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Give Me a Word 2018: 9th Annual 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 5, 2018 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 the Sunday 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!

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433 Responses

  1. Feb. 15, 2018: my word finally came to me and/or I was able to access it through a crack in my armor. The word is Hospitality as described in Christine’s Love Note a few days ago. Thank you Christine!
    I intend to use Hospitality as my Lenten discipline also. Through Christine’s writing I have met her concept of Hospitality a number of times but this one grabbed me while I was struggling with my negative reactions to a particular situation. Her Love Note turned me around so that I am now struggling to welcome, validate and dialog with those negative reactions.

  2. Savor…I want to see, taste, hear and touch the goodness of God with an appreciative awareness. I want to become sensitive to life as God-infused…savor.

  3. The word for me is TRANSFORM. I am especially drawn to the image of the journey from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Right now I am in the chrysalis stage and am cultivating the sacred process that is unfolding in my life. Thank you for this great learning episode.

  4. Emmanuel…I was reading a page from Preparing for Christmas by Richard Rohr. The word d Emmanuel flew off the page and planted itself in me. I can’t think of a better thought than “God with me” for the entire 2018.

  5. Yes! chose me! shouting in capital letters, Yes is all, all I need, all encompassing, Encompassing all the other words that came to mind, that I chose or chose me. Words like commit to cultivate,nourish/cultivate>vibrancy & vitality,fullness, fulfillingness, super full moon, super blue blood full moon eclipse! Yes!
    e.e. cummings agrees: “I thank you God for most this amazing…and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”
    Thank you so much for these twelve days of reflecting and dancing with words.