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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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Monk in the World Guest Post: Jennifer Scott Mobley

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Jennifer Scott Mobley’s reflection and poem The Work of Healing. “We are each a multitude of inner voices. Some of these voices are loud,

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433 Responses

  1. Good is my word for 2018. In Genesis God proclaims that what God has created is good. I will recognize good in all that God has created and is creating daily.

  2. My word is AWE … to see and be in awe of life, nature, people and in particular, to find a sense of awe within and allow myself to be awed by what appears mundane at first glance. And even allow myself to be awed by myself … by the fact that I am here on planet earth, am the conglomeration of yeas and nays, but awed nonetheless by the reality of my existence, the completeness of being … alive and awed by the continuing grace and gift of God’s love.

  3. My word is a bit of a cheat as it is a hybrid word Receiving/Giving ( a bit like the hybrid I/Thou) . I have been linking it to inhale/exhale during meditations but also noting when I receive or give throughout the day and in different situations. Really helps with gratefulness when we realise how much we receive. From the efforts of unknown people producing the food we eat or the person in the past who built the house I live in. The people who empty the bins and tend the parks. The bird that sits in the tree and sings . It has produced an acute awareness of the connectedness of things at every moment.

  4. REAL….is my word for 2018. My desire is to be real in this world, and to be seen as a real person, true to herself, to God, and to others. Several years back, I began with the word AUTHENTIC. ..I made changes in my life. Dramatic changes. The last few years, I have been going through a transformation that has gripped my soul in ways that were different to me. The word REAL came to me this season, and I was attracted to the rawness of it. REAL embodies me right now.

  5. My word is light. Live up to the light thou hast. “You are never alone, no never. Oh, live up to the light that thou hast. And more will be granted thee, will be granted thee. Oh live up to the light thou hast.” Quaker hymn

  6. PRESENCE. To be more fully present to the moment, whether it’s something I’m doing, someone I’m with, or where I am.

  7. My word is OPEN. Open mind. Open heart. Open spirit. Open mouth to proclaim and witness and give glory to God. Open to new experiences, people, risks, paths, trials, whatever God in His wisdom grants unto me. Open hands to new work, old work, work I have avoided doing. Open eyes to see anew all He puts before me. Open ears to hear His voice in his creatures, people, all living things, the wind, all things created. Open valves, open electrical current, open skies, open doors, open windows, open flame. Opening flower.

  8. My word is HOPE – both noun and verb forms. And I am remembering a quote from David Orr: “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” This year the word definitely chose me. I was thinking of “freedom” but “HOPE” chose me instead. Same thing happened last year – my word chose me, and like this year, completely surprised me.