Finding Your Star Word for 2018

Christmas blessings! I pray you will have time this Christmas season to experience the profound joy of Christ’s birth.

And how amazing that we are about to begin a new year!

For the fourth year in a row, I will be preparing for the new year by listening for my Star Word or Epiphany Word. As I’ve written in the past, this practice stems from the early church when Christians would seek out the local monastics and ask them for a word. “Abba (or Amma, for female monastics), give me a word,” the pilgrim would say. The word was intended to help them be still, focus, and pray; a way to listen for God’s guidance throughout their life.

In recent times the practice has become associated with the new year and Epiphany. Like the star that guided the wise men to Bethlehem, the Star Word is intended to guide you through the year. Like the star, the word comes from God; it is not something you choose or create for yourself. And like the star, the word is meant to bring you face to face with the Christ child, the very real reminder of God with us.

I love the practice of receiving my word because it involves listening and paying attention to the movement of the Spirit around me. I have received my word in various ways and at times when I least expect it, such as reading a magazine article, walking my dog, or coloring a book.

I also love this practice because I have begun to see a pattern, a correlation between my words each year, revealing new ways in which God is guiding me in life. My word for 2015 – the first year I tried this – was simplicity. For 2016, it was trust, and I realized I had been learning to trust God as I had practiced simplicity, letting go of the habits, behaviors, and possessions that were unnecessary. For 2017, my word has been release. This made sense given this was the year in which I launched full-time into Prayerworks Studio and released the steady paycheck I had relied on for so many years. This required an enormous amount of trust, so I was grateful I had spent the previous year learning what trust looks like.

As I listen for my 2018 word, I invite you to join me. What is your Star Word for the new year? What gift is God offering you, and how can you listen for it and receive it?

Like last year, I would love it if you would share your Star Word with us in the comments below or on my Facebook page. I’ll collect all the words and share them in a fun graphic over the next few weeks. And those who share their words by Monday, January 8, 2018, will be entered into a drawing for a free gift: a choice of one of my books or a “Deeply Loved” candle.

Blessings as you listen for God’s word to be revealed to you. And may the face of the Christ Child shine on you as you celebrate the new year.

31 Responses to Finding Your Star Word for 2018

  1. JOURNEY: a long and often difficult process of personal change and development

    ”We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955)

  2. My star word is “Shalom” – peace within and peace in the community – justice and mercy and grace with a lives whole and healthy and at peace with themselves, the environment and society

    • Our world is so in need of shalom, so I love that this is your word for 2018! May the God of Shalom fill your heart with the peace that can only be shared with a broken world.

  3. Contentment- I would love to be content resting in my Abba Fathers arms in 2018. So often I allow the world & stuff to overwhelm me. God my Father is in control & loves me knowing this I still am restless wondering what the outcome will be.

    • Deborah – May God lead you to places and moments of contentment, to the point that such contentment can create peace even in times when you do not know the outcome of a particular situation.

  4. Courage. I have had creeping fears as I get older. I’m in a well paying but exhausting and demanding job that is not good. Will most likely take a big cut in pay when I change this next year, but will be worth it. Have two other big issues also that are like mountains in front of me, but am ready to be courageous with God by my side. He is telling me to GO! So I will listen and rely on the courage He gives me. Courage is my word for 2018!

    • Laura – It is clear that Courage is the perfect word for you! And I’m excited about the possibilities that lay ahead for you! May you find Courage in the Holy Spirit who is guiding you into the person God calls you to be, and may you experience God’s deep peace.

    • Deb – This is one of my current favorite words in life! And I have loved learning all the ways that healing takes place. May the God of Healing surround you with God’s presence, and may you experience healing in ways both expected and unexpected.

  5. “Fearless” will be my word for 2018. In many ways God is calling me to step out and leave my fear behind. I have learned to trust God over the years, but I have been challenged to let God have control of the one last area of my life that I have locked away (from myself, and from God) since my childhood. In doing so hopefully I can make the path I have walked clearer for others and then ease their journey. God has “called me” on my prayers that my words might help others, and has reassured me that God will be with me every step of the way and will not let me stumble. So, fearless will be my word, my focus, my breath prayer – from fear less gradually on to fearless!

    • Coni – This is beautiful! In your words I see a fearlessness and a trust in God that is real and true. May you continue to trust in the God of Deep and Healing Love, knowing that God will guide you and that you can indeed be Fearless.

  6. Intention. God spoke this word in my ear this morning. My intentions are good, but I need to follow up and complete those things that I intend to do.

    • Carol – This is such a good word! Blessings as you live into God’s Intention for you, and as you follow through on the movements of the Holy Spirit as intended.

  7. Silence.
    As in “Be still and know that I am God.” and “God speaks the language of silence.”
    In my spiritual life, I need to spend more time being silent. In my personal life, I need to pause, breathe, and respond intentionally to people and things that frustrate me. (Rather than reacting or overreacting)

    • Sarah – This is really exciting! It is not easy to be still and be silent, and yet that is where we hear God’s voice of deep love in our lives. May you be still in the Silence, listening for the still, small voice of God, and may you be blessed.

    • What a great word! Have you been reading Brene Brown? I have loved that word ever since reading her book, Daring Greatly! May you recognize God’s image in you and realize that you are Enough and have been granted everything you need to fulfill God’s wondrous work in you and through you.

  8. The word that has found me this year is vulnerable. I’m not sure about this word. It does not feel safe. It feels challenging and dangerous and yet somehow courageous. I’m sure it is the one.

    • Jeri Lynn – That is an amazing and scary word! I love it! This is another word that has developed new meaning for me since reading Brene Brown’s books. And I am learning what a gift it is to be vulnerable enough to experience God’s presence in my life. May you, too, find the courage to be Vulnerable, and in that sacred place be transformed by God’s perfect love.

  9. Hi Kristen. My word is Remember. I want to remember the events and people (yourself included) that have touched my life and help shape me into the person I am today. I need to get out of myself and remember those around me. Most of all I need to remember that God is with me always.

    • Karen – This is a wonderful word to be called to live into for the year, my friend! May you Remember and celebrate the moments, people, and situations that remind you of God’s deep love for you.

    • That is a fabulous word! May God lead you deeper into your understanding of Kinship, helping you feel an ever-present connection with God, yourself, and others.

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