A friend of mine always chooses a word for the year to journey with. I like the idea, but (ironically for a person who loves words) have seldom managed to conjure one of my own. After a walk in the Botanical Gardens where she shared her 2021 word with me, I asked Gill how she uncovered this mystical word that would set the course and tone for the year. Her answer was simple. Ask God.

So, that’s exactly what I did. Almost immediately a word came into my mind. It didn’t take me long to realise that this word had already been sneaking into my life for a few weeks. It had come up in the Lectio podcasts I listen to, had jumped out at me in sermons and had crept up in Bible Study verses, such as:

“Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honour you by giving you the land.” (Ps 37:34)

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” (Ps. 40:2)

The word God gave me for 2021 was STEADY.

Now, I’ll be honest, I love beautiful words and I was hoping for something a little more… shall we say … scintillating. Steady reminds me of a donkey plodding quietly along a path or perhaps a surgeon with un-shaking hands taking out a tonsil.

But, sparkling or not, this is the word I need to journey with in 2021. It convicts me to stay anchored in God and his Word. It calls me to be a constant and true companion to my family and friends. It’s a reminder to use my God-given gifts consistently and diligently to bless others. It speaks of balance and persistent development.

My word is starting to grow on me.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered another word pushing to the front of my mind this morning. Again, it’s a word that had already found its way into my life last year when I was writing an Advent Story on Mary. As I was researching the article, I read Mary’s words in Luke 1:46, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord’ and I recall thinking, Yes! That’s what our lives must do!

So, this morning MAGNIFY became my second word for 2021. I realise now that my two words are dance partners. I cannot magnify God in my life or the world if I am not steady in my relationship with Him or others, or faithful in my writing and other ministries.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a word for 2021? If you don’t, I invite you to take some time to ask God, and I trust that He will give you one that is in line with his heart for you this year.

I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Blessed 2021, dear friend.