During that no man’s land week between Christmas and New Year I suddenly realized that I had not chosen a word for the year. All of my friends had posted and tweeted about their word, and I started to experience word envy.

I first heard about the concept almost three years ago, and for 2015 I chose the word ‘deeper.’ Other than writing a few blog posts about the word, and thinking about it at random times, I can’t say that having a word for the year profoundly changed me in any way.

Last year turned out differently. I chose a weird word—one with double meaning—because I saw the need in my life to let God constrain me. Constrain can mean both to hold back and to force. I needed God to hold me back (mostly my mouth) yet I also needed him to push me forward in areas where I felt fearful.

My second word-of-the-year experience turned out much different. I found myself not only writing about the word more often, but also incorporating it in my prayer life on an almost daily basis.

In addition, God led me to an amazing book by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy that really helped me define areas in my life that I wanted to improve. I spent 24 hours camping alone to work on my Life Plan. Through prayer and Bible study and honest assessment, I figured out where God needed to constrain me the most.

Which brings me to my word for 2017.

Hunger for What?

It popped into my mind as I read a book by my friend Asheritah Ciuciu, Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction. First of all, I should confess that I suffer from a case of chronic selfishness. Now that our nest has emptied, I find it so much easier to indulge myself.When life feels like a desert, maybe it's time to evaluate what you hunger. via @blestbutstrest

My second confession goes hand in hand with my first one. I struggle with my weight. So far, I have never again swapped weight with my husband (when he had cancer, he weighed 190 and I weighed 135—you get the picture).

Pedro can forgo desserts for two weeks and drop five pounds. I have to forgo desserts for two months, double my activity, lift weights, AND run 20 miles a week in order to lose five pounds. Yes. You do hear a bit of pique in my voice. I wear a FitBit Blaze, which keeps track of my steps and my heartbeat throughout the day, so I know exactly what I need to do in order to boost my metabolism.

For the past 12 years I have kept my weight within 15 pounds of my ideal weight and I have taken at least 10,000 steps a day. I eat healthfully (vegetarian, low-fat, moderate carbs, none of the three white rats—white sugar, white rice, and white flour). During my first pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes, so I live with the diabetes sword hanging over my head.

In all of my striving, I have lost sight of the fact that I hunger after the wrong things. I hunger to look like a model (ok, a middle-aged model), to have a six-pack (or at least nice tone to my midsection), and to perform physical feats that make people sit up and say, “Wow! HOW old are you?”

When I feel like a saggy saguaro, I'm probably hungering after the wrong things. #BGBG2 #oneword365 Click To Tweet

Hunger for Relationship

Asheritah doesn’t realize it, but her book supplied my word for 2017. Hunger. In this new year I want to hunger after a closer relationship with God, not muscle tone or youthful accomplishments. And God promises to fulfill our hunger.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Don’t get me wrong. I still plan on running a marathon before I turn 51, but I want to spend my time training in a conversation with my Father. I’ll ask him to show me what he wants me to hunger for.

I have a feeling that he wants me to hunger for him—to know him better. To snuggle close so that I can hear and see what makes his heart break so that those things will make my heart break as well. And once my heart tunes in to his heart, he’ll show me what he wants me to do. I have a feeling there will be a whole lot of constraining going on as well.


Q4U: Do you have a word for 2017? Share it (and if you’re a blogger, share your post about your word in the link up below) and tell me how you settled on your word for the year.

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

I'm linking up at #InspireMeMonday with my friends @blestbutstrest and @caregivermom. Join us! #BGBG2 Click To Tweet

What inspires you? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your favorite posts from last week!

2. Visit TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!

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  1. I’ve never felt compelled (or constrained 🙂 ) to do the one word thing, but I know many who do and have been blessed by it.

    I have to remind myself that the temporary pleasure of how something tastes in my mouth is not worth the long term consequences – but I keep falling for that temporary pleasure.
    Barbara H. recently posted…Loving as Jesus lovedMy Profile

  2. Anita- what a perfect word!
    My word for 2017 is trust. I need to be better about trusting God and allowing Him to work versus me taking control of situations. My way doesn’t work!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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