Grace – Word of the Year

It’s 2021 and time for a new word for the year.  Each January I listen for God’s prompting for growth in an area of my life, and each year I receive a word or words whispered to my heart.

The word for this year is grace.  After some difficult family interactions before Christmas, which were of course COVID related, then reading Philip Yancy’s book What’s So Amazing about Grace, as well as hearing this word echoed in sermons by a variety of pastors, and emphasized in personal time spent in God’s presence – I knew.

I hesitated as this word became clear to me.  It reminded me of a time when I was raising young boys and praying for “patience.”  I quickly learned that God gave many opportunities for me to learn patience and that I should be careful what I prayed for.  But I sense this word needs to be planted deep within me, and I trust that God always knows just where I need to grow each year. 

What is grace anyway?  Can you define it?

Some would say it is something you do before a meal – “say grace.”  Others may say a ballerina has grace, or a refined person displays grace.  Others are offered grace, like a “grace period” for paying money owed or for an extension of time.

In simple Biblical terms, grace is unmerited favor.  We are given something we didn’t earn and don’t deserve.  Grace comes free of charge, no strings attached.

Think of a time when you felt significant shame or guilt.  Never did you want and need grace more than at that moment.  Being forgiven, being made right again, and being shown grace can break through and soften even the toughest hearts.

If we all exercised grace, how quickly would the tensions and divisions we are experiencing in our country melt away? 

What does God’s Word say about grace?  Apostle Paul teaches us about grace when he said, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

We can do nothing to earn God’s favor.  God’s love and grace are His to lavish on His children.  He knows our hearts, thoughts, and ways – yet still loves us as only God can.

I’m finding that as I give and receive grace, I am changed for the good.  To extend grace to another frees me to love as Jesus does.  My heart softens.  Joy floods in.  Receiving grace enables me to experience deep gratitude, humility, and an unexpected soaring of my spirit.

People come to know grace by being shown grace. 

As I choose to offer grace this year to those who have hurt me, to pray for a divided nation in need of grace, and to share with those hungry for the love and grace given by our Lord Jesus Christ – I’m hopeful that God will build a bridge of peace, joy, and love through the gift of grace. 

Do you choose a word, Bible verse, or phrase for a new year?  Please share what you are focused on for 2021.


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9 thoughts on “Grace – Word of the Year

  1. Catherine Leonard

    You are in a sense a personification of the word Grace. You give grace, kindness, and joy to others as much as you are able and more, as God enables you.
    Good to see you back.

  2. Arleen

    What a beautiful breath of fresh air you are. I’ve missed you and your keen insight. Yes, welcome back! ❤️ Arleen

    1. LeannSeale Post author

      Thank you, Arleen. Following God’s leading and the words are flowing once again 🙂

    1. LeannSeale Post author

      Thank you, Lorie. Excited you are here, and that the words about grace resonated. Hugs to you!

  3. Leah Olson

    I’ve been looking forward to your blog post! I have not chosen a word yet, but the words “perseverence” or “grit” comes to mind first. These are words that I am constantly reminding my sweet little students about and character traits many of us have had no option but to develop over the last year. Plus, our Lord reminds us to persevere!

  4. Traci Nielsen

    I hope to handle adversity with grace this year. Peace is a big word that keeps resonating with me too. Hugs and love . Thank you for your words.

    1. LeannSeale Post author

      Traci, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing your strength and grace, as you went through a very rough season. May God give you the peace and grace to continue through this year. Thank you for reading 🙂 Hugs

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