Faith Reflections

Losing Focus

Let me begin this post with a confession: Last week I could not remember my 2020 word for the year. No clue. On December 24, 2020, twelve months betrothed to this word, and for all the chocolate in the kingdom, I could not have told you my carefully-chosen, prayerfully-procured word for the year.

I’ve been doing a word for the year rather than resolutions since 2014. It works much better for me to think big picture about the journey I want to walk in the year ahead. You can read about some of my past words herehere, here, and here.

Normally, I do a deep dive into the word … reading, reflecting, ruminating. In 2020, I barely made it out of the gate before tripping up over all the unexpected happenings, beginning in February. My word was left in the dust.

My Word for 2020

What was that word?


Oh, the irony. Here is what my naïve little self wrote a year ago:

I get distracted by all the things I want to do, the books I want to read, the things I want to try, the dreams I want to live, the people I want to love. And while my mind and heart are swimming in ALL THE THINGS, I get too overwhelmed to take the steps to make it happen. Before I know it, another year has come and gone, and while good – even great – things happened, I regret not living with more intentionality … more focus.

Melissa Hatfield,

Had I known what lay ahead in 2020, a better word would have been Survive. A better phrase would have been are-you-still-watching?. Yes, Netflix, I am. Stop judging. We’re in a global pandemic.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

2020 is done. (Can I get an AMEN?) There were lessons and blessings; highs and lows. For some, more of one than the other, and I do not dismiss or diminish what you have endured. The pain and heartache for many have been unfathomable this year, and I see you. I grieve with you and for you. Our stories are not the same.

Most days this year, God graciously gifted me gratitude. Some days, I wasn’t having it. Some days, I lived with intention. Most days, I lived in reaction. There was not as much focus as I had intended.

New Beginnings

If there is anything my word-for-the-year adventures have taught me, it is this: there is always a new year. There are an abundance of fresh starts and do-overs and new beginnings, and they can happen at any time. I love New Years Eve but not for the parties or midnight celebrations. I practiced social distancing at home for NYE way before that was a thing. What I love is the anticipation of a new beginning and the feeling of a little magic releasing when the clock strikes midnight. I love these holy days and hours reflecting on the past year, surrendering in gratitude what was and receiving in trust what will be. No matter what yesterday was, there is always a tomorrow. In a word, there is always hope.

As I await the magic of a new year’s arrival, I’ve been nesting hardcore – cleaning, filing, planning, getting my ducks in order. As any mom of a newborn knows, nesting only does so much — perhaps nothing more than gifting us the illusion of being in control and ready. The real gift is in what is born – a new life, a new year, a new hope.

I’ve been reflecting on my word for 2021 and will share that in another post. But for now, I’m ending 2020 with grace and gratitude for what was, and a little more nesting for what is to come.

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