I’ve been trying to think of some deep, meaningful words to summarize the past year. The only thing I can come up with is “holding”.
It hasn’t been a particularly good year. It hasn’t been terrible either. It’s just been medium. I know. Read the room, Angela. I suppose the absence of tragedy is something to count high among our blessings. And I do. I’m thankful for our family and our friends, though relationships haven’t been easy this year. I’m thankful for Ben’s job, and for my income as well, even though my JP game has been pretty non-existent lately. We are grateful to be in reasonably good health despite the 18-month-long Cream Cheese Festival we’ve been celebrating here at the Matthews’ house. Audrey loves school. We got to take a really sweet vacation to Gatlinburg (almost accidentally typed “Fatlinburg” and then thought about leaving it). We have gotten to hold small group at our house this year and grow closer to an awesome body of believers we didn’t even know at the beginning of the Vid. Lots of blessings.
And yet. It still feels like we’re waiting for life to pick back up again. At least it does for me. It feels as though excitement about the future is permanently on hold, because there is no “normal” right now.
The girls in my small group read through the book Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marshall recently, and I think the timing was perfect. Because, as in life, our spiritual walk can seem to have times of holding: times that feel dry and fruitless. Times we can’t see God moving. That’s when we just keep doing what we know we need to do.
We do laundry, even when we’ve basically lived in pajamas for the last three days.
We make a healthy meal, even though said pajamas are super stretchy and can accommodate our bad habits for at least another eight-to-ten weeks.
We read our Bible, even when it’s the last thing we feel like doing.
We stay connected to the church, even at this weird time in history where it’s totally acceptable to withdraw.
We get outside. We take the little ones to the playground. We have game nights and make homemade pizza.
We keep going.
Because this is our life right now, even though it’s not what we asked for.
We keep going. And we love people as hard as we can.
Ok. Here’s some of my favorite pics from this past year.
Happy New Year, friends.