Like most, I can say that this year was not what I expected.
We started out the year living as we always had in our house on the outskirts of town, I was working full time at a brick and mortar school, dropping my kids off each day at daycare, pregnant, and still dreaming of a homesteading reality. We had just purchased our new land, and though we were excited to own this 40 acre property, we still weren't committed to what we were going to do with it. At this point, we were still dragging our feet, afraid to make any leaps though our hearts were pleading with us to change.
Life continued that way until March when COVID reached the United States. Our "routine" way of living was shaken, and we were suddenly forced into living life differently. I began working from home teaching my students virtually, and D stayed home too, quarantining and staying home like everyone else. This time changed us. It forced us to rethink everything that we knew, and it pushed us to look at life differently. It was here that we really started to think seriously about making a change.
We spent a lot of time together, just the four of us. Looking back, I am thankful for this special time that we all got to have together as a family before Miss K entered into our lives. We had a full month of togetherness for our family of four, all of us enjoying one another and preparing for the baby who would join us the next month.
We spent many days at our land, walking the property and exploring. We would bring a picnic lunch and just enjoy the sunshine and fresh air there on a blanket out in our field. I remember feeling just so happy to be there and just so mesmerized by the beauty of the land and green that was beginning to take over the land. When we'd go back to our house, I'd just miss being there and having the space, and D felt the same. We spent many walks after dinner discussing our future plans and goals, just trying to figure things out.
When K entered our lives, the reality of quarantining hit hard. Our friends and family wouldn't be able to visit to meet and hold her, and we worried what the birthing experience would be like in the hospital during a pandemic. We were so lucky to have such a supportive care staff (thank you so much Mallory!), all of whom were so kind and warm even though we all were nervous about the uncertainty of the time. And the quarantining time meant lots of family time alone for us, which was such a wonderful, quiet time for our family, as we adjusted to being a family of five. Though we missed everyone, the special days of bonding with our family's newest addition were so special, and they made this transitional period of our life go extremely smoothly.
Our land was our happy place, so just two weeks after having Ms. K, we found ourselves heading there once again. We were finally starting to realize that this was our home and we knew now what we had to do. Though we were afraid, uncertain, and nervous, the feeling to change became overwhelming enough that we were ready to take that leap of faith. We were finally seeing clearly- we could see 20/20.
And after making that decision, things just began to work out, confirming more and more that God approved of our choices. Our house sold quickly for more than we asked and more than we purchased it for. I was offered a job at a virtual school which would allow me to have flexibility to do more on our homestead, stay home with our children, and still teach in the style that I love. Work for D picked up again, and he found himself booked for the entire summer, fall, and winter with some jobs even booked for the following spring. Our contractor, who had originally not wanted to just put up the shell and instead said they'd rather do the entire home themselves changed their minds and said we could be the experimental family to try this with. And most importantly, God put our minds at peace. Even though things were changing rapidly around us, and though we had hard days, God continuously helped us to feel a calm and peace in knowing that we were making the right choices for our family.
Yes, this year has been hard. There have been lots of parts that have been awful, mostly centering around the separation of us from our family, who we love so very much. Missing holidays with them, weekend gatherings, and just time with them in general has really been hard, and it still is. We continue to wait for the day when we can all celebrate the end of this terrible pandemic together once again.
But, through it all, we can see good, too. The absence of family gatherings and the time stolen will help us to value and appreciate the time we have together once we can do so again. This pandemic has confirmed to us our desire for self-sustainability, opening our eyes to how much we really depend on others for our basic needs and care. And, maybe most importantly, it has helped to push us to try new things and take leaps of faith that we might not have if the pandemic had not been going on. It has sharpened our vision to help us to see what's really important to us in this life, what our passions are, and where our hearts are pulling us to go.
We have learned valuable lessons in 2020, and we are thankful for another year to live on this planet. I am so grateful for time with my family, for our health, and for the life we've experienced this year. We are excited to move into 2021 with the clarity given to us from the year 2020.
What good do you have to share from 2020?
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