2020 – A Year in Review
Do you spend time reflecting on milestones in your life?
Reflect is defined as thinking deeply or carefully about; give thought to; or consider.
I don’t know about you, but I am a go, go and going type of person. I am always in forward motion and I don’t spend much time looking back to reflect. I am trying to get better at this.
Before we move forward full steam ahead into 2021, there is value in looking back. What can I celebrate? Where did I see God move? What can I learn? Where can I grow? Where there any themes or threads in 2020 (good or bad) that can awaken my spirit and move me forward into a healthier 2021? Let’s take a look back together.
2020 Most Notable and Historical Moments in the United States
16: The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins
26: Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and 7 others are killed in a helicopter crash in California
Personal Notes: January started great. The year kicked off with some fun snow days and a great goal setting workshop, life was busy, and I choose my word of the year, SIMPLIFY. It was the time of Kobe Bryant’s untimely death that I choose to take a break from all Social Media platforms. Grief is hard and living in southern California during this time was very sad.
2: Kansas City Chiefs with the Super Bowl
5: The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump ends in an acquittal
17: Covid – 19 pandemic is in the news as 300 Americans are evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
23: Civil unrest begins with the death of Ahmaud Arbery
24: Me Too movement gains steam as Harvey Weinstein is found guilty.
29: First US death from Covid 19 in Washington state with 66 total cases.
Personal Notes: This month was filled with more preschool, ballet, gymnastics and church. We had our annual cousin valentine’s day party. It was at this time we began hearing about a mysterious virus in the news.
4: Covid Pandemic emergency relief bill approved
11: Covid Travel Ban issued
12: Second day in the month where the Dow Jones takes a deep plunge.
13: National Emergency declared by President Trump
14: Civil unrest for Breonna Taylor killing
16: Most schools nationwide are shut down
16: Clinical trials begin for a vaccine
19: California issues the official 2 week stay at home order
26: The US Space Force launches its first military communications satellite
Personal Notes: We started the month off cautious. We choose to take a break from ballet and gymnastics this month. We attended a couple of children parties early in the month but by mid-month we were avoiding large gatherings then on 3/19 our State shut down. We were prepared as we saw the signs coming based on news reports. Churches and schools were closed. I began my prayer journal which included current events. Our pastor began a morning devotional and an evening recap on the events taking place in California. This became the most important part of my day and helped keep me grounded. I TURNED OFF THE NEWS and have not turned it back on since. We also celebrated our first quarantine birthday, my son turning 4. There was a toilet paper shortage and shelves were bare as people began to panic.
3: Mask recommendation issued by CDC
15: New York is first to order mandatory mask mandate
24: President Trump signs Covid Relief bill to help small businesses
27: Pentagon releases videos of unknown “aerial phenomena”
More Covid and unemployment is at an all-time high since President Trump took office.
Personal Note: The lockdown continued, and the days were very slow. I cried for the first time in my life because I missed my family.
3: Giant Hornets from Asian found in US
16: Tropical Storm Arthur first to hit Atlantic and begins hurricane season
26: Twitter begins to fact-check President Trump
28: Civil unrest due to George Floyd killing and protest erupt nationwide
More Covid stuff
Personal Note: Our family began to consistently explore more outdoor activities where there were little to no crowds and it was quite literally a breath of fresh air. We were able to see and experience the “glowing ocean waves” phenomenon that hit southern California beaches. We began attending outdoor services at a smaller church and it’s been so great for us and our children.
2: Black out Tuesday protest racism and police brutality
3: 5.5 earthquake shake southern California
More civil unrest and more Covid shutdowns across the nation
Personal Note: I saw my dad for the first time this year.
2: Ghislaine Maxwell is arrested for her dealings with Jeffrey Epstein
4: Kanye West announces bid for presidency
22: 7.8 earthquake rocks the coast of Alaska
More civil unrest and more Covid
Personal Note: We spent lots of time outdoors and had lots of beach days
3 & 16: Southern California is experiencing multiple fires across the region and several thousands of people are evacuated as massive heat waves hit the state
10: A massive windstorm with up to 140 miles per hour winds strikes Midwest
13: A new government task force is established to monitor UFO sightings over military bases
More civil unrest and Covid. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg report amassing hundreds of billions each.
Personal Note: More beach days and outdoor adventures as the start of another school year loomed overhead. There is so much uncertainty as to how that will look. Virtual school began, and my daughter officially started kinder.
6: California sets record with 2.1 million acres burned in 2020 alone
10: Over 10% of Oregon population is fleeing due to wildfires
12: 2 Los Angeles County Sheriffs are ambushed in Compton while sitting in their patrol car
16: Hurricane Sally creates massive flooding in the South
18: Ruth Bade Ginsburg passes
Move Covid news
Personal Note: My son learned to milk a goat. This may come in handy, but I really hope not. Another quarantine birthday passes but the zoo was open, and we spent the day outdoors exploring and looking for animals. I started another online bible study called Take Courage.
1: President Trump tests positive for Covid
7: 2 major national chain restaurants file bankruptcy and close hundreds of restaurants (Ruby’s and Pizza Hut)
8: 13 arrested in a plot to kidnap the Michigan Governor
9: Hurricane Delta makes landfall in Louisiana making it the 10 storms to make landfall and creates a record hurricane season.
12: Civil unrest in Portland, Oregon
More and more and more Covid news
Personal Note: Fall came, and fall went. We love fall. We tried to continue with many of our normal fall traditions as possible while being safe as cases began to rise with the cooler weather.
3: The US Presidential election takes place
3: Oregon decriminalizes use of narcotics
8: Jeopardy game show host Alex Trebek passes
16: SpaceX crew dragon successfully launches
19: By this date, 1/3 of the Cincinnati City Council was arrested on bribery charges
20: Mass shooting in Wisconsin kills 8
24: Elon Musk becomes 2nd richest man in the world overtaking Bill Gates and only behind Jeff Bezos
24: Dow Jones passes 30,000 for first time in history
Lots and lots of election and Covid news
Personal Note: We received news of our dear pastor friend who was in a terrible accident but survived. God is still doing miracles.
All politics and Covid news.
Personal Note: Burn the TV and all the candles. We celebrated Christmas in a whole new way this year. We did not do many of the traditional things, but our kids had a magical experience and that is always the goal. We also enjoyed some snow days.
Now how did that make you feel? WOW! We lived through all of that. We lived through history. Let’s just pause a moment and take a VERY DEEP BREATH. We made it, we are still hear to tell the tale.
My Reflection of 2020
For the past several years I chose a word or theme of the year. Like most of us, I start my year out bright eyed with a sense of joy and excitement for all that the new year can and will bring. I pray and see where God wants to grow and stretch me.
2020 kicked off with a bang. Several of my friends and family got together for my birthday and enjoyed a day for pouring vision into our 2020. My word was Simplify.
My journal reads, “I want to return to the basics and bare essentials in all areas of life. I want to diminish complexities, reduce busyness, streamline processes, and live with order. Good bye debt, clutter, chaos, and over complicated living. I am returning back to the basics”dated 1/04/2020
Little did I know just 5 weeks later; our state would begin a “2 week” stay at home order that would essentially last into 2021.
To reflect on all that was 2020 and boy was it a dozy; I need to turn the clock back just a little to 2019.
It is so easy to see all the ways God was preparing me for 2020.
In 2019, I participated in bible studies that strengthened me and began to work all the faith muscles I would need to use in 2020. Our 2019 studies were “No Other Gods” and “Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath“. We even participated in the Financial Peace University classes at our church.
Each study offered insight into distractions that cause us to shift our attention from God and how we can find true peace and joy in Him alone.
In 2019, I began reciting memory verses with my children that would be the solid foundation that would be imbedded in our hearts. Little did I know that the Lord would use these verses and my children to encourage, strengthen me and help us navigate the year of 2020.
Our Daily Bible Scriptures:
- Today is the day the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be GLAD in it!! Psalm 118:24
- Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Proverbs 3:5-6
- God makes EVERYTHING beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11
- LISTEN to God’s instructions and be wise. Proverbs 8:33
- I can do ALL things through the POWER of God. Philippians 4:13
These simple verses meant to build up my children summed up everything I needed to get through every single day of quarantine. Living in isolation is hard. Living in lockdown with screaming kids that just want to be free is hard. Working from home, living with kids, while homeschooling is hard. It is all hard. But God’s word is true on the hard days too.
2020 was so very hard. It was hard to slow down. It was hard to be isolated from our family and church for so long. It was hard to see so many sick. I was hard to see many people step into eternity. It was hard to see so many lose their jobs. It was hard to see the civil unrest. It was hard to not celebrate accomplishments that took people many years to achieve. It was hard.
But you know what?
WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.
WE CAN DO HARD THINGS. We can turn off the news. We can show up for our family. We can seek God in prayer all day, every day. We can to listen to God’s word on repeat. We can play worship.
2020 Taught Me:
- Don’t be wasteful.
- Information overload is harmful to your mental well-being.
- My children are super awesome and capable of so much more than I give them credit and responsibility for.
- I can homeschool my children and shepherd their hearts, even when I feel unqualified and ill equipped.
- You can shut down the Church but you cannot shut-up God’s people.
- God is our provider and the King of peace.
I don’t ever want to live another year like 2020 but I do not want to lose sight to all that God did.
- He healed people.
- He restored relationships.
- He opened our eyes to value people and to value our health.
- He gave us rest.
- He brought us to place of greater faith.
- He reminded us that He is our provider.
2020 was a time where the church returned to the homes. Instead of some family member leaving their home to attend church. Church was on playing for all to see.
He showed me that while it may be fun, my children do not require every day to be filled with some special event or adventure. They most desire a home filled with love and hope.
My word for the year was a preview of all that 2020 would serve to us on a silver platter. There is beauty in simplicity. There is beauty in sabbath rest. There is beauty in every single day. 2020 seem filled with so much chaos but good things were still happening. People were still being healed. Lives were still being changed and God is still on His throne.
So what will 2021 look like? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. 2020 taught me with 2020 vision, that I make plans and the Lord laughs. Haha The scripture reads, I make plans, but the Lord directs my steps. (Proverbs 16:9) I can trust where He will take me and will not let me fall. (Psalm 55:2) I can trust that He goes before me and prepares my heart just as He prepares the way. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
My word for 2021 is DELIGHT. No matter what the state of the world is outside our home, I chose to delight in all that the Lord has placed in front of me. There will be an atmosphere of Delight in our home. Why? Because the JOY of the LORD is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
Delight: a high degree of satisfaction; a strong feeling of happiness to make someone very happy; joy; satisfaction.
I have no expectations of the world returning to “normal”, instead I look ahead and trust in the unseen road because I know that God is paving the way. He is making my path straight. He is with me now, preparing my heart for the journey ahead.
So in 2021, I pivot.
2021 is the year we learn to pivot and step into all that God has for us in this brave new world.