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Give Me a Word 2016: 7th Annual Abbey Giveaway


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 below by January 6, 2016 and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).


As in past years, 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. Even if you participated last year, you are more than welcome to register again.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and you will receive a link to start your mini-retreat today. Your information will never be shared or sold. (If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, look for the link in today’s email).


We are delighted to offer some wonderful gifts from the Abbey:

So please share your word (and it would be wonderful to include a sentence about what it means for you) with us below.

Subscribe to the Abbey newsletter to receive ongoing inspiration in your in-box. Share the love with others and invite them to participate.  Then stay tuned – on January 6th we will announce the prize winners!

If this is your first time commenting at the Abbey, or you are including a link, your comment will need to be approved before appearing, which usually takes less than 24 hours.

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712 Responses

  1. Passion. As I am coming alive in my embodied self, new awareness, new levels of feelings, new realities emerge and I am called to receptivity.

  2. My word is DEEPENING – into an embodied life of Being. To prioritise answering the call of my soul to learn, grow and create.

  3. My word for this retreat is ” Grace”. My mother passed away on September 24 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease after being diagnosed in 2011. It was on day one that this word flooded over me. Simon Wiel once said ” Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.” Grace is an unmerited demonstration of God’s love, proof that we are not alone. Grace is a force…a spiritual energy field.

    One of my mother’s favorite hymns was ” Amazing Grace” and as I meditated on this word I felt her and I was lifted to a different space of peace. All the worry , guilt of her being in a facility, and everything that goes with was lifted…. Joy overcame me and I was at rest with her passing and knew that she was at peace with the Lord.

  4. Grace…I must allow myself the space and time to fall into grace without working so hard to achieve it. I must stop seeking grace from others.