My Word for the Year

 My Word for the Year

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

wordswordsEvery year a word finds me.

I like to think that it is perhaps God’s Spirit nudging me to learn more about what it means to actually “live the words” found in His Word, the Bible. (Now that sounds like a great book idea, don’tcha think?)

NewthingflowerinsnowLast year the word that found me was “NEW” – based on the verse “I am doing a NEW thing!” (Isaiah 43.19). And there was plenty of “new” in both my personal life as well as my writing and speaking. I met many new friends at various events where I was privileged to bring a new message of living your unique story with hope and grace. I now answer to a new name – Granny!

My new book “Live These Words” was published to encourage living out of 40 great words from the Bible (read it during Lent). I made new memories with old friends at both my seminary and college reunions. Our “New England Christian Writers Retreat” gathered 60 writers and will be at a new location next time – Gordon Conwell Seminary. My husband began a new season of life and ministry. But there were also new challenges and new failures and new opportunities to persevere…..

Still, through it all,  God’s mercies to me were “new every morning.”dwellbluebirdtree

It’s uncanny how a “word for the year” can unfold and permeate every area of our lives. I’m still learning how to embrace the new and not be intimidated by the new (especially new technology.)

But that was last year. In 2015 a different word found me and I’m claiming it as my “word for the year” –


dwellrockerYes, you read that correctly.  Dwell. The dictionary definition of “Dwell” is twofold:

  1. To live as a resident;
  2. To keep attention directed;

 My question?  “Where do I want to DWELL this year?”

My answer? I deeply desire to:

  • DWELL in God’s Presence
  • DWELL in Serenity, Strength, Gratitude, Courage and Joy
  • Make my heart God’s DWELLING place

I don’t want God to be just part of my life, I want to literally dwell in Him (aka the “with God” life). I don’t want to live in fear or despair or striving or chaos. I want to be the kind of person whose whole life reflects her dwelling (“living in and keeping attention directed on”) those qualities such as Serenity, Strength, Gratitude, Courage and Joy.

dwellhousesThis word found me and is highlighted by this verse:

“Strength and Joy are God’s Dwelling Place.” I Chronicles 16.27

Today is mid-January and I’ve spent these first weeks of 2015 wrapped in every wool sweater I own, under warm afghans, seeking to marinate in the love and mercy of God.

To Dwell…..dwellwordfor2015

Did a word find you this year?

If not, ask God to bring one to mind, perhaps with a scriptural promise attached.

Then claim it as a place you hope to learn from and live from.

I would love for you to leave a comment and tell me YOUR word for the year.

 Dwelling under the mercy, Cindy

P.S. I have just written a brand new conference/retreat series on the topic of “DWELL.” I will be presenting it in 4 parts later this month in Pennsylvania. But let me know if your group would like for me to come and encourage us all how to Dwell in God’s refuge?dwellphoto

©2015 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

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5 Responses to My Word for the Year

  1. Marilyn Bullock says:

    Hi My word this year is Obey, Obedience. I have spent the last 6 weeks with Joyce Ainsworth in her book Food, Freedom and FInish Lines! and the new study guide she has to go with it. My first time through it was her autobiography as she lost 192 pounds and now after 6 weeks of study daily, God has taught me more about obedience in the area of food and has called me to start work with a personal trainer as well as continuing my water aerobic class. I now really see the Promised Land he has for me if I will Obey Him in Body, mind soul and strength. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I am rereading Live these Words and Hearing Him speak more truths into my life. Look forward to your words on Dwell. I want to dwell in His presence.

  2. Wow, Marilyn, “obedience” is a powerful word for the year! And I know that God will use it in your life to bring great joy and challenge. I’m behind you all the way and do so appreciate your continuing encouragement of me and my writing. dwelling under the mercy, Cindy

  3. iluvpix says:

    Hi Cindy. Thank you for your encouraging article and sharing about the word, “dwell.” I have chosen a word that actually came to me while reading your blog. I continually thank and ask God for many things – His guidance, patience, love, comfort, peace, self-control, discernment, strength, etc. But it hit me when I saw the word, “COURAGE,” that if I ask God for more of that in my life, it will make it a lot easier to walk through the valleys. I learned in MT 14:27, when Jesus tells the disciples in the boat, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid,” that having more courage will help me to keep my eyes on Jesus, reminding me that, “If He leads me to it, He’ll help me through it.”

  4. Thanks Laurie, for your great word – Courage, something we all need! (btw, love your ‘photo’ looks just like you). I am speaking this winter and spring on what Jesus offers us when we are in a sinking boat. There are 5 gifts and courage is certainly one of them. God Bless You! Cindy

  5. My word for 2015 is Mindset. I want to be intentional about my “mental attitude” as Merriam Webster defines it. I want my mindset to be on the things He leads me to and to focus there.

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