20 Lessons from 2020

2019 was a preparation year of sequestering for me. There wasn’t a coronavirus nibbling away at breath and life across the planet, instead there was one precious life seeping away under my care. I am grateful for the lessons of 2019. They prepared me for 2020 and these lessons:

  1. When things are hard (emotionally, physically, mentally), be intentionally simple.
  2. Trust the m’at m’at (the “little by little”) of HIS plan, because HIS timing is perfect and HIS slow, steady pace over time creates great differences.
  3. Ask for help when you need it and then be amazed at how the request is answered. Early this year, God sent two Christian constant care nurses to stay with us at the end of Mom’s life: Angela and Veronica. Their names reminded me that HE knew my need. Angela means “messenger of God” and Veronica means “bearer of victory.” They were blessings to me.
  4. Sometimes what doesn’t seem like a big “win” for one is great victory for another.
  5. Slow leaks can create big problems.
  6. Meeting with brothers and sisters after being separated for a long time is joyful enough to make your face hurt.
  7. Always ask HIM first. HE never says, “Ask three and then ask me.” HE will answer, so listen.
  8. When a job is offered, cheerfully put on the apron and do the work. You will be glad you did.
  9. Check the foundation for underlying problems when it seems nothing is improving. When you are checking, bring an expert along with you.
  10. For a sense of accomplishment, build IKEA furniture.
  11. Ensure you are using the same vocabulary and definitions in order to truly communicate. If you change definitions midstream, tell your listener. Not telling is deceptive.
  12. Always carry a little cash – for when the bank freezes your card because of fraud and you are far from home.
  13. Recognize that you are a gift given by God to those around you (not in the creepy way). There are needs in the world that you were created to meet.
  14. Be aware of (but not distracted by) what you see and what you hear. Keep your eyes and ears on Truth.
  15. Learn to joyfully live in the sweet spot where there is no extra and nothing lacking. This means readily receiving and willingly releasing.
  16. Get away from what might cause you to stumble and fall.
  17. Look for patterns. They are everywhere. Understand the patterns and better understand what going on.
  18. Set a good example – even when you don’t need to or even want to. Others need to see things done correctly.
  19. Just stick with the truth. It’s just easier and it honors others.
  20. Ask this question in the kindest way when you are asked for information that you think might not be well received: “Do you really want the answer to that question?” If the answer is no, don’t elaborate (and don’t raise your eyebrow). If the answer is yes, answer respectfully, truthfully, and with kindness.

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