Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

Welcome to 2021! Have you ever been this excited to hang a new calendar on the wall? While we’re all eager to say good riddance to 2020, I have to admit that the tumultuous year taught me a few things. Here, in no particular order, is a list of things that I learned in 2020:

• Even introverts need to see people sometimes. I tend to shy away from big crowds and small talk, but I really miss gathering with people on Sunday mornings. I miss lunch dates with friends and going to the movies with my kids. Most of all, I miss my Confirmation classes and Youth Group gatherings! God created us to be in relationship with each other, and this is hard.

• At the same time, I learned that I can go longer than I realized without any actual “alone time.” Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had the house to myself. My family is always there. I love them dearly – but they are always there.

• I’ve learned how to make movies! With our busy calendar of online worship services and events, I was drafted to help with the video production. I never had any idea that I would enjoy making videos, but it’s really quite fun. Of course, I give credit to Laura Canby for being such a wonderful teacher!

• Pigs eat a lot! This might sound like an obvious statement, but hear me out. This is our first year raising pigs for meat; we had planned to butcher in the fall. Apparently, butchers get very busy during a pandemic – we’ve ended up feeding our pigs about 3 months longer than we had planned. Pigs eat a lot.

• My bedside pile of books has not gotten any smaller. Even though I’ve been able to read a few great books this year, my “books to read” pile has grown even taller. There are so many things to learn and new worlds to explore!

• Losing a pet is always hard. Having so many animals around, we are not unfamiliar with loss. This year, however, has been particularly difficult; we lost a couple of goats, a few of our favorite chickens, an adorable hamster, and, most recently, a hermit crab. Our little graveyard by the old apple tree has too many new plots this year.

• Bottle baby goats are super sweet! Knowing that we were likely to be at home for a while, I let my youngest daughter talk me into getting a 3-day-old goat in the spring. He slept in a laundry basket in her bedroom for the first few weeks. He’s eight months old now, and still her best buddy.

• We’re not all in the same boat. This pandemic has struck each of us differently. Some people have been unemployed for months, while others are busier than ever. Those with health concerns have been locked at home, while some frontline workers wish they could just stay home for a few days. Some of us still don’t know anyone who’s had Covid, and others have lost dear friends and family members. We may all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.

• People are generous! We frequently have people stopping by the church to drop off offering envelopes, and we receive donations from across the country in the mail. I see stories on social media of people being overwhelmed with generous offers of help and support when they’re in need. The news may tell us otherwise, but the majority of people are good.

• God is still there, and God still loves us. On hard days, it can be easy to question that. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” God is right here with us, and will continue to be with us through this hard time, and when things are better.

I hope that through the challenges of 2020, you were able to learn a few things, too. Wishing you all the best (and only the best) in 2021!

Deacon Amy