Saturday, January 4, 2020

One Word 365 - My Word for 2020-

Happy New Year, everyone! My mind can't wrap around the fact that it is 2020. Wasn't it the turn of the century just yesterday? So much in our life has changed since the year 2000! All three of our daughters are married now. We now have seven grandchildren and grand baby number eight, a grandson, is due in early summer. We planted a church in S.E. Portland that God has blessed in amazing ways. Our church moved to Vancouver, Washington and we eventually bought and moved to a home there as well. All of our parents have passed away. Some relationships that we thought would be in our lives forever faded away and new people came into our lives and have become dear to us. By God's grace, we've survived heartache and celebrated victories. Every need along the way God has provided. He has blessed us beyond what we could have imagined and certainly more than we deserve. We've traveled to places we only dreamed of seeing - London England, Paris France, Edinburgh Scotland, Managua Nicaragua, the big island of Hawaii, Maine, (four times in the past twenty years!), Ghana, (numerous times.) While so much in our life has changed, one thing has remained the same-God has been faithful every step of the way. And so, we have begun a new year, confident that He will continue to be faithful as we face the future.

Every year since 2011 I have had a word for the year as a point of spiritual focus. Most often, towards the end of the previous year God begins to show me what the word for the coming year is to be. Usually, it builds in some way on the word from the year before. Last year as I studied my word for the year, comfort, I found that in the Bible it is very connected to the concept of God rebuilding our devastated, ruined places. Throughout the Bible, God comforts His people by rebuilding them. God's kind of comfort is not just a pat on the head with a "There, there, you'll be ok." God's comfort is Him rolling His shirt sleeves up and getting into the middle of our mess with us to rebuild us. What grace! Whether our devastation is contributed to by others or whether we are our own worst enemy and have created our own mess, when we give our ruins to God, He graciously rebuilds us. 

This year in my Advent reading, I came across the familiar passage in Isaiah 9 where the coming Messiah is referred to as the Prince of Peace. In the Message Bible it says, "Prince of Wholeness." 
(For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: 
Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.)
Questioning that translation I looked up the original Hebrew word, "shalom" and found out that it means peace and tranquility but it also means completeness and wholeness. At that point, I began to realize that God was showing me my word for 2020. He was continuing to build upon the concept of rebuilding that He had been speaking to me in 2019. He is on a continuing journey to bring me into the fullness of His peace, His completeness, His wholeness. I'm so thankful that He Who began His good work in me has promised to finish it!

Here are the words from previous years, beginning in 2011 when I first heard of the concept of a word focus for the year.
2011- HOPE
2013 -TRUST
2014- JOY
2016- LISTEN 
2017- ABIDE
2018- YIELD
2020- PEACE

still following,


  1. I love your word for this year. Peace - so needed in our world and in our personal worlds. My word was a l-o-n-g time coming this year. It was just into the new year when God dropped it in my heart one morning while spending time in the Word and with Him. Contentment. You know my journey and the struggle to be contented. I am very contented now to walk one step at a time with Him - no longing for 'greener' pastures, new homes, far away places. Just contented in the place where He has me (us) at this moment. Happy New Year, dear friend. Peace - and contentment - what a combination!


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