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Appreciating the Gifts of 2020

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Goodbye 2020. You were a complicated year. You brought disease, conflict and unwanted change. You locked us down and shut us up. You showed us ourselves at our worst. So, good riddance. We’ll take our chances on 2021.   But as students of reality, we want to give you your due before turnin…
By Seth Barnes
Goodbye 2020. You were a complicated year. You brought disease, conflict and unwanted change. You locked us down and shut us up. You showed us ourselves at our worst. So, good riddance. We’ll take our chances on 2021.
 
But as students of reality, we want to give you your due before turning the page. You gave us gifts and we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge them. I’ll list those I’m thankful for and perhaps others of you have got some gifts you’d like to note:
 
2020 Revealed heroes
I had been saddened by the lack of heroes in our society. I was especially let down by our political leaders. But 2020 gave us the gift of true heroes. Doctors and nurses daily went to work knowing that they were putting their lives at risk and many died. I loved watching ordinary people show up as heroes in 2020.
 
Time with family
Whether I wanted it or not, there we all were, stuck together in the same house. And as the calendar turned, I saw the fruit of time and intentionality. We and many others like us were given the gift of going deeper in relationship. This study showed that in 2020, many families were strengthened.
 
Work in pajamas 
Every year my family tries to dress me better than I want to dress myself. I prize comfort over style. I wear the same jeans and raggedy shirts until they are ready to fall off me. Hey – 2020 was my year!
 
Reflection
Too much of my life is unprocessed. This year I loved filling up my journal. I had so much to process that, halfway through the summer, worried I’d run out of pages, I began writing much smaller. Many of us took the opportunity to ask, “Is this how I want to live?” And some of us made changes.
 

Interrupted bad behavior

I got a chance to focus on the things that were good for me and bad for me. I didn’t want to catch this virus, so I ate better. I exercised better. On a broad scale, we as a nation had been doing a poor job of raising our children. Anxiety in kids was rising, in part because we parents have given them too many options and too much entitlement. It wasn’t bad to see our options curtailed. Absence can make the heart grow fonder and it also can cultivate gratitude.
 
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Yes, some people want to just close the door on 2020 and forget about it. But I love the redemptive gifts that it gave. How about you? What gifts did 2020 give you? 

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