My 2019 Word of the Year

My 2019 Word of the Year - Pursuing Pearls Blog

For the last few years when January comes around, I’ve enjoyed choosing a word to focus in on, directing my steps in the twelve months ahead. I say “enjoyed” loosely because to be honest, these words-of-the-year always seemed to come to me after weeks of wrestling and struggling. This year proved to be no different.

But finally, while scrolling through Instagram one quiet afternoon mid January, I stumbled upon these few yet convicting words from a favorite author and evangelist, Priscilla Shierer:  “Live for the applause of Heaven.”

That’s it, I thought. I found it:

{ Heavenward }

This year I am turning my gaze up, letting go of my desire for (or sometimes obsession with) the approval and applause of this world. I had (have, really) become too concerned with people’s opinions and even with my own often burdensome expectations of myself; too concerned with a skewed view of perfection.

How freeing to not base my life on the ever fluctuating feelings and perspectives of this world? But I have found I cannot release my desires for approval without redirecting them. Turning my eyes heavenward, I’m praying for a changed heart in return as I meditate on these verses in the months ahead:

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].  – Colossians 3:2

So above all, guard the affections of your heart,[a]
    for they affect all that you are.

    Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
    for from there flows the wellspring of life.  – Proverbs 4:23

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.  – Colossians 3:23

And last of all, the parable that directed my heart to begin writing in the first place:

“Heaven’s kingdom realm is also like a jewel merchant in search of rare pearls. 46 When he discovered one very precious[a]and exquisite pearl, he immediately gave up all he had in exchange for it.”  – Matthew 13:45-46

May 2019 be a year of turning my gaze Heavenward, and in doing so exchanging the lesser things for the greater; the temporary for the eternal.

. . .

Do you have a word for 2019? I would love to hear what it is and the process that brought it to you!