* THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE AND PRODUCT LINKS. *
If a year had a tagline, I think the tagline for 2020 would be something like, 'It's been a crazy year.' I've heard this phrase, or a phrases like it, over and over again. Yes, it has been a crazy year, maybe one of the crazies in recent history. (Or at least in my history.)
I thought about creating a list of the events of 2020, but this blog isn't about the events. Yes, it's been a crazy year, but it's also been a year that has come with a truck-load of good things. But many of these "good things" have been missed, or sidelined due to all the larger headlines.
This week we want to focus on those good things as we kick off, A Week of Thankfulness.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reads, "16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks. In ALL circumstances. In a year like 2020, how does one rejoice always, or give thanks in all circumstances? Well, I think we need to be a little more intentional as we take time to look at the good things God has done.
Now, don't just laugh me off and click away to another web page. Let's think about this.
It's easy to focus on the negative things of the year because we hear the headlines everywhere. Just watch the news and you'll hear plenty of negativity. We then think about the negativity we just heard. As we think about what we've heard, we begin to feel the weight of the negativity, and it effects the way we feel. That negativity then becomes to the topic of our conversations. Those conversations further fuel our feelings, and those feelings dictate our moods. And before we know it, we're miserable.
Now hear, I'm not dissing the news or down-playing the importance of recognizing our emotions. What I am saying is, if we're not careful, our emotions will run away with our lives. 1 Thessalonians reads, rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. (my paraphrase) This isn't meant to be a whatever kinda' verse. We don't ignore what's happening around us. But we take the time to look, take stock, and be aware of what God is doing in, through and around us. I think when we do, we might find it a little easier to do what these verse call us to do.
So this week, we're kicking off a Week of Thankfulness. Thanksgiving is always a time to slow down and reflect on the blessings and good things we've received over the last year. And while it might be super easy to highlight the 'craziness' of the year, let's sit down and consider the good things, the blessing that we have been given in 2020.
I'll start us off.
Family. A few years ago, we sat down and talked about what we wanted our family time to look like. Our kids were growing up, fast. It wouldn't be long before they were young adults and looking to begin their own lives, families, and traditions. We didn't want to miss the time we did have with our kids. But, life was changing. Our kids were changing. Their likes and dislikes, how they spend their time, who they wanted to be around (and who they didn't want to be around), interests, hobbies; everything was changing. When they were little, we could "plan" the fun. Family outings and trips, holidays, vacations, fun moments and creative activities made for special and meaningful family time. But now family time was becoming a little harder to find.
We decided that we wanted to make the most of every and any opportunity we might have with our kids. One huge blessing that has come out of this season has been an increased time with our kids. Because of the various restrictions and guidelines that experienced this year, we have been blessed with an incredible amount of time as a family.
Early on (March through August) all seven Higham's were under the same roof. Schools were closed and travel was limited, that meant we were home. So we took advantage of that time. We explored our state and visited different parks and locations. We put up a backyard pool, planted a garden, and enjoyed our yard together. Game nights, cook outs, trips to the local park, movie nights, and visits to some of our favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. And let's not forget the conversations and laughed we shared around the dinner table. All of it, priceless.
With all of that said, we still had our moments. With seven different personalities under the same roof, there's bound to be a few moments of tension. But for the most part, it was an amazing summer.
August came and our oldest returned to college. Our school aged kids returned to in-person classes, and we tried to return to some form of regular work schedules. We juggled sports schedules, part-time job schedules, and community activities (keeping with the proper restrictions and guidelines). But all of this came to a halt almost four weeks ago when we went virtual again. Now we're back to a houseful.
But, that's the blessing. This year has been a year for us to be with our kids. That while in this fast-paced reality of the teenage years, we have time to be with our kids. So it's back to the game nights, movie nights, family outings, dinner table conversations, and spontaneous moments of laughter, story-time and fun.
We never would have thought when we set out to be more intentional with our kids that it would result in having this special time with our teens. And here we are at the start of the holiday season and we have no place to go. We're looking at the possibility of being virtual and at home through the end of the year. While that might make some cringe, we're delighted.
we're kicking off this Week of Thankfulness by acknowledging and saying we're thankful for our family time.
So we're kicking off this Week of Thankfulness by acknowledging and saying we're thankful for our family time. 2020 may have had it's moments of "craziness," but it also gave us a year of special memories and fun. And, that is something we can rejoice in and be thankful for.
- the higham family
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.