One Word 2020 – LOVE

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I’m very late to the party this year. So many things have been going on in my life – there was no longer time or energy for writing. However, I attended a wonderful writer’s conference in January led by Leslie Leyland Fields, and she has motivated me to look for time to write again. I cannot guarantee that the motivation will result in action, but I am going to see where it takes me.

Today I simply want to record my word for 2020. For quite a while now, I’ve been choosing a word to represent a focus or area of growth for each year, and this year my word is LOVE.  

I was drawn to this word for two reasons. First, I have felt so burdened, saddened and heartbroken by the divisions, taking-sides, lack of conversations, and meanness that I’ve been experiencing in our world recently. I certainly see it in social media and in the news, but I also have felt it too often at work and in relationships close to me. I’m not certain how my word will transfer into action, but I want to be open to whatever God shows me in this next year and beyond.

My second reason has to do with my struggle to love myself. I have an on-going critical voice in my head that constantly points out my imperfections, my less than ideal performances, my self-doubts, and my supposed imposter status. Despite some growth in this area over the years, I still have a long way to go.

Since I am convinced that doing better at loving myself is closely integrated with loving others well, I’ve given myself a two-for-one focus this year.

If I actually get around to writing more this year, you will see the word LOVE show up again and again. Even if I don’t write again, this post will have been worth it if you take a moment and pray for me to listen intently to God’s direction for how to practice the word LOVE each day. I would appreciate that a lot.

What is your word for 2020? How are you doing with that focus now that we are two months into the year?

What suggestions do you have for how I can learn more about LOVE this year?


Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Cor 13: 4-7 (The Message)

9 thoughts on “One Word 2020 – LOVE

  1. Terry, you couldn’t have chosen a better word for right now in our world! There IS so much “division and taking sides” which is easy for me to get caught up into myself! SO, after reading about your word I am going to remember that when the temptation to enter into those things rises up! I love and appreciate you!

    • Oh Alice, your words encourage me more than you know. Thanks for reading and interacting – not just intellectually, but at a heart level. I love and appreciate you too. Miss you!

  2. This was beautiful, my friend. I’m glad you took Leslie’s challenge–I’ve missed your thought-provoking words and ideas. Choosing the word “love” for the year is brave and bold. Anytime we make a choice to pursue a character of God, He gives us opportunity–and the enemy attacks. I’m grateful for how you see this as two-fold–loving others and yourself. Yes, rather Biblical. But I’m all in with you–loving yourself isn’t easy. Those lies permeate my life as if they were a swarm of gnats annoying me endlessly. I’ll be interested to see how this translates to future posts. Thanks for your insights, my friend.

  3. Great word and great insights. I look forward to reading more. I have not had a word for at least a couple years and was not particularly looking for a word. However, a word found me. It is the word, Intimacy. As you shared, I also have a long way to go in this journey but want to grow in intimacy with myself (self-awareness) and intimacy with God. If I can’t be honest with myself about how I feel and what I want, then it will be hard to express that kind of honesty with God. That all then carries over in my relationships with others and allowing myself to be known fully. My coach defines intimacy as Into-Me-See. Something to that I think.

  4. Terri,
    I’m happy to see you’re continuing to write. All the things coming at you when you are not writing will be fuel for your voice.
    Finding ways to be generous with yourself could be another path to loving yourself and those around you. Remembering that you are loved fiercely even when you feel mostly unlovable may give you the space you need to be generous with yourself. For those of us who continue to pick on ourselves, it is tough to be generous with our own souls. I know this struggle too.
    My word this year is open. I picked it from a box at church. I am still scratching my head at what this all holds. Lately, I’ve been trying to be open to speaking up more, especially when I hear something hurtful to others. I have been so quiet, trying to listen, but also just trying to avoid any kind of conflict. How to be thoughtful, how to be gracious, how to have a respectful voice…indeed a challenge when I’m angered and appalled. Trying to not react, but to give myself time to speak up but not come out swinging. I am wrestling with all of this. Can I be open to being misunderstood, ridiculed, made fun of, dismissed? Am I open to getting it wrong while trying to get it right?
    This is what the word is holding for me at the moment. I marvel at Jesus’ gentleness but also his strength to say what needed to be said. More of you, Lord, is my prayer today.
    My best time is when I sit in God’s presence and just breathe. Surrendering all my angst and just trusting He is at work, is my greatest balm. The more I do this, the more I see a shift in my perspective and voice. Now, to have the discipline to practice this…
    Wishing you many opportunities for you to be generous with yourself in all your glorious beauty and strength and weakness…
    ❤Mary

    • Thank you for your beautiful, gracious, and life-giving words, Mary. They are a gift and an inspiration. I hope I get to hear more of how God works through your word – open – in your life. It sounds like you are already asking some great questions. Thanks so much for reading and sharing with me.

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