This seems like just a normal concert that has reminded us that we are slowly opening things back up as we get more and more people vaccinated, but it is more than that! This concert was rescheduled 4 times! It was one of the first cancelled due to Covid…he literally played on Thursday and this one was cancelled that Friday. It was a reminder that we are not the same people that we were in 2020 and how much has changed! The audience was full of broken individuals that each had a story of loss, hope and redemption. We were changed.
But God is not.
God is the same yesterday, today, forever. We worshipped him big last night! I could not help but look back at all we have gone through and for many still going through. But, it just made my praise stronger for our God who will not waste any of our hurt.
So grateful Zach Williams did not issue refunds and we walked in with our March 20, 2020 paper tickets in hand. We celebrated, cried and proclaimed His name until He returns or calls us home.
2020 was the year of being stuck. It even shows it in the numbers…not going up, not going down…stuck with two of the same numbers: 2020. Stuck at home, stuck out of the gym, stuck out of the bar…stuck without family. Stuck!
So here we are in 2021 and I would like to believe this is the year of moving forward, making progress taking the next step…it is even in the numbers as well. What comes after 20? 21! Turning a new year does not magically change things in our lives, but it gives us new hope and new vision and I pray that for all reading this, 2021 gives you more of the good stuff.
I pray it gives more opportunities, more clarity and more more promise of the good things yet to come. For me, that is more therapy in the areas I need to develop new habits and mindsets; More working out and putting into my body the fuel that sustains. More quality time with the relationships that feed what is good, noble, honest and true. Finally, more falling in love with my Creator and King. More knowing who He is and how He created me to serve Him.
The year of 2020 had great purpose in our stuckness…but 2021 is of great significance too! No accident the numbers fall in line in an order of progression. It is time…progress is waiting!
First, let me say Covid is a disaster. Anything that causes people to die alone, businesses to crash, jobs be destroyed and kids depressed is awful. This pandemic is not to be taken lightly, but there are a few plus sides if you look for them.
1. To go alcohol. I do not mean drinking and driving…I mean ordering your favorite cocktail to go.
2. Reservations. How nice to know how many people to expect, less crowded places and knowing you are going to get in.
3. Online shopping. Now more than ever some of the best deals are online and delivery services are on fire.
4. Virtual everything. Virtual school. Virtual conferences. Virtual workouts. Virtual get togethers. Even virtual church. Virtual can be a good thing when you cannot afford to miss, but cannot get up to go.
If you need a place to worship our Savior, need some peace and hope or want to get back to your roots or start a new thing…let me invite you to http://www.clifec.com
Times are listed above or it will be on demand. Nothing to lose and it may be the start of something beautiful.
One of the things living during a pandemic has taught me is that life is short so live it. We worry so much about tomorrow that we often fail to enjoy today. Life changing lesson taught to me by a man that was about to die is to “enjoy the sandwich”. Creative way to say appreciate the moment rather than looking toward the next big thing. For our family, that involved taking a vacation that was probably not in our budget but filled us enough to remember why God put us together. We are family and God is using us to grow each other and be Christ to others. Well for us that meant trying a fishing trip!
To see God’s creation on water is a sight to see! On this particular day, the storms were coming so the water was restless but we pushed through safely to experience the new memory as a family. I understood Peter’s fear in the storm…I prayed a lot on the boat! Prayed for calm (He answered), prayed to not get sick and prayed for God to share his creatures. He answered BIG with my son catching a Bonnethead Shark. What a memory for ALL of us!
As a scuba diver, I think I loved the shark most of all. Seeing sea life up close and personal and then hearing all about it from a biology teacher on the boat…day made! We would never kill a creature for the fun of it, so we googled recipes to eat it. I know we were all uncertain…but we each took a bite…it was delish!
Big finale to the highlight of our trip and a huge testimony to God’s love for us and how real the Bible is in our daily lives. That storm on the water was real, Jesus slept through it then taught us all about faith and trust. I will never read that story the same. Thankful we experienced this new thing together…when given the choice…taste the shark!
It feels like every time I leave the house, I am reminded how different the world is during a pandemic. Sometimes it feels better to sit in my bubble and just live life in my house and backyard mask free and with my family. When I do step out…masks on…sanitizer ready…I am confronted with the realness of businesses trying to stay open.
Businesses like restaurants with their tables at a distance, plexiglass at the register, and no more self-fill stations.
Businesses like the doctor with no more comfy waiting rooms and folding chairs separated in a circle. Businesses like stores with empty shelves of bikes and toilet paper and weights and pools. Random things people need in a pandemic.
Businesses like schools that will need to teach proper mask technique in addition to word wall words.
Different…yes. Better…maybe. But going outside in public is a reminder of the new times we are facing and makes me wonder will it ever go back or like after 9-11 is this the new normal?
In a world of uncertainties and change, here is what I know: Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I can live a life fearless of disease and dying because I know Him. In uncertain times, cling to the truth and that is He loves you and died so that you could live. Maybe living looks different today, but dying does not so choose to know the Savior that offers something to that will last for eternity.
This is a mixed feelings post. My son has always been delayed in life milestones. We never knew for sure if it was us not pushing him to be more independent because we love the process of parenting or does he just need more time. So when we looked at the first free weekend in forever (due to the shut downs across the state), we gave it a go at bike riding without training wheels. In the back of my head, I thought he would never do it or not yet. Autism, ADHD and little grit often speaks louder than pure determination, but we pressed on and prayed.
It did not happen right away. He lost balance and struggled and found himself ready to give up. We talked. We reasoned. We motivated. Then we gave him a break. The next day he saw the “big kids” riding motorcycles and he got the fire again. We told him bike first…mini motorcycle second. Out of nowhere he got a wild hair and got to work. Older boys around us gave him tips and modeled. He did it at his own pace in his own way…but 24 hours later…we were on our first bike ride….together.
We talked about life, racing each other, stopping to look at cool things. Surreal moment of “he is growing up”! Another milestone never to be repeated. No looking back. We moved on to big boy bikes. It feels good! Sad that it is a sign of maturity and another reminder he is getting older and closer to leaving home. It happens that fast. But exciting that he is learning, trying new things and showing us he can conquer fears. Blows my mind how last week this felt impossible and now look at him go! Of all the ugly memories that came from this time in history, God has given us a beautiful memory made possible with time.