The Best of 2020

I have kept a cookie tin on top of my refrigerator for a good chunk of the year. It has come down a number of times throughout these last eight months, but only long enough for me to jot down a note or two to toss into the tin among the growing pile of past notes.

Collecting these scribblings has been a spin-off of a tradition that I have held for years. In the past, I have written the best of each year in the form of a list—one that often includes experiences, events, celebrations, visits with family, any trips taken, and even more minor details such as new songs I’ve heard that I’ve liked. The list includes anything and everything that made the year special to me.

 I used to compile this list at the end of December each year, but more recently, I have started making it over Thanksgiving weekend, adding the events and experiences of December as the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve have passed by. I’ve discovered that this weekend in particular is the perfect time to make the list for me, as it makes me more deeply aware of how generous God has been throughout the year, thus causing my heart to overflow with gratitude.

By mid-March, I recognized that the upcoming months would provide a difficult journey ahead, so I rummaged around the cupboard for the cookie tin and set off to starting my list in real-time, backdating the events and best moments of January and February to include in the container.

As the months have passed by, the tin has become a mound of colorful rectangles of paper—each one a testimony of God’s goodness and generosity in my life.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I plan to make myself a cup of decaf coffee or tea one evening after I get my son to bed, then I’ll take down the cookie tin and read each note, reminiscing over all the “bests” of this year. And once again, my heart will overflow with gratitude as I consider God’s kindness to me and His ever-present goodness, even in the midst of a year full of turmoil.

As we quickly approach the end of 2020, I want to encourage you to make a list of your own “bests” from this year as well. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just grab a piece of paper and start by listing whatever favorite moments come to mind. Next, take some time to think about each month and consider the best experiences from each one. Consult your calendar, day planner, journal, or even your social media account to jog your memory if you need to. Or ask family members what they remember or liked best about this year. It doesn’t really matter how you do it. What matters is remembering the special moments of this year and recognizing that not all was lost, nor was all of it bad. God’s presence has been with us as we have experienced the challenges and difficulties of this year, and He has still been kind and generous to us in the midst of it all.

For some of us, this has been the hardest year the world has seen in our lifetime. But if we take the time to sit down and list all the blessings God has bestowed upon us in this year, we may just see how beautiful it has also been. We may very well state what David stated in the Psalms:

“You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.”

Psalm 65:11

9 thoughts on “The Best of 2020”

  1. I continue to marvel at your ever present sweet outlook and beautiful attitude! There are not many people that will find 2020 a pleasant experience! Although, I confess, I have been blessed greatly this past year, even during some hard and disappointing times. Reading your posts is one thing I can count on for lifting my spirits. You also have a knack for posting just at the right time. I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last couple of days because our trip to see our daughter, son and grandson was canceled because of the nasty old virus. Thanks for being you!
    You continue to brighten my days! 🥰🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Sandy. I’ll admit that I don’t always have a great attitude. I’ve definitely had my share of disappointment, frustration, and negativity this year (and all the other ones too. Haha!). Making this list each year has sure helped though. It makes me realize how blessed I am. I’m happy to hear the timing was perfect for you on this blog. I wanted to get it out sooner but lacked the motivation to do so until today. Maybe God arranged that for you. 😊 His timing is pretty incredible! I don’t remember much of what I put on the papers in the tin, but I do know getting to work on and finish the book study with you and Ruth was one of my “bests” this year. I’m thankful we have become friends and am always so encouraged by you, as I’m sure many others are as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a beautiful idea Colleen 😊. We do not celebrate thanksgiving here in Australia but as a family we started this tradition where we write all the things we are grateful and blessed with in the year and we read it out in December 31st and thank God for it. This list always ends up longer than we expect and is always so very encouraging to take the time and remember how good and merciful God has been through the year to us.
    And we make a list of things that we know we can expect and for anything unexpected in the year ahead and place it in prayer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. That’s really special that you do that as a family and that you make a list of things to pray about for the year to come. I may just have to copy your idea. 😉 I would especially love to foster a heart of gratitude in my son and to see him recognize how important prayer is. Thanks for sharing this family tradition with me.

      Liked by 2 people

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