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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

Thankful November. For a Year.

Yeah, it’s often been a challenge to be thankful for 2020.

We have family members who’ve stopped speaking to us.

Others would like to see us but can’t.

My computer, fridge, washer, and dryer are all at the edge of well earned retirement. It’s the opposite of evolution at our house- more like entropy.

I found my first white hair in March.

My husband has had a months long infection in his jaw that doesn’t respond to repeated antibiotics.

I hardly know some of my nieces and nephews.

The five year old has (already) lost his winter coat.

The boys couldn’t do summer camp or big birthday parties, sports seasons are a mess or non-existent, and even needed therapies have been jeopardized by fear.

The kids have grown addicted to screens.

I miss when people treated each other with human dignity, in person and virtually.

I miss seeing children playing together at playgrounds, at school, at parties.

There’s a family of rats living under the chicken coop, despite the cat’s efforts.

My two year old daughter has discovered glitter.

I can’t find a good deodorant.


I have seen more houses in my community decorating early with lots of light. Light is a joyful thing to share. It overcomes darkness.

I have a home full of life (sometimes overflowing or exploding, but absolutely a blessing).

Homeschooling is suddenly cool. We’re less weird. (Infinitesimally, but still).

Ben had no need for any major hospital visits or stays all year. Yay for no brain surgeries!

Two more boys know how to read in this house.

My oldest got his first job and earns a paycheck. And I caught him learning to shave.

I’ve had more energy and have gotten more exercise than in many years past. Perhaps I’ll be in better shape heading into my 40s than I was heading into my 30s. (Plus, after a decade and a half of pregnancies and nursing, it’s kind of freeing not to be either one).

I’ve learned so much. Partly due to being a homeschool teacher (fractions for the 5th time in my life!) and partly due to the hunger to grow. There’s so much information at our fingertips if we care to do the digging, if we look beyond the superficial facades that try to tell us what to know. I love learning!

My scraggly lemon tree is covered in the most delicious smelling flowers. It’s such a hopeful plant; even though it doesn’t get enough light to thrive at any window in my house, it still puts all its energy into blooming. I love that.

I have friends who still hug. Worth gold.

I have a working vehicle this year that can fit all my family and then some. And it has heat and air conditioning. I’m thankful every time all five feet of me climbs up into the seat and peers over the steering wheel of my 12 passenger van. And I laugh. This is my life.

My marriage isn’t perfect, but he loves me well. And when I see him sit down with the Word of God every day, even when there are a hundred other influences that call for his attention, his imperfections fade.

My boys are old enough to babysit! Game changer!

We have a home, we have heat, we have light, we have food, we have clothes. We have what we need.

The sun still rises and sets.

Planting and harvest happened in spite of my brown thumb.

Grandma comes willingly to do science projects and crafts with half a dozen rambunctious pupils. There’s a special place in heaven for her.

Happiness is a cardboard box for the younger set. Or a stick. Or an ice cube. Shared. Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive.

Pie. I love pie. There’s still pie in 2020.

Yes, it’s been a challenging year. And it isn’t over with the turn of the calendar or changes in politics. But my family is all the more precious, my needs separated from my wants more clearly, and my faith in the goodness of God is all the more solid.

Despite the challenges - or perhaps because of them - I am choosing to be thankful for 2020.

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