Begin Living Your Word of the Year

Choosing and living out a Word of the year has been one of my most rewarding personal practices. It gives me a focus and mindset to learn about and grow in. You will find inspiring posts here every two weeks this year on my blog designed to spark exploration of your own chosen word. Here are my Word of the Year theme pages in my ordinary everyday journal (Moleskine, Leuctturm etc.)

One challenge about living out a word is to keep the enthusiasm and practice of it up all year. To help keep us inspired and motivated, Mary Brack, Bernice Hopper, and I are embarking on a spiritual and creative challenge that focuses on our individual words of the year. It includes 26 challenges and a Facebook group where we can connect with one another and post our progress. We have come up with a list of suggested words to apply to your individual word. Each person can select one or another one of their choice to explore how it connects with living out their word of the year. Click here for a downloadable PDF of the list.

I will be posting an inspirational A-Z Chronological Challenge every other Tuesday this year and recording my Word exploration in a Leuchtturm1917 journal.. The posts will include questions, activities, and Scripture to help you focus on your word in a fresh way. Mary and Bernice will also be posting inspirational posts. You can share your creative responses and thoughts in our private Facebook group. We would love to have you join us in our Word adventure and conversation. We each approach the process of living out our Word of the Year a bit differently, so I suggest you subscribe to all three blogs (links further down in this post) to get inspiration on making the process your own.

Here we go!

A - Authentic, Ask, Adventure

Authenticity is related to our identity, re-membering who we truly are. As we embark on this A-Z Adventure, My hope is that you will find inspiration here that will serve as a springboard for you own individual journey. My prayer for all of us is that we will actively grow to fulfill God’s chosen destiny for each one of us.

If you don’t yet have a word, “Ask and it will be given to you.” If you desire a word for the year, I truly believe God will give you one. If you are searching for a word focus for this year, pray, ask God to reveal one to you. Keep asking. Let go of putting pressure on yourself. Instead, be open, ready to receive.


Matthew 7:7-8 NLT

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

James 1:17-18 TPT

17 Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. 18 God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation!

Questions to Consider

  • Is there a word or two that seem highlighted to you right now?
  • What word describes what you want for 2019?
  • Does a theme keep showing up in daily life?
  • What are you afraid of? What is a word that describes the opposite of that fear?
  • If the word was lived out this year, how could it help you be the best version of yourself?

“Authentic” Prayerful Activity

Our authentic selves, being our best,
the true version of ourselves,
starts with our Creator.

Excerpt from Acts 17:24-25, 28 TPT
“The true God is the Creator of all things….
 He supplies life and breath and all things to every living being. He doesn’t lack a thing that we mortals could supply for him, for he has all things and everything he needs. 28 It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said,‘Our lineage comes from him.’”

In seeking and knowing God
we come to know ourselves and
be truly who we are made to be.

For those of us who wrestle with perfection and feeling intimidated by a pristine blank journal, here below is an exercise that can help. It takes away the questions of, “What should I do?” You can scribble authentically and free! The process is adapted from my Prayerful Doodling book

Spontaneous Scribble Prayer

There is no right or wrong way to scribble, right? I’ve found this process loosens me up, and helps me give myself permission to mess up and be more free-flowing. One way to approach it is to take three deep breaths, taking note of how you are feeling and breathing. Invite the Holy Spirit to flow in you.  With eyes open or closed, move your drawing tool with your breath.

To get started:

  1. Get materials ready to use in front of you
  2. If eyes are closed, feel the edges of the paper or journal. If eyes are open, start scribbling, going with how you feel, without any goal or expectation.
  3. Pick up a drawing tool and start moving it around on the paper.
  4. Notice how you feel, how the tool feels in your hand, how your arm moves with the tool, how the movement reflects your emotions and breath.
  5. Release thoughts and go with the flow until you feel it is time to stop.
  6. Open your eyes if closed, and look at the marks on the page. You may want to ask God what he sees or says in it. You may see things in the scribbling that start to take form. Feel free to add color, lines, shapes or words that are meaningful to you if desired.
  7. Do not put any pressure on yourself for it to be anything other than what it is. If you feel led to pause and consider it further, you can respond by writing in your journal. It is helpful to write down thoughts or questions that come up.

Question Ideas:

Lord, what do you have to say to me through this?
What does this say about me?

Here is my Scribble Prayer following the process above as we enter the new year. I chose the colors with my eyes open, and prayerfully doodled it with my eyes closed. It was all done spontaneously without thinking or planning. Blue was the first color I chose. It felt comfortable, flowing like water. Orange is the color I first used to fill in the shapes, the color representing passion and fire. I didn’t think of them as complementary colors at the time, but they are. The shapes I colored in all resemble water drop or flames, both symbols of the Holy Spirit. When I picked up the orange pencil, I felt like it represented my passion, waiting and yearning to experience more of God’s manifest presence, love, and life in this new year. I noticed the lines went off the edges if the paper, which is not typical. The word “uncontained” came to mind, so I wrote it down. Other words followed and I added them. The authenticity of where I’m at with my feelings and thoughts of this new year have come through…. Onward and forward into the uncertain, uncontained future, expecting the unexpected and following the Light…

For further information and imagery that reflects your word of the year ask yourself:

What shapes, objects, animal etc. do I associate with my word for this year?

Write or draw them in your journal.

Living Your Word 2019 Opportunity!

Bernice Hopper, and Mary Brack, and I share insights through blog posts for keeping an Everyday Calendar Journal. We will be using the journal to record events, experiences and relationships; to explore our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. If you would like to connect with others in creative way about organizing your word, your ideas, thoughts, prayers, events, or your projects all in one place, you are invited to join our Facebook group: Everyday Journals ~ Living Your Word of the Year.
URL for Facebook group:

URLs for Instagram: #livingyourword2019




Valerie: (this one :-))

May you have a blessed and fruitful New Year!


Suggested Art Supplies

Word of the Year – Everyday Journal – Bullet Journal Posts

A-Z Word of the Year Challenge Journal Pages

This post shows my finished journal pages of the A-Z Word of the Year Challenge & links including A-Z of my Mystery and applying it to a word of the year.

Biggest Stencil Sale of the Year NOW 25% off!

All StencilGirl Products® stencils are on sale now, the biggest stencil sale of the year 25% off! Ideas, Inspiration, Freebies…

Mid-Century Modern 2019 Calendar Pages & Sale!

2019 monthly calendar made in my Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal with theme of mid-century modern & using banner stencil. Biggest Stencil Sale of the year!

Reaching the Zenith with Zeal – A-Z Word Challenge

Moving toward a zenith, the highest point in life, with passion and zeal sounds fulfilling and to me. I would like to live with such purposeful intention.

Yearning and saying Yes – Y in A-Z Word Challenge

What I yearn for I tend to say ‘yes’ to. That is why it is so important to nurture my heart, be aware of what or who I give my heart to, what I focus on, and even what I see and hear.

How I Choose a Word of the Year

Video and written steps on how to choose a Word of the Year to focus on and live by. Visit my blog for creative ways to journal and live your word this year

The Treasure of X in the A-Z Word Challenge

The mysterious treasure and paradox of the letter ‘X’ in the A-Z of Mystery journal. Scripture and questions to consider in this journey of life.

Wisdom from Above – W in A-Z Word Challenge

Seeking wisdom “the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, insight, understanding and common sense; unbiased judgment, and compassion.” What do I have grace and time for?

Vision – Valor – Victory ~ V in A-Z Word of the Year Challenge

V in the A-Z Word of the Year Challenge I was almost asleep one night recently when a phrase floated across my mind and I knew it spoke truth and asked to be written down. So I pulled myself out of bed and went to my journal to write: “Vision with Valor lead to Victory.” This got me thinking of what this means to me personally. I went to the first A-Z journal I did with Bernice Hopper’s challenge back in 2013. Here is my V for Vision for that: Vision is a key word for me right now, and… Read More

Living in Unity – U in A-Z Challenge

We are bound together in a common life. Seeking unity with one another is a worthwhile pursuit. “How wonderful it is…to live together in harmony.

Living Time Now – T in A-Z Challenge

“We live in the past of the future,” I heard Jonathan Cahn say. So I am choosing to make today count like a time traveler! It’s like I am actually able to go back in time and change the trajectory of my future. If I were looking back from tomorrow or next year, that is exactly what coming back to this moment would be like.

Shine Your Light! S in A-Z Challenge

It’s time to Shine! What does it mean to shine? “How do I shine as myself, with God, and others?” To shine looks differently for us individually, but my guess there are also some common things we long for, need, and value.

Developing a Rhythm for Life – R in A-Z Challenge

Seeking to establish a fulfilling rhythm of daily life, working from rest and resting from work in a fulfilling way. Every living thing has a rhythm. “R” for Rhythm in the A-Z of Mystery Word of the Year Challenge.

Being Quiet to Hear – Q in A-Z Challenge

Getting quiet is important in order to hear and discern what to do. Listening prayer is a way to do that. Suggested questions & art reflections on Q-Quiet in the A-Z Challenge included

Living with Paradox – P in A-Z Word Challenge

Paradox is holding two opposites as true at the same time. We live in paradoxical times that have polarized relationships and our nation. We tend to paint other people with harsh, broad brush strokes of black or white. Living with paradox requires empathy and invites reconciliation, seeking to understand a viewpoint opposite of our own.

Order and Organizing! O in A-Z Word Challenge

Overcoming my struggle to order my stuff, organize and create beauty. O – Order in A-Z Word of the Year Challenge. Key questions to help organize.

July – Celebrating a New Season – Stencil Club – Calendar

Mid-Century Modern Stencil Club & paintings, July calendar and Washi tape adventure as we celebrate America’s freedom and enter a new season.

Celebrating Nature – N in the A-Z Challenge and NEW Stencils Released

Celebrating Nature with a Word of the Year active challenge and NEW leafy doodle stencils. Included are artful inspirations and a how-to stencil Washi tape video, comparing medical tape with white Washi tape.

M-Inspiring Your Creative Muse in Living Your Word of the Year

The word ‘Muse’ is filled with mystery. Muse is associated with memory and music. We may sense the connection most when we hear a song from our past, bringing back all sorts of memories, and we feel transported back to a specific event or time. Google Dictionary defines Inspiration as:” the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative” or “a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.”

Travel and Art Journaling an Amazing Adventure

Traveling changes you. Keeping an art journal helps me process and remind us of the important memories. Going on our amazing adventure to the UK, France and Greece was wonder full! So much beauty! I’m finding my life and perspectives have expanded through the process of going so many new places and meeting new people that have now become friends. Writing and art journaling the journey is so rewarding.

Post includes my goals for travel art journaling, pages from my abstract travel journal made in Mary Beth Shaw’s class on our Blue Walk Art tour of Greece, and examples of making it my own by combining abstract techniques in class with realistic images from my trip photos.

L-Looking Back with New Eyes to Move Forward

I’ve been reminded to look back in order to move forward. At first it sounded counter-intuitive and non-productive, but after doing it, I see the value of taking a fresh look at what I have, what I’ve done, and stop to look, listen, and be grateful. It was the prompt I needed to Live this moment, to be present without the pressure to perform.

K-Keys to Living Your Word of the Year

A key is a small thing that opens a larger, important experience. A question can be a key to the answer you’re looking for. A key can unlock a mode of transportation that can take us on a journey to another place. A key can open up a space of a new world. A key can bring us home.

J-Journey Living Your Word of the Year

If you are here now, you are on this life journey, and so am I. My journey is taking me back, like revisiting these journals with journey themed pages and bringing to mind my faith journey. I am grateful for the process, even though at times it was hard to see on the path… What is your journey…

Washi Tape Adventure #4 Maps Travel Theme Calendar Page

Preparing for travel this month, I made a calendar page with maps as the theme using Washi tape, stencils, Gelatos, and pen. Also a sneak peak at prepped pages for my travel journal…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment