“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; 
yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 
I will ponder all your work, 
and meditate on your mighty deeds.”
Psalm 77:11-12

2020 was a very different year. It was filled with violence, protests, riots, COVID-19, loss, and great disappointments.

It was also filled with heroes, new ways of communicating, neighborhoods coming together, renewed volunteerism, and new ways of working, teaching, and living.

God has been at work in my heart.

You, too?

For 2020, my word to focus on was “listening.” True listening is hard. It’s focusing on the other person’s words and body language. It’s focusing on the time of day and the environment. Listening requires turning from ourselves to the other person. Deep listening requires remembering the past in light of the present, pondering the meaning behind the words, applying the meaning to the situation, and meditating on what has captured our hearts and changed us.

Deep listening prompts action:
prayer, empathy, encouragement, correction, rejoicing.

“I don’t know how I can get through this.”

“My husband passed into heaven this morning.”

“He’s not …”

“This is too hard.”

Those are just some of the words I heard from friends in 2020.

“Remember” came to my lips. Remember the good things and write them in a journal or notebook. When our minds wander and disappointments overwhelm us, we can take out our gratitude journals or notebooks and remember the good. Smiles may spread across our faces. Laughter may bubble up. Bursts of praise and rejoicing may well up in our hearts. Tears of joy may flood our eyes.

Remember + Ponder + Meditate > Gratitude.

In 2020, I learned to listen.

I am grateful to the Lord that He worked so powerfully in many of His sons and daughters – even in and through adversity. First responders, nurses, doctors, healthcare teams, grocery store clerks, bank and credit union workers, volunteers, nonprofits, essential workers, and many more served in spite of the challenges and risks they faced. They honored God Almighty, and I am truly grateful.

“Gratitude” is my word for 2021.

Loving Father, thank You for 2020. Through the trials, Your sons and daughters have grown closer to each other, even though we may be socially distanced. We have seen You at work in our lives and in the lives of others. You have us in the palm of Your hands. We give 2021 to You. Have Your perfect way with our Promise Walk. We want to honor You in gratitude. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How did God work in your life in 2020?
Do you have a word that you will focus on in 2021? Please share.

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3 thoughts on “Remembering 2020: What I Learned

  1. You are so right, Karen, about the positive influence of a gratitude journal. The benefits have even been proven by research! No wonder God prompted Paul to write, “Rejoice always. I will say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). For years I have kept a record of God’s faithfulness to our family and am so thankful I did. In 2017 I began another journal, “A Celebration of Small Things,” and have enjoyed collecting daily entries there too. God makes me glad by his deeds and I sing for joy at the works of his hands (Psalm 92:4)!

    1. Nancy, Praise the Lord! He is so faithful and delights in our joy. It’s been hard for some to celebrate those good things that we experience each day because they are focused on the bad things, and we do have many of those, too. But in all, whether much or little, health or sickness, we can rejoice. May your 2021 be the year the brims over with celebrations, delights, and rejoicing. Karen

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