Perspective and Verbiage

Last night Jeb said, “Farewell to the worse year of my life!”

So, I pulled my amazing 12-year-old into my arms and we had a conversation about perspective and verbiage.

2020 started with us praying daily for my brother and his family as the wildfires ravaged Australia and that mental stress morphed into the stress of the virus. We mourned the loss of friends’ family members. And, above all, there has been an overhanging fear of the uknown, fear of the virus, fear of doing something wrong and bringing it home. The boys went weeks before they ever left the house, doing virtual school, virtual taekwondo, virtual music lessons, while Gregg and I ran necessary errands. We have to mask up, hand sanitize, not play with friends, not shop and eat out like we used to.

Last night we talked about the fact that they’re living through unprecedented times. This era will be talked about historically the way we talk about the Black Plague and Smallpox eras. They’re observing things their children and grandchildren will want to hear about. They’re processing adults’ actions and reactions to the way the world is reacting to the fear and the stress. They’re listening to commentaries, listening to adults, watching Youtube videos.

Our entire world has suffered an extreme impact from this virus and we don’t even know what the repercussions of that are going to look like in five, ten, fifteen years. Globally financially, globally healthily, globally emotionally – we don’t know.

Domestically, this country is in a state of unrest that is like a tinderbox. Scott will vote for the first time in the next Presidential election, but this one was such a mess, we have no idea what that will look like. Riots and demonstrations came into our local area and the boys observed and listened to us and Kaylee talking about the overwhelming injustice of the Breonna Taylor incident and all of the things going wrong there.

My parents both lost their brothers and our families cannot come together to mourn.

Ultimately, 2020 WAS the worse year of his life, but he’s had a good life and he had a good year. Our family grew closer, our home remained virus-free. Our pantry was stocked, our freezers full, our movie supply will never run out, our games cabinet is full of family board games, and he is the master of Mexican train dominoes. He always wanted to be homeschooled and coming home for virtual school in March taught us that I could indeed homeschool and write at the same time, which has set us on that path – the best path for these boys. We redecorated his room, changed out the furniture, updated his computer, and set him up with two big monitors in his room. He has a new bike, a new hoverboard, read a few amazing books series, generated an online Fortnite community, and will test for his blackbelt this month.

It’s a scary, unknown time, but we all talked about how we believe, how we trust, how we KNOW, that God knew this was coming, knows how we’re doing, and knows what it looks like five, ten, fifty years from now. Nothing is a surprise to Him. As long as we live according to His word, love Him, trust Him, praise His holy name, then whatever happens…happens. And whatever the outcome is…the outcome. And we can lean on that and garner strength in the secure knowledge of God’s hand in our life, in our purpose for Him.

So we toasted to the new year, said farewell to the last year, and tried not to feed into the hype that the year carried with it a stigma that is suddenly gone and everything can now right itself.


    • Mason Engel on January 4, 2021 at 12:54
    • Reply

    Such a productive way to view 2020 … the historical perspective especially. It’s easy to get lost in the inconveniences of the present and forget to drink in the uniqueness of the times. For some reason, that makes everything less scary.

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