Hugs

2020.

What a year.

The year I “decided” to stay home with my children 24/7 and “homeschool” them. (Crazy I know right? lol) The year I closed my home daycare after doing it for 7 years. The year it hit me that there is so much about this parenting thing that I still don’t know how to do. The year my family and I walked away from our church of almost 10 years. The year of political and racial tension and division within our country that I have never experienced before. The year of a global pandemic.

Okay, I confess.

After mentioning all of that, and wanting to make the point that at the very least this year has given us all some sort of common ground since we all have our own version of that first paragraph… THEN I considered writing some nice flowery things about the silver linings of the year, and how in all of this we learned to appreciate the smaller and simpler things in life… blah blah blah. But you know what came to my mind instead? What I think is actually worth writing about? Something my 8 year old son said to me this year. He said “mommy, I love you so much. If I could hug your heart I would.”

If I could hug your heart I would.

That’s what this year was all about. People’s hearts have been in crisis, and my 8 year old gets that. Caleb understood without me even having to say it, that my heart was not okay this year and it needed a hug. It’s ironic right? That he thought to say that during a year where real hugs are scarce. Maybe we CAN hug people after all—It’s just not the type of hug we have been longing for.

The reality is, for many of us the state our hearts have not been okay for a while—This is just the year that was made clear. This is the year we realized that taking care of our hearts and souls is important, because we can never know what is right around the corner and it’s our hearts that truly take a beating. For some of us moms this was the year we were forced to embrace REST and taking quiet moments for ourselves when we can find them—Because buying a 30 oz wine glass, although it’s fantastic, isn’t really the answer to all of our problems. Or maybe this was just the year you realized how empty you truly feel, and moments of rest were still hard to find.

This HAS been a hard year—And we know that because our hearts feel it. We say we need to see our friends and family, and that we miss hugs and hanging out… but truly what we need is much more. Our hearts needs rest. Our hearts needs time to continue dreaming while also reflecting on the past. Our hearts need time to feel. Our hearts need to see that they are broken, that way they can begin to heal. Our hearts need peace. Our hearts need hope. We just haven’t slowed down long enough to experience any of it. Many of us this year have felt that we needed it, but we still don’t know how to receive it.

So go do it. It’s not too late! It never is. In 2021 give yourself the blessing of soul care by giving your heart a much needed hug. Take a nap. Read a book. Meditate. Pray. Sit in a quiet room and just think. Actually cry. Practice gratitude by making a list. Write. Sing. Paint. Dance. Whatever makes your heart happy, do it. Then. Go give someone else’s heart a hug. Encourage them. Make them laugh. Tell them you love them. Listen.

So you see Caleb, we CAN hug people’s hearts! There’s nothing life can throw at us that can prevent us from doing so. We think that we are so “controlled” right now by having to wear a mask or not being able to go out—But the pandemic hasn’t taken away our ability to love others or ourselves. And right now there’s an entire world filled with hearts that need hugs, including yours.

So thank you 2020 (and Caleb) for reminding me that a hug is more than an embrace, and that quarantine life is never void of love.

Not when you can hug a heart.

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