Happy New Year! I love new years, fresh starts, and clean slates. There is so much promise and possibility in the days ahead. And one thing I particularly enjoy doing at the beginning of the year is picking an anchor word to focus on throughout the year. Some years picking my word is easy, and I just know the right word. In 2019, I just knew the word Seek was the right word. Other years, picking a word turns into a battle of sorts. I might have a few good words in mind. But I don’t always know what word is the best word to go with. That was the case in 2020 when I finally settled on the word Grace. I do believe we should pray when we pick our word, so the Lord can help guide us down the right path and towards the things He wants us to focus on. This year, picking my word was easy. I knew what my word would be before we even reached December.
My word for 2021 is Cultivate.
This word kept coming up a lot towards the end of the year. I was part of an online Bible study with Proverbs 31 ministries that dealt with cultivating worship. At the time, the word really struck me and that was when I began to ponder making it my word for 2021. Then I read a poem by Daryl Madden with the title of Cultivate, and I knew that this was confirmation. Then I read a Dayspring devotional where the writer mentioned that her word for 2020 was Cultivate. And I saw this word continue come up a number of other times in different ways. I just knew deep down that this was the word for me.
According to Oxford, cultivate is defined as:
1 – prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening.
2 – try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill).
But what does cultivate mean to me and why did I choose it? With each new year, I always think of different areas of my life that I want to improve. My relationship with God is always my number one priority. In my spiritual life I want to draw closer to God, I want to seek Him more, I want to spend more time with Him, I want to praise Him more, and I want to pray more. But there are also numerous other areas that I want to improve in my family life, personal life, work life, writing life, etc. I want to live an intentional life. I want to be present in each moment. I want to make wise choices with my words, my actions, my health, my finances, etc. To think about all of these things can be overwhelming. But this one word – cultivate – will be a reminder to me throughout the year to nurture the things that matter most. It will be a reminder to make good decisions and to live with intention. It will be a reminder to focus on the important things in life. It will help me to embrace life to the fullest. With each new day, we can choose what we will cultivate in our lives. I want to cultivate the things that last and the things that matter. I am excited to see where the word Cultivate will lead me this year.
If you have chosen a word for the year, I would love to hear what it is. Please share in the comments.
(c) 2021 Bridget A. Thomas