Finally feeling inspired to write about our family’s year of 2020. Mike’s current sermon series is “Upside Down community”, essentially the idea of how God calls us as His believers to live and see life differently. How can we look at 2020 through a different lens than the world does… how can our hearts be focused on Christ and thankfulness in a season of such uncertainly? We know there are many who are struggling with grief, sickness, despair and loneliness during this season, and we pray and try to encourage those God has given us to minister to and encourage. Yes, the struggle is real and there have been difficulties all around this year, but here is our family’s focus on thankfulness, for how God has been at work in and through these challenges this past year and a half.
Regina is our home and we love it here. Our home in PA sold in August 2019, after a long season of waiting on God’s perfect timing. We moved down to Regina in stages, as Mike began his job six months before we were able to buy/sell. He lived with a church couple for a while, we housesat, we rented a two bedroom condo for a few months. In September 2019, we purchased our Regina home, and soon found out that the work needed to fix our home to a condition that we were able to move in, would take several weeks. Another couple from church welcomed us into their home during that time, and we were blessed with an incredible friendship, peace and joy during a busy season. We continue to fix up areas of our home, paint, sort and organize, but are thankful for the space and warmth, and are blessed with neighbor friends around us. We live very close to Home Depot and Costco, both of which make Mike very happy. We have discovered places to bike, play, picnic, ski and skate.
We are blessed to be part of Parliament Community Church, where Mike is lead pastor. We are surrounded by people that pray for us and love us, friends and mentors of all ages. It has been a season where Mike is busy, but his pastoral heart, care for community, leadership, teaching and technology expertise have been appreciated.
On the schooling front, we are thrilled that Cara and Rachel are part of Regina Christian School. It has been a blessing to see them both flourish academically, as well as find friends and teachers who love and care for them. Rachel loves the extra-curricular volleyball/basketball sports when they’re offered and had a chance to do gymnastics from Jan to March, and then we got a trampoline and she continued developing her skills. I substitute teach, about once a week, and also teach 10 students piano. 2020 was back and forth with school. March to June and most of December, Cara and Rachel did school online from home. I loved having all my girls back home for such a long season. I was able to help Rachel through a grade 9 novel study, help her work through ELA and math. I’m still incredibly passionate about homeschooling our youngest two sweeties. Madi is in grade 6 and Brooklyn is in grade 3. We spend a lot of time snuggling and reading together and are on the final two books of Narnia (learning how to write as we are inspired by the books). Lots of time is spent with Lego, crafts, snow fort building, Marvel movies, Among Us, reading and many games. Delicious smells of Rachel’s baking and Mike’s fresh bread and bagels often fill out home. Cara is graduating grade 12 this year, and we are thankful that University of Regina is five minutes from our house. She has been accepted into a Bachelor of Science degree and been awarded a $3000 entrance scholarship. Once a week, Cara and I go on a mother-daughter date and apply for as many scholarships as we can find for her. It’s been a beautiful time of connection, of watching her grow and find her voice and passions, to see her expressing herself clearly. In November/December, she initiated a “Books for Community Schools”, encouraging literacy and gathering books for grade one community school students in our city. Her initial goal was 20 students, and she ended up gifting books to over 700 students! She was an incredible blessing and light in our community.
In the summer, we had a chance to visit family and friends (my nephew and niece are growing up!) and go to Fernie. In a COVID safe way, we enjoyed geocaching, lunch dates, ice cream treats, cliff jumping, time with extended family at the campground, floating down the river and walks. Mike’s parents, aunt and grandma (age 99), came for a visit and our girls thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. We enjoy visits with extended family through zoom.
We are thankful for a year of time together with our family, treasuring each other, processing and doing life together. Blessings from our family to yours.
Mike and Christina
Cara, Rachel, Madi and Brooklyn
(Written by christina)