For the past 12 years, I’ve called myself a “stay-at-home mom.” Last fall, my youngest started kindergarten and, as he headed off to school, I did also. I started substitute teaching. A few years ago, I started writing and speaking. About that time, I started to ask myself questions about each of these vocations.
In all of my vocations, I struggled to define what a successful day, year, or lifetime would look like. I’ve come up with ideas, but they often shift with experience, the realization of responsibility, or even my mood.
Rest can be promised to one another, yet those promises are not always kept. My children promise me rest when they assure me they will get their chores done. The time they spend doing chores would open time for me to rest on my back deck with a book—if they did them.
We were not created to live alone.
This truth should have been one I knew well before the pandemic, but “post” pandemic, I know this need for one another acutely. Going without gatherings, coffee dates, and in-person church created an appreciation for being with one another.
“When I urge you to go to confession, I am doing nothing else than urging you to be a Christian.” (Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation)
As a child, I had a misguided understanding of what a Christian was. I believed a Christian was sinless—or at the very least, a Christian was able to avoid “big” failures on his or her own.
Soon, we will (or perhaps we already have) see and hear what people are resolving to accomplish in the next year. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a new way to make resolutions. Along with resolution statements, some people are selecting a “word for the year.” Some resolution makers see this word selection as a word from God or some self-proclaiming prophecy.
Our church recently lost a long-standing elder who was loved by many. His wife and he had been together since they were teens, and at the time of his death, her beloved husband was 85 years old. His widow, and those who knew him, loved him, and were loved by him, are grieving.
If you ask Christians why they go to church, the answers will vary. We recently went through (some of us are still going through) a time when regular church attendance was not possible. It left many asking the question, “Why do we go to church?”
Our reasons for praising God are innumerable, yet I often fail to find words that accurately express my praise. Thankfully, the Lord Himself provides words of praise in the Book of Psalms. Although the psalms are wrought with all types of emotions, some of the best (and most popular) words of praise are found in their pages. The Psalms give us words of praise for what is good, how God is good, and how He works for us and loves us.
Many of us—especially those of us up here in Minnesota—feel the drain the cold, long, and dark winter months have on our bodies and minds. We lack the vitamin D and the warmth the sun provides. Our bodies are sluggish. Our faces are chilled.
My preschooler has been among the many feeling the lack of the warmth and light of the sun. He has made it a habit of asking me the same question daily: “Mom, spring will come again, right?”
It’s the time of year that I love and loathe. I love the new and the fresh and the possible. But I’m not great at making plans or evaluating what happened over the last twelve months. I’m not great at setting goals or working out how to achieve those goals. Yet planning and evaluating are natural things to do at the end of a year, and although I’m looking forward to 2021, I feel pressure to plan the work I will do. I am much better at flying by the seat of my pants than establishing a plan for my work.