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My Word for 2020

Submitted by Bethany on Thu, 01/02/2020 - 10:00

For the fourth year in a row, I have chosen a word that I hope will define, shape, and mold the year to come for me. In 2017 I chose Adventure, in 2018 it was Change, and last year was Growth. The word I have chosen for this year can sometimes have a negative connotation. In fact, when I first shared my word with Joel, he was taken aback. He even tried to help me come up with a different word that could have the same meaning without the negative connotation...but we couldn't come up with anything. 

In the end, I think I kind of like taking a word that can sometimes be seen as negative and instead look at all of the positive qualities and connotations it can have. When this word came to me as my word for the year it just felt right. I don't think I really came up with it all on my own, it really feels spirit led. 

So what is my word for the year 2020? SETTLE. 

I know, I know, to settle for something usually isn't good. Most often people use it to mean settling for something less than they deserve, choosing to go with what is easy rather than work for something better. Nobody wants to settle in life, it's a bad thing. 

But here's the thing, it doesn't always have to be bad. Sometimes we do need to settle in life. I see this word working for me in (at least) three different ways in the year to come. 


As much as I have loved our 18 months of travel, adventure, constant change and growth, I am tired. I am tired of living out of a suitcase, moving every couple of weeks or months, tired of getting on planes and trains and automobiles. I needed this time of travel, but now I am ready to settle down. I want to have a home of my own, nest, and feel settled in a community once again. I am so looking forward to settling down at some point in the year 2020 (hopefully sooner than later!) 


To settle in means to get comfortable and boy am I looking forward to that. In the year 2020 I will get to settle in to a new home (a manse/church provided housing wherever we end up), a new job (my appointment as a minister within the British Methodist Church), and a new country! Even though we have lived in the UK for 8 months on and off, living in our own place where we know we will be for a while rather than the temporary way we've been doing things we'll give us time to settle in. 


I felt really clever when this iteration of the word came to me. To settle up usually means to pay off some sort of debt and for me, that means paying off my student loans! That's right, I am on track to pay off every penny of my student loans by the end of 2020. If my calculations are correct December will be my last payment. My payments aren't high right now so it's not like it will make a huge difference in our budget but I am looking forward to the freedom I will feel! That will be $45,000 worth of debt I will have eradicated in the 10 years since I graduated from seminary. (Just ya know, don't ask me about Joel's student loans...)


I'm sure as the year goes on this word will reveal it's importance to me in more than just these three ways. I think it will be very interesting to look back at the end of the year and see where we have settled down, how we have settled in, and how much we can settle up. I will keep this word in the forefront of my mind as the year goes on!

Do you pick a word for the year? What's your word for 2020? Please share!

XOXO, Bethany