One Word Series- Word Origin

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s day…but, I’ll confess that it was actually until I had little girls that I began to love the holiday. With children, all things kind of become special, so any festive time, we’re there!

Did everyone find their word of the year?? The only thing you REALLY need to study your word is a word and maybe some paper and pencil/computer. But, it really does help me to have a small journal dedicated just to the word, or you could have one journal for all your words each year if you don’t think you could (or want to) fill up an entire journal each year. I doodle visuals in my notes often and they are terrible and somewhat big, so I need the extra space. 😉

Are you ready to dive into your word? Going back to the basics is always a good idea, and that same thing goes for studying any sort of words. So, you’ll need to find the original meaning of your word. I recommend finding the Hebrew and Greek meanings of your word, but if God has given you a verse, it’s easy to start right there.

Studying your Word

For me, I was given a verse, but it took me a bit to remember that. I just kept hearing one phrase that kept coming to mind repeatedly. “renew a steadfast spirit.” I googled to find the spot and found myself right in the middle of Psalm 51:10.  I have a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance where I looked up my word, but there are PLENTY of awesome sites online to use. (Though, if you’re in the market for a concordance, often has them for a very, very reasonable price.) My favorite site is If you have a verse, head to the interlinear verses and find your verse to find a breakdown of all the words in that verse. If you do not have a particular verse for yours, then type your word into the search bar, and you should end up with lots of verses with your word.

For example, my word is renew, and the Hebrew word for renew in Ps 51:10 is chadash (this is the transliteration. basically, how they can best spell it in our language). Most words will have a short definition, long definition, and root word. Short definition of chadash: renew. Long definition: renew, repair, be made new. Prim. root: to be new; causatively, to rebuild — renew, repair. Sometimes, the definitions don’t seem life altering. We already knew that, but every once in awhile, you’ll look up a word you assumed you would know all about, only to realize a tiny part of it you didn’t. Also, anytime you begin a journey in learning, it’s good to nail down the basics.

For instance, a friend of mine has a word that’s Boldness…or Bold. not sure, BUT, she sent me the verse that kept coming to her. When I looked boldness up in that verse, the word in the Greek was really intriguing. It meant freedom, and leaving a witness that something deserved to be remembered. Basically, freedom to get others to take something seriously. !! who knew it’d look like that??

With my word, I took note of all the different words that meant renew and looked each one up and jotted down some notes as I went. Finally, I looked up renew in websters just to see how the old definitions and new definitions differ. Some of those definitions really resonated with my soul in things that I knew were coming or things that were happening right in this season.

Also, because it is early in the year, stay aware that another word may be on your heart that is only a part of the word you were originally given. Last year, my word was love…then I was baffled that I kept getting lessons in humility. I wondered if I had only wanted it to be “love” and heard wrong. It wasn’t until later that I realized that humility is the forerunner of true biblical love. This year, my word is “renew” but “intentional” is all over my  heart. I realize that I cannot renew some areas or relationships until I do the hard work of moving obstacles and setting boundaries that come with an intentional life.

So, ready to look up some words? Take the time to read up on your word and if something jumps out at you, please share back here! I’d LOVE to hear some of these word definitions and how they apply to your life season.

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