I am so sorry for the long absence from blogging. I have been caught up in and inundated with a myriad of issues that have pulled my attention away from blogging. What a whirlwind year it has been! I can't believe that we endured a year with COVID-19. The wake of despair and tragedy that it left and is still leaving is simply unbelievable and unimaginable. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to everyone who was affected by COVID-19 whether it be in the loss of a loved one, a loss of a job or relationship, the loss of a business, etc. 

My faith tells me that there is a reason for all things. God does not start the evil, but HE does allow it for our growth. He is also standing right next to us either carrying us or holding our hands. We are not alone. So I do, in response to my faith, try to think about the good that has come out of this and the lessons that I have learned and the closer I've grown in my relationship with God. 

One lesson I learned is that humans are resilient and resourceful. We have adapted to our situation in ways that most of us would never have dreamed. In our goal to stay connected and active as a community, our shop has learned all about Zoom and positing videos online. We offer classes via Zoom to those far away or to those who are still uncomfortable coming into the shop. Although it isn't ideal, it has provided a way for us to stay together and to stay active and learning. We are growing in our understanding of all this technology, so watch for more from us in the near future.

We have seen the good amidst the bad. We have seen our heroic healthcare workers and others in essential operations that have kept our country moving. We have seen incredible acts of kindness and bravery, of generosity and selflessness. Those are the acts I try to emulate and use in my daily life to help people feel loved and appreciated and not so alone.

I've grown closer to God during this time. Even with the absence of attending church, my faith has only grown stronger. When I attended church before, I spent a great deal of time distracted by others and had a difficult time focusing. Attending Mass at home allows me to truly hear the Mass and reflect on the teachings. I have grown more through this experience and through a better prayer life.

Although 2021 is, for me, just a continuation of 2020, I'm looking at it with a new perspective because of having lived through 2020. My hope is that you can as well see things differently because of what we endured last year. You are stronger, you are wiser, and you are resilient. 

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