My three words for 2015

A few years back (2012 to be exact), I traded one-word aspirations for full-blown New Year’s resolutions. At the time, it sounded less a challenge to live into a few syllables than to follow through on complete sentences. Three years and nine words later, I know otherwise.

Whether in a few words or many, committing myself to a particular direction for the year means there’s work ahead – and not necessarily what I would choose. In fact, more than once during 2014 I wanted to cry “uncle” on contentment and patience (two of my words). But despite the rough times, there was fun (the third word in my trio) and that kept me going.

2015_bullseye_10366So I’m back again, here at the beginning of 2015, with three words for the new year. The words are


Prayer. This past year, childcare for grandkids took over my early morning prayer time and I’ve not found another hour in the day to replace it. I’m all for praying without ceasing, but frantic shout-outs while on the run aren’t much substitute for quiet conversations with God. As Henri Nouwen wrote in With Open Hands, “a little prayer can’t do any harm . . . [but] it can’t do much good either. Prayer has meaning only if it is necessary and indispensable.”

In 2015, my goal is to make prayer a priority in every day, setting aside time that is unhurried, quiet, and calm. I want prayer to be a “necessary and indispensable” activity and not an add-on when the going gets rough.

Sabbath. Once upon a time, my husband and I took long drives on Sunday afternoon, reveling in the beauty of the central Pennsylvania country side. Or I took a nap. Or read a book. Or hung out with friends. In short, I actually had one day a week without agenda, appointments, or work. But it hasn’t been that way for several years now and I am bone-weary from constant busyness.

In 2015, I am determined to cut back, slow down, and make time for Sabbath – a few hours in every day and one whole day in seven. If I’m successful with this one, at year-end both God and I will say, “It has been good.”

Celebration. I admire people who make a party out of every little thing. I see the pictures posted to Facebook and think I should do the same. But then I let even the big events fly right past me. Birthdays, anniversaries, and jobs well done go mostly un-noted and un-celebrated at our house because I’m too busy to plan ahead.

In 2015, I want to be alert to and ready to celebrate the good things, big and small, that God brings into the lives of family and friends. In person, online, by telephone, and/or with hand-written notes, I look forward to rejoicing with those who rejoice and in turn, inviting others to rejoice with me.


As in years past, I am eager to hear what three words God may be whispering in the hearts of Generous Matters readers. Let me (and others) know by writing your words in the comment section below. While you think and listen, here are  three timely words from me to you.

Happy. New. Year.

For my three words from earlier years, see:

My three words for 2012

My three words for 2013

My three words for 2014


  1. Surrender, Balance, Fun are my three. Rebekah, I so enjoy your writings. Thank you for taking the time to inspire the rest of us! Beki Duke

  2. Ruth Lapp Guengerich says:

    Very interesting that you ask. Also very interesting that somehow I missed your previous 3 years of 3 words. Just this morning I simply recorded in my journal three words for 2015: kindness, compassion, affirmation. All three acts which I intend to practice with more intention in 2015.

    • I love your words, Ruth, and they sound like what a leader in Mennonite Women would choose. I look forward to checking in with you and others throughout the year as we encourage each other to stay true to our three words. Blessings to you.

  3. Thank you for posting your words here for all to see, Beki. I will “nag” you about staying to true to your commitment if you’ll do the same for me. I’m honored that you read and are inspired by Generous Matters. Thank you.

  4. Knowledge, Plan, Resilience. Having fought with these three words and concepts for several years, they are an obvious choice for my words for 2015

    Thank you Rebekah. May God bless you and your family, and your ministry this year.

  5. Dorothy Gish says:

    I have the praying but have backslidden on the Sabbath and sure need help with celebration. So my three works are Humility, Sabbath and Celebration knowing that I need God’s help to do any or all of these.

    • Humble would have been a good word for me, too, Dorothy. This morning as I read from John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer, the line “Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself” jumped out at me. I’ll keep humble on tap for 2016.

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