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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. My word is serve. It jumped out and grabbed me. It’s what I do, who I am:”I am among you as one who serves.” The Lord is leading me this way.

  2. Freedom came to me. What it means to me has yet to be determined. Perhaps that’s what this year will be about for me…….

  3. Dear BettyAnne,

    I too mourn the loss of my husband . We were married for 32 years, sweethearts for 42. After 4 intense years of traveling the cancer journey, he surrendered to death with an open heart. It’s been a tumultuous and exhausting year in many ways as well as rich in love and care. I keep feeling into a word but cannot quite make it out. It has the quality of an invitation to rest, to settle, to tend to my broken heart,to accept and befriend my upended life, to sink deeply into the sanctuary of my soul. May you too find what you most need . Liba

  4. My word is “hospitality.” It reached out from the Monk Manifesto and grabbed me. I feel a call to nurture hospitality toward my inmost self, including the demons, and to other people especially those I fear or dislike. And–this was a bit of a surprise– to learn to receive hospitality graciously from others rather than retreat to my comfort zones.
    Thanks, Christine. This has been a very helpful process, especially as I also make my way through the “Midwinter God” workshop.

  5. ALLOW is my word this year. As in allow God’s presence and love into my life, allow new experiences, new ideas and insights, allow inspiration to morph into action, allow others, allow my best self to be present and aware. Allow the flow …don’t block it with fear or excuses.

  6. I had thought my word was “Rest,” but as I sat with it “Abide” has shown herself, gently taken my hand and we are walking into the new year together. <3