At this time, many are bidding 2020 good riddance. Perhaps partly because of my chronic desire to break from pop cultural majorities, and mostly because of blessing, I don’t have nearly as strong feelings about the year as do many others. I do have strong convictions about many things happening right now, and I am grieved at watching mankind suffer due to foolishness and corruption. But as a historian, every year looks like that to some extent. There is nothing new under the sun.

As an introvert whose childhood experienced multiple continents and whose teen years were spent in obscure southern countryside – educated, churched, and employed mostly at home – I was raised with a type of independence that is generally unfamiliar to my contemporaries. It is the freedom to truly enjoy home as a place of work, worship, scholarship, fellowship, and rest, without feeling lonely or trapped. I actually felt a bit guilty at how much I enjoyed living the quarantine life. A holistic rather than compartmentalized lifestyle comes very naturally to me, and less busy-ness throughout the week allows more time for reflection and productivity in other ways. Plus, it’s nice to see people take common sense hygiene more seriously!

Whenever we look at this picture, Joshua likes to point out that in Hebrew tradition 8 is the number of “new beginnings.”

After a change of plans (alluded to in a previous post), we now own the home we’ve been renting on the Emerald Coast. I’m thoroughly enjoying our steady re-decorating and renovating of this delightful little space now. It is a process that reminds me even in little ways, God redeems the past and nothing is wasted. Over Christmas break I painted Theodosia’s room the same “Debonair” blue color that I painted her bedroom in our former Alabama home. There was enough leftover with the same can of paint to cover the entire room, and we still have some to spare!

Hopefully we will soon have the little backyard developed into a garden that is fragrant and playful. I still want Thea to have a place to play outdoors around the house, though she is entertained by the seaside playground that is a stroll away.

Among my professional goals, I am trying to read 1-2 historical and political themed books per month and complete the opening chapters of my Wiley biography.

2021 looks to be a bright year ahead. May all of you be safe, healthy, and blessed.