This has been a year for the history books!
Recently I found a template to create a list of “Things to Grieve” and “Things to Celebrate” from the past year. After filling it out, it was obvious that even with the hard parts of 2020, my “celebrate” list was a good bit longer than the “grieve” list.
At the top of my “grieve” list was my dad’s passing on to Heaven early in the year. That was followed by some activities our girls missed out on along with canceled trips and other plans that had to be adjusted.
But in spite of all that, there were many, many things to celebrate. Steady jobs and more family time, Friday afternoon outings with my husband, the trips we did get to take, along with some normalcy that came with our girls’ schooling this fall.
Before entering a new year, I like to review the past one. As 2020 comes to a close, I especially wanted to pull out some lessons I’ve learned in this unprecedented (way over-used word of the year!) time. Maybe you can identify with some of these!
1. I have very little control over the big things in life.
This includes most any type of pre-arranged plans, travel, health, or politics. I can pray and make decisions based on the information I have, but ultimately a lot of life is out of my control.
2. I have lots of control over the little things in life.
By that, I mean that I control a lot in my personal life. I get to choose my attitude in every situation. My response to a trial is totally up to me. Being grateful, praying, helping others – those are all things I can decide to do…or not.
3. I can always find things for which to be thankful.
There’s been less traffic on the road when our daughter drives to school in the mornings. We went through a time earlier this year when family game nights were more common. That empty seat between passengers on an airplane row is pretty sweet! We all had some trying moments this year, but we also continued to receive blessings from God.
4. Spending time outside is good for my physical and mental health.
I’ve probably taken more steps this year than in any year before! It’s become a habit to walk in our neighborhood five or six days a week. Back in the spring, my husband was able to take off work early on Friday afternoons, and we’d find a new place to walk or hike each week. All of this has been so good for helping me keep a more positive mindset.
5. It’s nice to have online church services as an option, but there’s nothing like meeting together with fellow believers in person.
There’s something to be said, on occasion, for watching church services from the comfort of your couch. But it didn’t take long to miss gathering as a community to worship.
6. I miss traveling.
We had to cancel the cruise we had planned in June. Thankfully we did get to take more local trips, but I’m ready to plan something bigger!
7. I can survive a vacation rental house with mice and a snake.
So yeah, on one of those trips we took, we found a snake on the indoor stairs leading from one level of the house to the next. And a mouse (or likely more than one) was seen on all three levels at different times by all four of us! Safe to say that’s one VRBO we won’t be staying at again!!
8. I didn’t always appreciate “normal” like I should have.
Normal was going to basketball games in a packed gym. It was counting on there being school tomorrow, not wondering if too many COVID cases would close it down. I don’t know what “normal” will look like going forward, but I hope I remember to be grateful for it!
9. Heaven is an even sweeter place the more it’s populated by people I love.
No question – to see Jesus is the ultimate joy of Heaven! Yet every year, more people that I know and love are going there. I have two children there, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and now my dad. As much as we miss him, what a blessing that he got to spend 2020 in Heaven!
10. I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but I pray that it leads me closer to Jesus.
We certainly hope it will be a better year in terms of fewer restrictions and COVID issues. But as my brother mentioned in his sermon on Sunday, any year that sees us growing spiritually is a good one. May the choices that we make in the year ahead cause us to grow in our faith.
What lessons has 2020 taught you? Do any of these ring true with you? Let me know in the comments or via e-mail.
In Friday’s e-mail, I’ll share the top ten most popular blog posts from Girls to Grow for the past year. If you’re not subscribed to e-mail updates, click here to sign up.
Wishing each of you a very happy and blessed New Year!!