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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 still and I will use it in acrostic style ( the first letter in each line spells my word).

    Savor this new day, every day,
    Think about your daily gifts
    It will keep you close to God.
    Lightly, lightly walk along
    Linger as the day goes on.

  2. Patience. Don’t move early, let things unfold until the time is right.

  3. Rest
    Rest in Christ.
    Rest in His love and acceptance
    Rest in his intimate care
    Rest in His sovereign will
    Scripture reminds me that nothing evil shall come near my tent – so all things that transpire – good or bad – are subject to the mighty hand of God, Creator of heaven and earth.
    So, today, amidst the chaos and uncertainty of my life, He calls.
    He calls me to Himself, reminds me his yoke is easy and His burden is light.
    And I choose to Rest.

  4. Recognize: to know again, recall to mind. From the Latin cognoscere, to learn. Also, to acknowledge the existence of. For me, this is acknowledging the existence, the heft, the weight of the subtle ways in which Spirit is always speaking to me. To recognize the vitality and centrality of this relationship.

  5. Faith
    There you are again – faith. I felt you unfold like a warm, protective blanket. Sheltering. Soothing.
    Wrapping me in the arms of God.
    You are my word, my respite.
    My invocation. My request.
    My sanity. My calm.
    My gift from God, freely given.

  6. My Word for 2016 — LIMBER
    Lithe, inviting change — malleable.
    Bends easily, resilient.
    Adjusting (graciously, with HIS Grace) to varying conditions.

  7. My word for 2016 is ORDAINED, following a 2015 experience of belief. A friend also anointed me with BOLD, with hopes that I will come out of my timid shell. We shall see whose word wins out! LOL!

  8. Share.
    I’ve spent years reading and praying and studying and listening and contemplating to “get it right”, but have not shared my voice as a co-creator with the Holy…. waiting to be “good enough”.
    Now is the time to embrace the humility that will allow me to Share.

  9. Transform. Amazing how words just appear everywhere when one is supposed to pay attention.