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January 2021 Everyday Faith Calendar

In our house, we have two little people, and they seem to be constantly going through growth spurts. Lately, my four-year-old has started using his growing as an opportunity to always have an “out” when he doesn’t want to do something. When it’s time to clean up toys or help with a small task, he likes to respond: “I am too tired to do that.” And sometimes he probably is actually tired, but we have started to talk through the difference between being tired and just not wanting to help out, even if they go hand in hand. When he declares he is too tired to do something, we have started asking him about the root of that statement. “Are you really too tired, or is helping your sister just something you don’t want to do right now?”

December 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Over the course of this year, I have had countless conversations that ended with lamenting the difficulties this year has held. When something difficult happens, it has been easy to respond to the situation by adding it to the list of wrongs 2020 has dealt out:

“2020 just won’t quit.”

 “Man, this year!”

 “Ugh, 2020!”

“Of course that happened—it’s 2020!”

“2020 is the worst!”

November 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

“How are you?”

I rarely ask that question in a conversation without receiving a response along the lines of “fine” or “doing good” or “so busy these days.” Rarely does someone respond by saying, “I am so well rested” or “My schedule is so balanced these days.” 

If we were tired before 2020 brought with it a pandemic and many other difficult national crises, we are certainly tired now. If we were feeling a strain on our schedules before 2020 brought with it endless meetings over video conferencing and virtual environments for school, worship, and everything in between, we are certainly feeling that strain now.

October 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Lawyer: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus: “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?

Lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus: “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

Lawyer: “And who is my neighbor?”

Who is your neighbor? Have you considered that question lately? The back-and-forth exchange above comes from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Chapter 10 holds two familiar passages of Scripture, one after the other.  

September 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

My social media feeds have been filled with school-related posts for the better part of this year. When the statewide shut-downs first occurred because of the pandemic, many posted about the experience of suddenly doing all schoolwork using exclusively digital mediums. As spring turned to summer and the uncertainty of fall loomed ahead, posts began to primarily feature the thoughts and feelings surrounding all of the details and decisions for the upcoming school year.

August 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Navigating the world of parenting can often feel like running a gauntlet. How to birth your child, feed your child, and help her sleep; what he should play with and read; the daily schedule; clothing choices, schooling choices ... the list of opinions and “best practices” in these areas are daunting and often discouraging.

One of my favorite aspects of God’s Word is the way that it shapes my parenting. There are many, many challenges of parenthood that you cannot be prepared for ahead of time, and yet every time I turn to Scripture, I find hope, encouragement, and insight that guides our family’s day-to-day life. God’s Word gives me a lens and a foundation as I navigate parenthood.

July 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

My smartphone tracks how I use it and, more specifically, the length of time that I spend each day on it. At the start of each new week I receive a notification with a weekly screen report that features the average amount of hours I was using my phone throughout the past week. Some smartphone devices call this a “digital well-being report” and I will admit that most weeks the number that pops up is almost always higher than it should be. The report is even more condemning when I open it up and can see a list of what apps I was using all of my time on. I won’t make you guess: social media apps are not strangers to the top of this list on my report.

June 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

 

May 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Overwhelmed, bored, lonely, stressed, anxious, frustrated, sad, concerned, depleted, stretched … these are all words that you may be feeling right now. This is the list that was generated when I recently asked a group of women (via social media) to share one word for how they were feeling about our current health crisis. I’m guessing you could easily identify with one of their words or you have your own word that would fit right into the list.

April 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

As a mom of two toddlers, I spend a majority of my days repeating myself over and over. This constant repetition typically happens for one of two reasons: one, my toddlers do not always listen the first time that I say something, and two, my toddlers are constantly learning—and learning comes with lots of repetition. I repeat words that they are learning, I repeat our schedule for the day so they know what to expect, I repeat stories that they want to read over and over again, I repeat expectations when behaviors fall short. You get the idea.