Dwell My One Word 2013Despite my desire to keep “expectant” for 2013–I’d like a do-over on that one, please–I’m choosing a new word for 365. A word that–I think, I hope, I pray–will shape my soul in such a way that I can actually look forward with joyful expectancy, and not with fear.

About 5 years ago, my husband and I led a small group Bible Study at our church for young couples. We chose the name Dwell for the study, because of the layered richness of the word in context.

Psalm 91 (and plenty of other places in the Old Testament) sings the importance of remaining close to God, starting with verse 1–

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Dwell’s synonyms are abide, rest, occupy. Synonyms for “dwell on” include ruminate, contemplate, highlight. These words explain my dissatisfaction with “expectant” for 2012. When I look back, far too much of my time was spent ruminating on the wrong things. I’m entering 2013 feeling the importance of what I’m dwelling on–what I’m turning over in my mind, what I’m feeling in my heart, what I’m choosing to ponder.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

And finally, Dwell is an edgy design magazine I like to peruse. Dwell is where–and how–I live. This year my fuzzy goal is to cultivate a warmer atmosphere in my home: more love, more joy, more kindness. My kids are quickly getting older, and it terrifies me. I need more time to do better by them, but I’m running out of it. This year I’m focusing on where–and how–we dwell.

These are the things I need this year: to nestle close to God, to ponder wisely, and rightly, and to imbue the place where I dwell with love.

I resisted “dwell” because it feels static, but I recognize the divine nudge, and this is it.

And if “dwell” completely intimidates me, I suspect that means I’m on the right track.

God willing, 2013 will be a time to deepen my roots, and my peace, and my love.


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