I don’t think there’s a one of us that is not looking forward to putting this year behind us. We’ve all been affected, on some level, by this pandemic and all the subsequent craziness. We’ve all seen, and in some cases personally suffered, huge heartbreak and loss during these past ten months. 2020 has been staggeringly difficult. I don’t think anyone would argue with that.
And yet . . . I find myself, on these last days before a Christmas . . . a Christmas that will look so different for so many of us . . . looking back and counting all the good that has come out of this year. I find myself wanting to take it all in . . . to slow down these last few days of 2020 . . . to cherish the blessings that have accompanied the crazy . . . because even with all the turmoil of this year, there have been so many blessings.
We were forced to take a pause. Forced to slow down. Forced to homeschool . . . insert a whole lot of sarcasm and a few laughs on that one . . . but I realized, the thing I thought I couldn’t, wouldn’t ever, absolutely had no desire to do, I absolutely could do, and I did. And my children survived. As did I . . . still don’t want to do that again. Ever.
We found ourselves spending more quality time with our loved ones than ever before, appreciating the fresh air and sunshine, game nights and movie nights and going for a long run. And now what may have seemed forced in the beginning, I crave and desire more than ever. Last week as we wrapped up the last couple of days before Christmas break, I found myself looking forward to these next few weeks at home. I’ve found, in the slowing down of this year and this holiday season, that my tolerance for the busy-ness and the never ending hustle and bustle has waned.
That’s not to say I don’t miss so many things . . . school programs, basketball games, traveling, extended family gatherings . . . that’s not to say we’ll come out of 2020 unscathed and untouched . . . believe me, there’s no way.
Yet in the midst of it all, I am so grateful.
Grateful for a husband I love more than ever.
Grateful for two beautiful children who sometimes drive me crazy . . . yes, even my teenager.
Grateful for the hours spent in the kitchen cooking and baking and trying out new recipes . . . the kitchen is my therapy.
Grateful for the fact that we’ve learned how to do new and hard things.
Grateful for hours spent in prayer and the lessons God has taught me through this season.
Lessons on humility. Lessons on pride and selfishness. Lessons that have helped me understand that putting others ahead of myself shouldn’t be a huge sacrifice but a way of life . . . not that I’ve mastered any of these. I’m sure as we step into 2021 and move through the months, closer to a resolution, and desperately trying to move full speed ahead toward normalcy (and yes, I know we’re not there yet . . . I wear my mask, and wash my hands, and keep my distance . . . you know, the whole putting others first thing), I’ll have to learn some of these lessons again and again because I can be inherently selfish. But today, I want to soak it all in. I want to remember . . . I want to memorialize . . . all that 2020 has brought with it. And I want to count my blessings. Every single one.
Because at the end of the day my prayer is not for easy. My prayer is not for perfect. My prayer is simply “You are good, and do good; Teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119:68
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