My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

My Word-of-the-Year (And Why You Need One Too)

While it took me a little time to jump on the Word-0f-the-Year bandwagon, I’m so glad I did. Last year, I chose grace. I needed it. For me. It was that simple. And it made such a difference. I’m still holding tight to grace this year, and I’m choosing a new word for 2017.

It’s that simple:JOY.

I want to laugh.

I want to embrace life full even when I don’t think I have it in me.

I want to smile and do things that make me happy, even if happiness is the only reason that makes sense.

That’s what I love about choosing a word. It’s simple. It’s not a list of resolutions or changes I need to make in myself. It’s not something that gets me down thinking about all the things I’m not or I should be.

A Word-of-the-Year is a lens through which I can view my real life. Click To Tweet

It’s all too easy to give in to a mindset of being more, doing more, wanting more. The only thing this does is put me in a posture of striving, and remind me that I’m not ever going to be enough.

While I want to pursue more joy in my life, this is about accepting joy right in the middle of my life. Choosing joy when it doesn’t make sense. Finding joy when it seems impossible. Making time for joy when everything else is pressing in.

When I countdown the end of 2017, I want to look at my life and feel something beautiful. Click To Tweet

Think about the year to come. What do you want to find more of in your everyday? Choose a word and hold on tight, expecting God to do great things!

Share your word below & comment on another person’s word to encourage them today!


Sharing words with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I’m here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

35 Replies

  1. YES! Joy right in the middle of life! That’s where we spend our days, and it’s where Jesus wants to be. My word this year is “standing” as in Romans 5:2. I’m excited about it because it really chose me — I wasn’t planning to have a word as I’ve never chosen one in the past.

    Blessings to you in this new year of JOY.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Oooh….Standing! That grace we get to stand in is enough to bring me to my knees. Having the faith and accepting it, head held high, is a beautiful thing! Can’t wait to see God weave this through your life in 2017!

  2. Joy. Such a good word as it is so what our Lord wants our lives to be – joy filled. The word I felt drawn to this year was “Audacious”. It presented itself before me in various quotes & then I realized I had been given the book Audacious by Beth Moore about a year ago and had never read it. It’s time for me to be more bold, more daring, more courageous – to live with some audacity. That’s big for this chicken little 🙂 May God grow us in the coming year. Looking forward to reading about how your word is presenting itself in your life over the year. Blessings!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love it Joanne! Even the sound of it, I find myself needing to say it out loud! So excited to see the new audacious ways God calls you to step out this year! He’s got great things in store friend (He always does!)

  3. Last year was my first time with a word for the year too and it amazed me how powerful it was. It does make things a lot simpler than a whole list of resolutions. Last year’s word was surrender and this year’s is voice. I like your focus on joy. Hope you have a great 2017!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love this Lesley! Two intriguing words, surrender and voice. I would love to hear more about how God used Surrender in your life last year, as well as what you think about the word voice!

  4. Hi Becky,
    I must say I especially love your word for this year since it’s my middle name 🙂 but what a lovely word to think about the entire year through!

    I’ve chosen words in the past but none have impressed me this year in particular, but if nothing appears, I think I might use yours, too! (I’m sure you wouldn’t mind! ) xo

    1. Becky Hastings

      Well, Miss Valerie Joy….you are most welcome to use Joy! The world could use a whole lot of people who seek out joy, even in the hard, confusing, or trying places. Of course, maybe God has something else coming for you. Either way, I’m guessing God doesn’t live by a 2017 calendar, so you can change as He directs 🙂 xo

  5. My word for 2016 was “Freedom”, and when I look back I see many ways in which God set me free both spiritually and physically. That word kept me going through some very difficult times. This year my word is “Follow”. God is moving my family in a new direction and I’m not even sure where that is yet. I know I must follow wherever He leads and trust that He knows what He is doing!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s so amazing to look back and see the common thread of how God used the word he led you to last year, isn’t it? I’m excited to hear how he uses FOLLOW in your life in 2017!

  6. I am behind you 100% with this word! God told me to do this a few years ago and it’s been my mission ever since – love and enjoy the life I have, right where I am.

    My word for this year is LESS – less stuff, less stress, less busy – all so there can be more of HIM.

    1. Becky Hastings

      So exciting to find more of the things He longs for in our lives and let go of the things He doesn’t. Not always easy, but always worth it!

  7. Love your word as it’s mine too! 🙂 Check out tomorrow’s post on how I’m doing so far and here’s the post about it http://www.followhisfootprints.org/in-a-word-joy/ Here’s to #FindingJoy in 2017!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay! Another joy seeker! 🙂 Can’t wait to read your post!

  8. What a wonderful word of the year! The joy of the Lord is our strength!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Amen Lillian!

  9. You can’t go wrong with “Joy,” can you?! Love that one, Becky. Words-of-the-year are so much fun. One of the things I love most about January…hearing everyone’s “words.” 🙂 I’m still working out the details of mine. Hope to share next week! Thanks for sharing Becky, and thank you for linking up at the #ChasingCommunity launch! yay! So glad you’ve joined in. ((hug))

    1. Becky Hastings

      Brenda, I can’t wait to hear what you decide for your word this year. And as I mentioned to someone else…I don’t think God’s on the same calendar as we are, so anytime is a good time to seek Him for a word….of the year, of the day, whatever you need from HIM!

  10. I’m always intrigued by the other “one word” ‘s that God lays on people’s hearts and how those work out through the year. I have done this for the past few years and I can see real growth within myself and through Him working throughout the year that pretty much amazes me! This year’s word for me is “persevere” – Maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement, continue steadfastly. Last year’s word for me was “adventure” and wow was it ever… so I am looking forward in faith to what God will do this year. Thanks for sharing your word with us. (Stopping by from my inbox)

    1. Becky Hastings

      Rachel, I love how you look at your words! It’s such a great way to see this constant thread woven into the year, isn’t it? Looking forward to seeing God steadfast love in your life as you persevere this year!

  11. I love that! What a great word! My word this year is Jesus. Just Jesus. My goal is to be filled with more of Him and less of me.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Jesus is always a good word friend! Sometimes it’s all I’ve got!!!

  12. My One Word theme is “Let Go.” God is teaching me that I need to stop grasping for control over the things that I can’t really control anyway. Since introducing the topic He has given me a list of other things I also need to let go of.

    Visiting from Coffee For Your Heart.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Oh, that pesky beast called control. I struggle so much in this area — and feel like if I didn’t the world would fall apart! Lol. I’ve heard this book is great, but I haven’t read it yet. Maybe this is a good time! http://amzn.to/2iMxcKx

  13. Hi Becky, this is just a test comment. Thanks for the info about who to contact over the problems I’m having with commenting. They are looking into it and have asked me to try posting another comment here.

  14. Okay– so much meat here!! LOVE your post 🙂
    1- JOY, I feel like the Spirit is speaking this beautiful theme to SOOOO many of us in this community!
    2- TOTALLY needed the inspiration for my one word! I’ve been having trouble, thinking that I need to live up to the word rather than embracing it– I LOVE “A Word-of-the-Year is a lens through which I can view my real life.”
    3- Less pressure on myself and the future and more on what God is doing now! (writing about that in a 2-part series on my blog that begins today)
    4- (a p.s. if you will.) I believe that JOY is a gift from the Father that comes from within…but it all starts in how we CHOOSE to accept it… love your mission here to find JOY even when it seems hard to find from deep within.

    Bless you!!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! It is a gift from God, and sometimes it’s easy to forget to reach out and take it. So grateful we can encourage one another in the Joy Journey! (That should totally be a hashtag!)

  15. Joy was my word a couple years ago and it was truly life-changing. I’ve actually had a hard time choosing a word since because choosing true joy still shifts my perspective so greatly. I hope you have a fabulous experience with joy this year. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I had a hard time picking a new word this year because I loved GRACE so much last year! That’s why I’m holding it tight. It’s like a tool I have in my tool belt whenever I need it now!

  16. What a great word choice. We all could use more Joy in the New Year! My word for the year is contentment. https://mistyphillip.com/2017/01/01/contentment/

    1. Becky Hastings

      Just reading CONTENTMENT makes me exhale. It’s a lovely word that sounds and feels the way it should be!

  17. Joy is like my life-word! I have a 6 foot JOY sign in my house! But 2017’s word is INVEST… I’m a little scared, but trusting God!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Ooooohhhhhh….. INVEST. Yes! I love this! I actually think it goes hand in hand with JOY for your life. Yesterday my pastor said JOY was: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. This can be hard to navigate if you’re always trying to make others happy, but if you do it with a heart for Jesus first….he won’t let your needs slip through the cracks. INVEST away friend!

  18. Purpose. Living with my life-purpose in view will help me make better decisions about how I spend my time. Then every decision I make with my time can be filtered through that. Remembering my purpose will make it easy to decide what to say yes to and when I need to decline invitations to events. This will help relieve stress and keep me focused.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love what you said about filtering. I first heard this idea when Lysa Terkeurst had a webinar for her book, The Best Yes. She picked 3 goals for her summer and every decision was filtered through whether it supported those three goals or not. Anything that didn’t became and easy(ish) no. So helpful. I love the idea of doing this with purpose. Defining purpose is where I get stuck!

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