What Worked For Me This Year . . .

This morning, Modern Mrs. Darcy published What Worked For Me This Year and invited her readers to share the same.  It sounded like fun, so I've taken the liberty of quickly pulling this post together.  I'm happy to share these 14 15 practices that saved my life.  Thanks to Anne, here we go!


Texting - a lifesaver, the highlight of Christmas day with plenty of conversation back and forth with wonderful impromptu pictures keeping me up to date with where I really wanted to be - in Maryland with the gang. 

WhatsApp - This app is fun - I have one granddaughter in particular who loves to chat and show me what she's doing.  She does alot of moving around while talking, but I've gotten used to the room spinning and I love her enthusiasm and unique perspective on life.

Devotions - I pray throughout the day, but I've found it necessary over the years to frequently change up my reading.  The NIV, The Message, assorted devotional books by Tozer, Young, Voskamp, Nouwen, Swindoll.  Writings from bloggers.  Meditating quietly on a verse.  Propped up in bed, while eating breakfast in the living room, basking in the sun on the porch.  The location varies from day to day.  

Masks -  What can I say?  With the exception of closest friends and family members, I feel safer when I'm wearing one ... and you are, too.

Puzzles - Jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, Super Sudoku {numbers and letters together}, the local newspaper's Friday crossword.  Sure beats endless hours of mindless TV.

Bake - I usually focus on churning out one signature bake each December.  This year it was shortbread, and so what if it took me 3 tries before I got it right?!  Last year, it was the store-bought pretzel sticks, covered in layers of chocolate and laden with sprinkles.  Surprise Meringues have been a hit, too.

Amazon - I shop local when I can, but there's hardly any stores around here, and I do love ordering from the comfort of my desk, browsing and hitting the Add to Cart button.  Bonus points for when my daughters send me the actual links for Christmas gifts.  Thank you very much.

Blogging - I love cultivating this online community.  It gives me so much joy and satisfaction to do life with you, to offer the gift of presence, to hear each other well and validate where each individual is coming from, to support each other's work, to celebrate the victories, to grieve our losses together.  Even as in-person connection faded this year, this online community flourished.  

Snapshots - A true spirit lifter, a creativity stirrer.  I'm no pro, but something in me comes alive when I pull my phone out to do more than surf the web.

Gratitude - This has been the year of looking high and low for things to be thankful for.  And wonder of wonders, God's gifts, large and small, are evident everywhere if only we have eyes to see.  This necessitates a moratorium on whining and complaining and a glass half empty outlook ... all of which are part of my fallen nature.  Praising is so much more delightful than endless pity parties.  This I've learned the hard way.

Stretching - After months of ill health I finally started spending 5 - 10 minutes a day stretching.  My tight muscles and aching back thanked me for it, and combined with deep breathing, this was a lifesaver as I began to regain my stamina and a more optimistic mindset.

Facilitating - I'm beyond grateful to get back in the saddle again, leading a series of small groups to support women as they make their way through the pandemic.  We're socially distant as we sit fireside in a confidential atmosphere free of judgment, fixing each other, or preaching.  The relief to be in the company of others, freedom to share honestly, the sheer gift of knowing you're not alone all combine to make these gatherings work ... because the Spirit is guiding the conversation.

Small - Get-togethers have evolved into just a few family members and friends who've walked arm and arm with us this year, sometimes literally.  I'm so grateful to keep company with these faithful companions ... and treasure the experience that comes with feeling safe in all the ways that matter most.

Singing - I grew up with a father who'd burst into song at a moment's notice, singing all 50 verses of one old hymn or another.  He was known for his dramatic flourishes and hand gestures as he did so.  There's not too many flourishes and gestures around here but I find myself singing all  .  the  .  time.  Just ask my husband.

* 3 hours later ... As Lynn shared her love of reading in the comment section, I realized that I had left out a steady companion not only for this year, but for life.  Books!  It was not the best year with the library at operating at half speed, but I enjoyed many re-reads of old favorites that had been gathering dust on my shelves and discovered a few new treasures when the library doors were open.  My favorite time to read?  Burning the midnight oil, propped up in the quilt-covered bed, while my husband snores companionably beside me.

How 'bout you?  What saved your life in 2020?


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