I haven’t participated in Emily P. Freeman’s quarterly reflective post for a while, but with Advent here it seems like the perfect time to pause and look back over what I’ve learned over the past three months. So much has felt monotonous about 2020. Wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart, find people who understand your boundaries, and stick with them. Our daily lives are consumed with so many stressful things that we can often forget God is still teaching us important lessons.
Here are 5 Things I Learned in Fall of 2020:
My kids are pretty independent…but they still need encouragement
As virtual school started our kids set up their systems, started their assignments and began kicked off the 2020-2021 school year in the weirdest way ever. They met their teachers through computer screens, received their school work in packets placed in the backseat of our car as we drove through a pick-up line, and waved to friends through car windows.
Thankfully, they haven’t had much trouble accessing the platforms our school chose to utilize, however we did have a little miscommunication with a teacher here or there over assignment due dates. Everyone is doing their best to be gracious. What I discovered is that our kids, along with their classmates don’t want to show their faces on the computer screen. Whether it’s for fear of a messy room or simply the vulnerability of staring at themselves rather than only those around them I can’t say. However, this choice leads to even more isolation in an incredibly isolating time.
We need to encourage our kids to continue to engage with the world any way they can in these odd times. Throw on masks and head out to play tennis, take a walk, or go to the park. Stand on the driveway and speak with the neighbors. Look people in the eyes and have conversations.
Writing a Book is Exhausting…but Worth it
I released my first book in August and held my breath while people started reading. My carefully planned 6-week book launch was scrapped thanks to covid-craziness and before I knew it I was posting links to order the book rather than a preorder landing page. While it was disappointing in some ways, it was also a relief to have Lessons from the Sidelines out in the world and into the hands of the women I prayed I would encourage with my words.
It has been so wonderful this fall every time someone sends me a message or posts a photo or review letting me know how encouraged or challenged they are by my book. I’m so grateful for everyone who helped get that project over the finish line!
Almost immediately God gave me a second project to focus on what I thought would take me until May 2021 to write done! I’m in the final editing stages and excited to release a 6-week bible study in early 2020. I’m also exhausted, but in a good way.
Forgotten Dreams Stick with Us
I wrote a bucket list several years ago and found it this fall. It was funny to read through the list and realize that I’d accomplished one thing on the list and even though I’d forgotten I’d written it, those hopes were pretty much the same. I’ve updated it and added a few more goals. It’s never a bad idea to stop dreaming. 😉
I Miss My People
As part of my book promotion, I sat down with three of my favorite women for conversations about how the lives of coaches’ wives are similar to that of military wives and ministry wives. The recordings went very long because I just didn’t want to stop learning from these amazing women. I miss sitting with my friends in coffee shops and learning from them. I miss hearing about their lives, laughing with them, and hearing the day to day mundane conversations as well.
We Can Survive a Fall Without Football
It’s pretty scary for a football coach’s family when the country announces there won’t be any contact sports until they can figure out how to stop an airborne virus from traveling around. There are so many families that are in many different situations than we are, however, I am deeply grateful for the way God has guided our family over the past four years. It was frustrating to lose that extra salary money and it was disappointing to set aside a twenty-year ministry in the way we strive to serve our teams. It was sad to spend our Fridays at home instead of on the football field. However, we gladly trade that for our health, stronger family connections, and a future together. We survived our fall without football.
I’m joining Emily P. Freeman on Instagram using #wwlcommunity for What I Learned 2020.