2021. What a year.
What happened this past year? What did you learn? How have you grown? Where do you want to go next? Who was added to your short list of trusted loved ones, and was anyone removed from that list?
2021. Personally, it was rough. I never felt like my expectations matched reality quite right; now I realize I was just trying to control things because so much of the world felt out of control. Do you know that feeling? And, yet, 2021 was invaluable to my life…learning so much about empathy in 2020, and this doubled in 2021. (Just hoping I can live that empathy out loud.) With moments of disappointment, there were consistently constant moments of people far exceeding any expectations I had of them. This was amazing! In short, I think people stepped up for me in ways I really needed. I know that is not everyone’s story but I’m grateful for this time of grace and deep care.
Are you good at looking back?
As a nation, we USAmericans are not great at pausing to reflect on life. Sure, some people attend meditation classes or mindfulness moments, and this is wonderful for daily maintenance. Most of us, however, do not spend much time or energy looking at the big picture of life, even just one year and reflect. It takes time and can be uncomfortable to face our true selves and our actions. Yet, it is so necessary for future growth and closure of the past! As I (forced myself to) reflect on 2021, I remain humbled by the awesome presence of God working in the everyday. And it took my spouse’s nudge to point out that I should be proud of this past year. PROUD, really!? With COVID and lots of other things, it felt like an uphill climb in the snow, both ways, barefoot. But he is right…we should be proud. You and I are here and present in this life; we made it to another year of possibilities to look forward to, while we are sitting on a past year that helped shape us to Today. We are here now, and that is such a blessing.
Soooo…I suppose I’m proud of who I am today. It feels weird to write that; can you be proud of who you are right now? Just like you, I know myself a little more after a year and understand the world a little more, too. I am leaning into Christ’s example of loving justice, and I am finding ways to be creative and kind, more so than ever before. While our problems don’t go away, maybe we are handling them a little better and extending grace to others a little more. THAT is something to be proud of, most definitely.
So let us be proud today…of who we are, created in God’s Image, gifted with a year to reflect upon and a new year to look forward to living. And that is truly a gift.
Proud to spend time with you.
MLK Day of Service, January 17 — Our annual day of service in the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life has two options this year: in person or online! Stay tuned for more details on this blog and in your What’s Happening Friday email (sign up here for the emails: http://holmeswood.org/connect/weekly-announcements-email-signup)
All-Church Game Night – Join us Friday, January 21 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Everyone is invited to a good old-fashioned game night! We will have tables set up for board games and floor space for games like Twister, as all ages are welcome to join in the competitive fun. Please bring your favorite game or a snack to share. Friday, January 21 from 6:00-8:00 pm at church. (If we have inclement weather that day, please check January 21’s What’s Happening email or Facebook page to find out if the event will take place.) Hope to see you there!
Have a wonderful week!