Well, friends, the finish line is in sight and we’re about to break the tape. We are this close to completing the tumultuous year of 2020. But before we cross the finish line, swap high fives, and step into the fresh new year of 2021, let’s take a few minutes to look back and count our 2020 blessings. Yes, 2020 has gotten a reputation as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. But there were blessings. Because no matter how challenging a season of life (or a pandemic year) might be, there is always, always something to be thankful for.
So my staff and I would like to finish out the year by sharing a 2020 gratitude list. As you read it, you may find some things that resonate with you—that echo back God’s faithfulness and provision in your 2020. The specific details might be different, but we all share common threads of life experience. And a year like this helps us all appreciate and hold tight to what is really most important in life: relationships, experiences, opportunities, simple pleasures.
As we close the door on this year, take a pause and reflect. What’s on your 2020 gratitude list?
Eileen—Partner Manager & Executive Assistant
- I am grateful for teachers and coaches that use their talents to cause growth in my teenagers. I am thankful for the times they go way above and beyond what is expected to show my kids the love of God and bring out the best in them.
- I am grateful for the diversity among my friends. I am truly blessed with friends of all ages and life stages that speak into my life. I am glad I have friends that think like me and encourage me to grow. I also have friends that are completely different than I am in so many ways, that offer a perspective I would not otherwise be able to see.
- I am grateful for my family. My husband is a loving father, a devoted husband, and a great provider. My son works hard and makes me smile every day. My daughter shines bright the light that is within her and embodies the joy of the Lord.
Katie—Senior Writer and Editor
- I am grateful for the opportunity to publish several children’s books this year and to have a few on the horizon for 2021. It’s been a dream come true and my heart can barely contain the glee I feel in doing this work. God has humbled me in the way these books are being used and I am so very thankful to be able to serve Him in this way.
- I am grateful for the many different people I work with on a daily basis—what absolute gifts to be surrounded by kind, generous, Jesus-loving creatives.
- I am grateful for this time with my family—specifically my husband. Despite having our large (and BIG PERSONALITY) family home for most of the year, he and I have had such a sweet season of laughter and fun together. I will forever remember this time as a blessing to my marriage.
Charlyn—Staff & Operations Director
- I am thankful for Shaunti & Jeff and their willingness to take that right-hand turn and become social researchers. The truths you uncover are truly aha moments and relationship changing. They have changed mine, and countless others. Thank you.
- I am thankful for 2020. Between the shut-downs, the work pivots, virtual school for my sons, the unexpected loss of our dear friend, Naomi—an amazing girl whose hero is Jesus—and so much more, it has been hard. But through that hard, I have been reminded of God’s sovereignty. I have seen many ways in which the path was being prepared. I have seen ways in which the seeds planted years ago have been nurtured to grow—even in this seemingly desolate ground of 2020. I have had a glimpse of what it really means to “count it ALL joy…” We have slowed down and appreciated more. We have grieved, but we have also loved more. We have seen reminders that He is with us—through double rainbows, new schools, a neighborhood Bible study, a great team, and so much more.
Debbie—Digital Marketing & Content Manager
- I’m grateful for God’s sovereignty. In a topsy-turvy world, it’s reassuring to know He really is in control and has a plan.
- I’m grateful for family, particularly that we have good relationships, we enjoy each other’s company, and we all have a measure of good health. We’ve grown stronger amidst many challenges this year, and I thank God for that.
- Humor! There’s nothing like a great laugh to spark joy. We can all unite around something funny, and laughter is like good medicine for the soul.
- I’m grateful for new opportunities. After several years of being a full-time, stay-at-home-mom, I’m enjoying dusting off some skills in a part-time role on Shaunti’s team!
- I’m grateful for my community. Being surrounded by diverse people who genuinely care and support one another is a blessing and adds great depth and joy to life.
- I am genuinely grateful for the obvious—family that seeks to love, laugh and serve together, and good health in the midst of great uncertainty.
Suzanne—Digital Content Associate
- I’m grateful for God’s protection and provision for me and my family this year.
- I’m grateful that my daughter was able to have her high school graduation and had a good first semester college experience this fall.
- I’m grateful for friends and family who made all the time at home bearable by checking in, sending memes, and helping me keep my perspective.
- I’m grateful for God’s simple reminders this year that He’s in control, that His presence and power are available everywhere, and that He is working all things together for our good and His glory.
- I’m grateful for music that inspires, comforts, and brings me joy.
- I’m grateful for simple beauty expressed through God’s creation.
- I’m thankful for the people who are the greatest blessings in my life: my husband (who is also my best friend), family, friends, church, colleagues and community.
- I’m grateful for seasons of life and a new chapter in 2020 in a new home and new town—cherishing the old, embracing the new, and pressing forward into what lies ahead with anticipation and joy.
- Over this shutdown year, I’ve been thankful for technology. While there’s nothing like connecting in person, I’m grateful to be just a text, phone call, email, post, or video chat away from people who are dear to me!
- Most important this year, I am SO thankful that after my father passed away, my mother was able to move into a retirement community this March and get settled in just as everything shut down! It has been a relief to know that she is probably safer there than anywhere else. And a joy to see that even with their restrictions, she has been building a community of new friends.
- I am thankful we got through our bout with COVID in time to put the Christmas decorations up in mid-December, so we still had a few weeks to enjoy them! Seeing the Christmas tree and the lights makes me happy every time I walk into our living room, and every time I look outside at night.
- I’m grateful that the flip side of the pandemic isolation (virtual school, missing friends, cancelled events) that our family was able to grow very close through all our time together! Years from now, we won’t remember how hard it was to learn Pre-Calculus online . . . but will still be drawing on the closeness we have built as a family.
Wishing you a New Year filled with simple pleasures, new adventures, love and joy,