I wrote this blog post towards the end of the summer, but reposting it now might be a good thing. Reading through it tonight, almost half a year later, was a little surreal and these words still apply. Back in July I thought Covid and everything that came with it would be a thing of the past. Not exactly. I do believe we’re getting closer though. It’s so easy to let bitterness take root, especially right now, but I hope you’ll take some time to think about this year, what you learned, and what good things you want to carry with you into the next one. 

Tonight we had a family night at TopGolf, putting a bookend on these past five months with the five us at home together. As expected, I was terrible at it (years of playing softball has permanently ruined my golf swing), but we laughed hard, soaked it all up and I found myself once again so grateful for these boys God gifted me with.

Five months of being safe and sound under one roof, playing cards and binge-watching new shows and having big debates and hard discussions and vacationing together and Friday night pizza nights. Five months of watching the Hatcher brothers bond in new ways. The gap in their ages is starting to close, and it’s a beautiful thing to witness the love they have for each other.

Don’t get me wrong – they can still drive each other nuts. But their relationship is shifting, and it’s pretty cool.

Despite all of those good things, there’s been times it’s been hard to think about anything else but how difficult these last several months have been. There have been days I’ve barely recognized myself – tense and short-tempered with a doomsday mentality, and I hate it. It’s so opposite of how I usually see the world.

What I’ve noticed most though is that because it feels a little like the world has fallen down around us, our home has become even more of a refuge than normal, and I’ve never appreciated it more.

Tonight as I sat at a table and looked at each of my guys as they cheered each other on, teased each other, offered helpful tips, got frustrated with their own performances, and laughed a bunch, I started wondering what in the world I ever had to feel all doom and gloom about.

Harry leaves to head back to college on Monday morning. Somehow 5 months all together has turned into only 5 days left all together.

I’m not ready. But because this is familiar territory and we’ve done it before, I know we’ll adjust.

These boys keep growing and getting more independent and closer to chasing their dreams and that’s exactly what is supposed to happen. We love big. And when you love big, you have to accept the parts that hurt, like having to let go.

And it’s still even harder than I expected it to be.

So tonight I breathed a sigh of relief that I had enough good sense to recognize what a gift this extra time together at home has been.

It got me thinking – what am I going to choose to remember about 2020?

Will I remember the chaos and division and zoom calls and masks and online school and church and not going to work?

Or will I remember how things slowed down a little and our faith increased a bunch and we were safe and sound and provided for in our cozy home all together?

I really hope it’s the second one.

Things will return to normal at some point, hopefully sooner than later. I don’t know that it will return to normal normal, but there will be a new normal…. like we had to adjust to after 9/11. This will someday be a distant memory (hallelujah!), which seems impossible now but it’s true.

So, here’s my challenge to you:

What are you going to choose to remember about this year?

{ And yes, I know we’re only halfway through this year – this is an opportunity to finish strong. } 🙂

We don’t know what’s ahead. There are things we can’t control, no matter how hard we try. But there are plenty of things we CAN control, like our attitude, our choices, and where we put our faith.

Dig deep, sweet friends. Make a list of all you have to be thankful for. And please do whatever the other things are that help keep your perspective in the right place. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise. Drink your water. Have that cookie. Read a book. Take lots of hot baths. Saturate yourself in God’s Word. Tell your people how much you love them. Pray. Pray. Pray.

There’s still plenty of time for things to completely turn around this year, but it’s up to us to make the best of whatever lies ahead.

What are you going to do make the best of things?