It’s the start of a new year, and the time when many stress about goals and resolutions, and dreams and plans to accomplish over the next 365 days. I don’t make resolutions, per se, but, as many people do, I choose a focus word/theme as a guide for the year. As has been the case the past couple of years, my word /theme for the year came at the 11th hour. Late in the day on December 31, the Lord whispered to my heart the word for 2020:



  1. to make extensive repairs to :
  2. to restore to a previous state

rebuild inventories

  1. to put into good order something that is injured, damaged or defective

Synonyms: repair, patch, mend (implies making whole or sound)

Rebuild. I thought about using this word a few years ago:

Several years ago I became familiar with the concept of choosing a focus word for the year and was intrigued by the idea. In 2014, just days after learning of my ex-husband’s adultery, I tried using rebuild as my word; but as we know, timing is everything.

And it most certainly wasn’t the time to focus on rebuilding, since my life as I knew it was in the process of being dismantled and demolished.

RECOMMENDED POST: My Focus Word For 2018

Timing is indeed everything. And as I wrote in this recent blog post “while there are still remnants of that heartache, it’s gotten better every year. I honestly feel like I’m on the other side; that I’ve made it through.”

The heartache has subsided. The dismantling and demolishing are over. It’s time to rebuild. Photo credit: Instagram @iamlaurenlyrics

The heartache has subsided. The dismantling and demolishing are over. It’s time to rebuild.


Along with a word/theme, I also got a reading assignment to start off the new year. I’m in a book club, and our January pick is a sort of a free-for-all. Members were told to choose and read a book of the Bible. I was thinking that I might take the lazy way out and go with 2 Samuel, which, I’d just started reading for a Bible study, but then I sensed that I should pick Nehemiah.

RECOMMENDED POST: New Life: Some Assembly Required

I quoted Nehemiah 2:18 a couple of days earlier for an Instagram post in relation to a blog post I wrote about doing the work necessary to rebuild my life after divorce.

Let us rise up and build. Nehemiah 2:18 Photo credit: Instagram @divinelydivorceddiva and @lavielocale

The book of Nehemiah is the perfect compliment to rebuild. Nehemiah is “the account of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem is a symbol of the city of God, God’s dwelling place…In an individual life, then, the rebuilding of the walls would be a picture of re-establishing the strength of that life.”

Choose a focus word/theme for the year as a guide for the year. Nehemiah 2:18

So for 2020, I’ve got an assignment and an instruction manual. It’s time to rebuild.


What’s your focus word for 2020?