One thing you might not know about me is that I LOVE Christmas. The love of Jesus and the hope that His life on earth provides is something that should be celebrated all year, in my humble opinion, but I will settle for one month. Therefore, my passion for all things Christmas rivals that of our dear Fearless Mom, Julie Richard. My yard has 52 inflatables, every inch of my house is decorated (including the toilets), and our Alexa is jamming Christmas tunes from the minute our Thanksgiving meal is over until midnight on December 25.
One of my favorite Christmas lyrics is from Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” Every time I heard this line this Christmas season, I thought about all of the hopes and fears we experienced in 2020.
We all felt hope about “the end of the quarantine,” “the vaccine,” “the 2020 presidential election,” “virtual learning,” etc. But we also felt fear about all of those things. 2020 has been a rollercoaster with unexpected and unprecedented mountains and valleys. It feels as though the only thing that has remained unchanged is God’s love for us and His promises for His people. He equips us for the hopes and fears and walks with us.
Therefore, I revise the well-known lyric to this: The hopes and fears of all the years, even 2020, are met in Thee tonight.
We are about to close out the chapter that was 2020 and enter 2021, and it is exciting to embrace all of the promises that a new year can bring. As we enter “New Year’s Resolution Season,” I challenge you to take some time to look at 2020 with a new perspective. Look at all you survived, Mom! Look at what you guided your family through! Look at all of the hopes and fears you faced. Look at what you overcame. Look for the times you not only survived but thrived! And look for God’s provision during it all.
We weathered the storm and found our “new normal.” We found new ways to do the big things like school, socializing, work, routines, and self-care. We got creative with the everyday things like managing screen time, meal time, shopping, and family time. We flipped our mindsets by controlling what we could. Let’s carry those lessons into 2021 and shape our approach to the new year.
We tend to gravitate towards unattainable resolutions that leave us with a sense of failure when we struggle to keep them, and that damages our emotional well-being. This results in starting the new year feeling like failures. So, my challenge of perspective applies to 2021 resolutions, as well.
Remember all that you survived in 2020. Remember to focus on what you can control, while making peace with what you can’t control: we can’t control global pandemics, the government, the economy, or the ISD’s decisions, but we can control how we will respond. We can help our family by demonstrating healthy ways to respond. Mom, you can teach your children how to respond by modeling a healthy approach for them.
So let’s all make that our resolution: to respond with serenity, courage, and wisdom in the face of challenges.
Let’s resolve to start our days with this simple (yet powerful) prayer: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
When you inevitably find yourself worrying about things that are out of your control, press pause. Take a deep breath; pray for serenity, courage, and wisdom. And most importantly, just keep trying. Keep relying on your 2020 perspective, and keep moving forward. Don’t compare your journey to others. Just keep doing your best. As Julie says, “Give yourself grace to run your own race.”
Yes, 2020 was a wild year. However, I think it deserves some respect. 2020 changed the world, for better or worse. Many of the problems we faced in 2020 won’t vanish at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2020. So, let’s enter 2021 with a fresh perspective and a renewed resolve to control what we can.
You’ve got this, Mom! And God’s got you!