One of the reasons that I love the autumn is Thanksgiving. I don’t just love it for the food and time spent with family in cozy living rooms. Although those things are wonderful, there is such a deeper experience to Thanksgiving when we truly take time to reflect over the previous year. What a blessedness that this holiday takes place near the end of the year. It is especially integral that we practice mindful thankfulness on this crazy 2020 rollercoaster.
I’m so thankful for my husband that I can hardly express it in words. We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this year and I couldn’t ask for a better man to be by my side on life’s journey. We were so blessed to get to take a long weekend in Bennington, Vermont together. It was a fun, refreshing time that we really needed after the challenges of this spring and summer.
I’m incredibly thankful that we have been on our homeschool journey since the beginning. This has enriched our lives and our relationship with our children. It also provided a much smoother transition for us through the changes brought about by pandemic lockdowns and other restrictions. I know there are many families discovering the joy of having their kids at home and will likely remain in the home based education community. I welcome you all and wish you all the joy and excitement that I have revelled in these past years.
The last thing I’ll mention that I’m thankful for is my total perspective change about winter. Two main influences have contributed to this shift: our hours outside challenges and Advent.
The last two years we have done the #150hoursoutside project and doubled that goal for 2020. These challenges have prompted me to grit my teeth and get outside when I’d rather be inside with hot coffee and a good book. I even attended an Ice Party. But as time has gone on, I am learning more about how to gear up so that we are properly protected from the cold for longer periods of time. Better preparation and the joy of reaching goals had brought my attitude around.
For several years, our church has made a point to celebrate the season of Advent. My Catholic friends are all saying, “yeah, duh” right now. But not all Protestant churches mark the weeks of Advent. I have come to absolutely LOVE this focused time to celebrate and anticipate the true meaning of Christmas. It makes the end of November and all of December such a precious time for our church and family. How can anyone be a Hum-bug when you are soaking in all the beauty, warmth, and light that Advent brings?
I know that many of you reading this have had the hardest year in many or even in your lifetime. There is no band-aid solution and no platitude to make it all better. My only encouragement is to look back over this year at everything that has made you grow and the people you still have to love and be loved by. Write it down. You will be pleasantly surprised at what a beautiful list you end up with.
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