One Word 2016……Rest

Sometimes you pray and ask God for something that you think you really want. Then when He answers your prayers, you discover that perhaps you are a just a little bit miffed at the answer He gave.

One Word



So it is with my One Word for 2016. For the past several years I have asked the Lord for a word that would define the coming year. A word that I could lean into. A word that He would use and bring to pass in my life that year. Each year He has been faithful to give me a word, or two. Each year that word has impacted my life in ways that I cannot even begin to recount.

2012 ………………. TRUST

2013 ………………. JESUS ……………… FOCUS

2014 ……………… LOSS……………….OTHERS

2015 ……………… RENEW


I’ll just tell you, though, I do not like my word for 2016 one little bit. I’ve told Him that. This word will require something of me. Not that the other words and years did not. Oh, boy did they!

This one, however, is different. If you know me at all, you know that I am a Type A control-freak. I have little patience for laziness or shirking one’s responsibilities. My motto has always been ‘if I want something done right, I just need to do it myself’. I go like a crazy woman from the time my feet hit the floor until I drop in bed. I feel guilty if I am not productive, and lists are my very best friend.

Oh, I would love to just plop in a chair and read for a few hours, but then how would the laundry get done or the bills get paid? Who would keep Bible study going? How in the world would the world turn without me being constantly busy???? (Okay, that last one was very much tongue-in-cheek!)  

Late in the summer, I began to feel the Lord beating on my thick head about this issue of busy-ness and a lack of true rest. I wrote about it here.  When I finally recognized that the Lord was trying to communicate with me concerning leading and hosting Bible study, I bent my knee in submission and stepped back from both activities. When our group resumes in January, I will be a participant, not a leader or hostess.

I thought, surely, that would be enough. But, NOOOOOOO! God continued to pester me. I should have known better than to pray about a word for 2016, given how clearly He told me to step away from Bible study leadership. Once I began to sense what the WORD would be, I might have thrown a little fit about it. I might have said, “Next word, please.” I might have balked ever so much.

However, good sense kicked in. I have walked with Jesus long enough to know that He will get His way. That will happen one of two ways…and which way it happens is up to me:

  • I can bend my knee to His desire
  • Or He can break my legs (not necessarily literally) and remind me that His way is best

I’m wise enough to know that I need to bend my stubborn knee to what He desires. It’s just easier on me.

So, in obedience to what I clearly hear Him telling me, I am seeking to embrace my WORD for 2016.



One Word.....2016

I am already finding several ways and areas that I need to embrace this word, rest. Physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually….He is showing me areas where I must rest and wait and trust.

  • Physical rest – I am seeking to carve out at least an hour a day where I am not productive and busy
  • Spiritual rest – Waiting on God, seeking to hear His voice, turning down the noise of life
  • Relational rest – I am using Arabah Joy’s incredible goal setting program, Grace Goals, to help me cease some relationship struggles. Grace Goals is a wonderful tool for any changes one needs to make. NOTE: I am an affiliate for Grace Goals, which means I will earn a small commission if you chose to purchase it. I only recommend products that I use and love, so you can be certain that Grace Goals is worth your money
  • Emotional rest – I am not responsible for the world. I am only responsible for me. I cannot force relationships and circumstances. I must trust God and his timing for those.

These are just a few of the ways that I am praying and moving into my 2016 word……REST. I know that God will bless my submission and obedience. I hope to share more about my dance with REST as 2016 moves forward.

What is your word or verse for 2016? How are you approaching your word? What is God doing in your heart in light of your word? Please share with us here.

Grace Goals Course

(Visited 202 times, 1 visits today)
  • Jerri Miller

    Oh my! Leah!!! Guess what my 2016 word is? Yes, the same as yours, rest. I am a listmaker and a person who loves being productive as well, so this word is definitely a challenge for me. I look forward into seeing how you do with the word rest because I definitely need inspiration. ~ Jerralea

    • Jerralea!! That is crazy that we chose, er um, God chose, the same word for us. We can hold each other accountable in 2016. I am eager to walk this path.

      • Jerri Miller

        You’ll have a big job with me, I’m afraid!

  • Mariel

    Was just pondering this from 2015…my word was REJOICE and 2015 was the hardest year to date. Hmm….discovered it’s about rejoicing IN HIM…not these surrounding circumstances. For 2016, He has been clear I am to focus on LOVE…particularly His love, as in 1 john 4:19 (He always gives me a verse with my word, lest i try to define it myself! Lol)
    Anyway, friend, praying you find rest in 2016 that draws you nearer to our Lord.


    • Hello dear Mariel, it is good to hear from you! I’m sorry that 2015 was a hard year, although I have found that those tough times drive me deeper into the arms of Jesus. I know that you know that and have likely found it to be true. LOVE…what a great focus. I pray that 2016 brings many joys and smiles for you and that LOVE characterizes everything that touches you. Peace….

  • Rebekah M. Hallberg

    Oh boy! I’m pretty sure God and I would have had quite the discussion about this word, too, if the past 2 years had been different. I feel like all I’ve done is rest, though, and I’m ready to go! That’s the amazing thing – we are all called to rest at different times. For me, the past two years. For you, this coming year. God is so wise to stagger our rest – to give us time to sit back and be refreshed and refilled for what He has next! Yours is a tough word, friend, but I know you can do it!

  • Pingback: The End: A Journey Through the Revelation()

  • Joy Baker

    The first time I engaged in a one-word focus it ended up being a two-year focus. Why are we sometimes stubborn learning the lessons God has for us when we know He has a best in mind? It took me a while but I have learned, by necessity, to SIMPLIFY! This year when I asked the Lord threw a word at me that surprised me. I would have described myself as a contented person, in that I feel “have all that I need” but with the Holy Spirit’s help in examining my heart I realized (ouch) that I need to learn CONTENTMENT in sooo many areas of life if I am to experience the depth of peace God has for me. In 2016 I will pursue CONTENTMENT. Already, I have felt conviction when discontent has arisen. Godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6) is my goal therefore I will not ignore His nudges.

    • Wow! Now that is a WORD. Contentment….I would venture to guess that most of us could use some time journeying with that word. Isn’t it wonderful how intimately acquainted our Jesus is with us, and knows exactly where we need work, even when we do not realize it. Joy, thank you for stopping in and blessing me with such a thought-provoking comment.

  • I’m looking at a question this year instead of a word: What’s your hurry?
    Reading your post just now, I think we have similar goals. God has directed me toward the book of Hebrews for this season. I believe that this is because of the emphasis on hearing God speak and the clear presentation of the truth that my role is “listener.”

  • faith

    You are the second person today whom I’ve read that has A the word “rest” as the word for 2016. My word is “simplify” (Still was my word for 2014 and it was along the lines of being still (resting) and knowing God. I wrote several posts that year regarding my journey with the word and what the Lord was showing me. This year I hope to simplify in ALL areas of my life… become yet even more intimate with my Redeemer and go even deeper with Him. American woman (Christians included!!) really do need to learn to rest…we are so busy these days and yet sometimes those things simply must be set aside….physically, mentally, emotionally and yes even spiritually (meaning just say NO to certain ministry duties, etc). our busyness can become an idol! I learned alot in 2014. :)

    • Faith, thank you for stopping in! Simplify is such a great word, and one that most of us could benefit from considering. You are right….American women do need to learn to rest. I’m learning! So glad you stopped in!!

  • Robbi Bittle

    Great word. It is hard these days to remember to rest. I am working on taking a Sabbath day each week. We are not made to constantly go from the time we get up to the time we go to bed every day. It’s so hard to just step back and rest.Thanks for sharing!

    • Ouch! Ouch! ‘We are not made to constantly go’. Ouch! It is why I need to focus on rest. Thanks for stopping in, Robbi.

  • I’m a doer too <3 I'll be praying you find the "rest" that Matthew 11:28 speaks of! Coming to you from The Loft 😉

    • We are kindred souls, huh? thanks for stopping in.

  • Pingback: OneWord365: When God Uses a Word to Rock Your World()

  • Pingback: Authentic: Have You Lost Your Spiritual Passion()