My one word for 2013

Last year, I was so utterly removed from the New Year’s resolution schtick that seems to overtake folks at this time of year.  I raised an anti-resolution flag as if to say:  “I dare you to make me stick to doing ANYTHING” this year!

And so I didn’t.  Stick to anything, that is.

That stance had its pluses and minuses.  Perhaps more minuses, if I’m honest with myself, because I didn’t seem to be really attached to any particular goal or plan.  I experienced isolation, some of it self-inflicted.  

  • Work was a voracious consumer of not just my time but my mental and emotional capital.  
  • I continued “shacking up” at the church I attend, holding off from becoming more than an attendee.  
  • I even lost my zeal for my cherished Caribbean Meetup group.

It was a bit nebulous, that 2012. 

So imagine my surprise when, towards the end of 2012, I sensed God putting one word in particular in the recesses of my spirit.  It continued to bubble up during Christmas and into the new year.



Now, for an introvert like me, the word “community” can conjure up images of awkward get-togethers marked by strained conversation and a burning desire to just. get. away.  It’s not that I’m antisocial, but with age, I’m less zealous (and more cautious) about forging new relations.  So, “community” may very well be a stretch for me, but a needed one.

I think this is God’s way of saying:   “You need to step out of the shadows and do what I called you to do!  No hiding behind work, or blogging, or (name your poison).  Get out there and be among my people!”  

But what will that look like, Lord?

I believe God will show me how to build those “community” bonds.  I see community as various forms of family:  “blood” family, “friend” family, “work” family, “church” family, “causes” family, “online” family.

So it’s a call to more intentional engagement on several levels.  

As much as it builds community, blogging is a solitary practice.  Intercession, too, can become individualized.  It’s a whole ‘notha show to get up off of one’s duff and do something collectively.

I have no clear picture of how “community” is going to show up in my life in 2013, but I am very open to whatever the Holy Spirit brings to me.  I pray for an obedient heart that won’t debate Him and hinder what He wants to do in and through me in 2013.  I’m praying for discernment and wisdom each day.  I’m reminded of the apostle James’s in-your-face call to action to the New Testament saints:

James 3:17-18

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

To community!

What’s your one word for 2013?


  1. Epiphany is my word for 2013. I am excited to see God revealed in new ways in the coming year.

    • Sounds like a great one, Jon! Epiphany is one of my favorite words. God definitely is in the revelation business! It’ll be great to see how (and what) He reveals this year.

  2. I don’t “do” resolutions either. My focus word this year is CREATE! I’m so excited about it too. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll have much success with Community!
    Kesha Brown recently posted..2013 Free Printable Calendar: Inspirational Quotes, Reflections, and ImagesMy Profile

  3. Boy, can I relate to the images that the word “community” conjures up for you. I recently started thinking about one word to focus on this year after reading a few blogs. Honestly, there are so many words and areas that can use some focus. Prayerfully, I hope to decide by the end of next week. Great post. God Bless.
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  4. Great post Alison, it really made me think. For me two words kept coming to mind commitment and balance. Like most I wear many hats and find myself juggling being a mother, wife, instructor, coach etc and sometimes it gets a little too much. So this year I’d like to have a bit more balance, so that I can commit to things and get them done properly before moving on to the next thing. Wishing you all the best in your strive for community in 2013.

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    • Gillian, I think commitment would have been my second word! I hear you re: striking that balance; it’s vital to be able to commit fully to the things that really need your time and attention. Here’s to seeing our words manifest and bear fruit in our lives in 2013!

  5. Great post my dear friend. It made me think… My word for 2013 would be JOY? God bless you.

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