Here’s My Focus Word for 2017

My One Word for 2017

Several years ago I began choosing one special word at the start of a new year. For 2017, my one word is “see.” Here are a few thoughts that it brings to mind.

Several years ago I began the tradition of choosing one special word at the start of a new year. Actually, it’s not so much about me choosing the word—it’s the focus word I believe God gives me.

One year the word was “joy.” Oh my—I learned a lot about counting difficult experiences as opportunities for joy (James 1:2-4) and about finding my joy in the Lord rather than in circumstances after losing my mobility for three months and then suffering with shingles. It gave me a crystal clear focus for my personal and spiritual growth.

My 2016 word was “great”

God did indeed do some great things. Here are two examples:

  • He enabled me to continue losing weight (57 pounds now), keep it off, and develop a new mindset about food, exercise, and caring for my body as His temple. To me, the transformation is nothing short of a great thing.
  • He allowed me the privilege of training rural church leaders and pastors in Nepal. And He quickened my ears and tongue so I could recall enough Nepalese language to have basic conversations with those who couldn’t speak English. I lived there from 1982-85 but never became fluent. To recall enough language to speak with these people now was, to me, “great.”

For 2017, my one word is “see”

Here are a few thoughts that it brings to mind:

  • Stay alert. See where God’s working and get involved with Him there.
  • See people through His eyes rather than through my skewed perception.
  • See difficult circumstances as He does—as opportunities to discover Him more intimately.
  • See past my own needs to become more aware of others’ needs.
  • See failure as the back door to success.
  • See the completion of my new book and Bible study.
  • See God provide volunteers and funding for our ministry.
  • See answers to prayer on behalf of various family members.

These are just my thoughts, and I’ll be watching to “see” how they align with God’s intention for giving me this word.

I believe it will be helpful to make a list of Bible verses that encourage us to “see,” “watch” or “look.” It could be a fascinating study.

How about you?

Do you have a special word for the new year?

If so, what is it?

Know you are loved,


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  1. My phrase for 2017 is, ‘New Thing’ Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
    18“Do not remember the former things,Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

    1. Lisa, I love that phrase. No doubt a wonderful journey lies ahead for you. Whatever it holds, it will be good because of who God is. Keep me posted about the new thing as it unfolds, okay?

    1. Hi Sheryl. About a month before Christmas, I began asking the Lord what His word is for me. Without fail, He begins to show me the word in a variety of ways–it will show repeatedly in my quiet time reading of Scripture, in a sermon, in a song, etc. When it shows up, it totally grabs my attention in a way that it never has in the past. And His Spirit confirms in my spirit that this is the word. I just “know.” Does that make sense?

  2. Mine is “watch”. This is my 3rd year of doing a “one word” and it never ceases to amaze me how in the last 4-5 weeks of the year, God impresses upon me a theme that boils down into one word.

    1. Hi Anne! Hey, perhaps we’re on a parallel journey of sorts. “Watch” and “see” are very similar. Let’s live each day with our eyes wide open 🙂 Love you! Will you be at Missions Fest?

  3. I think my word is See as well….my husband is in hospital getting a bunch of tests for a fever of unknown origin…been going on for more than a month…so we are waiting to SEE what happens… we are truly blessed by our church family and all our other family and friends….lots of love, prayers and blessings coming our way…thanks Grace

    1. Hi Lorraine. I’m sorry to hear that your husband’s mystery illness continues and trust that the docs will get to the bottom of it. May you SEE God be your source of strength and peace as you wait. Know you are loved.

  4. I don’t have a word, but I did ask God for a scripture and he gave me Psalm 34:8 also…Taste and see that the Lord is good, oh the joys who take refuge in the Lord.
    I too often take refuge in sweets and I am doing a study on Nehemiah and I know that God is asking me to build a “sweet wall”. When he gave me this
    scripture I prayed and asked why and he showed me that I need to take refuge in his word instead of sweets. His word is sweet as honey. I am trying to do this. Please pray for me. I love God’s word but I seem to love sweets and have a habit of turning to them for comfort. Thank you

    1. Hi Debbie:
      Thanks so much for sharing from your heart. I truly “get” your struggle with sweets and your desire to take refuge in His Word rather than food. Know that you’re not alone.

      I’ve been on a wellness journey for a couple of years. I’ve had to become really intentional about food choices, portion control, regular exercise, tracking my food, and having accountability partners. Last February I joined a weekly virtual group with a ministry called First Place 4 Health, and this has helped me tremendously. I’ve lost 27 pounds in the past year, but 57 total in the past two years. I feel stronger than I’ve felt in decades.
      I love that this ministry’s focus is on Jesus first, and allowing Him to take control over every aspect of our lives including the physical and our appetites, etc. Therein lies the ultimate reason for success.

      I’m going to lead a virtual group beginning January 25. There’s still space for two more participants. If you’d like to check out the ministry, check out its website and this link:–fox–jan-to-april-2017-private-group

  5. Hi Grace,
    I used to be a First Place leader years ago myself, and I too have been a part of virtual First Place class with Jenn Krogh for two sessions. I met my weight goal the first session and then the second session, God began to work on my emotional issues with eating. It has been hard on me. This time I was planning to sign up for Helen’s class because Jenn moved her class to Thursday night so it is interesting that you share this with me. Are you meeting at 9pm central time? I am on central time and I am just not sure I would be up and alert (lol) for that late of time. Let me know about the time and may join your class instead of Helen’s. Thank you. This sounds like a God thing…what do you think? Debbie

  6. Hi Grace,
    I signed up for your class. Thank you for the invite. Maybe I can take a nap before class, ha ha. I look forward to meeting you (virtually). Seems we have a lot in common. I am a author, speaker, writer, First Place Leader…and member of AWSA. That is how I found your blog and signed up for your emails. God bless you and I hope this class is exactly what I need.

    1. Yeah! That’s wonderful, Debbie. I look forward to meeting you as well. Hey, your registration came into my inbox. It says you’re in Florida — that’s EST and three hours’ difference from PST. That means you’ll be logging on at 10 PM. Is that what you were thinking?

  7. Nope, not saying that. If you’re Central Time, then you’ll log in at 9 PM. I just thought that all of Florida is EST, and that would mean logging in at 10 PM because of the three hour time difference.

  8. I got to your blog yesterday and am really excited about the devotions read. I’m inspired and I just want to know more about God, His words in another perspective and meeting new people. Am a leader in my church and Co worker in God’s vineyard. I love you too. Mama you really doing a great thing. My word for this year is God’s signature of mercy. You are blessed me.

  9. Love your word, Grace. “See” sounds so poetic. Looks like you’ve got a great head-start on how you plan to focus on it this year. 🙂 And, congrats on your weight loss! Clicked your link over at Christa’s site. Nice to meet you! Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Brenda. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, it’ll be interesting to “see” what God has in store for 2017. Do you have one word/year? If so, what’s your word for 2017?

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