Monday Motivation: 3 Words for 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

"By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command..." 
~ Hebrews 11:3

Image via Flickr/Creative Commons
I believe in the power of words. Since I'm a writer, you probably already knew that.

But the Jesus freak in me also drives my belief that words are important. With words the Creator spoke the world into being and with the written words of sacred texts, that same Creator communicates with us humans. John 1:1 says that Jesus is actually the living Word of God. Thus, it seems like words are a pretty big deal to God, so they should be a pretty big deal to me too.

Last week Sheree Martin of The Ben Franklin Follies asked such an intriguing question about words:

Can three words inspire, motivate — even define you for an entire year? A lifetime? If words shape our thoughts, our emotions, our actions, it would seem so.

And I completely agree with Sheree, who chose zoom, vivace, and jazz for her words. I was eager to come up with three words of my own to guide my year. Then I remembered my vow to let direct my plans for 2013 and I started pouted saying, "But God, I wanna play too!" 

Right after I read Sheree's post a tweet by Jamie Golden led me to her blog Jamie's Rabbits. Jamie confessed that she'd had a "Bah humbug" attitude toward the gratitude posts everyone was sharing on Facebook during the month of December.  "Then," she said, "God found Himself in my face for the upteenth time. He started with scripture. HE ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE DANG BIBLE." 

That scripture was 
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 -- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances...

And just like that God told me I could play along too and showed me what my three words should be. 

I've struggled with depression most of my life and since anti-depressants turn me into a zombie I've been searching for other ways to cope. 

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the quote "Joy is a choice" and added it to my vision board hoping it would serve as daily encouragement. Instead it became a daily annoyance. Choosing joy is hard! And that cute little quote scribbled on a yellow index card was not making it any easier. (I confess to throwing a shoe or two at my vision board thanks to this quote.)

I shared this story with someone who was praying with me this weekend at a church retreat. She looked at me and said, "God wants you to know that joy is a Person. And that person lives within you." And with that I felt the weight 10,000 vision boards lift from my shoulders. Instead of working to be happy I need to simply bask in God's presence, which leads me to my second word...

Prayer booth 3
Prayer Booth
Image by Zach Alexander via Flickr/Creative Commons


Merriam-Webster defines communion as an act or instance of sharing or intimate fellowship or rapport. In 2013 my hope is to have intimate fellowship with God through prayer, worship, and study of the Bible, and by serving other people. The word communion not only makes me think of God, but also the people I love. In 2013, I want to spend more quality time with my friends and family and find more ways to inspire women writers.

true to form
Image via Flickr/Creative Commons


In 2013 I want to "give thanks in all circumstances." When things are great at work, when See Jane Write is being celebrated, when more and more people start reading my blog, and when freelance gigs come pouring in I want to give thanks to God and be careful not to take credit for these blessings. And when my students are driving me crazy, when I'm frustrated with See Jane Write, when I feel like no one cares about anything I write, and when the freelance jobs are scarce I want to still give thanks because I know that bad days only make good days sweeter and challenges only make me stronger. And I will give thanks because I believe the words found in Romans 8:28 --  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

What three words will guide you in the year 2013? 


  1. Awesome story, Javacia. Thanks for sharing your experience. I LOVE your three words.

    Joy is key. And choosing joy is so hard. It's wonderful to know that your friend shared such insight with you. It's guidance that spoke to me. Joy does indeed live within, so it's not so much the choice but letting the joy come to the surface.

    Joy and gratitude are very much related. I think the joy within can be released through the gratitude we show, regardless of circumstances. Gratitude in all things isn't about passive acceptance of "the bad" along with "the good," but it's simply recognition that we can become better people, learn something, through adversity as well as blessing.

    I also love communion. It yields many notions and avenues for exploration.

    Great choices. I look forward to sharing your post in my compilation!

    1. "I think the joy within can be released through the gratitude we show, regardless of circumstances." -- I love this!

  2. Great post. I'm still working on my three words. I only have one for now.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading your post when it's complete.

  3. Karla Ross-Church of the HighlandsDecember 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    As always Javacia, you inspire!

  4. Never knew you struggled with depression. I have, too. I remember a woman in my Sunday school class years ago who takes 20+ pills a day to treat her lupus saying, "I choose to be happy." It's a difficult choice.

    1. It's a difficult choice, indeed. Thanks for reading!

  5. I love this post! I will have to think of three words to set the tone for my new year.

    I have to remind myself that there is something I can learn from every experience.

    1. Let me know when you've written about your three words. I'd love to read your post!


  6. Amazing.

    Three words generally guide me every year: Live, Laugh, Love.

    1. Those are definitely great words to guide any year!