Why a Word for the Year, Writer?


By Maureen Miller


Do you have a word for the year?


Like many, I began choosing one several years ago after hearing others speak about the difference it made. But how does one choose—to pick that single word to guide her into the unfamiliar territory of a never-traveled-before year?


The answer comes from an Old Testament Scripture. Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3 CSB). This verse promises God answers when we ask.


So, ask Him—What’s my word for the year?


I asked. Three times He confirmed that my word for 2023 is calm. And while I don’t know what will happen over the course of the next 365 days to challenge this, I trust God does. My part is to apply it, live by it, and see how it makes a difference.


But what else?


Jesus—the Word—has given us His Word—the Bible—as a guide. What better place than within its pages to discover truth upon which to stand. Using Bible Gateway or a similar source, look up your word and read passages pertaining to it. Prayerfully choose one verse to be your bedrock.


Write it down.


Memorize it.


Indeed, hide it in your heart.


Personally, after knowing my word for the year, I read several Scriptures with calm used in context. The one that perked my attention was … I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like a weaned child (Psalm 131:2 CSB). A weaned child no longer looks to another for fulfillment. Rather, she simply rests, finding delight in her mother’s presence.


With calm as my word, the Lord reminds me to find satisfaction in Him. As a writer, I can feel competitive and insecure. In turn, I might look to others to satisfy a longing for approval. God, however, wants me to face each moment knowing—no matter the rejections, criticism, or my shortcomings—He’s my satisfaction. Resting upon Him, I’m content.


The outcome? In the quiet, I hear Him whisper His thoughts about what to write. Furthermore, He’ll remind me He’s pleased with my efforts when I walk in His will. Thus, I too should be at peace with my efforts—trusting God to establish the work of my hands for me (Psalm 90:17).


Finally, when I asked God why, specifically as a writer, having a word for the year matters, I heard Him say, Like Peter who fixed his eyes on Me to stay above the water, you, too, must fix your eyes on the Word. Obedience will bear the fruit of peace and joy in the coming days, no matter the storms you face. I know just what you need to accomplish My will, for My glory and the good of a wounded world.


Dear friends, seek God. Ask Him what your word is. Then dive in, searching His Word for a related passage. This truth will serve as a foundation upon which to stand in the coming year.


Finally, write—believing your words will make a difference in a broken world. 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


Maureen Miller—wife, mother of three, and Mosie to two—lives on Selah Farm, a hobby homestead nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. With a passion for God’s Word, Maureen is an award-winning author and photographer, contributing as a guest blogger and to several online devotion sites, as well as to a variety of collaboratives. She prays to have eyes and ears open that she might experience God in the miracles of His created world and blogs weekly about what He has to say at www.penningpansies.com. Her debut novel is under contract with Redemption Press.


  1. Great article, Maureen! Please contact me at ilovetowriteday007@gmail.com if you are interested in having one of your articles or essays included in my upcoming book: "The PAC Method For Writers: How Prayer, Attitude And Confidence Can Lead You To A Successful Writing Journey."

    1. Oh, I would love to know more. I will email. Thank you.


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