Remember Your Word for 2020? It’s Time to Dust It Off

What’s “your” word for 2020? You know, the one that filled you with fire and passion back in January, a month that feels like 1979 right about now?

Maybe it’s…fearless, fit, organize, progress, whimsy, gratitude, travel, relax, build, integrity, communicate, or feast.

I’ve only been selecting a word of the year for four years running so I don’t have a long history with this, but I’m gradually learning the value of finding a concept to cling to for enhanced focus. In 2017 it was listen. For 2018, believe. And last year, gently. I even wrote a post about that one.

This year, my word is meaningful, and sitting here at home for 5 weeks in the midst of a pandemic, I am more sure than ever that this particular word was not chosen in a vacuum.

Yes, I got lost there for a bit in the panic and tedium of current events….

I’ve read and watched the news too much. Become fearful and then blasé while scrutinizing the numbers nationwide.

I’ve spent hours sewing masks for my family and wondered if they’d even be needed (and they are).

I’ve pulled every undone project I’ve got (scrapbooks, albums, and quilts) out of my closets and spread them around my dining room, exciting myself with the possibility of finishing them and overwhelming myself with work.

I’ve read a few books, mostly novels, and enjoyed them. But I knew I was using them to escape my anxiety. At times, I chose reading over prayer.

And I’ve walked and walked….alone, and with my kids, dogs, and husband. Around my neighborhood and inside my home. Trod circles going nowhere, arriving back to the place I was before to find it much the same.

And the whisper that I heard in the midst of it all on Easter weekend was this…

Your word is meaningful. Remember? Take it to heart.

Nothing goes unnoticed by the One who sees all.

Before I chose my word for 2020, I asked God for guidance in prayer. I asked that my word be significant for me and what lay ahead. And this word popped to mind clearly and vividly, and it was unshakable for many days.

In the early weeks of this pandemic, I almost forgot it. But I’m determined not to forget it now.

I’m hugging my kids more when they walk by. Playing many more rounds of board games with my youngest son. Prioritizing those projects and accepting that what didn’t get done over many years doesn’t need to get done in a couple weeks.

Meaningfulness is about intention. So for me, that’s only doing something with love and for the glory of the One who made me. Or choosing not to do it if I can’t do it in this frame of mind.

Having this kind of focus changes the energy of any activity.

How about “your” word? The choosing of it was not an accident.

God was, and is always, with you. The divine imprint is everywhere.

So pick up your word and dust it off. How can it be applied it in a new way – in a way that will bring joy to your soul amidst the current circumstances?

Ask your Creator for fresh eyes to see. It’s a habit we can all cultivate, worldwide pandemic or not.

No creature is concealed from Him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account. – Hebrews 4:13

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Perfect! So beautiful! . Until now I forgot, my word was joy. A word I haven’t realized that God has given me in the midst of this crazy time. Joy isn’t something I have cultivated until this year and I only know it from His word!!! The days I fill my heart with His word are the day’s I find joy!

    1. Lorraine,

      How wonderful! I feel the same way. When I start the day by immersing myself in Scripture, letting its timeless messages meet me right where I am to fill my heart and mind, the whole day goes more smoothly and I can meet its challenges with more patience and grace. Thank you for sharing your experience here!

      With gratitude,

  2. Hi Gretchen, Hope you remember meeting Leslie and Janet from Chapter AB at the International Convention in Iowa.
    Anyway, I’ve followed your blog/essays since then and enjoy all your sharing. Recently, we had our 2nd ZOOM gathering of sisters and because we all talked at once the first time I suggested we have a theme and take turns talking. So I chose this newsletter to come up with a program on the “word” we are assigning/following/intending during this pandemic. It was a great success and I thought I would share them with you:

    Procrastination Luxury

    The next theme will be a bit less personal – everyone is picking a favorite flower, doing research and presenting 2 minutes.

    Hope you and yours are well. We appreciate you.
    Janet Lucia

    1. Oh my goodness, Janet! Yes, I remember you. And I’m so sorry it’s been over a week since you wrote and I never replied! How sweet of you to use my piece to inspire a conversation, and thank you SO much for following me and my writing. All of the words the group suggested are powerful. Each one could be a reflection unto itself. And I love the idea of considering them during this very unusual time we are living through. If we’re paying attention, it’s a perfect time to see our lives from new angles, to decipher what’s actually important to us and what we should allow to go by the wayside. Thank you for reaching out!

      All my best,

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