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Continuing to Discern a Word of the Year

The beauty of discerning a word of a year is that, even months after the process and decision, God has gently and lovingly shown me His why behind each of my words and His reasoning.

After what I would call the success of my first two years of having a word of the year (and if you’d like to read about that, here’s that article) I felt pretty confident in the process. Not cocky, but confident. As my year of leaning into my vocation as a mother continued to unfold, it became quite clear to me what my next word should be for the year 2021. As we were still navigating the pandemic and finding ourselves in the midst of or online learning with our children and the blessings brought from the change in our normal routine, it became even more evident to me that I wanted to work on my relationship with my daughter. But this time, it was more complex.

Even as I sit here writing, I’m having a hard time finding the right words because I am still working on it and will continue to work on it. Although I imagine this was part of God’s greater plan. Afterall, He knew (and knows) the complexities of the word “daughter” for me. I have had a hard time realizing I was never just a daughter to my own parents, John and Diana: I was a daughter to so many others. I had aunts and uncles who did (and still do) consider me a daughter in some form or fashion.

But God had and has other focal points. When I first began my year with this word, I felt like He wanted me to focus on what it meant to be a daughter of God. He wanted me to focus on relying on Him as His daughter so I could nurture my own daughter as a mother.




At the end of December of that year, I realized I had yet to go through my process of discernment for a word of the year for 2022. But God, in His loving and, honestly, a rather abstract way reminded me. How? With technology. Initially, in the form of an email, and then in the form of a “word of the year” generator.


At the time, I thought it meant that God wanted me to “see” certain things or certain people. But as the year has progressed, it has proven to have an even deeper meaning. Once again, the USCCB translation of the Bible verse that struck me does not include the actual word “see." However, the intended meaning is there.

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” (Proverbs 15:3)


When I looked up the verb “see” in the dictionary, what initially stood out to me then was this particular definition: to be aware of; recognize. God wants me to know He sees me. His eyes are in every place. He recognizes me as both a mother and daughter who wants to abide.

Another variation of the definition of the word is to imagine as a possibility. God wants me to see the possibilities of what it means to be a mother and daughter when I abide, or remain with Him.

Wow. As I’m writing this, it’s all coming together.




Recently, I listened to a Gospel Reflection in which I heard the word “see” used.

And may we "see," truly see that we may be given a vision that sees the beauty of all and calls us to serve through the eyes of Christ.


I am being called to see so many aspects of each of these words through the eyes of Christ. And I am being called to continue to see how I will be called to serve through the eyes of Christ for many years (and words to come).

I look forward to continuing to share my journey and where God is ever so humbly leading me with regard to my word for 2023.

God bless.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Thomas
Images: Canva


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