Ring the Bells, Oh Ring the Bells!

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Did you find any reason to celebrate in 2020?  

Our year began with packing and anticipating the yearly trip to Georgia and Florida. Though we enjoyed the four weeks, we came home mid-March to a pandemic. Now, we rarely leave our home. We grieve over the political disunity, the racial injustice, and the violence in our land. Many are sick and some have died, including a beloved childhood friend. It has been a difficult year.

But there’s always another side to every story. This was the year of milestones for us. I turned 75 while we were in Florida and, in June, we celebrated Charlie’s 80th birthday with a drive by/driveway party. Our friends and neighbors joined the celebration.

No one in our immediate family has tested positive to the virus and my husband and I are both well. We cautiously wear masks, wash hands and social distance. Our son and his family who live in the neighborhood, have been supportive and caring. Our daughter and her family keep in touch.

The stay-at-home orders provide more time to pray, to study God’s Word and to write. My first book, By the Sea, was a finalist for the 2020 Selah Awards. In June, I published my second book, Journey to Hope: The Legacy of a Mail-Order Bride. I signed a contract for my third book, Jonah’s War, which is currently in the editing stage.

By learning to Zoom, we stay in contact with our Life Group, our closest friends and our Christian Writer’s Fellowship. Online, we participate in writer’s workshops and meetings. New friends have joined our social media platforms. Though many “take-twos” were necessary, we found the courage to record a few videos and post them on Facebook.

Regardless of our inability to physically attend church, each week we watch three different worship services on YouTube. With such ecumenical participation, “Three streams, One River,” an Apostles theme from a few years back, has become a reality. The Body of Christ is alive and well. We love to watch “The Blessing” videos from all over the world!

We don’t understand why this virus lingers or why our country remains in such chaos, but we do know that our loving heavenly Father cares. No virus, no fear, no death—no darkness can snuff out the brightness of the Light of Christ. So, Ring the Bells this Christmas, and let His light of love, joy, and peace shine in and through you.

Merry Christmas and a healthy, blessed 2021 to you and your family!