The summer of 2004 is one I will never forget for multiple reasons. It was my first trip overseas and I was thrilled to get my first stamp in my passport. I had dreams of filling that passport with stamps from all over the world but my first stop was on a study abroad I took to the beautiful country of Spain. I was minoring in Spanish and thought this would be the perfect way to practice my Spanish while getting to see a part of the world I had always dreamed of seeing. As a bonus, our professor was a native to the part of Spain in which we would spend most of our time and knew of places beyond your typical travel guide and tourist attractions.
One of the first things I notice each time I discern a word of the year is how randomly I suddenly see that word or hear it said. It's like those moments when you are made aware of something that you immediately notice more. For example, I decided long before I could drive that my dream car was a Volkswagen Beetle. I saw one nearly every time I was in a car and still notice them, especially if it happens to be a metallic blue Super Beetle, to be exact. But this year for 2023, instead of a car, it is a word. And, ironically enough, I feel like God has been using my love language (which is "words of affirmation") to continue to solidify where He is guiding me. I honestly don't remember the exact moment in time when it hit me but I knew it was my word. Or, rather, several variations of this word. Once again while driving, I heard it—just as I had heard my first word . Humility: freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble. ( Merriam-Webster.