How are you? I’ve asked that question before so the follow-up is here! Some highlights from the surveys are below.
Our kids started their first week back to school. They go to a Christian school and are attending 5 days in-person. I know the anticipation these past months have been weighing on me. Although there are things that have been hard for them (Caleb wearing a mask in 90 plus degree air all day with no air conditioning as an example), they had a fabulous week back with teachers they love, friends they missed. I forgot about the endless chatter when they get home talking about EVERYTHING that happened that day (Grace is endless chatter, Caleb has his moments of endless chatter that you just have to be ready for and soak in). I literally prayed to God this morning, “Thank you for an amazing week. Thank you for watching over my family. Thank you for giving me peace.” I now feel like our all-knowing God chuckled and was like “Just wait my dear child…”
I find great irony on my chalkboard quote of the week on “joy”. 🙂
I tripped on a rock running on a trail in Byron Center.
This is what the forties look like, people.
Darn basketball ankles.
Darn tiny rock that took me down like a missile.
Sad to say, my response usually would have been some type of profanity from the pain, but because of my current mental state, I instead laughed and started yelling “I Love 2020!! I Love 2020!!” No one was around…or so I thought…until a nice older gentleman stopped on his bike. Turns out he “loves” 2020 too! We had some good laughs and a nice talk as he made sure I got to my car. As much as I struggled with this year, there are good people in the world. Media shows there is division in our country and there is. But today, a nice man, who I know nothing about his political affiliation or his beliefs, stopped to make sure I was okay and we easily were able to agree on one thing: we both “LOVE” 2020. 🙂
WOW!! First of all, I want to thank everyone for responding in record numbers. I am very grateful to the 72 families who responded and offered many additional thoughts on how you are feeling or areas you need help in or wish we could provide. Our Spiritual Formation Team (myself, Stephanie Sherman, Aidan Hunt, and Liz Le’Mon) are continuing to meet and discuss options and will be unveiling our fall plans to you in the next couple of weeks. We know it will not be a perfect solution (only Jesus is perfect :)) as much of our church has different thoughts and opinions on what should be done, we really have been looking at ways to create meaningful in-person and virtual options, parenting resources and classes, devotions and more. Many of you desired more personal and “live” interactions (even if that was virtual), more chances to connect, more ways to grow in the Lord. Your data and responses have been very helpful and I really appreciate your honesty.
Quick summary for you “number types” on a few things you might want to know:
- 75% of you are worshipping either virtually or in-person once a month. This made my heart happy. I know there are many reasons we could give on why worship is “difficult” (distracted at home or not “comfy” at church) but remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it holy is a commandment from God. Me personally…I feel life is just better when I praise God.
- 69% of you are using spiritual growth activities (JAM, VBS, etc.) once a month. 54% of you want more content and opportunities while 40% aren’t sure. I totally get it. My new motto has been “one day at a time” because we really don’t know what the next day will bring. Isn’t it funny, I felt I knew that before because I had more “control?”
- These times are tough and your honest answers showed that. 59% of our parents are feeling anxious, 39% are overwhelmed. Some of the personal answers included exhausted, angry, frustrated and disappointed. What I also noticed? 56% are hopeful! Only 13% were joyful but 56% were hopeful! As Christians, we have hope because of Jesus. We hope in his unfailing and steadfast love (Psalm 33).
- As parents, we do a good job of protecting our kiddos at all costs (even our own well-being). 50% of you said your kids are happy (although 52% are bored). Although 36% said their kids are anxious and some comments included loneliness, sadness, and missing their friends, there were also comments on children being happy, not much different, having some tech burnout. Could tech burnout be a good thing in the end?
- What are we most concerned about? If you would have asked me what would have been the top response I would have said “school options in the fall”. It was a high number at 61%. But the number one concern on our hearts is division in our country at 71%. It’s not hard to see this every time we turn on the news or log into our social media. Your other responses were heavy on different levels of fear (either fear of government, fear of COVID, fear of future, etc.).
I know this year will look different at church just as the world looks different too, but I am holding on to the promise that Jesus never fails. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”. Hebrews 13:5
That’s why we can shout “I LOVE 2020” even when we really don’t… 🙂