Let’s go back to January of 2020.

You had a few New Year’s resolutions. You were excited about a new year, a new decade.  And you had high hopes of a new start. 

For me, we were planning on big goals at the church, excited about a fun summer, and prepping for our youngest daughter’s driving and our oldest daughter’s senior year in the fall. Then in February, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl and all was right in the world.  Until Covid. 

So, what was your year like before Covid?

Anything you wish you’d known? (Like investing in Charmin)

Anything we could do in 2021 to make sure it’s not as bad as 2020?

Double down on community.

I think we realized how much we need each other.  In the words of many 80’s bands “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Making sure you have life-giving relationships is so important whether on zoom or in person. For us, our weekly community group zoom calls and coffee drop-ins has helped us navigate a difficult time. 

If you plan early you’ll plan often.

That’s hard for me to type because I love to plan. But all of us who are planners were quickly exhausted by postponed plans and decision fatigue.  So, maybe we shouldn’t plan so far ahead… but live in the now a bit more.  Enjoy the moments, lean into family and friends, and value the process. In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Mind your manners. 

Just because you can’t see the person you are replying to online, doesn’t mean they aren’t an actual person. They are real, they may be hurting, and they need to be treated like you’d treat them in person.  So, let’s be kind online. 

Win the Day.

In Mark Batterson’s new book he states “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. So win the day!”  This is a phenomenal book about how to maximize each day so that you honor God, build relationships and accomplish more than you’ve ever dreamed. He’s an upcoming guest on the podcast… so get the book and be prepared!

What’s the most generous explanation?

When something happens in the news that you don’t understand, when someone posts something that is angry or vile, or when someone does something to me that seems to be inconceivable, ask “What’s the most generous explanation?” Could they be having a bad day? Could they need prayer? Could they have a reason? Instead of assuming the worst, assume the best. Maybe they aren’t evil and hate you, maybe they are having a bad day. Or year. 

There YOU are!

Most of us are so consumed with ourselves, just by our nature, we not only think that everyone is out to get us, but when we walk in a room, we tend to think “who is here that I need to talk to?”  In other words, we come in with the mentality of “Here I am!” What’s in it for me? How long do I need to be here? What can you do for me?  But what if we entered into every conversation with a mentality of “There YOU are”. Make others feel as special as you’d hope to feel. 


I keep coming back to this simple way to follow Jesus… as recorded by the prophet Micah several hundred years before Jesus. “What is it the Lord requires of you? Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8  Think about how much better our year would be if we stood up for those who can’t, forgive those who have hurt us, and view others better than ourselves. 


I wish I’d focused on these in January 2020… but my plan is to make these my priority in 2021! Who’s with me?


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