Theme Word 2020: Love

Wow, 2020 is here—and that can mean a lot of things, but one thing each new year means for me is deciding on a new theme word for the year.

I’ve never adopted New Year’s resolutions, but for the past several years, I’ve chosen a theme word to help guide me through the year. Focusing on an over-arching word—a quality, an attitude, or an action—can give me direction throughout the year and also helps me focus on more fully implementing whatever the new word is.

I usually start asking God to direct me to a theme word for the upcoming year sometime during November or December. This year lots of words came to mind, but one of them seemed to encompass practically all of the others. In fact, if I implemented that word, I would be implementing most of the others as well.

That all-encompassing word I’ve chosen for the year? Love. Scripture actually explains why I felt like the word love is an umbrella for so many others. Galatians 5:13-14 says, “serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (NIV)

Also, as in previous years, God was so good to confirm my choice. This time his confirmation came through a book I was reading at the time. In fact, as I remember, he confirmed it within hours. The author actually mentioned that her word for the year was love. Pretty clear confirmation, huh?

As usual, I’m not sure what all the Lord has up his divine sleeve this year in leading me to the word love. But as I try to let love be my guide, I’m sure to live out many other qualities and actions as well. Things like kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, mercy, endurance, faithfulness, helping, believing, as well as following and obeying God. I bet you can think of even more to add to the list.

One thing I’m doing to help me keep my focus on love this year is reading through Bob Goff’s new book Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey. The book actually released in October, but I didn’t discover it until December. And when I did, I knew right away it would be the perfect daily devotional for me in 2020. So yes, you bet I ordered a copy pronto.

If you haven’t chosen a word for the year yet, you’re welcome to join me in focusing on love. I think I’m safe in saying that I’ll (we’ll) be challenged by it every day. And yes, I know that I’ll fall short—and probably daily—but the Author of love himself will be standing ready to forgive and offer his helping hand and perfect example once again. Yes, the Lord will keep showing me what love is all about.

“‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’” John 15:12 NIV

*Have you chosen a theme word or anchor verse for the year? I’d love to hear about it!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flicker photo by Captured Heart, Creative Commons License

Focus: Theme Word for 2012

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been hearing talk in various places about choosing a word for the new year—a theme word that sums up a quality, an attitude, or action we feel led to concentrate on in 2012. I may be a week late joining the conversation, but it’s never too late to share a good idea, right?

The word that popped into my mind when I first heard mention of selecting a word for 2012 was focus. As a writer, I need focus in order to complete projects and also to grow and move forward. I need focus to use my time wisely, in the way the Lord is leading.

Focus has been on my mind for awhile. In fact, early last fall I memorized 2 Timothy 1:14 with this very thing in mind. It says, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

The NIV text note says the good deposit Paul is referencing to Timothy is the gospel, but there are other good deposits we can apply to this verse as well. Personally, I’m thinking of the writing gift God has given me and how I need to guard it by not going in so many directions that I don’t devote enough time to it. In addition to that, I’m sure the need for focus will pop up in other areas as well.

How about you? Has the Lord given you a word to focus (yes, focus!) on this year? If not, ask Him to show you if there is a quality, an attitude, or action that can help guide you through the coming year—and then tell us about it. I love how sharing thoughts and ideas can spur us on to action and change in our lives. Remember, it’s never too late to share a good idea!

“Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly . . .” 1 Corinthians 9:24a

*Flickr photo by recursion_see_recursion, Creative Commons License