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Rooted in 2020

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

By: Hannah Dearth

One word. Have you heard of it? I heard it in a sermon series about five years ago and it has continued to pick up steam. You pray and you think about your vision for the next year and pick one word for the entire year. It can sort of be a funnel that allows all of your plans or goals to be worked toward while leaving room for the Holy Spirit to really carry out His plan. There are books and articles out that explain different takes you can read and find as well in a simple Google search. For us, this last year we even added scripture art pieces in our home and different reminders in our calendars to help keep our word on our hearts all year as we made plans and went throughout each day.


We began by writing down some of the general ideas we had for the year, then several words that aligned with both those ideas and scripture. We prayed, and talked, and prayed, until we really narrowed it down. Then, as we began moving into the year we spent time checking in to make sure we aligned at dinner about monthly. We also had friends using the “one word” method to pray over and talk together about how we see Him moving-this was huge!

This year was both the first year we prayed over a family word rather than individual words, and the first year we saw our word intentionally through to December. Our 2019 word was surrender. Our original intentions were to really go in knowing that through the year we wanted to hold tight to choosing our still young faith as a family first in all decisions and really let go for God. In helping us do so, we created a family mission and vision to filter our decisions through and hold ourselves accountable in being intentional (the biggest help). You can find a lot of these online as well and decide what fits. I personally love listening to “The Real Life” podcast episodes about this from the Bethkes. We wrote ours out and hung it on the fridge with the detailed description behind the image. I’ve also seen beautiful plaques made to hang in your home. Secondly, we made more effort in jumping all in for Him to feel his guidance by increasing prayer and making sure again, our goals went back to both scripture and family mission. Lastly, we got a little bold.

This year, some of our boldness in surrendering involved letting go of planned family time outings. We love to go do all of the things on my husbands’s weekends off, and while we still did some of that, when it was nice outside we focused a lot of our time into true family time, for us that meant hiking. We spent less unnecessary money, less rushing and distraction, and more time being together. We set and reached a 30 mile hiking goal and went to more new trails than we can count. A personal goal for physical health after having my daughter the previous fall that I set and reached was my first half marathon. I also set and reached a reading goal of 21 books. Both were mindful efforts to surrender to indulgences that were unhealthy for healthier ones to honor my body and mind and change a habit rather than reach a number.

We also picked up more commitments and service than ever before surrounding our faith. One of the bigger changes we made was me leaving my job. We also began classes to become a foster family. It’s been a big year in terms of how we approach what we do. God is really moving in showing us where He wants us and how He wants us to live our lives. I know that this is only just the beginning of big changes as we continue walking out our lives in surrender to our King.

We have chosen our 2020 word as a family as well, rooted. We hope that this word will allow God to lead us in more firmly establishing ourselves in several areas He began working in this last year and help us really continue to grow our own hearts personally in those places too.

Here are a few big ones for us:


First, relationships. We feel that God has grown our faith and helped us surrender in habits and family life to him. We also feel like it has showed us how stretched thin we are in ability to truly live knowing one another. So next, we want to work toward simplified deeper relationships in doing this same thing. We want to truly become rooted in community and fellowship in all aspects of life with others to live out this faith there and pour into one another and build each other up, rather than feel stretched so thin in so many areas, feeling like time and true relationships and their growth are taking a back burner.


Secondly, location. We know that our plan of one place can change at anytime, but our hope for this upcoming year is that God would plant us in the community hopefully that our children will go to school so that we may begin really firmly planting ourselves in relationship and service and practicing our faith.


Lastly, we believe God began several works in us such as foster care and simpler living, and those are those deeper roots we really want to continue to focus on and cultivate rather than all new “goals”, and really grow them as a mission in His name.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, ROOTED and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Some other notes: Our children are 4 and 1. My 1 year old was kept in mind, but my 4 year old did get to participate. While his focus wasn’t necessarily setting specific goals, we used a lot of language with him around “surrendering” to God and we also let him pick a lot of the hiking and family time pieces and give his feedback. As I mentioned, we created a combination of formal and informal goals and changes we wanted to see both as a family and separately. Then, we funneled them through a combination of our family vision and mission, scripture, our word and tied it all together.

I hope this gives some insight on how to feel like you are stepping into the new year with God, goals, grace, grit and gratitude that will carry through the full 12 months.

What is your 2020 word and why?

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