Goodbye, One Word 2020 and Hello, One Word 2021
β€”Our One Word 2021 Linkup

Goodbye one word 2020

Looking back on 2020:

  • What was your 2020 word?
  • Who else knew about it?
  • What did you learn through it?

Looking ahead to 2021:

  • Do you know your word for 2021 yet? (Tell us, if you’re ready!)
  • If yes, how did you decide?
  • If no, how do you think it will come to you?

All questions are applicable to a word, a phrase, a verse, a prayer, whatever your focus has been and/or will be!

Lingering with a word or theme for a whole year is an intentional endeavor.

If you’d like to join our community for a monthly email reminding you to engage with your word, sign up here.

If you’d like more ideas, see these 7 Tips for Choosing Your One Word of the Year.

Please share your thoughts, links to your own posts, etc., in the comments.Β Our next linkup will be January 21 (and the 21st of each month of 2021).

Need suggestions on choosing a word? Here are “3 Steps to Choose One Word.”

35 thoughts on “Goodbye, One Word 2020 and Hello, One Word 2021
β€”Our One Word 2021 Linkup

  1. mariel

    Lisa, YES! I have had a word for my year for several years now and it has always been such a good anchor to hold on to. I always have averse to go with the word to help keep me focused too. For me in 2020 it was Intentional and the verse was Colossians 3:17. In 2021 I am thinking it is peace and the verse is from Colossians 3:15…can you tell I am still working on memorizing the book of Colossians?! πŸ™‚ I signed up for the emails and look forward to growing in the Lord through peace!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “a good anchor to hold on to” – That’s a great way to describe our words, Mariel. I do feel that my word often anchors my spiritual growth. I rarely can predict how God will use that word, but he hasn’t failed me yet in finding ways. πŸ™‚ I’m so impressed with you memorizing the whole book of Colossians. Chapter 3 and a few verses in chapter 4 are all I have learned. Do you have a verse for “peace” yet? I imagine it will be hard to choose just one!

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Just reread your sentence again about Colossians 3:15 as your new verse. πŸ™‚ Love it! “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Your post really moved me, Pam. I’m glad you shared it here. This line you quote by Oswald Chambers really fits with my 2021 word, Uncertainty: “You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.” I’m copying that down in my notes. Thanks, friend. Praying you have a blessed Christmas as well!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, yes, yes, Martha! Great choice. Hope was my word in 2019, and I realized that God was using it to prepare me all that year for 2020; I just didn’t realize it. I’ll look forward to things you’ll receive from God through “hope” in this coming year and that you’ll pour back onto us!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s the way the Living Word often works, yes? I’ve been wrestling with my word, but I’ve decided I’ll just have to let God have his way with it and accept it. “Uncertainty” seems like a weird choice, but I’m not going to fight him anymore about it. πŸ™‚ I’ll look forward to the reveal of your word in time.

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, am I missing it? I know your word for this past year has been linger. Are you revealing your 2021 word in this post? I thought that was what you were saying, but don’t see it. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I didn’t reveal my word in the post, Lynn, but I have decided it is “Uncertainty.” I’ve known it for awhile, but I kept playing with it, trying to turn it into something positive, turn it into a verb, etc. But God kept returning me to Uncertainty again and again. It seems the wise move is to give in to the Lord, especially when I’m uncertain. ha. The irony is almost too much for me.

  3. LisaNotes Post author

    My 2020 word was Linger. I learned I need to be more intentional about focusing on being still, staying in this moment with God, without hurrying on to the next thing.

    The 2021 word that has persisted for months in my head, but ironically I have resisted and tried to work around, is “Uncertainty.” I’ve tried to dress it up into something prettier, but since God keeps pointing me back to it, I think I should pay attention and go with it.

    Here’s a link to 20 lessons I learned from “lingering” in 2020.

    1. Lynn D. Morrissey

      Oh, thanks for sharing! It’s timely that you are reading Shelly’s last book. It’s my prayer that as you face any uncertainties, you will find all your certainty in the One who is certain, sure, faithful. Uncertainty doesn’t have to be negative necessarily. πŸ™‚ I will review your linger lessons.Loved reading them.

      Lisa, do you ever repeat a word? I read a book on one word by a well-known Christian fiction writer, and she insisted one not repeat a word. your thoughts?

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Yes, I had already been eyeing Shelly’s book because of “uncertainty”, and then hearing you and others share how good it was, it really prompted me to dive in. I finished it a week or so ago and feel so bittersweet about it since she’s no longer here! πŸ™

        I haven’t ever repeated a word, but I’d have no qualms repeating one if I needed to. We can change a lot over the course of a few years, and sometimes we may need to look at an old word in a new way with our updated vision. Some people keep a word for two years in a row if they feel they aren’t supposed to move on yet and it’s beneficial. I say there are no rules for how someone wants to do it. πŸ™‚ But that’s just my two cents.

        1. Lynn D. Morrissey

          Yes, it’s very bittersweet reading her book, hearing her podcasts, and for me, personally her What’s App voicemails. I miss Shelly so much. I rejoice in the certainty she is with her Savior!

          Tx for your take on the word repetition. I”ll pray about it. My problem is that I don’t think I’ve lived into my word fully.

          Merry Christmas!
          I’m glad you could read her book. It’s timely given your word. When you live with uncertainty, it makes your security in Christ all the sweeter, and uncertainty, you might consider could be an adventure.

  4. Lauren

    Just signed up for the challenge, Lisa! I’ve had a sort of lackadaisical approach to choosing a word each year, often thinking of one in January, then remembering it occasionally during the rest of the year … not very intentional, I’m afraid! Hoping that doing this in community will inspire me to be more purposefully focused on my word. Which, I should mention, I’ve known for several weeks now, a word that has been continually coming back to me for many reasons … “practice.”

    So glad you’ve set this up, and very curious to see how the word “uncertainty” plays out in 2021 for you. Despite the fact that we often dislike being in a place of uncertainty, I suspect it will have some surprisingly positive lessons to offer.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “Practice” is going to be a great word, Lauren. I typically like for my word to be a verb like that, specifically so it will be something I can practice. πŸ™‚ This year mine is not, so it might be more of a challenge. I’m so glad you joined so we can keep up with your word!

  5. Laurie

    I have been lucky. Each year, my word has come to me – I didn’t have to go seeking for it. I am ready to move on from my word for 2020 (humility) and think more about my word for 2021 (empty). I think the 2 are related. Uncertainty is a good word to think about right now. I am excited to read your thoughts. Merry Christmas, friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love how your words are related from 2020 to 2021. It will be a good carryover. I’m not sure I can connect “linger” to “uncertainty”–I’m uncertain about a lot of things, obviously. ha.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too, Laurie! We celebrated with my children this past weekend, so we’re essentially finished with Christmas for the year. I’m sad about it being over so quick this year, but it is what it is.

  6. Joanne

    I’ve never done this before but have been thinking a lot about picking a word or short phrase for next year! (Though I have said that before and have done nothing about it..). I just don’t know where to start I guess.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      If you decide to do it, this would be a great year to start and join in with us, Joanne. We can help keep each other accountable. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I start with whatever is right in front of me…if God brings a verse to mind or if I keep running into the same word again and again or if there’s something I’m struggling with. Or sometimes I hear what others are doing and one of those words will really resonate with me.

  7. Michele Morin

    I love uncertainty — not the condition, but the word! ?
    I am pondering PERSEVERE. So much of my life right now is a matter of showing up. There’s no promise of results and no real measure of success other than the presence of obedience. So I am going to persevere.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha, yes, I love the word Uncertainty more than the condition too, Michele. πŸ™‚ Persevere would be a great choice for any of us! I appreciate your thought process behind it too. Just showing up is sometimes all I can do; God has to do the rest, and I often discover that’s all he wanted from me all along.

  8. Donna

    Lisa, I’ve been sporadic about choosing a word each year. Last year I choose the word “Freedom” in a random way, but I did learn something! No one else knew what the word was or if I even had a word!
    This year I chose “Joy”, funny story. As soon as I read your post before signing up for this group, I started praying and felt totally stumped. I admit I was impatient with God for not making it clear, until…in my heart I felt it should be “joy”, then it was as if God started pointing out the actual word “joy” was all around me! I had purchased two new Christmas decorations, in the form of the word “joy” which I saw everyday. On my front door coming & going, & in my kitchen. I purchased two decorations for my daughter who lives in Hawaii, that just happened to include the word “joy” on them. I finished 3 different devotionals that spoke of the word “joy” and finally several Bible verses jumped off the page. Here God was putting the word in front of me & I kept pestering Him to show me! I burst out laughing one morning as soon as I realized it. I do hope 2021 goes better than that for me and my “one word”!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I love hearing this backstory, Donna. It sounds exactly like something I would do…begging God for a word that he’s been flashing in neon lights all around me all along. ha. I’d feel very confident that “joy” should be your word! πŸ™‚

  9. Tammy L Kennington

    Hi Lisa.
    God continued to impress the word “persevere” into my heart in a variety of ways and it was the word for 2020. As a result, I decided to study the book of James throughout the year and am continuing to go through verse by verse. It’s been amazing!

    I still don’t have a clear direction for my word this coming year.

    Merry Christmas!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Wow–we all needed “persevere” as our word in 2020! What an apt choice you made. And to do a verse-by-verse study through James was a great connecting point to it. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Lesley

    I’ve decided to go for it with a word for 2021. It’s a word that’s been going round in my mind for over a month now and I’m looking forward to reflecting on it some more.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re joining in with us, Lesley. I look forward to seeing how “Faithful” will play out in your life. God always teaches me things through other people’s words as well as my own. πŸ™‚

  11. Wemi Omotosho

    I’ve never had a word for the year before until this year – mine chose me but when God told me, I felt it was very much apt. It was ‘Rest’ – funnily enough, I didn’t get the word until June this year which might seem a bit late for aword of the year but I had been ill prior to that and one could say my year didn’t ‘start’ properly until midway through this year. I was also recovering from burnout so ‘Rest’ as my word for this year was very appropriate (Matt 11:28). Firstly, for physical rest and secondly to learn to lean into and rest in God (I try to do too many things in my own strength – cue the burnout and illness). For my word for 2021, I’ve been pondering ‘Arise’ or ‘Flourish’ – something along those lines. Having spent much of this year focussed on rest, 2021 seems to be the year to arise and do with God. Still reflecting on it. I’m going to join your accountability group – thanks for this post, it was just the nudge I needed. Hope you had a good Christmas and happy new year in advance! x

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, “rest” sounds like it was a very appropriate word for you, Wemi. And it doesn’t matter which month God sends our word to us, we take it. πŸ™‚ I love all the ways it applied to your life, right where you were. And I also love how it’s propelling you into a new year of going forward with God. I look forward to the wisdom that you’ll glean from your new word and the ways you’ll share it! So glad you’ve joined our community.

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