My One Word for 2013…(Gulp!)

I didn’t have the warm fuzzies for my 2013 word like last year’s word… SURRENDER. Sunday afternoon, trying to run from my word, I asked our son Thomas to teach me to use free weights at the YMCA. He demonstrated the first exercise by lying on a bench while lifting a weight over his head. “Your turn.”

He handed me the tiniest weight possible–opposite of the ones below. “Easy-breezy,” I said.

He taught me how to pull these ropes while holding my elbows close to my body. It took several tries to get it right, but Thomas was patient with me.

Then he called his girlfriend Brittany for suggestions. Yikes! She’s a personal trainer. They work out together.

Brittany suggested I lunge across the room while holding a five-pound weight. I did it without too much effort.

“Grab me a heavier one,” I said feeling smug. Kinda show-off-y.

Thomas handed me a bigger weight. Halfway across the floor, I thought I might throw up or pass out.

“You okay, Mom?”

I sat down. Caught my breath. Nodded.

“Here’s our next one,” he said. “Watch me first.”

Oh, dear.

Thomas hung upside down by one foot…and did sit-ups…while holding a weight. “Now, you try.”

“You’re crazy! I can’t do that.”

“Sure you can.”

It took me forever to master hanging like a possum.

Then Thomas moved near my feet so I could see his face.

Very slowly, I did one single sit-up holding a weight–the most difficult exercise I’ve ever done.

But wow! When I made it to the top and saw Thomas’s grin and heard him say, “Good job, Mom,” that’s the moment I embraced my new word. 🙂 🙂

Lesson Learned: You can do more than you think you can.

My word for 2013 is FOLLOW.

I pray I’ll follow God without arguing.

I pray I’ll follow without running ahead thinking I know best.

I pray I’ll follow and not lag behind, letting fear keep me from trying.

Do you have a 2013 word?




  1. follow…I love it! I was reading and thought…is her word strength., is it invincible…is it training????
    whew…follow. As I read your word, I felt relief for you, those words I was thinking about were scary…but follow is so tender. I see Jesus pausing and turning just a bit with His had reached out towards you…tender and kind He’s asking only that you follow.
    I love it so much…

  2. Brenda Greene says:

    Love, love, love it….Julie Girl! After “Listen” for 2012, I’m still waiting for my new word for this year. Hmmm…could it be “wait”?!!

    Continued thanks for your words of encouragement on Julie Wednesdays! Blessed New Year, Dear Friend!

    • Brenda, wouldn’t it be funny for your word to be “wait” and mine is “follow.” Love it! Only God.


  3. Loved this!

  4. I love your new word for 2013. It fits you and where you are. I, on the other hand, have not had enough of the word I smooched off of you last year: surrender. I started with it I think in maybe November and love the word and all it means to me. So here I go with a full year’s commitment to SURRENDER. And I have a lot to let go of.
    Hugs and love to you. You inspire me, Julie. Thank you.

    • I’m smiling as I read your precious comment, B.J. Surrender–wow what a year, what a word for me. I’m sooo honored you smooched my word and are keeping it. What a lesson in letting go–and you were there for me so many times.

      Love you.

  5. Janette says:

    I too, like BJ Taylor am loving the word Surrender for 2013. I love all that the word signifies and how it covers so many aspects in life. Surrender.. I think Follow is the perfect word to go with surrender because as we surrender we take His hand trustingly and Follow Him as lovingly leads us.

    • That’s how I felt, Janette. Now I must have the faith to keep following Him. Surrender was/is a huge daily life lesson for me! You’re so right-He lovingly leads us.

  6. Love the word “follow” — not so sure I could do the “without arguing” part, ’cause God & I, well, we have differing views on how this world should be run… 🙂

    My word for 2013 is completion: I want to run the race well, I desire Him to finish the work He’s begun in me, and I would really like for all my unfinished projects to be finished this year!

    Thank you, Julie, for being such an encouraging element in my life!

    • I know–me too with the arguing part. And the thing is, I can’t fool Him. He knows (even when I’m not arguing out loud) when my heart fights.

      Completion. Perfect! I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone choose that one, but boy….it’s a wonderful word. It includes both follow and surrender.

      Thank you, my friend. You encourage me right back!!

  7. Hi Julie. LOVED your story! And I was proud that I actually walked 30 minutes on the treadmill!

    Okay, my word for this year is “service.” Throughout my Bible study this year, I realized how many times we were told to take care of the orphans and widows. I’ve always been one who would donate to this cause or that and support these group needs in that way, but after this past year’s study, I hear Him saying He wants me to be more personally active in serving these dear people.

    I don’t know yet what that looks like, but am listening and hearing a few things. It’s going to be exciting to see what He has for me to do!

    Happy New Year, sweet friend!

    • Wonderful, Vonda. 30 minutes!!!

      Ohhhh, service. Wow. That one pricks at my heart. How like Jesus. And it sounds like you’re wide open to follow where He leads.

      Happy New Year to you. Would love to hear where service takes you.

  8. Happy New Year, Julie! I laughed out loud at “hanging like a possum.” You’re too cute!

    Last year, my word was “release”, like your surrender. This year it is “expect.” Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But I realize so many times when I pray, I don’t really expect God will answer. At least not in the way I requested. So, I feel God is leading me to “expect” that he will answer my cries and that he has my good in His heart.


    • EXPECT! Oh, Marie, I love it. It’s packed full of faith, love, joy, hope–all the good stuff.

      Your writing is beautiful. I love how you said…to expect that He will answer my cries and that he has my good in His heart.

      Total Faith.

  9. Sue Kuster says:

    Happy Wonderful New Year Julie!
    Your words could not have come at a better time for me:

    I pray I’ll follow God without arguing:
    I will listen to those he has chosen to help me get better, without offering reasons not to follow.

    I pray I’ll follow without running ahead thinking I know best:
    I will not research and worry about possible “better” solutions for a treatment plan.

    I pray I’ll follow and not lag behind, letting fear keep me from trying.
    I will not live my life in fear, but trust in Him to keep me trying again and again for recovery.

    Thank you, my Dear, Dear, Friend.

    • Sue, now I’m tearing up. I’m so humbled. So honored. So blessed that this touched you. I’m writing prayers for you daily.

      Thank you, my Dear, Dear Friend.

      I’m so grateful He brought us together.

  10. Geri Wilson says:

    I remember reading last year’s column Julie, and thinking how can I find the time to devote to keeping one word in my daily life. That question stayed on my mind as I faithfully read your blog and your friends’ s blogs all year and I realized that I, too, would choose a word in 2013. So, the word I chose is RENEW. This word will help me emphasize areas in my life that need a lift or that have grown slack…faith, relationships, trust, empathy, productive time, and probably many more areas! Anyway, we’ll see how it goes!!!

    Blessings to all and Thanks Julie!!!

    • Renew!!! I can’t think about that word and not smile, Geri! I love it. Reminds me of the Scriptures about God doing something new. And how He makes all things new

      It’s beautiful.

      Let me know how it goes. I’m praying….xoxoxo

  11. Could not just do one. Settled on “peace for the process”.

    • Yeah, Linda, my husband says he wants two words. “Dig in.” I told him there’s no word count limit. Ha!

      Peace for the Process. Beautiful. I pray the Lord will fill you with Peace that passes all understanding.

  12. Sandra Walker says:

    Wonderful post as usual! My word for this year is WORSHIP. My pastor talked about following in a sermon a few Sundays ago, only he called it “courageous obedience.” I liked that, too!

    • Worship.


      Worship. I can’t think of a better word choice. When we worship, especially during difficult days, we are made more like Him. Beautiful, Sandra.

      Thank you. And courageous obedience sums it up, doesn’t it….means we worship even through the trials–especially through the trials.

  13. I really enjoy reading your posts; today’s was no exception. Thank you.

    This is the first year I’ve chosen One Word: Perseverance. A difficult choice but I am looking forward to learning new things as I focus on Perseverance.

    Blessings, Julie!

    • Perseverance. Love it, Erica. Going to the Y with Thomas I felt an oomph of perseverance rise up inside me–especially when I wanted to say, “That’s enough. I’m going home now.” But think what I would have missed if I hadn’t tried to hang like a possum.

      Wonderful Word!!

  14. Hi Miss Julie,

    I sure do love learning about how each person’s word comes to them! Follow- wow- the many ways I can envision how this word can manifest in your life. My 12 year old son does lunges and always comes home telling how they lunged the whole length of the soccer field and back. His legs show it too!

    “Embrace” chose me this year… I’m a little apprehensive but that might just be the whole point 🙂 Blessings in the New Year to you!

  15. Embrace. Oh, Vicky. I even love the sound of it. And you’re right…it is a bit scary to pick a word, but exhilerating too!!

    Thanks for sharing your word.

    Now, on to our adventure!


  1. […] word for the year, FOLLOW, keeps following me around. Several weeks ago, I fell off the treadmill at the YMCA. Bending over […]

  2. […] I have this feeling He’s leading me into more adventures with Him. You know, my word for 2013 is FOLLOW. […]

  3. […] but I loved it. It’s tiny and tender compared to my last three heavyweights–surrender,  follow, […]

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