“Living without expectations is hard but, when you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that is bad. You have got to have hope, and you mustn’t shirk it. Love, after all, “hopeth all things.” But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other people. You must not let your hope turn into expectation.
But whatever you hope, you will find out that you can’t bargain with your life on your own terms. It is always going to be proving itself worse or better than you hoped.” – Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
OK, so I didn't hold to my aspirations of getting back to blogging last year. Can you believe it's been a whole year since my last post!?!?!! And oh my, what a year it's been! So much has happened that I could never have imagined.
2020 began with big changes for our family, unchartered territory without parents. When you are a little child, you depend on your parents, but as you grow, you can’t wait to be independent. Then you become a parent and it becomes apparent that you need your parents more than ever! Then one day those parents are gone, and you feel lost, but those children require you to carry on. Fortunately, you see characteristics in your children that remind you of your parents and you realize how foundational the lives of each generation are. The stories of those that have gone before us are stones on which we are built. This brings comfort and hope. It is where we found ourselves at the beginning of 2020. We held hope in a new decade and sought comfort in the future of our children, knowing those in the past, affect us in the present, and carry each generation forward.
Of course, there was also Covid in 2020, but early on, we chose to put our trust and fear in the Lord, not in a virus, civil unrest, a vaccine, or the government. Each day, we put one foot in front of the other, carrying on with life as much as possible. We didn’t have any estate sales this year, but I did begin a new office job in January outside the home. We are still home educating our kids. The Farmer is carrying on with the farm.
A highlight last year was getting chickens! Well, we got five chickens in the summer of 2019, but only three of them survived last winter. We believe a weasel got one of them, but not sure about the other. In the spring of 2020, we ordered 16 baby chicks from a hatchery and they arrived April 8th, but one was dead upon arrival. They were all supposed to be laying hens, but we are pretty sure one of them was a rooster. Sadly, he met his death by dog.
After a few more casualties, later this summer, we bought 10 more hen chicks locally. Riley also bought a rooster. She named him Monte Cristo after The Count of Monte Cristo, a favorite book she read in 2020, and a friend gifted us another rooster, which Levi wanted to name Davante Adams. 😊 In the fall, one of our spring hens hatched three chicks. We currently have 21 hens, 3 chicks, which are starting to lay, and 2 roosters in total. The laying hens are providing us with an abundant supply of the most beautifully colored eggs! It has been a super fun project for the kids and they are learning many life skills.
Ruben is in 10th grade. He started a new job last fall, pumping manure pits, with the same company I work for. Even though he put in many long hours for a couple months, he loved it and much prefers work over school! Ruben spends his free time tinkering and rebuilding. He bought an old 3-wheeler last year and loves terrorizing us with it, LOL. Ruben continues to grow and has now caught up with The Farmer, surpassing that six-foot mark.
Levi is currently in 3rd grade. He still loves math, but has made great gains in reading, which is becoming a close second. Levi also enjoys animals and the outdoors. He missed playing baseball last summer but helped Riley with her garden and caring for the chickens. Levi loves it when Ruben pulls him on the sled behind the 3-wheeler, but mom can’t watch!
The Farmer and I made a quick get-away in the fall. We traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada in October for the grand opening of Barry’s Downtown Prime, a new steakhouse opened by my boss. Even though the shows and many sights were shut down due to Covid, we did see the Hoover Dam, which was amazing!
As you can see, life carried on for our family last year even in the face of adversity. Although our future may seem uncertain, as believers, we can rest in the hope and assurance of our Savior. We can also look to those who have gone before us and continue their story with those moving forward. If you are weary, I encourage you to crack a bible or even search online for references of the word "hope" in the bible. I can't make any promises of what 2021 may bring, but for now, I'm still here and plan to carry on!!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12