2 Reasons Why I Need ‘Filter’ to be My Word for 2017

Word Filter

I have to admit something—I didn’t choose a word to focus on for 2016.

I know you’re probably like, What??!! Are you kidding me? . . .

What self-respecting Christian blogger doesn’t choose a word to focus on, be challenged by, and apply time-after-time all throughout the year?

Well, apparently this one. 😦 #bloggerfail

Word Filter

If you don’t know me very well, you might think I’m being totally serious here about how I’ve failed. But I’m really not trying to beat myself up over this choice “not” to choose.

So why am I choosing a word to focus on in 2017?

Well, I was chatting with a friend of mine (over coffee, I might add … Gotta bring the new year in right!) who reminded me that I had shared how I was making the practice of choosing a “word for the year” many years ago. And this inspired her to choose one of her own every year since that conversation.

And here’s the weirdest part—She’s not even a blogger! <gasp!>

My friend went on to say that it has really helped her spiritually throughout the years. And this, in turn, encouraged me to consider choosing a focus word for the year again.

A few days later the Lord sealed the deal for me and I wasn’t even thinking, “what word should I choose?” I simply was walking through a department store thinking about how I’d said something that I shouldn’t have.

Imagine that! Moi??!! 😉

But I digress.

In that moment of feeling guilty for my runaway tongue, I said to myself, I just need a better filter! (Mind you, I didn’t literally say this out loud or the shoppers crossing my path would’ve either silently filtered their judgmental agreement or nodded to me in a very unfiltered and obvious way!)

Suddenly the sky parted and rays of sunshine shone from heaven above! <cueangelicchoir>

And in that moment I thought to myself . . .

[Tweet “”Filter! Why, yes! That’s the perfect word for me!” #Filter2017 #Wordfortheyear”]

Here are two reasons why I need a “Filter” . . .

1. Filters keep impurities from defiling a good purpose or object.

That’s the most obvious reason for a filter. After all, we need filters for our water, our furnace, our car engines, our vacuum cleaners—oh and can’t forget—for our lovely pot of coffee, so why wouldn’t we need one for our minds and hearts? I know I do for mine! So this next year, I will endeavor to memorize and apply this amazing verse in that effort . . .

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23 (NIV84)

2. Filters bring out the best and downplay the worst.

As an amateur photographer I’m learning more and more that adding filters to my images can be so powerful and impacting to my final product. Of course, some filters mask things that are unsightly and that’s certainly something I don’t want to do in this challenge. I want to be honest. But then some thoughts simply don’t need to be said.

Let me try that again . . . A LOT of thoughts simply don’t need to be said, especially when it isn’t “helpful for building others up” (see Ephesian 4:29).

So I will endeavor to focus on and highlight the positive in life and relationships rather than zeroing in on the negative this next year. And though there might be times when I should share ALL that I think about something—both the good and the bad—I will commit to only doing so with the “filter” of  “grace” and “love.” Besides, doing that almost always brings the best out in everyone. I think that’s because . . .

[Tweet “We are never more like the Father than when we are gracious and loving. #belikeHim #2017”]


Are you choosing a word to focus on for 2017? And if so, what is it and why?


If you’re not, then what are you doing instead, to keep yourself on track in 2017?


Linking up with these fine blogs –  Making Your Home Sing, Moments of Hope, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Word of God Speak, Spiritual Sundays, Mama Shares Monday, Sitting Among Friends, Faith ‘n Friends, Fresh Market Friday and DanceWithJesusFriday


13 responses to “2 Reasons Why I Need ‘Filter’ to be My Word for 2017”

  1. Dear Beth

    Nice post – and do I detect a hint of satire?

    I agree some of the writing aids bloggers use can be a bit artificial (putting a number in your title is another one;). The proof is in the reading: if the trick means decent posts are churned out, it’s ok.

    A “word of the year” occurred to me last year mid-Feb. I promptly forgot it until I read someone else’s Word of the Year blog post in mid-Dec. However, looking back it seemed to be a good choice after all — or I framed a story round the year to make the word fit.

    Going into this year I am aware of the need to be much more organised — partly for work, but also to improve my home, family and private lives. I am thinking “Expectations” to remind me that I have expectations of myself, and that whatever I am doing, I am strengthening or weakening some of those expectations.

    I am doing other things as well. e.g. I have bought a huge desk diary from Leuchtturm1917 to encourage me to plan and schedule.

    I hope you don’t filter out too much. Perhaps you could start a second blog where you post everything that didn’t get through ^^



    1. Yes, I’d say more than a hint, David! ha! Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and in translating that experience here at MM I end up jumping off the satirical end of the pool. I guess it’s also a sign that I have enjoyed my time away from the blogosphere in a way. I come back refreshed and with a bit of bounce in my step. But I, in no way, mean to make fun of this process. It’s a very good one–choosing a word–just not for everyone and not for every year either. Like I told Linda Stoll at her blog, I find a daily focus taken from my Bible studies to be the best way to stay on track, but I like the idea of an overall theme that runs in the background of my mind too.

      I think “expectations” sounds like a good choice for you. I can get carried away in a bad direction because of my expectations. I believe that’s why “filter” is a good word for me. I must evaluate where my expectation is coming from and whether it is good for me/others or not. I have no idea what you mean by a “desk library.” I suppose that’s some kind of daily calendar system? Is it electronic or a book that you’ve bought? Just curious.

      And you’re funny about the “other blog” for my unfiltered thoughts and feelings. I suppose that’s kind of what I do here in some ways. I try to be as real and raw about things as I can regarding my own life. Though I try not to throw Gary under the bus. And whenever I feel it is necessary, I always ask if he’s okay with whatever I’m sharing. I suppose he’s more of an open book than I am–if you can imagine! Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation, my friend! Always a pleasure to see you in the comments!


  2. My word for the year is STEADFAST and I chose it because of 2 reasons. I want to study more about God’s steadfast love and really internalize what that means for me. And the second reason I chose the word is because of the synonyms that go with this word. I consider myself loyal, trustworthy, committed, faithful, dedicated, and unwavering but my desire is to go deeper. As I learn more about God’s steadfast love I pray that these characteristics will become ingrained in every part of my being so it has an impact on everyone God places in my path.


    1. Yes, I think that’s a great word for you, Becky, though I see you as already being very steadfast as you’ve pointed out. Sometimes it’s more productive to work on areas where we already have a lot of traction and strength. I hope that’s true for you and I’m sure looking at how God is steadfast will give you a lot to chew on and apply over the next year. Again, I thank you for being the inspiration for this post! It was a monumental time we shared!


  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Yay! You’re BACK! I missed Messy Marriage!

    Interesting word, filter, and I think it’ one everyone can use. Certainly I can, for, in a sense, I’ve become the filter I have created to cope with pain and dread.

    hen barbara asks me how I’m feeling, the straight answer would always be awful, and sometimes worse. There are no good days, nor good hours. But I am so blessed, to have support from my wife, a roof over my head, books and DVDs, and the ability to at least do a little writing and other things…when so many people have NONE of this. I don’t live on a garbage dump in Manila; I’m not in a North Korean re-education camp. I’m OK.

    Using this filter long enough when I give an answer like “Can’t complain” when I manifestly CAN, I take something away from Barbara, the chance to give the kind of support she wants to give. But the problem is that I really CAN’T complain; I don’t resent my situation, and to say that I did would now be a lie. I’ve become that filter.

    It’snot a noble thing; while the feeling is sincere, it began and remains as a defense, my shield against personal annihilation.

    What I’ve really filtered out is the ability to receive a deep kind of compassion.



    1. Aww, I’m glad to hear it, Andrew! It’s always good to know that I’m missed and make a mark in the blogosphere in some way. And yes, you do an amazing job of filtering things for the better in your life! And like you’ve said, some things don’t need to be emphasized or shared with our mates, especially when your situation is as trying day to day as it is. It could prove to be the makings of emotional quicksand if you gave in to sharing exactly how you feel each day. But that takes incredible discipline and unselfishness. I applaud you for both of those shining through in your life.

      I also love that you’ve identified gratitude as a great filter for life. I want to be more grateful, so this gives me more directions to head and food for thought concerning my efforts this year.

      I agree about filtering out compassion from others. I sense it from time to time in you. But I do believe you’ve dropped your guard in our friendship at least. Although I bet it’s incredibly hard to receive compassion from Barbara–the one whose opinion matters the most. Intimacy with our spouses can be the most daunting of any we endeavor to create or experience. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend! It’s great to hear from you as well!


  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Well, golly…I forgot to share my One Word.

    It’s not a word, it’s a sentence – “You don’t have to like it, but you have to show up.”


    1. I like that. A sentence sometimes is a better way to say what we endeavor to do. One word can be so limiting. And your sentence convicts me as well, since I often get sidelined by what I don’t like. Thanks for that bit of unintended encouragement you just sent my way and I’ll pray for you that you’re able to achieve that truth this year.


  5. My #OneWord is Standing as found in Romans 5:1,2. I’m thankful for the grace in which I stand and rejoice!


  6. Love your humor, Beth!! I haven’t done “one word” before and only became aware of the concept last year. This year I also didn’t plan on it- but since the Lord keeps bringing it up and I haven’t forgotten it despite paying little attention to it, I think I’m focusing on “brave.” : ) I love “filter.” Such a practical and rich word to be focusing on!!


  7. Beth, this is lovely! I relish how positive it is. I am sensitive to the negative people around me and this reminds me of what God has been teaching me through them- try to focus on THEIR positives even when they being negative. Ugh! Tough endeavor! I come from a family of construction workers and builders so I readily relate to the filter analogy. The Philippians 4 passage about focusing on whatever is good and right, excellent and praise worthy has been helpful for me as a “filter”:) Blessings to you and thanks for this great post!


  8. Filter is an awesome word! I definitely identify with the #bloggerfail, Beth 🙂 This is my first year with a word because it’s the first time I truly feel is the “right” one! Other years I tried, but waffled between one word or another with nothing really settling in. This year, God put “steady” on my heart and I cannot even tell you how many times I have repeated it to myself already in these first 15 days of 2017! lol!


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