I started choosing a word of the year in 2012. I can still remember Christmas 2011 when my son bought me wooden blocks spelling out the word HOPE. I displayed those blocks for years and even with all of the purging we did to move to Haiti, I held onto my HOPE blocks. It has been a meaningful practice for me as I hear my word throughout the entire year in so many different ways. God has used my word to challenge me to implement new spiritual practices. For example, the year I chose Gratitude, I practiced it regularly. Whenever I felt stress by a situation, I immediately started listing the things I was grateful for in relation to that situation or any of the people involved. It was a game changer for me as it took my focus off of myself and put my focus on others and God.
These have been my words for the past 7 years.
2018 – Abide
2017 – Word
2016 – Peace
2015 – Joy
2014 – Generosity
2013 – Gratitude
2012 – Hope
I have gone around and around with my 2019 word of the year. And I finally landed on DELIGHT. The past few years have been reflective and healing in so many ways, and it seems as though I am ready for something a little more upbeat. So, DELIGHT it is.
With each new Word of the Year, I start by looking for all of the references to it in the Bible. I look up definitions. I choose key Bible verses to memorize. I read the Greek and Hebrew meanings. I read books or articles or listen to podcasts referencing my word. I add songs to my playlist and I look for images to display. Last year, my daughter Kaylin, cross-stitched ABIDE and sent it down as a surprise. I love those kinds of surprises.
The actual word DELIGHT is found 110 times in Scripture in but less than 15 times in the New Testament. The related concept of “please” occurs about 350 times in the Bible with only 75 of these occurrences in the New Testament. So we can see that it is more prominent in the Old Testament. And as I have started looking up the references, I am surprised to see how many times DELIGHT is used in reference to God’s law and obedience to His commands.
Psalm 1:2 tells us that those who DELIGHT in the law of the Lord and meditate on it will prosper in all they do.
I Samuel 15:22 is familiar to many as we read that God DELIGHTS in our obedience to his voice and prefers our obedience to our sacrifices.
I must say that as I start exploring the word DELIGHT I know this will be a chance for me to stretch and grow. As I explore those practices that DELIGHT God and what He takes pleasure in, there will be work. But I will also discover those areas where God wants me to find enjoyment and pleasure. This will be my year of DELIGHT.
Have you started this practice? I always love to hear what others have chosen for their word of the year.