word of the year 2021

2021 Word of the Year + What Did I Learn?

   Well, are you ready for the big reveal? I’ve decided to make this a tradition here on A Ruby in the Rough. Each year, I want to share with you what my word and verse of the year was for the previous year. My word of the year I revealed for 2020 was perspective, and my word for 2021 was – keep reading and find out!

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

 Psalm 116:7 

     For 2021, I couldn’t seem to narrow down my verse choices to just one. So, I decided to do a verse of the month instead. Around the start of each month, I was going to write down my new verse in my planner. Emphasis on ‘was going to.’ That did not end up happening. I did write down some verses, but I didn’t keep up with it all throughout the year. Throughout this post, I’ll intersperse some resting verses that I wrote down. One passage I didn’t write down, but I at least thought of part of it. If you read the verse above, then you got a hint as to what my word of the year was because it was included in some way in every verse that I used.

     Are you ready for it? My word for 2021 was:


The main reason that I picked this word was because of my health. I knew that I needed to stop pushing myself to get so much done and let my body rest and heal.

     So, how did that work out? I must admit that resting is still hard for me. I’m still the kind of girl who likes to be busy getting things done. But, I do think that the Lord helped me in some areas in 2021 and even in the first part of 2022 as I’ve thought about this word. Let me share some of these areas related to rest with you now.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

1. Trusting in the Lord

   Can you relate to struggling with anxiety? Since my chronic illness struggle picked up and got intense back in 2018, I’ve really struggled with anxiety. When you have a lot of time on your hands, spend a lot of time at night lying awake, and feel so out of control, it’s so easy to let your mind imagine all kinds of things.

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Exodus 33:14

     This year, the Lord has really helped me to make progress in trusting and resting in Him. He truly has everything in control and does all things well. Even if some of the things I imagine were to happen (which they usually don’t), His grace would still be sufficient. God never brings more trials into our lives than what He gives us grace for. He also only allows us to go through trials for a purpose, to make us more like Jesus and teach us to rely more on Him.

    Along this line, another thing the Lord taught me in 2021 was to give thanks in the midst of difficult circumstances. From big and hard trials, to the minor irritations of daily life, it’s amazing to experience what the Lord does in my heart when I stop and give Him thanks. I encourage you to try this. Right in the middle of your difficulty, stop and thank the Lord for the trial and for how He is going to use it for good!

2. Downsizing My Schedule

     While I struggled some with taking the time I needed to rest, I did make some headway with my schedule. The Lord helped me to take inventory in different areas and eliminate tasks or find more efficient ways to do them. Resting can mean more than just physically lying down. Mental rest is also important.

And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

Numbers 10:33

     Finding ways to empty our schedule and not feel behind all the time goes a long way toward helping us feel rested. The Lord helped me to experience this sometimes throughout 2021. Try it! Once you get a taste for it, you may not want to go back. Knowing from experience how good it feels to not be so behind is great incentive to not procrastinate.

3. Resting in the Lord’s Strength

     Something I think the Lord is still trying to teach me heading into the new year is to rest in His strength – not mine. My strength will never be enough. The thing is, when we don’t feel weak, it can be easy to forget that. A little physical weakness can be a wonderful reminder that we are just as weak spiritually and desperately need the Lord. It is only as we receive His strength that we can do His will.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Mark 6:31

Heading Into 2022!

    As we go into 2022, I want to continue growing in the area of rest. I still have so far to go. Any progress that I have made this past year is due to the patience and strength of my loving Savior Jesus Christ. All the glory belongs to Him! I still have so far to go in the area of trust and rest, but I’m very thankful that “He which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” 

     And, that promise is true for you too! God has special plans for you in 2022!! Just surrender your life and your goals to Him, rest in Him, and follow where He leads. He’ll never leave you, and His way is always best!

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Psalm 16:9


Simple Takeaway

  1. Trust in the Lord for your future, and thank Him for the hard things as well as the easy things that you face.
  2. Try emptying out your schedule and give yourself some breathing room. You may have big goals for 2022, but don’t try to do them all at one time!
  3. Go forward in the strength of the Lord! Ask Him each day to live His life through you, strengthening you to do His will.

Let’s Chat!

     Do you pick a special verse or word for the year? If you do, you are more than welcome to share yours here! What is something that God taught you or helped you with in 2021?

     Until next time, rest in the Lord!

In Christ,


You may also like...


  1. Micah J says:

    Love this! Especially the “Right in the middle of your difficulty, stop and thank the Lord for the trial” part. Oh that takes faith and can be painful…but how purifying it must be to the souls and a point of great release from the burden of fear and anxiety that often naturally accompany trials. Thank you for the challenge!

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Micah! Yes, it can definitely be a challenging thing to do, but the Lord gives us the strength and always blesses us when we use that strength to take a step of faith and obedience!! And yes, it definitely helps with fear and stress to thank the Lord for our trials. I’m reading a book about giving thanks, and it’s definitely convicting. May the Lord bless you as you praise and thank Him!

  2. Such a beautiful post! 😍

    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! I’m very thankful the Lord gives me the opportunity to write and share!

  3. This is so beautiful, Bethany! Jesus does indeed give us rest, but most of the time I’m running around panicking instead of listening to Him. This post is such a great reminder to trust our loving Savior. 🙂

    1. I can relate, Vanessa! We get so caught up in the busyness of life or our own worries and fears that we forget Jesus is right beside us, wanting to carry our every burden. May we learn to turn to Him with our joys and our struggles!! Thank you for the sweet comment, Vanessa!

      Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8

  4. I am having so much fun catching up on your beautiful blog, Bethany! “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.” What a beautiful verse for 2021 and a necessary reminder for each and every day! ” Something I think the Lord is still trying to teach me heading into the new year is to rest in His strength – not mine. My strength will never be enough. ” I love this. Why? Because His strength is so perfectly displayed in our weakness. May HE be glorified!!
    “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
    2 Cor 12:9

    1. Aww, thank you so much for the sweet and cheery comment, Rachel! I’m so glad you had fun reading through posts. 🙂 Amen! That’s such an encouraging verse. HIS strength is made perfect in our weakness!!! What an amazing privilege to have Him do that in us and rest His power upon us! There is no need to fret about our weaknesses with a promise like that!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *