A Late-Night Recipe of Goulash, 2020 Style

It is tempting to suppose that if a certain boy named Alexander grew up and had a year instead of a day, 2020 would be it, amiright? No sooner do I snatch a moment to scribble some thoughts than something else happens, in my world or the world at large, to send the thoughts spiraling in a different direction. That said, it’s 11 PM, my rather-sleep-deprived husband and severely-sleep-regressed baby girl are finally asleep, and I’ve given myself an hour to write down whatever comes to mind with a commitment to click “publish” at the end of it. So here we go.

I could very well organize this post by all the things I could have written about to this point in this year, but didn’t. Let’s see:

– January 19th: one year wedding anniversary. (Too hormonal and too busy soaking in the final days of “just we two” to do the occasion justice.)

– January 29th: the highlight of our year – the birth of an impossibly sweet baby girl, Madeline Joy. (Too hormonal and too sleep-deprived to articulate thoughts and feelings on such a profound occasion.)

– March 2020: COVID came, as did an opportunity to go into business in North Carolina. (Too busy to write.)

– May 2020: Let’s road trip across the country with a Penske truck, two vehicles, a sailboat and a 3 month old, shall we? (Did I mention “too busy to write”? We would never have made it without our moms [thank you again, moms]. Incidentally, for what it’s worth, I would not particularly recommend this life choice to anyone.)

– June, July, August, September, October: settling into a new place, settling in as a mommy, watching with incredulity as the events of 2020 continue to unfold. (Too busy, hormonal, sleep-deprived, and politically opinionated to write anything that wasn’t waaayyy too emotionally charged. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been channeling that energy into phone calls to my political representatives, along with one exceptionally indignant appeal to the SEC commissioner when the college football season was in danger. You’re welcome, folks; I do believe Greg Sankey realized in that moment that there were some things to be feared more than the ‘rona.)

I look at this list and can scarcely believe all that has happened (and more besides). As a writer/journaler/blogger, I see quite a few missed opportunities to savor memorable milestones or to process the madness. The distilled version, though, feels a lot like some of those rapid-fire, bullet-point summations that can be found in the epistles, reinforced by the events of a wild and woolly year.

– Our time is fleeting.

– We have a tenuous hold on much of what we value (work, possessions, traditions, people).

– The truth of God’s Word endures forever.

– Eternity awaits. Today is the day of repentance.

This year is not a meme to be laughed at and shrugged off. These statements are not cliches. They may sound a little street-corner-preachy, but 2020 should cause each one of us to consider where we stand in relation to these truths. A caution to some, a comfort to others, an invitation to all.

My hour is up, and I can’t say I landed where I thought I would, but once again I end with the One who is my hope in life, death, and everything in between.