Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Book Review: One Perfect Word

During January, I read the book One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber. I don't know where the practice began of choosing one word to focus on during the new year, but apparently this author has been doing it for quite a while - all the way back into the 1990s!

I love the idea of choosing a word to focus on for a year, but each year that I've done so, I've ended up just choosing the word that sounded good to me . . . and nothing happening from there. This year I wanted my word to be chosen more deliberately, and I wanted it to be something more from my inner heart than in years past, something that had personal meaning for me. Debbie's book definitely helped me learn to choose my word with deliberation, and to choose it with my heart in mind rather than my outward life. The funny thing is, the word I chose this year will affect my heart, and as a result, it will affect my outward life.

In One Perfect Word, Debbie describes in detail how she has chosen some of her words for different years of her life, and how those words have changed her and shaped her life each year. I enjoyed reading her insights into various words, developed as she studied, prayed over, and journaled them each year. Each chapter includes her suggestions for discovering your word for the year, how to explore and study that word, and how to apply the lessons you learn from studying your word for the year. She offers excerpts from her personal journals, and gives tips for transforming your word from an abstract concept to a tangible part of your daily life. Each chapter also has a theme Bible verse for the word highlighted.

I enjoyed reading her personal stories of how her word for the year played out in her life in ways she never expected. Some of her words are things I would not naturally choose, like "obedience" or "hunger." But God used those words in her life to teach her throughout the year exactly what obedience and hunger are biblically. Several chapters contained practical advice for words such as "balance" or "goals." I especially enjoyed the chapter on "purpose." I love that God has a purpose for each person's life! I'm sure that there will be at least one chapter that will resonate within your heart; I found several that touched my heart!

The quote I most enjoyed from One Perfect Word was in the beginning of the book:

"When we choose one single word from His Word and spend a year with it, I've found that the Lord takes us by the hand and walks us through the year, teaching us about that word, about ourselves, and even more, about God Himself." Page 11

I found One Perfect Word easy to read, with plenty to think about, but not so heavy that you have to spend a lot of time digesting what you've read. I would recommend it if you're thinking of choosing a word as your theme for a new year, or even just for quick tips on how to study a word in-depth. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links!


  1. I've never done this as a practice - I've known some people to be SO into it that I think I rebelled a little bit. :-) I was thinking of doing a post on the concept a few weeks ago but then didn't want to offend anyone who did it or have them think I was totally against it. It's not something we're told to do in the Bible, though it is not in itself unbiblical. But taking some concentrated time to focus on one particular area is something we all need to do sometimes, and I can see how choosing a word for the year could facilitate that. I always seem to have a variety of things God is dealing with me about at any given time that I can't reduce to a single word.

    1. I understand what you're saying, Barbara. In past years, I've done it just to do the "in" thing, and my word was usually something I wanted to work on as a character trait during the year. At the end of last year, though, I wasn't going to choose a word. Then the Advent Bible study I did kept mentioning one word over and over again, and it was a scriptural principle, and a fruit of the Spirit. So I chose a word, but you'll notice I haven't blogged about it yet. I just haven't felt the time is right, and I'm savouring it as all my own, an area where I need growth after the past few years. It's definitely something God has dealt with me about - I feel it fits my life's season right now. One Perfect Word was a help in making this word my own, rather than it being a "fitting in" type of thing among bloggers! Thanks for your input!


Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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