For the last several years, I have chosen a word of the year.  I have thought about one word that would inspire, encourage and motivate to serve and love better.  A word that captures and focuses my vision!

This year, the end of the year seemed to sneak up on me. I hadn’t been pondering or thinking about it much until last week. Suddenly, I realized there are only two more weeks in this year!  I have been working on my business, in my business, around my business, under my business and above my business.  Whew!  I noticed how tired I was.  I gave myself permission to take off week before Christmas. I was determined not to think about my coaching business.  I felt like I had been gnawing it to death and it needed rest like I did.

Of course, God in His wisdom, knew I was the one who needed rest.  As I began pondering my word for the year, I wondered if rest was going to be my word.  I didn’t want it to be my word.  I have been dreaming about “Oh the Places You’ll Go” as Dr Seuss says and “Today is your day!’.   I wanted BIG dreams for encouraging, inspiring and supporting women to find hope in 2017.

What did I need?

I knew I needed rest, yet rest wasn’t quite the right vision fit.  The world’s news, like in Alepo, stirred my heart.  The national news stirred my heart.  My family’s news stirred my heart.  All of these things outside of me and outside of my control tended to induce fear, worry and anxiety. Those weren’t my words for the year!  What word vision did He have in mind?

Where did I find my nudge?

My devotional reading though, in John 16, caught my attention. Jesus was talking to His disciples in the Upper Room, just before His crucifixion. He said,

33 I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.

Whole and at peace.  Ahhh.  That’s my heart’s desire- peace.  That inner quality that only God can provide when my focus is on Him.  It comes when I take time in solitude. Or when I am quietly praying and listening for His voice. I experience peace when I give my worries to Him and ask Him for direction, even when being plagued with times of trouble.

Then for the sermon on Sunday, our pastor’s message noted the angels’ message to the shepherds- “Peace on earth, good will to men.”  That’s what the birth of Jesus brought.  He’s the Prince of Peace, according to Isaiah 9:6.  Not from the ceasing of wars and famines and family strife, but knowing that wherever I am, He is there, too.  He didn’t escape trouble, He overcame it.  Therefore, I can, too.

What am I looking forward to with the word that has chosen me?

I am looking forward to this coming year to see how God wants me to experience peace.  Peace in my soul.  Peace in my body, releasing the tension I hold in.  Peace through praying and giving Him my anxieties.  I will be asking Him to show me what is robbing me of peace.

Be on the lookout for what word God in store for you for the new year.  What word keeps popping up in your mind and heart?  What word will choose you for 2017?  I would love to hear about that special word and how God brought it to your attention.  Post in the comments below .

Nancy Booth is a certified spiritual director.  She walks alongside women who are seeking God’s fingerprints in their lives and want more awareness of what their own true identity is.  She helps women shed hurry, worry and disconnect as they seek to hear God’s voice in  everyday living.  She has a private facebook group that also prays for one another that you can join. She would also love to pray for you.  Send your request for prayers and to join the closed Sacred Moments Seeking God facebook group to