Holidays,  Politics and Religion

out with the old, in with the new

2020 will definitely go down in history as being one of the most unusual years I have ever lived through by far. It’s crazy how far towards Marxism and Communism we have drifted as Americans since the beginning of this year — I’ve known it was coming, I’ve seen the general trend, but I never imagined it would happen so quickly.

But I don’t think we need to “redo” 2020, as I’ve seen jokingly mentioned ’round the internet. There are many valuable lessons I’ve learned personally, and the church has learned collectively, and the American people have learned as a whole that have been good for us.

I for one took many, many things for granted. Things like walking into a grocery store and not being accosted for not wearing a mask. Worshiping with other believers each Sunday. Seeing another persons’ smile. Standing within 6 feet of each other.

The little freedoms I have to make even small choices are eroding quickly, but I will cling to them as long as I can.

But good things have happened in abundance this year, as well. For my family, it was a year of chaotic peacefulness. Tranquil craziness. Even with Covid, and quarantine, and a crazy election, the Lord has blessed us with abundant things and we have seen Him so faithfully at work. Somehow, in the midst of a national identity crises, the Lord gave us a most abundant, peaceful, blessed year — a reprieve from the trials of previous years, and I am so. grateful. for it!

At the very least, one of the better things that came out of this year is not getting strange looks for spraying the buggy down with hand sanitizer before I touch it. Now it’s something a LOT of people are doing — I told Mom I did it before it was trendy and cool, ’cause, you know, I’m a germaphobe :D

For most of the year, Dad was working from home. We are hugely thankful for his company not going crazy and simply continuing on . . . especially as several sweet friends have experienced financial repercussions from this virus. We bought a camper in June, and we’ve spent most of this year in the great outdoors, exploring campgrounds and learning history and hiking, and even managed to squeeze in a few visits with faraway friends.

We’ve attended weddings and have been blessed to see new families starting. I’ve been able to visit with sweet friends and hold their new little babies and talk and catch up.

All our little ones have grown so much and I am in serious danger of being one of the shortest here in a few years :D Taking family pictures was a bit difficult with almost no variation in height between the oldest five . . . and I’m still getting used to younger brothers who now sound like men and can reach taller than I can in the kitchen cabinets =)

But while all these things are fun and good, the Lord has taught me SO much this year.
He’s taught me to merely be still and know that He is indeed God.
He’s taught me the importance of truly studying out His word and seeing what He says about certain issues.
He’s taught me that He alone is sovereign in ways that I theoretically knew, but am now able to put into practice.
He’s taught me not to be so stubborn – but also that stubbornness can be a good thing.
He’s taught me that sometimes the best answer is silence, but there is also a time to speak up and speak out.
He’s taught me that to be a good friend sometimes means fighting back tears and laughing and talking like cancer isn’t involved, while praying that pain is soon ended in the gloriousness of heaven.

At church a few weeks ago, we had a missionary family visiting, and the father shared what he prayed for his children — that they would be willing to stand for Jesus, even if it meant becoming a martyr for the sake of Christ. In the country he and his family are ministering in, that could one day be a very real possibility, and he has seen it almost happen to at least one of his sons.

I pray that if push comes to shove, I will stand up for the side of right, even if that stand will hold a high consequence. I pray that I will never be scared to proclaim Christ, even if that means that  I must count the cost of that proclamation.

What about plans for this new year? I have no idea. There is so much unsettledness in the world, that I’m not making any big plans. I know there’s a singles’ conference a few of us from our church have talked about attending together, depending on what happens with Covid and everything.

I know we have camping trips planned and archery shoots scheduled with the boys — who have been practicing up a storm.

I’m planning on buckling down and putting some work into a few books I’ve been working on for years now. Writing more often, editing a bit more, and building the bakery business up.

I’m looking forward to another year of growth in the Lord. Of learning lessons, and putting into practice what He’s taught me so far in my life. I’m praying for a peaceful year, a year that continues to teach more of my Saviour. My heart cry is that of Jonathan Edwards:

Lord God Almighty,
I understand that I am unable to do anything without your help,
so I ask you to enable me by your grace to fulfill your will.

Give me grace to do whatever brings most glory and honor to you,
pleasure and profit to me,
and life and love to others.

Help me to number my days,
spending my time wisely,
living my life with all my might while I still have breath.

Humble me in the knowledge that I am chief of sinners;
when I hear of the sins of others,
help me to not look upon them with pride,
but to look upon myself with shame,
confessing my own sins to you.

When I go through difficulties and trials,
remind me of the pains of hell
from which you have already delivered me.

Place people in my path who need my help,
and give me a compassionate and generous spirit.

Fill my heart with such love
that I would never do anything out of a spirit of revenge,
nor lose my temper with those around me.
Hold my tongue when I am tempted to speak evil of others.

Thank you for the gospel and for the hope of glory.
Help me to live in light of these truths every day of my life,
so that when the time of my death arrives,
I will rest assuredly in you,
and you will be most glorified in me.

In Christ’s name…

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I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

One Comment

  • Jonathan Character

    “I pray that if push comes to shove, I will stand up for the side of right, even if that stand will hold a high consequence. I pray that I will never be scared to proclaim Christ, even if that means that I must count the cost of that proclamation.”

    Amen to that. That is my prayer as well

    Did you have a favorite book of 2020? One that influenced your thinking the most?

What are your thoughts?

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