Word(s) for 2019

I’m a little late to the party on a word for the year this time. Early in January I saw all manner of bloggers choosing their Word of the Year, and I have to confess I was envious. Admittedly my WOTYs are more readily apparent some years than others. Once in a while, I’ll see it, read it EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it’s a more drawn out process of finding it through prayer and reflection. Last year, I abandoned it all together.

This year I spent some time over the holidays reflecting on what I wanted for 2019. What I thought I was missing, maybe an area of growth on which I should focus. I danced around a few thoughts but nothing felt sure. Nothing felt exactly right. And truthfully I was feeling discouraged… just as I was feeling like I could find some words for this space again, I couldn’t land on a word for my heart and to mind to zero in on.

Early in January, the word LISTEN bubbled up from my subconscious several times. So I prayed over that word… and truth be told, I was convicted in no small way. When was the last time I intentionally listened for God’s response to my barrage of prayers? Was I being a good listener for the people I love? For my friends? For my staff? Praying through, around, and over the word LISTEN certainly generated some thoughts and some actions. But it still didn’t quite resonate as The Word.

At the same time, I felt strongly that I needed to work on my personal development. I spent several months last year feeling overwhelmed, under equipped and unsupported. Oh, I had plenty of people cheering me on and praying for me, but I longed for a mentor — for someone to give me solid guidance and action plans for my role as leader of the school, a leader of a non-profit ministry, and a leader of my Board of Directors. I had a few conversations with valued friends, and while those talks were heartwarming and encouraging, they also reinforced that I serve in a very unique capacity — with lots of uncharted territory ahead. In short, no one can prepare me. I need to prepare myself.

So I began. I identified a few podcasts focusing on personal development. I found a few websites, a few people on Instagram to follow, curated a list of books — on leadership, on learning, on becoming a better, stronger mentor myself, on decision-making, on business, on ministry. My work on all of this reminded me of how much I love to LEARN. I now am spending an hour or so a day LEARNING, working on becoming a better “me”… with the hope and prayer that everyone around me will benefit at least a little. And I began praying over and around the word LEARN. Maybe this is where my focus for 2019 needs to be?

Last week, I shared some things I learned in January. And in doing so I touched on dipping my toe into personal development and my intention to GROW as a result. A few days after publishing that post, I was still praying over LISTEN and LEARN when I heard the whisper of “GROW” in my heart.

And suddenly things crystalized as far as a focus for this year.

Seems I have a LOT to do this year! This phrase — this particular combination of words feels right. I couldn’t settle my spirit around any one of them because they are meant to be together for me in the coming months. A tad daunting. But I am encouraged. A wise man said recently, “We are always becoming something. We don’t ever stay in the exact same place.” Just food for thought right?

I’m off to Texas next week to visit my parents and enjoy the Winter Break. Back soon, but in the meantime, did you pick a word for 2019?

xo Heidi


  1. Mine was one of those apparent-thrown in my face words that came to me in late December. I couldn’t be more thankful, it’s one that I’ve been praying for since 2015! PEACE ✌️

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