New Year, New Beginnings?
Ah the New Year post. Almost a month late but hey, that's still pretty good considering how busy the boys have kept me!
This last New Year's Eve was one that was waited on with great anticipation from many. Similar to the anticipation felt at the millennium, albeit on a much lower scale, this year is looked at with many new beginnings. Most everyone is hoping and praying for a better year than last year. Hopes for COVID to disappear, or at least lessen exponentially and for life to get back to some kind of a normal that we all knew so well.
With all of the jokes that went around at the end of 2020 regarding how bad of a year it was, I can't help but disagree. It is so easy to look at the negatives; especially when you are in the moment. The fear of something new and unknown, shutdowns, lack of hospital beds, people scared to even look you in the eye while out, civil unrest, border closures, travel bans, giving birth and/or hospitals stays by yourself...to be clear, yes, there was a lot of "not great" for the year 2020. However, once you get past the immediate and are able to look back, you can then start looking for the silver linings and "good". Some of us are blessed with the ability to do this while actually in the moment but I'd wager that most cannot; at least not to the full extent possible.
Here are some examples from my life last year of looking at the bad and then flipping it to see the good.
B - We got "stuck" in RI
G - We got three months of complete family time
B - Matt's report time kept getting pushed back
G - He was with me for Jonathan's birth when he originally would have missed it
B - I was told "no" for Japan
G - Matt's ship is still out and I would have been completely alone in an unfamiliar country with two under two for a full deployment during a pandemic and living off-base
B - Matt will be away from us for a total of (about) 17 months
G - God put the boys and myself where we grew up and around tons of friends and family
It's easy to only look at the negatives. It takes discipline to see the good and that is something that I have been working on.
With a whole new year to jump into, I think that many of us are feeling optimistic.
I myself have been working on my health (physically, emotionally and mentally). I have been eating (mostly) healthier, working out, forcing myself to look at the positives and the good, spending more time being present, doing devotionals, attempting me-time by baking and reading and finding so much joy in my children.
In regards to the politics:
Whether you're excited or dreading this new administration, one thing we should all be able to agree upon is the need for hope, prayer and understanding for those around us. You can be ecstatic with the election results or wondering where the country's mind went. So much hate has been passed around from all sides and it's time to see our neighbors as the human beings created by God that they are. Our God is a loving creator who created each and every one of us and just because you may not agree with me or someone else, that does not grant us the right to be hateful. We all need to remember that we are children of God. Created in His perfect image. Yes, we all sin; but, God forgives sin and readily hands out grace; therefore, so should we.
For me, I am not thrilled with how this election turned out and I absolutely do not trust the system; however, God is the one who grants people authority and I will respect that.
It's time for us to set aside our hate and pray for those around us. Wisdom and compassion would be a good start for the healing that our country needs.
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
- Mark 12:30-31