“All” is my word of the year, and I am exploring, listening, and watching for its wisdom and lessons. I am still in the get-to-know phase of my new friendship with my word.
I so enjoy the One Word Community founded by Lisa Burgess where I shared my words and experiences with others who also do this practice each year. Thanks to @lynnmorrisey who suggested in the comments there to read Mark Batterson’s book All In to add insight to my word.
Reading what others write about your word of the year is a great way to start.
Discovering the words to define and clarify whatever we are experiencing in our spiritual journey often lights the way forward. This simple but powerful practice grounds us if we are upset, in transition, or uncertain. Naming and describing our feelings, our thoughts, our reflections and even our word of the year settles our souls and aligns us with God.
“All” is defined as the whole. The total. Nothing held back.
Batterson explains that this word means maximum effort and giving God 100%. Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Not just worshiping God with our words and half-presence but with our blood sweat, and tears. He stresses that too often we try to do God’s job when instead our job is to be faithful, rejecting all self-interest, being obedient, and surrendering fully to God. He writes, “Going all in and all out for the All in All.”
His book is full of Biblical examples and very challenging ones to apply to our own lives. It’s daunting to be all in for God knowing the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus and Abraham’s experience of being asked to give up his son, Isaac.
The Bible story resonating most with me currently and one representing “all” is the woman and the alabaster jar.
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7: 37-38
She worshipped Jesus as she was and gave him all she possessed, even her tears. I am holding the image of this story in my prayers and journaling right now.
My daily prayer is do what you need to do in me, Lord, in order that I become what you best choose for me. All. Always. All ways.
Whether you are exploring a word of the year, pondering Lent, struggling with your faith or exhausted from politics, pandemics and shattered pieces, take the time to articulate and wrestle with the words that define your experience. Journaling and talking with a spiritual director or trusted listening friend helps with this. Then ask God for an image, Bible verse, or quote to guide your forward.
May the unfolding of our lives, words, and relationships shape us and bring us closer to God.
If you have a word of the year, how are you exploring its wisdom? What do you need to define, articulate better, in your journey right now?
I can totally imagine that book is so challenging. I mean, talking the talk – Jesus gave a far greater sacrifice for our sins than anything we can even do for God -, may be easy, but actually giving our all to God is much harder. I love that Bible story you’re referencing though, as it shows that it is possible to give our all to God. Thanks for inspiring me!
Thanks for stopping by! I too love that Bible story and it was profound part of my recent retreat, Amazing how powerful exploring and walking with one word is!
Barb Hegreberg says
I’m excited for ALL the things you will learn this year? With this word your adventure can go so many directions.
ps – Your website doesn’t not function well on an android device. I had to use my PC to even be able to read/comment.
Thanks for the feedback about the android. I have never had that problem before and will check my settings,
Jean such a beautiful Bible story to meditate upon for your one word, “ALL”. Though you are still in the get acquainted phase, your insight is growing and insipring us!
Isn;t the practice of one word amazing way to experience God and grow on our journeys?
Lisa Blair says
I appreciate this sentiment with your word all, Jean, “I am still in the get-to-know phase of my new friendship with my word.” I could definitely join you in saying that about my word intentional. I appreciate the book suggestion and this golden nugget, “She worshipped Jesus as she was and gave him all she possessed, even her tears.”
Thanks for commenting, Lisa, Exploring and getting to know our word definitely stretches us and helps us grow!!!
Betty J Draper says
It fun to read the words picked by all of you who joined the , One Word circle. I haven’t picked one this year, but it’s not too late for me to. There has been so much going on in my life health wise that has gotten better, I think that might be my word, “better” Last year I studied Hebrews with a group of women and, “better” is the theme of of the book. It was a great study on Jesus, the better. Still studying out some of the truths we found in the book. Blessings.
It is never too late to find the word, Keep looking, Maybe your lessons this year is paying attention to many words! Thanks for stopping by!
Lisa notes says
Lynn has given me some great insights on my word as well. I love having her involvement in our group.
I appreciate your encouragement to be wrestling with words. I’ve been doing that for the past several months, trying to put names on all the emotions I’ve been feeling as I go through a tough season. Journaling my prayers has been a lifesaving activity as well.
I’m already learning through your word ALL, Jean. I knew it was going to be good! 🙂
Lynn is wonderful and so engaged with others. We are blessed to know her. I think we both have a good year ahead walking with our words! Have a great weekend, Lisa.
Nancy Ruegg says
It’s amazing the depth of insight you’re gleaning, Jean, through a focus on such a small, modest word, ALL! Your daily prayer resonates with me too; I’m going to copy it on a 3 x 5 and put it amongst my prayer cards. Thank you!
These small words are powerful and full of lessons!
Nancy Ruegg says
Indeed–you’re demonstrating just how powerful and full!
Martha J Orlando says
What a perfect book suggestion to team up with your word for the year, Jean! I love how you have reflected upon “all” here in this post, and the story of the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume really resonated with me about what giving your all to Jesus really means.
Yes, I’m still falling back on my word “breathe,” especially with all that is going on in the world right now. I need to remember to slow my breathing, being mindful of how each inhale/exhale are gifts from God. It is definitely a way to calm down, focus and move forward.
yes I was a great book to start with yet I sense more books are there yet to read about my word, Breath is so appropriate for you right now!!
Christine A Milner says
Hi Jean! Christine Milner here catching the phrase “all in” for the serendipitous 2nd time just this morning!! I use “Give Us This day” daily and todays’ reflection on the Gospel had this same title!! Hope you stop by my blog space as I just published yesterday my posting for March 1! Would love to send my readers your way and recommend your blog if you give me permission….Happy/Holy Lenten season! Christine
I feel blessed that we have connected!! Yes let’s help each other!