Obviously 2020 was a difficult year for everybody. It was, and still is, quite terrifying. When the shutdown happened I was absolutely miserable! March-June was a very low and dark time for me.

In February I began doing all of the online communication for the church when the church abruptly became exclusively online! That was stressful. Add to that the kids school also switching to online. It was all too much.

However, once school ended and the church reopened I would say that was a turning point. That relieved a lot of pressure for me. Soon after that we brought a new pastor on at our church. That has been a major highlight of this year! We love our pastor and his family. The whole story of how they ended up in our city is one miracle after another.

Then I started homeschooling, which wasn’t something I ever dreamed of doing and it is hard, but it such a blessing. This time with the kids has been a gift.

Another win for 2020 is some of the home upgrades we made. The girls got their bedroom makeover thanks to the Messy Mom blog and Limitless Walls!

We also planted a garden and new trees, built a treehouse, and raised chickens from one day old to most of them being at full maturity and laying eggs now!

We worked together, learned a TON, and really bonded while having fun along the way.

Lastly, I don’t want to embarrass J, but he lost 30 pounds and more importantly started feeling better all the way around this year. He began a low carb lifestyle in January and stuck with it all year long (other than reasonable breaks here and there).  In spring I told him he was going to be one of the only people that came out of the shutdown weighing less! His lean toward whole foods this year has had a ripple effect on the family.

Thanks to his determination and dedication my meal prep and menu strategies are better than ever. Between that, the garden, and the fresh eggs I feel like we are going the right direction as a family when it comes to taking ownership of our health. My goal would be to exercise and be a little more consistent with the kids sugar intake but that’s a new year’s goal and this post isn’t about resolutions. This blog post is about reflection.

As I reflect on 2020 I see so much tragedy and I would never downplay the loss that so many have experienced this year. My word for 2020 was HOME. When the “Stay at Home Order” was mandated that word proved to be more prophetic than I ever imagined. Homeschooling confirmed it even more. This next year’s word for me is HOPE.

We have to hold onto hope. It’s only by the grace of God that I was able to overcome a lot of depression and anxiety in 2020 and end the year feeling stronger and braver than I did when 2020 began. I feel like 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 applies here.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

What a year this has been. As with so many others on the planet right now I am eager for this next chapter. Welcome 2021