Jan 10, 2018

Life-Giving: My Word for 2018

Every January, as I reflect back at the previous year and set goals for the new year (using Lara Casey's helpful tools), I prayerfully choose a word that I hope will define or at least help steer my priorities for the new year. Here's a look back at my words for previous years.

2017 - Quality (I wanted to focus more on quality rather than quantity in my goals & in my QT with Greg)
2016 - Koinonia (Greek work describing intentional community, which I desperately needed as a newlywed and recently moved to Texas) and New-beginnings (new wife, new job, new home, new errrrthing)
2015 - Selah (pausing and praising God amidst the busyness of work and dating/engaged/newlywed
2014 - Delight (finding joy amidst the mundane as well as the stressful; this happened to be the year I met Greg, so he was my greatest delight!)

In 2018, my word is:


First, allow me to be a nerd for a minute (or two) and define the word according to dictionary.com....


1.imparting, or having the ability to impart, life or vitality; invigorating;vitalizing. Example: life-giving love and praise.

The Greek word used in different Bible passages for life-giving is:

  • zoopoieo, which implies "to make alive, cause to live, quicken". 
Biblical references to life-giving, includes the following passages:

  • "The first Adam became a living being; the last Adam [Jesus!] became a life-giving spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45; emphasis mine) 

  • The Spirit gives life [ John 5:21, 6:63, 2 Corinthians 3:6 ]



In 2018, I want to continually lean on Jesus, the LIFE-GIVING Bread of Life [John 6:35] and Living Water [John 4:14, 7:37-39]. He gave me NEW LIFE, redemption, restoration, salvation. And through the power of His Holy Spirit, He sustains me, teaches me, guides me. I want to grow in my trust, adoration and worship, and obedience to the LIFE-GIVER.

  • Goals: Study, meditate, and pray through the rest of the New Testament (I finished 2 Corinthians in December so I am starting the year in Galatians) using tools like She Reads Truth and the inductive Bible study method; pray more intentionally and record answered prayers to bolster my faith; review Bible study notes and sermon notes from past years to re-learn Biblical truths; read My Utmost for His Highest devotional all year (by Oswald Chambers).


In 2018, I want my words, actions, motives and thoughts to be LIFE-GIVING to the people around me, including my husband, extended family, friends and church community, and people I work with and serve as a pediatric nurse practitioner. I want to be present rather than distractible, reflecting Jesus' love rather than being judgmental, impatient, unforgiving, or putting secondary things in front of the primary (people!)

  • Goals: Improve communication skills with Greg in a few key areas, read a marriage book together and continuing to discuss THESE questions at least once a month, continue to serve in the volunteer opportunities I am currently blessed to be a part of (including Young Life Capernaum and teaching ESL to two Burmese refugee women), make an effort to meet up for coffee/tea with friends in town and send snail mail to faraway friends to keep in touch.


In 2018, I want to cultivate a LIFE-GIVING home that is safe, welcoming, loving, restful, accepting, and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. This includes simplifying schedules and belongings as well as prioritizing what matters most rather than trying to do it all (and losing quality time in the process).

  • Goals: cleaning and organizing our apartment; prioritizing quality time with Greg over productivity when he is home; keeping our apartment tidy and organized; inviting people to our home more often and feeding them nourishing meals and loving on them while they are here; reading about what a life-giving home and hospitality looks like from wise, older women.


In 2018, I want to engage in healthy habits that will be LIFE-GIVING and energizing to my overall health because a healthy lifestyle will not only affect my physical body, but it will also affect my thoughts, attitude, mood, and ability to be present for the relationships in my life. If I am feeding my body trash, I end up feeling depleted and my attention and concentration is poor. The same goes if I am choosing to not be physically active. And the same goes for my mental wellness; the more I am filling my mind with needless social media and distractions, the more I struggle with contentment, perfectionism, people-pleasing, comparison.

  • Goals: continuing to jog at least once a week and increasing speed and endurance, run another 10K and 5K, refusing to cheat on food restrictions (dairy and gluten), using cookbooks I own to learn new vegan recipes, getting to bed earlier, meal planning, social media "fast" every 3 months and continuing my social media-free Sundays, journaling gratitude daily to remind myself of God's goodness and the daily joys rather than focusing on anxiety.


In 2018, I want to write more blog posts that are LIFE-GIVING and point readers to the LIFE-GIVER. In 2017, the majority of my posts were focused on book reviews, which is great, but I really missed writing heartfelt reflections. The main purpose of my blog has always been to point people to the beautiful hope of the gospel and I want to be more intentional in carving out time to do this.

  • Goal: Write a heartfelt, encouraging post at least once a month, connect with blogging community through commenting on other blogs (I've really missed connecting with bloggers!)


In 2018, I want our finances and generosity to be LIFE-GIVING. I want us to be more generous to the ministries we feel led to support, including our local church. I also want to be generous in treating people to lunch or giving gift cards to restaurants to people in our lives who serve others continually; a little thank you for the sacrificial work they do on a daily basis. I want us to be good stewards of our money (be responsible in budgeting and keeping track of our spending), learn more about the home buying process (and start a search??), and discuss potentially going on a short-term mission trip.

  • Goals: Monthly budgeting meetings, reading a book/blog posts on financing and home buying, monthly bless someone with a gift card or a meal paid as a thank you for their service towards others, be more intentional about tithing to our church and discuss whether we can increase the amount we give, update our YNAB (You Need A Budget) account biweekly, improve my own spending and improve tracking my 'fun money' on the app.


In 2018, I want to carve out time to do fun things that are LIFE-GIVING to me; things that revitalize me when I am emotionally and physically depleted and/or need some introvert time. These include reading, painting, and writing.

  • Goals: Finish my paint-by-numbers of a Paris-inspired painting, continue to learn new watercolor skills, take a calligraphy class, play violin again, read books I own, post my Europe travel photos.
(source: unsplash)

So, there you have it. These are the reasons I want LIFE-GIVING to be a word that helps steer my priorities, goals, and vision for 2018. Do you have a word for 2018? What did you choose it and what to you hope it will help you focus on in 2018?

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Elle Alice