Harlow Family Word, 2020

When thinking of the word refurbish one might think of buffing scratches out of wood, mending clothing, or even making an old computer usable again. But for home, marriage, and business, that’s not the first word that comes to mind. Refurbish means to brighten or freshen up. Renovate. Redecorate. Restore.

And that’s the Harlow word for 2020. Refurbish.

I never liked the sound of that word. I always used its synonyms. But I’m embracing it, because I know that’s our family focus for this year.

We were driving home from Chicago. Sixteen long hours is plenty of time to ponder, to converse, to process, to pray. My friend had sent me a private Facebook message about her word for 2020 and asking me about mine. I didn’t say anything to Lee right away, I just thought about it as we drove. We’ve never had a word for the year as a family, and I wondered what he would come up with.

Finally, in a conversation lull, I asked Lee if he could think of one word for our family to focus on this year, what would it be. There’s something important to note about Lee here. If you want a quick answer, don’t bother asking. You let it set with him, go on with conversation, and he’ll come back to it when he’s ready.

We continued driving and talking for some time. Maybe an hour or more later, during a moment of silence, he said, refurbish.

Refurbish what, I asked.

That’s our word, he said. Refurbish.

The words swirling in my head seemed much more dignified; abide, focus, peace, especially abundance, though. I really wanted to claim that word for us in 2020. But as he said it, I knew in my heart, refurbish was the Harlow Family focus for this year.

Our house is bearing scars of years of use and is in much need of repairs and redecorating. Our marriage bears scars of hardships and challenges and needs buffing out and brightening up. Lee’s business, Rosser Motorsports, needs renovation to sustain us and move us forward. All these primary factors of our lives need refurbishing.

Here’s to refurbishing; household projects, intentional marriage, business and professional development in 2020, much of what you might follow on our website. What’s your word?

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