AFTER A LONG WINTER…
“After 2020, we don’t have the most positive association with the month of March.
But with case counts dropping and vaccine counts rising, we may finally be at the start of a brand new season of a brand new year.
And if you think about it, that’s exactly what spring is. A time for new beginnings, new life, and new hope…”
EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING IT…
“Love is a word that gets tossed around very easily, but is not always understood. A lot of people, particularly around a holiday like Valentine’s Day, see it as frivolous, silly, or fake.
But most of us don’t always realize or acknowledge how very basic the human need for love is….”
WHEN THE JOURNEY’S LONG…
“Even in a new year, this is a hard time for hope.
And it has been a bit of a struggle for me, too, as we turn the pages of another chapter of pandemic life.
But my husband Greg has a talent for discovering some pretty incredible things on the internet; most recently a video about a girl named Akiane Kramarik.
And it was truly awe-inspiring…”
WITH ONE THING TO HOLD ONTO…
“Twenty-twenty is over. Finally.
Not the jokes or memes. Not the social, economic, or political repercussions. And certainly not the coronavirus.
After nine months of disappointment, whatever hope we are entering 2021 with is guarded at best…”
WHEN THERE’S LITTLE TO GIVE…
“The calendar might say it’s the Christmas season, but if you’re struggling with holiday cheer — you’re not alone.
Whether it’s our wallets or our spirits, it’s safe to say this year’s left most of us feeling drained without any reserves left to draw from.
And with the holidays closing in, it’s much easier to feel like the Grinch whose pandemic stole Christmas than a Who of yesteryear.”
ON SHAKY GROUND…
“This has been a year of many things, but above all, it has been a year of fear.
And now that flu season has re-entered the scene, COVID case counts are climbing with a vengeance.
Last week, I sent dozens and dozens of students home due to contact tracing on positive cases.
Then, a fellow teacher and friend tested positive. Someone I had most definitely been within six feet of. And I developed a cough and a sore throat.
So what do you do when you’ve been hit from all sides? When your plans can’t possibly keep up with the ever-changing and increasingly-unpleasant circumstances of the day, hour, or even minute?”
WHEN IT’S FELT LIKE FOREVER…
“Answers just aren’t coming very easily this year.
Whether it’s a COVID test or a national election, no one seems to know what to tell us or what to prepare for.
So when we find ourselves once again in the same waiting game we’ve already been playing for what feels like a few million eternities now, how can we possibly pull out a win?
How can we do anything but pull out what little hair we have left and chalk it up to the year’s ever-unfolding pit of problems?”
IN STORMY SEAS…
“Sometimes it’s just not smooth sailing.
And for many of us, it rarely is.
So how do we know what to do when we hit rough waters? Where to point our sails when they’re already battered and torn?
For many of us, it’s a matter of simply not knowing how to gauge which direction is the right one. And even more terrifying: the wrong one.”
DESPITE THEIR PERSISTENCE…
“This world can make us feel boxed in at times, let alone the giant box of a pandemic time.
But even before the plague of 2020 hit, we have all faced circumstances and trials that made us feel repressed, misunderstood, and even forsaken.
Walls that closed us in no matter how hard we tried to move them.
I recently had the privilege of meeting the Newberry-award-winning author of one of my newest favorite books, Paperboy.
In this courageously honest and inspiring story, Vawter reveals a personal wall through the eyes of his eleven-year-old self: a stutter that was once so severe that for years single letter sounds tripped him up on a regular basis…”
WHEN OTHER DOORS CLOSE…
“Has it ever felt like more doors are closing for you than opening? How about a year of the whole world shutting down and shutting you out – or in?
More than ever before for so many of us, this year has made it all too easy to feel like the world is closing in around you.
Leaving you stuck waiting for an answer, an escape – waiting just to breathe.
But as we continue to wade through difficult and uncharted waters, I’ve found that it is incredibly helpful to look back on the straits already crossed and the battles already won…”