark on my own business.

    Attend with
    Grace and be

  537. Emmie says:

    My word is Shine. I was thinking in terms of light saturation, and allowing the light of God to penetrate all of the nooks and crannies of my heart and soul. And the scripture I have been drawn to over and over again during advent is John 1:5 (ESV) "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." I too want to shine with the light of God this year.

  538. Barbara says:

    My word is sufficient. I need to accept that what I can do is sufficient, what I have is sufficient and that God's love is sufficient for all.

  539. Joanne Corey says:

    My word is Becoming. It came to me during a New Year's Day mini-retreat with my spiritual mentor and friend, Yvonne Lucia. As part of the retreat, we each made our word into a work of art. I will place mine on my desk for the year.

  540. Nancy Schuette says:

    Power. My word for this year arises because I know it elicits fear . I want to visit this "dark" place and bring light to it. Also I want to immerse myself in the awareness that I have power….power to decide…to change…to make happen….to wait…and I am NOT Power-less.

  541. Whole. My word is whole. This is not the word I expected. I have been in the midst of a time of deep brokeness. A time of letting go of everything that was once comfortable; so for the word whole to present itself to me comes as a genuine surprise. It is God's way of reminding me that God can take the shattered fragments of my life and create something beautifully different, scarred, refined and yet whole…this is a great comfort to me.

  542. […] us toward) a particular word to identify with during this year. I was particularly challenged by Abbey of the Arts post on the […]

  543. Gabrielle Townsend says:

    I ask the word UNITY to guide me through 2013. When I feel less than, may I remember I am one with all. When I feel better than, may I remember I am one with all. May I remember separation is an illusion….I am you and you are me….together in Divine mystery we are One.

  544. Don Seiler says:

    My word is RECEPTIVE. God is my ultimate source and I must be open and receptive to notice the good at hand.

  545. Kathy says:

    "Eucharisteo" is the word that has come to me. Grace, gratitude and joy as we travel into 2013.


  546. Francene says:

    I am called to embody what I think, sense and feel.
    I want to pay attention to my BODY, to be fully present in it, to realize the privilege of being in a body, and to use my time in it to show others who and what I am.

  547. Anelie says:

    The word for 2013 that I received is EXPANSE….I am invited to be present to the wide, wide, deep, deep expanse that we all are enveloped, embraced in. This speaks to me of our deep inter connectedness, our being ONE BODY…humans, nature, planet, and beyond.

  548. Sally says:

    The word COURAGE has selected me for my word of 2013.
    Fear has been a familiar "friend and companion" for much of my life. Courage is now making itself known and accessible. The possibility of this new, life-giving and quite unknown path has touched my soul, my heart, and my dreams. COURAGE, welcome!

  549. Cherry Moore says:

    The word that chose me is Transformation. It's been showing up everywhere but I knew it was mine when it showed up in a dream image. In my dream the gray ashes and bone chips of cremains were changed into a lustrous crystalline raspberry-colored fluid. This mirrors what has been happening in my life. My once-fine forty-year marriage ended in divorce in 2012 but I am in a period of growth and renewal. My word assures me that the path ahead will be full of God and good.

  550. Ms Madrina says:

    My long-awaited word is "UNKNOW-LING". I am middle aged yet at such a beginning stage of unknowing all my previous self-destructive beliefs, that I am an unknow-ling:)

  551. Anne says:

    Unglamorous, perhaps, the word that has found me is 'foundation'. Just emerging from the life-shattering loss of a child, the world is at once familiar and profoundly unknown, and I am newly finding my way.

    First challenge – how is taking up my journey related to foundation which is, in turn, related to stabilitas – stability?

  552. Barbara Massar says:

    Initially I thought my word was 'observe' but then 3 things happened in succession that opened a word that was unexpected.
    I had a vivid dream of a priestly figure in the sidelines preparing to anoint me and I stripped naked so the anointing would be total. Initially I thought I must have been really hot and the dream told me to throw off a blanket and forgot about the dream. I had been reviewing a dvd (by my teacher Vladislav Andrejev) on the icon Immanual, Practice of Mind, Hand and Heart. On the section showing the application of an oil mixture when the icon is finished, Vladislav said "anointing the icon [whoa! I thought, I am an icon….made in the image of God] symbolized baptism with fire from the inside, to baptise with Fire and Spirit. This second arrival of the word anointing made me rethink the dream. Then in the next day or two the first reading at mass was from 1 John; 1:27 "As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you so that you do not need anyone to teach you. But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in him."
    So "anointing is my word for 2013 and observing is still there, perhaps as a supportive undercurent.

  553. cHaRiTy! says:


    • cHaRiTy! says:

      simply to seek First the kingdom of God, allowing the mysteries to be revealed rather to be hidden, and to be in awe and rejoice at first sight…no matter what

  554. Jeanne F says:

    The word that has chosen me for this moment in time is "change" . I am so reluctant to face change,but as I will be moving to a new home soon, I will face change, like it or not. I choose to trust that this change will be good and trust that God has a plan, greater than I can imagine, for my life.

  555. Anne Beaufort says:

    "Abundance" is my word for 2013. In 2011 my boss stripped me of some of my responsibilities and job title and some of my salary. In 2012 my husband of 20 years stripped me of our 20-year partnership and the judicial system cooperated with him to strip me of part of my retirement savings, which he did nothing to deserve.

    So, I am leaning into "abundance" as a prayer and and attitude shift for 2013. The attitude shift has to do with wanting to detach from my associating money with security and from the importance of possessions. If I own less, I need less space, I have less to take care of. Instead, may I have abundance of time for giving, for creating, for noticing, for being in stillness and awe

  556. I have chosen two words: prudence and gratitude. 2013 will bring opportunities to make important decisions. I want to be prudent in my responses so that I can continue to see life as a gift.(Gratitude).

  557. Nancy Hodgkinson says:

    My first attempt did not go through.

    The phrase I'll be living into is ABUNDANT BLOSSOMING.

    Thank you for the mini-retreat, Christine. It was grace filled.

  558. Barbara says:

    My word is TODAY. I spend so much time thinking about details from the past and the future. I know that the past is gone and the future is not yet here and that what is important is today. This year I want to be open to the adventure of each day. The beauty, grace, friendships, love, compassion, laughter, pain, sorrow, and awe of this day. I would like to be able at the end of each day to say… this day is over and I have lived this day with openness to all that has come my way. My mantra is " See with the eyes of your heart, listen with the ears of your heart, speak with the mouth of your heart and live with an open heart."

  559. Sue Shoemaker says:

    The word for 2013 for me is … RELATIONSHIPS. This is a year to focus on the most important relationships in my life, starting with God and me and my husband of 38 years and our three little grandchildren (ages 3, 2, and 1) and our two sons and daughters-in-law. Of course, there is also extended "family of choice" and "family of chance."

    Watching SUNDAY MORNING on TV this morning, in one of the segments, there was a quote painted across a wall. It said:

    "Ultimately it's about relationships."

  560. My word is Illuminating.
    Images to paint appear to me and I illuminate what my mind sees.

  561. Anne says:

    My word for 2013 is "NOW!"
    As someone who is often involved in planning future events or pondering what is to come, this word is a clarion call to live in the present, to make the most of all that is available and gifted to me – right NOW!
    I wish to be always aware of the love and grace surrounding each moment, the miracle of life, and the presence of the divine all around.

  562. Gerry Phelps says:

    The word I have been pondering is remedy. It derives from the Latin remediun which means to heal. I am fascinated by the application of " remedy" to not only disease, but to evil. It refers to medicine as well as law! Blessings to all in the New Year.

  563. Kathie says:

    INFINITE: That is the word that gave itself to me. Funny how in awaiting a gift my expectation is for something small, humble, manageable. How can I embrace this huge and generous word? Maybe God knows my tendency to pull my petals inward in self-protection, to sift all the possibilities through my screen of self-imposed limitations. Here I go, trusting in new ways, standing open-armed beneath the night sky ready to be gifted limitlessly with enough stardust to make each day sparkle in unexpected ways.

  564. Dawna says:

    At last I'm claiming a word I I would never have expected and have been resisting as I played with others that seemed might be asking to be owned. They weren't. My word for 2013 is WILD.

  565. can't remember if i've put this here yet or not… FRUITION! it terrifies me just a little and makes me giggle… i think that means it's a keeper!!! xoxo

  566. Gerry says:

    This came to me from a request for a word before sleep. It was reinforced before a labyrinth walk when I read a quote from Jer.6:16 chiseled in a stone slab before the entrance to the walk: "Stand beside the earliest roads,
    ask the pathways of old
    Which is the Way to good, and walk it;
    Thus you will find rest for your souls."

  567. Sally Brower says:

    Initially I was working with the word Way as my dreams seemed to be about finding my way, I am going to walk the Camino this year – the Way of St. James, and in a yoga meditation on January 1st the phrase No Other Way came to me out of imageless Godspace. But the word seemed incomplete. Then I thought about the word Wayfaring and found the American spiritual Wayfaring Stranger was sung by two of my favorite singers, Joan Baez and Emmy Lou Harris. What I did not know was that it is about the soul's journey through life. When I started to hunt for collage material (I photographed three Wayfaring collages previously shared), I began to see how God makes a way for us. So my word for this year is WAYFARING.

  568. David Stone says:

    My word for 3013 will be CRYSTALLISATION. Since my pilgrimage in Spain, my thoughts have swirled around in my mind. It is time for me to concentrate and focus and allow the thoughts to come together and settle out as gleaming gems, full of colour, truth, peace and revelation.

  569. Laurane says:

    Transitions. Images of natural transitions – seasons, elevation changes, ecological zones. Transitions from one to the other can be gradual, sudden, unpredictable. Sometimes what thrives in one zone must be left. Reminder to be gentle with myself and let the changes unfold.

  570. BJ says:

    This is the first time I have done this and the word which chose me is FREEDOM. I suffer from alot of fears in life, phobias and OCD and want to break free from my prison. I keep hearing Queen's song "I want to break free" ever since the word chose me so I guess it must be the one. BJ

  571. PATHWAYS is my word for 2013.

    It reminds be to journey with purpose and resolve…despite the problems and chaos that swirl around us. The destination is not important but the journey is EVERYTHING! "Solvitur Amulando" – (a message by the labyrinth at Glastonbury Abbey) "It is solved by walking."

  572. Victoria Fridley says:

    I have chosen the word "present" with a focus on three key meanings (at least that have emerged so far): present as in practicing being fully present; present as in gift–to serve my gifts and to be grateful for them; and present as in taking the risks involved in sharing my writing with others.

    Thank you, Christine, for your inspiring reflections on this practice.

  573. Gordon Stone says:


  574. diane nova says:

    nuturing grandmothers and grandmothering surround me St Anne be with me as I nuture new life and little ones young parents
    remembering Mary and Joseph as young parents once upon a time

  575. Therese says:

    My word is QUIET. Quiet is not just the surrounding atmosphere but quiet of the soul. In our world today it is easy to get caught up in the activities surrounding us but momentary "soul quiet" helps one to stay focused and centered. That kind of quiet is good for the body and the soul. It is a ready attitude!

  576. Jennifer Warner says:

    My word for this year is "viriditas". I discovered it while inhaling the book "God's Hotel", which recently Christine mentioned she was reading. The word is from Hildegard which means greeness: the power of human beings to grow, to give birth and to heal.

  577. Martha Crites says:

    Speak. I'm good with words but they never come easily.

  578. Jennifer Trently says:

    My word for 2013 is listen. I feel called to live out a more disciplined contemplative lifestyle spending more time listening to God and listening more attentively in conversations. Thus less speaking, less questions, more listening and contemplating.

  579. Traildancer says:

    My word is LIGHT. To be a light, to dwell in the light, to lighten up! I look forward to dwelling with this word as it reveals itself to me.

  580. Theresa says:

    Meek and humble of heart.

  581. towanda says:

    my word for the year is "balance," as I move out of a year of practicing really clear boundaries of self-care and move into a year of a more lush schedule of world-care. As my beloved says, the way you demonstrate balance is through movement!

  582. Alice says:

    My 2013 word is 'release.' There are so many levels at which this word is so right: letting go, breaking down walls, being vulnerable and open….whew! should be an amazing year!

  583. sue nelson says:

    It came to me like a bolt of lightening–WAIT!!!!——-and then I heard a gentle voice whisper,"no,Sue—-waiting"———–
    and so it will be—-

    waiting is my word for the year.

  584. Caroline says:

    My word for 2013 is Fruition. More than just finishing, more than completion. Bring life into BE-ing.

  585. sue nelson says:

    It came to me like a bolt of lightening —WAIT!!!!——and then I heard a gentle voice whisper "no, Sue—waiting"——
    and so it will be—-

    Waiting is my word for 2013.

  586. Margaret says:

    Dwell — I will live more fully in the moment; I will dwell on my readings with close attention and an open heart; I will strive to lead my life that I might dwell in the house of the Lord at all times.
    Thank you.

  587. Claire says:

    My word is UNBRIDLED…

  588. Rebecca says:

    My word is "healthy." Last year was one of a lot of stress and imbalance. As this word has emerged, I'm feeling challenged to be more intentional about living in healthy ways — physically, emotionally, spiritually and the relationships that surround me.

  589. asther says:

    In the busyness of the everyday, gratitude allows me to pause and reflect. To appreciate and be in awe of the fullness of life.

  590. Becky says:

    Community….not a word I would have chosen. It chose me. I was looking for renewal, simplicity, grace, something romantic of the sort, however, I was striving too hard to get just the right word. It came to me on day 5, pay attention to your dreams. My dreams are traditionally not pleasant so when receiving the edict to pay attention to my dreams I laughed to myself. I went to bed remembering to pay attention to my dreams. I had an uncomfortable dream and awoke. The word 'community' came to me, separate from my dream, isolated, alone, a bit like me. I wondered if I would remember it in the morning. The first waking thought was the word community. As is typical for me I want to rush into its meaning…..'I must go find community'. Then I reminded myself that as the word found me, so community and its meaning will also find me this year. I will await with great anticipation.

  591. Jan Hoffman says:

    My word is 'soar.' I am feeling lead-footed and want to lighten up in a variety of ways. I was given the lovely Willow Tree statue, Soar, for Christmas. My sister picked it out for my husband to give to me in my Christmas stocking. We spent the week after Christmas on the Caribbean Island of Vieques and worked through the word retreat. Soar came to us over and over again.

  592. Kathleen Dowd-Gailey says:

    My 2013 word is TRUST!
    As I have been walking thru my midlife crisis, or unfolding as I'm trying to call it, I am working hard to trust the process and know that my life is unfolding just as it is supposed to.
    Thank you for this fun community exercise.

  593. Adrianne says:

    On the way home from an Epiphany party this evening, my husband and I were talking about our friend's 18-month-old. He's a curious little fellow; you can just see his mind thinking, "What if I do this?" I was reminded of Beverly Clearly's Ramona Quimby who once squeezed out an entire tube of toothpaste, just to see what would happen. Suddenly, I had my word: "Marvel." It is a surprising word, as I am in the midst of grief, and yet it is right: I had set up for myself all these parameters for wondering at the world, which have suddenly found themselves hopelessly interrupted. And yet, I want to squirt all the toothpaste out just to see what happens; I want to take a walk in the snow; I want to quietly observe my dog when he thinks I'm not watching; I want to see the world in new ways, not just for knowing with my mind, but also for feeling with my heart.

  594. Renee says:

    I was trying to hear an action word… a movement forward, or a change, something to follow. But the word that has resonated is "dwell," which as I ponder on it, does require action and gives me something to follow. So many songs and phrases flow through my mind as I ponder this word. I am excited to see where this leads me. "Spirit of God, dwell thou within my heart…"

  595. Kathryn King says:

    My word for the year is Embrace. It will likely take the entire year to know more fully what this word is really about but I am starting with a prayer each morning that I embrace the day.

  596. Janet says:

    "Resilient" is my word. It came to me in a conversation this week with a deeply spiritual person. It is resilient in the sense of being whole – of standing my ground – no matter what happens. I will be true to myself and refuse to be silenced in the face of forces and circumstances that seek to diminish the gifts given to me. I have crossed a threshold, and am listening for "a new voice/which you slowly/recognized as your own," in the words of Mary Oliver ("The Journey").

  597. Sara Hillis says:

    The word which seems to have chosen me is 'selve." I take it from Hopkins's poetry and the notion of "this-ness" which Duns Scotus posited regarding the individual-ness of each thing even though they are all of the same nature or kind. I am to bring my true self into being again and again, the self which God sees as true, for He sees all and I do not. I have no definite experience to report as to how this word came. It just made my heart sing, so I knew it must be the right word for me for this time.

  598. Gerri says:

    It seems that the words are swirling around within me and different ones have come forward during the past week. Two seem to be repeatedly coming to my attention – balance and focus. At first I was struggling with focus since I couldn't seem to "focus" on one word, but driving home from church this morning it became clear to me that it's okay to have 2 words and that "balance" is important in my life right now. Focusing too much on one area of my life cause me to be out of balance. But lack of focus also causes me to be out of balance. Therefore, I am content with the words that have chosen me for this year: FOCUS and BALANCE. I am open to discover where I will be next year at this time.

    Thank you so much for this retreat and for the concept of "Give Me A Word". It has helped me focus on my priorities. :-)

    Happy and holy New Year!

  599. Naomi says:

    My word is AWARE. Too many times I get caught up in the busy-ness of life, beauty, joy, and pain pass by me without my notice. I need to be more aware to experience love, joy, beauty as well as the woundedness and pain of others. I need to be more aware to experience Christ and to be Christ to others.

  600. Cynthia Capone says:

    my word is release.

  601. Nancy Sand says:

    EMERGE . . . This year has been one of breaking out of old molds, old shells, old thought patterns. It is not enough to break the old, one has to EMERGE into the new life that is waiting. Do not stand looking at the shell . . . . step out into a new world. A world God created.

  602. Gabriella Williamson says:

    I have been contemplating this for a bit, thus the last minute submission, but for 2013 I am looking at the word "reconnection" to self, to community, to nature. I have disconnected over the years and now am looking to find my way to reconnection.

  603. Judy Berlak says:

    My word is LABYRINTHINE. I like the dynamic of an adjective to describe the exciting arabesques of the year ahead – free because disciplined. Walking a hidden labyrinth in the Australian bush on the Range where I live is a sacred space in time and in the cosmos where my inner and outer world can meet as often as I allow them to this year.

  604. Margaret says:

    The word that has found me is GRACIOUS, with its attendant words, grace, graciousness, gracefulness. I don't yet understand its challenges, but it has been very strongly confirmed as the word on which I am to dwell in the near future. My mother was an amazingly gracious person who practiced radical hospitality, and it may be that I am called to follow her spirit of selflessness and kindness.

  605. My word for 2013 has not yet manifested, but I want to continue to dwell with my word for 2012 which is only beginning to show up in my life and that word is Presence. It includes everything: being in the divine presence, being present to my life and presenting my work to the world.

  606. ida Fubtel says:

    The word that keeps coming up for me is love.

  607. Ginger says:

    My word is create because this is where I'm being led. What am I to create is the question.

  608. Michelle Stone says:

    Radiance is the word that came to me at our Epiphany Eucharist today (Jan 6th.) The word appeared in several hymns and was hinted in many prayers. Preliminary thoughts are that I should radiate the love of Christ to all whom I meet. A new thought, I should accept God's radiance and bathe in that light and love.

  609. Karen ( foundfeather) says:

    I have really been drawn to Hildegard's word viriditas, but I did not feel like it was mine for this year. Today I saw an image of the green only showing after a blanket of snow lifted. I feel the word choosing me is " uncover". There are things that need to lift before the greening can occur. I am drawn to the greening, but have other work to do to prepare for it. UNCOVER

    • Karen ( foundfeather) says:


      There is hope underneath and an anticipation of green 

      But it is not yet visible, and seems to be a distance away.

      My voice has become weak, and I feel at times invisible.

      There is work to be done.

      I feel the desire for freedom and a life where I can let go and dance

      And breath the fresh air, while the sun shines on my face

      That day will come, I have faith.  

      But today, let's uncover.

  610. AnnaBeth says:

    My word came to me in a flash this afternoon. I have been doing the 12 day mini retreat and had come up with nothing. Then as I saw the reminder email in my box to post my word, it appeared before my eyes: Blossom. Afte many years of hard work and effort to get my working life in line with my passions (versus the day in day out at a corporate job to pay the bills and get health insurance) I am finally doing the work I love. And as this year progresses, I hope to see all my artistic endeavors, now the core of my life, grow and flourish even more. I feel like I am a bit of a late bloomer, so to speak, however I am finally coming into my

  611. Rosemary says:

    Mine is not a single word, but the phrase "finding my way back home" keeps coming back to me in so many ways. I have been feeling so lost and adrift lately, so this feels like exactly what I need for this year.

  612. AnnaBeth says:

    My word came to me in a flash this afternoon. I have been doing the 12 day mini retreat and had come up with nothing. Then as I saw the reminder email in my box to post my word, it appeared before my eyes: Blossom. Afte many years of hard work and effort to get my working life in line with my passions (versus the day in day out at a corporate job to pay the bills and get health insurance) I am finally doing the work I love. And as this year progresses, I hope to see all my artistic endeavors, now the core of my life, grow and flourish even more. I feel like I am a bit of a late bloomer, so to speak, however I am finally coming into my own artistic sphere that has been waiting for me to blossom into my own garden.

  613. Laurie says:

    "Clarity" is my word for the coming year – informing my intentions for this year and my emerging lifework, and as a guiding principle for communication in relationships.

  614. Wendy Edwards says:

    My word is CURIOUS. This year I want to move past my well rooted habit of interpreting others' stories through the lens of my own experiences, beliefs and expectations rather than being as open as I can to just listening and wondering. I want to be more real in my relationships, even if that exposes warts I usually work to conceal, and to grant others freedom and permission to do the same with me.

  615. Mary says:

    My word for 2013 is "awareness".

  616. sharon murfin says:

    At first I thought "thresh" was the word – to help me separate the seeds from the straw with a vigorous, stomping, hard-working gesture. When it comes to being more kind, especially in a fifty year marriage, my snappishness seems to need something physical to help me change. The scripture, "if your right eye offends you pluck it out" came unexpectedly to mind. Change is difficult. Is it impossible?
    Then I came to sojourning, and felt that I knew at once that the snappisness has come from our deep uprooting (moving away from), from new responsibilities (care giving), from a loss of self-identity (aging) and other stressors. And I knew this sojourning time has had worth as a quest of our own. Wandering and searching contain the hidden possibility of a great build-up of energy…as well as loss and the concurrent letting go. Thank you!

  617. Gregory says:

    I worked a few over before "Presence" somehow came to mind. It fits my needs both for the presence of the Holy Spirit in troubling times and my need to practice being in the present moment, i.e. having presence in the place that I am. This is my word for 2013.

  618. Lorette Waggoner says:

    Thanks to Starbucks: Re-Kindle. Specifically, so far;
    old dreams/heart's desire

    Thank you Christine for this process. It was very helpful in putting a focus to my life over the next year.

    Blessings and Light!


  619. Kay McGlinchey says:

    My word is "welcome." After Birthing the Holy I have come to desire welcoming whatever or whoever the guest is who arrives at my door in a Holy or wholly way. I don't know that I am always welcoming of the difficult or dark things in my life and find that to be a challenge. Maybe that is the threshold that is calling me this year.

  620. Katy Suchland says:

    My word is "Breathe." For some reason I often forget to breathe. I get caught up and lose touch with my body. This year I hope to reconnect and live more fully grounded so that each breath becomes a real inspiration.

  621. Paulita says:

    my word is "radiance" ~ I am getting a sense of effortlessness, ease, and flow ~ a way to let my light shine and share my gifts without depleting myself

  622. Carol says:

    Waiting and listening for the right word has been interesting. The past few weeks have been gnarly and intense. From that harried time came the perfect word on which to focus during the upcoming year. That word is GENTLE. ahhh. That's it. GENTLE. I pray that my approach to life is gentle, and that in turn, life is gentle with me. After all, God is a gentle, patient, and kind source of light and hope.

  623. Kim Kelly- Ryan says:

    The word that chose me is FEAR.
    On a walk at sunrise as I pleaded for a better , different and happier more spiritual word, a sudden joyful energy filled my soul with laughter.
    Just the day before in my journal I wrote in hope that a word finds me soon.
    I have always been afraid of fear . Now I will spend a year with it, facing it,
    befriending it , accepting it , really getting to know it .
    As I begged God to change my word to one I thought was better He gently laughed with me and I knew deep ,deep down for the first time that Do Not Be Afraid did not mean to ignore fear or run away from fear but to say hello to fear standing in the early morning light of Gods most merciful love.

  624. Grace says:

    My word for 2013 is RECEIVE. I'm used to taking on the caretaker and helper role – to the point of exhaustion. I'm beginning to understand the importance of self-care and establishing healthy boundaries. It is out of the reservoir of rest and reflection that we can experience God's overflowing strength in our lives – and organically help others out of that abundance.

  625. Diana Malcom says:

    it just came to me…I've been searching my heart for it throughout the on-line retreat and in my daily activities, as I listen deeply to the words. tonight I worried I hadn't found it before a 2nd week into the new year and the word (or maybe it was an inner cue) came to me, RELAX. Yes! That is what I need (ed) to do. I am looking forward to having this word work on me.
    have so enjoyed these days of listening and discerning!

  626. Dawnita says:

    The word given to me is FAITH.
    Focused Action In Tune with Holy (Spirit)! I'm learning to dance to the rhythm of both whimsy and stability.

  627. Elizabeth says:

    My word is SHINE. This has actually been a word I've used for years; it is part of my e-mail address that I set-up back in 1993, so it's been a daily reminder for 20 years. But, in a guided mediation on New Year's Day I saw brilliant light shining out of an object I'd chosen. As I got closer, I saw a diamond inside. I felt this was a sign to me to allow God's spirit within me to shine… no matter what. I created a plaque on New Year's day using that word to hang as a reminder for the year, and always. I've also since felt UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION as two subsequent words to draw into my focus.

  628. Robin Hager says:

    My word for 2013 is BREATHE. To breathe is to live, to live each and every moment filled with the breath of God. Inspired by God, I want to be more aware of the connection between my body and soul. I want to move and meditate, I want to paint and pray. This year I want to live in the rhythm of God breathing in me.

  629. Suzanne says:


  630. Mary Wolfe says:

    The word given to me for 2013 is "Community". Living alone, I have both the need and the freedom to deepen friendship with others through welcoming, offering hospitality and creating community. Where two or three are gathered, there is Christ and there is community.

  631. Please like my facebook page: Earthenware Ministry.

    My word is zestfulness. I am a (generally) gentle introvert with a strong need for order. My sense is that I don't need disorder to counter my need for order, I rather need to allow some life into my life and to savor it joyfully, with pleasure & zest.



  632. Sharon pelton says:

    My word is, "freedom". Go out onto the highways and byways unhindered

  633. I've been contemplating this for the last 7 weeks, sitting with different words as they come to me. My current challenge is to overcome my increasing agoraphobia, a result of PTSD. The word that resonates the most strongly, that inspires the most fear and motivation, that echoes of growth, liberation, and possibility, is "threshold". I push past the threshold of my fear, walk over the threshold of my front door into the world beyond myself, and choose to have faith that I will find beauty there, and wonder, and gentle kindness between beings.

    Peace to you,

  634. Denise says:

    My word this year is SPLENDID. I truly long and desire and believe that I can create HEAVEN on this planet EARTH. Through Christ, the book of Ephesians says we are in heavenly places and I won't deny myself the work that Christ did for all of mankind…I just have to believe and be open and surrender to the receiving. I want to marry and say at the end of the ceremony…SPLENDID! I want to see the sun rising and setting and say…SPLENDID! I want to make it to the end of the year(no matter what may have not been as favorable) and stand under a blanket of stars and shout to the throne of the Lord and Lady Christ and say thank you, 2013 was SPLENDID!

  635. Martina Baier says:

    The word that shimmers for contemplation and remembering this year is "encountering", that is, encountering, really seeing, The Christ in each person I meet. Of course that is most challenging with persons whom I find it hard to love or by whom I am irritated–the ones from whom I learn the most.
    When I can suspend and detach from the part of me that is judgmental towards the other, I can suspend the judgmentalness I turn on myself. We both have the chance to grow, thrive, learn and bless each other when that happens.
    So my remembering is connected to deeply encountering the people I meet each day throughout the year. Pray for me!!!

  636. Denise says:

    My word this year is SPLENDID. I truly long and desire and believe that I can create HEAVEN on this planet EARTH. Through Christ, the book of Ephesians says we are in heavenly places and I won't deny myself the work that Christ did for all of mankind…I just have to believe and be open and surrender to the receiving. I want to marry and say at the end of the ceremony…SPLENDID! I want to see the sun and moon rising and setting and say…SPLENDID! I want to make it to the end of the year(no matter what may have not been as favorable) and stand under a blanket of stars and shout to the throne of the Lord and Lady Christ and say thank you, 2013 was SPLENDID!

  637. kris T says:

    My word for 2013 is "embrace"

  638. Joyce says:


  639. Carol says:

    This is a new experience for me and one that holds much anticpation for the coming year! The word(s) that have come to me are words that create resistance within me, yet in the last few weeks these words have come gently at times… prayer and meditation, while at times of crisis they are screaming at me and through the day I find them coming to mind in a variety of situations. The words are……let go. So many thresholds to cross with these words in 2013.

    Thank you, Christine for starting me on this new Journey!

  640. Patricia Skinner Patterson says:

    CREATE has claimed me, challenging and inspiring the days and nights of 2013. I am in awe and humbled.

  641. Chantel says:

    After quite a bit of contemplation, and a slew of words, I've finally come to "Kaizen" the idea of gradually improving things through incremental change. My runner up is flourish, which I hope to do as a result of implementing. Kaizen. Tank you for this marvelous opportunity to come to a word that suits me for the year! I loved last year's word, and used it daily!

  642. Barbara Drewry says:

    My word for this year will be 'Trust.' It is time for me to trust God with my life again. I DO trust Him with my life, and He has watched over me and provided for me in miraculous ways, both big and small. (None are truly small, though.) But I am feeling led to trust Him more deeply than I ever have before. This path, I believe, will necessarily lead into a valley that may, at times, be quite dark. Many sorrows beckon, long neglected, waiting for acceptance, expression, and release. "And so, with sparrow wings and eagle heart, and feeling much delayed, I go." (….part of something I wrote on Facebook last year.)

  643. Esme' says:

    My word "dawning" flouds my heart with hope.

  644. Maggie says:

    My word is 'nurture', which has come to me from several directions, and means for me a deep caring and taking care of the physical, mental and spiritual – starting with self, and radiating outward. The world needs nurturing.

  645. Anne Wallace says:

    Gerald Manley's poetry speaks to my heart this evening.
    I was drawn to "freshness-down-deep".

    Yet, I read "Pied Beauty". Manley honors "all things counter, original, spare, strange..".
    His words define me. I want to honor myself and all pied beauty this year.

    I looked up the definition of pied. It can refer to contrasting colors, to magpies and their patches of black and white contrasting plumage.

    To me it speaks of honoring our many variegated sides, our contrasting sides, the odd combinations that make us unique beyond mere superficial beauty…a hodgepodge of pied combination, thanks to the miracle of creation, each uniquely beautiful combinations cobbled together.

    I want to cherish myself, cherish the world around me, and cherish the Lord this year . My word is "PIED".

  646. Santosh says:

    'I have bread to eat that you know nothing about.'
    'My food is to do the will of the one who sent me. And to
    finish His work.'
    ( Is it possbile to send a photograph for this independently, without becoming
    part of Flickr?}

  647. Jennine says:

    The word I received rather surprisingly for 2013 is Sanctuary. As I am taking a giant leap into the unknown this year, I was expecting a word full of energy, enlightenment, newness….definitely a verb! Instead, this came to me…a noun even though it holds lots of verbs! So, as I am growing into it, all the beautiful images of sanctuary are already having a soothing effect… safety, holiness, refuge, companionship, possibility, recovery, nurture, rest….and more to come!

  648. Lynne Scholefield says:

    My word for 2013 is 'Beloved'. It is my heart's desire to 'be loved' and part of my journey this year is to expereince already being 'Beloved' and to let this love work in me.

  649. Lynne Scholefield says:

    My word for 2013 is 'Beloved'. It is my heart's desire to 'be loved' and part of my journey this year is to experience already being 'Beloved' and to let this love work in me.

  650. Judith Terrameo says:

    My word for this year is "trust". There is a lot going on in my life at this time and amidst it all I will begin studies for a Masters. I know this is a call from God, but I want to trust God to be with me in the journey as I am a bit nervous. I minister full time, as well as sharing in the care of my mother. I have trusted in God in the past and to trust God in this now moment is critical to my sanity.

  651. Renee Hills says:

    I am thinking of 'Divinity' or "Namaste" because I want to celebrate and honour the sacred in everyone and everything. This represents a huge shift away from the confusion of being innundated with lots of practical, factual atheistic information. However I have not yet finished the Retreat so I am keeping an open mind.

  652. Kevin says:

    My word for 2013 is: ADORE.
    It's a word that helps me to slow down and really be present to the events and people in my life.

  653. Marilyn says:

    My word is DESIRE! May I desire all that God desires for me, it is only then, that I can be all He created me to be.

  654. Laurel Simon says:

    Each relationship, responsibilities, all of life…requires time, care, attention. It is living life with God that makes it true, beautiful and good!

  655. Ann Dissek says:

    The word that came to me is "renaissance ". I feel as if I have been in a dark age and now all of the things that I have gathered and learned and worked for are coming together into some sort of meaningful direction and focus. Facades are falling away and I am rediscovering my true self.

  656. Julie says:

    My word is rest. . . .coming on the tails of my word from last year music. . .a rest is a pause/breath between the notes. . ..time to pause and breathe.

  657. Esther says:

    My word for 2013 is gracious – A challenge to be gracious in word, thought and action, especially when others may seemingly be ingracious (though they may not meann it) and so my challenge is not to respond in like manner!

  658. karin says:

    My word is "Rejoice!" After it showed up in my mind & heart, I asked for confirmation. Immediately my eyes were drawn to the beautiful Nativity card on my desk from my faith community.
    The proclamation inside the card was "Rejoice! Unto us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." My word speaks to the depths of my soul, and has already been a gift & blessing in the joys and challenges of daily life.

  659. Pam says:

    My words are Joy and Journey or Joyful Journey. My husband passed away in May of 2012 after 5 years of colon cancer. As I moved into 2013, the words Joy and Journey have been coming to me. To find Joy in my Journey, or to be aware of the joy of the journey as I move through this coming year with all its surprises that await me.

  660. Hello Dear Christine!
    My word for Two Thousand Her Dream is Grace. I have been visited by butterflies all year (while I was working with the word Savor in Two Thousand Delve) and always the butterfly was always accompanied by the word Grace. I am Mi'kmaq, and recently have come to know the Sagen of my tribe…and the other day he came to my house and brought to me my name, Memegech, which means Butterfly. Butterfly symbolizes many things: transformation, change, Spirit and soul, joy, the living rainbow and voice of the Grandmother. It also means Grace. I have followed the thread , and I will now follow the direction it so generously has provided.
    Thank you!

  661. At last! At last, at sunrise, the word burst forth within me, body affirming, saying yes. Several full words have visited me, enriched me in these 12 days, and will continue to companion, inform this journey. But today my body spoke the most obvious word of all for this time–OPEN. Yes. Stay open. It has been there all the time. Days 1-6 the doors were closed. Everything in me wanted to open the doors. Days 7 and 8, the door was cracked and I rejoiced, wanted to push them wide open. Day 9 the door was gone, the gate offered visibility, but was closed. I felt it in my being. Days 10, 11 and 12 the doors were progressively open, with 11 and 12 having no door at all, and my body said, "yes, at last." Before this morning I could not write the words that visited. This morning my body awakened me with a leap of joy. Stay open. Be open to the surprises of the Holy. Yes, OPEN, the word that greets me, embraces me: open to the wonder, the challenge, the potential, the breath of life of each day. Yes, OPEN is the word for now, for this year. And I bow in deep gratitude.

  662. Frank Faine says:

    My word for 2013 is "sing now". In many ways this word is not surprising, but it does carry both a lot of history as well as promise for the coming year. My great-grandfather was a Cantor in a synagogue in Czarist Russia just prior to the Russian Revolution. I am the only person in the present generation of my family who is musical and has a contemplative, poet temperament. It seems to me this word is encouraging me, perhaps even challenging me to stir up both this history and these gifts in the coming year. It certainly fits with the recurrent call I've been hearing over the last few years to become "a contemplative, mystic poet with the pen of the heart". And it fits, too, with my current work in teaching/coaching others on the use 0f narrative/stories in pastoral care and spiritual direction as part of my work as the Director of Shalom House at Lake Helen, a retreat house/conference center connected to First Congregational Church in Lake Helen, FL where I am the Pastor.
    I'm looking forward where I will "sing now" in the year ahead!

  663. stinuksuk says:

    Since yesterday was Epiphany, we gave out star gift words. We let folks be directed by
    the Holy Spirit in their choosing without looking at the word printed on the star. They seemed pretty excited to recieve their word. I also choose, and my word for this coming year is TENDERNESS.
    Perhaps, not such an easy word for me. It is a call to be more tender with others, my husband, hurting congregants, and people I meet. It is also an invitation to enter into the tenderness of God, with which I haven't always considered or lived into. God has been The Great Silence for me in the past few years. Yet, here is an invitation to be with the tenderness of God as well as the call to be more tender. It will be a challenging year.

  664. Linda says:

    My word for the year is Zeal!
    When I read it I knew this was it.
    It was described as a mighty force that includes not only a "force of nature", but as a gift from God that is more than enthusiasm but the very energy of God expressing through us expressing a freedom and a power to accomplish all good things for ourselves and the world.
    This is my wish to embody this and bring to fruition within me as well as manifesting it outside of me in all ways of service, love and light!

  665. goseigirl says:

    My word for 2013 is "release" as in letting go. It's time to release my hold on certain aspects of my life that are binding me to the past. I pray for release, that I may let go with grace and move forward with courage and joy.

  666. Jean Rummelhoff says:

    Messy. The desire and need to be able to stay present in the messiness of life and know that God is there with me and will help me through it.

  667. Jendy Bullman says:

    After many years of striving for change and improvement, the dawning realisation that enough is actually enough, that being is indeed the beginning and end of doing, that driven striving is no longer the way. Enough: the ability to enjoy where you are, when you are and how you are, without stress. Enough: a word to come back to and live with. Enough.

  668. Shar says:

    Suprise! I have no idea where this word will lead me this year. It came to me in a whisper in the early hours of the day. Suprise!

  669. Diana Humphrey says:

    My word for this New Year is moment. I've been so stressed and overwhelmed the last two years with the issues and problems currently facing our family, and with trying to analyze options to make the best decisions possible for the future while trying to please everyone, that I'm loosing sight of the importance of the here and now MOMENT that I'm in. So I'm focusing on pausing for a Moment whenever things get to be too much out of balance with a centered peace and am truly trying to live and love the current Moment I've been graced with.

  670. Rosemary Hall says:

    My word for 2013 is "Go Deeper." Although it was a guideline in a retreat I went on in August, I have not yet begun to enter into it and that is my goal and intention for this year.

  671. Gayle Sommerfeld says:

    My word for 2013 is "trust". I am a person who likes to always be in control of every situation I find myself in. That is not possible, of course. There is alot of uncertainty in almost every area of my life right now. God is asking me to increase my ability to let go and believe.

  672. RENEW. I plan to renew my mind, heart and soul. It's so exciting to begin a new year! I always awaken (nearly always) to greet the day. Just looking at the sunrise from my bedroom window inspires me to see what's possible. So, renew: who I am, what I'm here for, where I'm going . . .

  673. Trent Tanaro says:

    I have consistently heard the word 'listen' come up a lot. I am only on day five of the word course. I am wrestling, pondering, and struggling with it. I am listening….

  674. Elaine Berkopec says:

    The word tht comes to me is mindfulness, seeing what is around me as it is, appreciating the beauty and challenge of each moment as I am in the moment, cherishing every moment as a gift.

  675. My word is "trust."
    I want to trust that God does love me;
    to trust that God forgives me;
    to trust that God is listening to me;
    to trust my self;
    to trust that I can live without fear or shame;
    to trust that I can go deeper with God;
    to trust that I will honor myself and my hopes, dreams, desires, and plans;
    to trust in God's goodness and generosity;
    to trust that God is on my side.

    Thanks for the retreat Christine–it was very helpful for me to enter into this discernment. Blessings, friend!

  676. Lauren Rose says:

    Clarity. Light to see by in the Wintery Darkness. For real "Seeing";

  677. Julie Smith says:

    My word is forward. Not sure why yet!

  678. Susan Ackley says:

    Thanks for this, Christine! I've had a confusing but fruitful time pondering my word for 2013. And quite out of the blue it came to me–"embrace"!
    I've spent this year working on yielding and trusting, as well as trying for a greater degree of spontaneity in my life. And now I feel propelled forward into active embrace of whatever is given, not avoiding, not denying, not trying to control but looking it right in the eyes, throwing my arms around it, and saying to it, "Yes, welcome, I embrace you as an integral part of my life"–even if it's something that I subsequently need to put firmly in its place.
    Again———thank you for this gift.

  679. My word for 2013 is "flexibility." I am 44 and now is the time to learn yoga! It also applies to being willing to find new ways to approach my vocation/work life!

  680. Tara Owens says:

    My word for 2013 is "space". I wrote a blog about it here:

    I am still leaning into my word.

  681. Janice says:

    My word for 2013 is 'confidence' which follows a phrase which I received in the spring, 'Just Do It!'
    I have changed careers from a legal secretary to a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and loving it. I love to teach and inspire others about holistic nutrition, but I carried a lot of fears. Over the past year the Lord has given me confidence and has spoken to me in many ways, that what I have been taught and my passion is valuable and my voice needs to be heard. So I am hanging onto that word, asking for scriptures and pictures and a color too, then Just Do It.

  682. Jodi Crubaugh says:

    I have two words that are interconnected:
    Peace & Love
    We all need both, and one brings about the other. These words help me feel connected to God, and to others, and to my self.