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Give Me a Word 2022

In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to the divine 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, 2022 and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).


As in past years, we are 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, December 5th email and at the bottom of each Sunday following).


Please share your word with us in the comments below

(and it would be wonderful if you included a sentence about what it means for you)

Subscribe to the Abbey of the Arts newsletter to receive ongoing inspiration in your in-box. You can choose daily, weekly, or monthly. Share the love with others and invite them to participate. Then stay tuned – on January 9th we will announce the prize winners!

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79 Responses

  1. My word phrase is grace -truth. Both work in tandem on my life experience.As I journey through 2022 I will try to listen with the ear of the heat when grace and truth are present at the deepest level of my being. May it come to pass

  2. I wish I had gotten my word by January 6th but it only came to me a couple of days ago. Release. I have done a lot of work to move through trauma and grief the last 5 years and realized that I have to now focus on releasing. Congratulations to everyone who won a prize… I think mine will be a year of release and renewal. Bright blessings to everyone!


    Restoration – how will it emerge?
    Energised and enabled, it will urge
    Sabbath rest, Spirit led, Scripture fed
    Transformation through trials and temptations resisted
    Obedience, openness, honesty
    Reading, writing, reflecting
    Art, creativity and painting
    Trust, teachability and tenacity
    Integration, imagination and inspiration, but
    Only by Grace can God put
    New normal ways that will flourish!

    7 word poem

    Comes to those
    Who love God

    And I wrote a French Pantoun poem using phrases from last year’s Word and Verse for the year plus a few other biblical phrases that help me and tie in with this year’s word, restoration.

    They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength
    Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labour in vain
    My presence will go with you and I will give you rest
    In quietness and trust is your strength

    Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labour in vain
    Be still and know that I am God
    In quietness and trust is your strength
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom

    Be still and know that I am God
    My presence will go with you and I will give you rest
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom
    They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength

    exchange old habits for new ones
    exchange my grumpy fearful self for a more joyful courageous self. Remember that the exchange from God in Heaven to the Crib was QUITE the Exchange. And remember that the Exchange of death in the tomb was exchanged for new and Eternal life.
    Listening to God and God listening to me in a real EXCHANGE. not just one sided!

  5. My phrase is:
    Just do it
    (Listen to the nudge of obedience )
    Juxtaposed to life’s anxiety
    Unspoken and felt
    Sensing like a breath of peace
    Toward that which stirs the fire
    Don’t hesitate
    Or try to reason out in fear
    It will seem faintly right but true
    Try to rest in the paradox it will present

  6. Whole
    That is my word. I am working on a vision board and as I journaled about the direction of the various areas of my life I want reflected on my board, I asked myself “Why? What is the why behind each idea/image/desire?” The answer was “I want to feel whole.” Suddenly, I realized my word had appeared. Whole

  7. Gave myself permission to choose the phrase, rather than narrowing down to a word, when it shimmered into my heart.

    Rest in the reality of the present moment.

  8. Mystery ~ We begin and end in Mystery. As I move in my 70th decade, my understanding o of Mystery is unfolding in such a complex and deepening manner. I hope to be more aware, attentive, and accepting of Mystery this coming year.

  9. SOAR
    Being a lover of language & finding-the-perfect-word, I found it difficult to *not* guide or lead the process! Because I just completed year-one of cancer treatments, I’ve also felt a kind of pressure for my word to be about healing. Well, after thinking about synchronicities & ideas that shimmer, what comes forward are images of birds & an upward motion & gaze. Also, my art during the past 2 years of staying home has been mostly about nesting. So, finding courage & motivation to fly & SOAR feels like an inspiring forward-motion. Thanks, all!

    To nurture:
    Mother Earth
    Creator God

    To offer appreciation for what nurtures me…the all of all…Love