In the Old Testament covenants we find three themes: land, descendants, and a special relationship with God. The bottom line can be found in Jeremiah 30:22, where God says ‘You will be my people, and I will be your God.’ In order for that to work both ways, Israel had to keep herself focused on that special relationship that God was offering to her. When I compare this relationship to a FB status, I’m not being cheeky or disrespectful.
We had set goals for ourselves, our relationship and our careers for 2020. The biggest item on our list was to continue our fertility/pregnancy journey through IVF. We had received amazing news right before Christmas that our first round of IVF had resulted in one genetically normal embryo. We were over the moon and were so excited to complete another round or two and then get back to our clinic to transfer this perfect little embryo.
During this time of the year, our thoughts seem to turn to the future. We realize we are on the final calendar pages of 2020 and decide it is a good time to give some consideration to the year ahead. Whether you are writing resolutions, making business plans, or setting personal goals for next year, many of us are focusing on what we would like to see happen. Simply stated, we try to analyze where we are, look at what we’ve accomplished in 2020, and make some judgments about the year ahead.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year! A time to love others well because
we were so loved by God. I love the decorations, the food, the joy in children’s hearts. But what I enjoy most is celebrating Christ as
Savior and King of my life. But if we aren’t careful, we can let these trying times distract us from what Christmas is really about:
Sacrifice and love.
After much anticipation (tbh, beginning as soon as I dropped her off), my college daughter was coming home for the semester break and it was hard to wait. I was looking forward to her company and her hugs. I was looking forward to her stories, her laughter, her cooking, and even to the mess that comes with hauling all the “necessities” back from campus. When any of the kids come home it’s my little slice of happiness during these crazy times.
Christmas feels different this year. It won’t be the same. Depending on where in the world we live there are restrictions on where we can travel, how many people we can host in our homes and what events we can attend. The usual bustle of crowded shopping centers is more stressful than ever with plastic screens, masks and temperature checks. The usual excitement and anticipation of the holidays is tainted by the reality of a global pandemic.
This week has been the kind of week where you just want to curl up under the covers and escape from the world. As I write we are experiencing cold, rainy weather, the kind that feels more like March than late October. Autumn has been wonderfully warm and long and the foliage is peaking. But it has to end sooner or later I suppose. As a friend observed, during the course of this week we’ll have experienced the residual effects of Hurricane Zeta, Mischief Night, a blue full moon on Halloween, Daylight Saving Time, and just to add insult to injury, the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to Scripture, we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us discern God’s will. And also, the counsel of godly mentors. For myself, scripture tends to be the most reliable revelation of what pleases God. Sometimes it is difficult to hear the Holy Spirit, and godly mentors are not always immediately accessible. But, from a young age, I was encouraged to memorize scripture. How many times the counsel of God comes to me from verses I have memorized many, many years ago!
As soon as Scott and I got married, we began trying to get pregnant. We didn’t worry when it didn’t happen for the first few months, but after about six months, we started to get concerned. Scott called his doctor and I made an appointment with my OBGYN. We both had some tests run, had in-depth conversations with our doctors, and were told that we were both two healthy people that shouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant. “Relax,” they told us. “Don’t stress- it’s not uncommon for it to take a year or longer.”
I’ve witnessed family conflict over a multitude of issues and I’m certain I’m not alone. The fracture of relationships over our opinions, views, etc. is a disturbing thing to observe. Don’t get me started on social media. Sites that were created as a resource for educational Covid policies have become grounds for verbal warfare. Before I go further with this, NO, this is not a post about politics, right vs. left, ethnicity, what branch of Christianity you follow, etc. This is about grace or better yet, living our faith rather than just talking about it to, or at, others. The past several months have presented many opportunities for personal growth.