My Word for the Year is in Hebrew

Dear YOU,

Hope you have unthawed after the low temperatures and are now warm and cozy reading this letter by the fireplace with a mug of hot tea or strong coffee.

Yes, I know I’m late to the party… It’s already mid-February and I’ve only just now chosen my “word for the year.”

A word to grow on, a word to marinate in my heart and soul for transformation, courage, or wisdom.

Musings to help prompt such a word:

  • What do I have to offer God as this year begins?
  • What do I most need from God as the year unfolds?

This year the answer to both of those questions appeared as one word. In Hebrew, no less!

HINENI (pronounced hee-nay-nee) Hebrew for “Here I Am”

All I have to offer God this year is… me. Just as I am – imperfect, occasionally outspoken, often weary, but still enthusiastic and deeply willing. Wholehearted. Available.

And what I need to hear from God? The confirmation He is here. With me. Present. Listening. Seeing. Knowing, Holding. Lifting. Shepherding. Empowering.

This word, Hineni, appears eight times in the Old Testament when people respond to a divine call from God.Hineni Here I am” is said with surrender, enthusiasm, and a desire to obey by doing what is requested.

This year I want to quieten my own chatter long enough to hear God’s “Where are you beloved Cindy?” To be available as an extension of His love, encouragement, grace, mercy, kindness, and blessing. Even on those days when I feel like hiding under the covers and not answering at all.

Remember when God called out to Moses from the burning bush, “Moses, Moses?” Moses responded Hineni Here I am,” which catapulted him into an incredible rescue of God’s people. (Exodus 3.4)

In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, he “heard the voice of the Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for us?’ Then I said Hineni Here am I! Send me.’” which changed the world. (Isaiah 6.8)

When God calls forth ordinary people to do hard things, do we respond Hineni Here I am?”

“Lord, you know I’m not qualified, not strong enough, not knowledgeable in this field, not a good fit for these people, etc. etc… but if you want me, Hineni Here I am. Open the doors, clear the pathway, provide the resources, and empower me with your Holy Spirit.”

I have a new journal to list each time I say “Here I am” to God during 2023. In both the little and big.

What gives me courage to embrace Hineni as my word for the year? The promise in Isaiah 58.9 “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say Hineni  “Here I am.”

My word for 2023 works  both ways! God first says Hineni Here I am” to me. He is with me. Which gives me courage to respond to His call upon my life with Hineni Here I am.”

What is your word for the year and what is one thing you are learning about it?

Every Blessing, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, she has authored 16 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” , “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most,” “God’s Purpose for You,” and “The Courage to Write.” (Purchasing my books here benefits me as an Amazon associate.) She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at


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  1. Michele Morin on February 8, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    This is beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Debbie Basile on February 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    I have to think about this…. A word for the year. I’m pretty sure it’s GRACE because that’s what came to my ❤️ it’s also the word I often start my daily wordle with!!
    Without Grace there is no hope
    Blessings to you !!

  3. Bonnie Bound on February 8, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you, Lucinda, just the word of encouragement I needed today, reminding me God is with me, and will enable me to finish my race even as I struggle battling with effects of long Covid.

  4. Wendy on February 8, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    My word for the year is CONFIDENCE. “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” (Prov. 14:26a)

  5. Crickett Keeth on February 8, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    LOVE this! Thank you!

  6. Cathy Chung on February 8, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    How beautiful! Yes Lord. Here I am.

  7. Denise Ann Goosby on February 8, 2023 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Lucinda!
    It has been a while since I connected with you. I felt moved to read this today, And, after doing so, I see why. Just before I began my morning devotions, I heard in my mind, “Here I am. Send me!” It made me think how I had said that to God before I started this hard journey of change and transition God has taken me on this past year and a half. I think it was His way of reminding me that I said, “Here I am” then, and that I need to say “Here I am” now. My words for the year are “new” (a carryover from last year, and “confidence/confident.”

  8. Kathy Plaag on February 9, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    My word for the year is blessed because as a child of God, we are truly blessed and with God’s son, Jesus, as our Savior we are eternally blessed. Also, with the Holy Spirit’s presence with us, we are blessed by His help, strength and wisdom always with us. Now we must tell others about Jesus so that they will also be blessed.

  9. Jeanne Zornes on February 10, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    I look forward to connecting with your heart every week–and learning your “spiritual focus” for the year. Mine this year is “humble,” explained in this week’s blog: . Let’s hear it for Charlotte’s Web!

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