If you could wrap up 2020 with one word, what would that word be?!


Lee Strobel, Author of Case for Christ – and many other books, asked on Twitter today (December 31, 2020) the following question –

If you could wrap up 2020 with 1 word, what would it be?

I replied with this one word (my Twitter handle is @adaandmax):


In the words of Author and Public figure/Financial Peace founder, Dave Ramsey, however, his sentiments were that 2020 was a “A dumpster-fire of a year.”

But, if you really stop to think about it, so were many other years.

In 2010 – after years upon years of infertility, we lost our second pregnancy to miscarriage. We had prayed for this baby for 10 years – and God still decided to cradle our loss in his hands instead of allowing us to raise our new babe here on earth.

In 2012 – we watched our son, Maxwell, come back to life —- twice. He tried to leave earth and his family behind multiple times. But – he battled through congestive heart failure, lung failure, blood transfusions, and a coma to remain with us today. Maxwell is now 8.

Through 2012-2014 – my husband and I went through many counseling sessions for the saving grace of our marriage.

In 2018, our eldest daughter – Adelyne (known as Sweet Adelyne) – suffered some form of seizure-like episode at school. Specialists in the neuro and cardiac fields never could figure out what happened.

And, of course, 2020 radically changed our current location – we had to make a last-minute decision: Where would it be best for our family to ride out this pandemic with our high-risk son??? And the answer moved us across the world from Poland to Arizona.

Looking at the question once again, I think the word “Life” perfectly sums up 2020 …

In Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1-8 (ESV), it says:

(There is) A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

In 2020, we have basically seen each and every one of these mentions – all around the world – for nearly the entire year – and, as the world turns, I have made it through.

You have made it through.

Some with new family members – birth.

Some with fewer – the heavy loss of death.

Some with weeping.

Others with dancing. For joy still abounds in the midst of tragedies.

A time not necessarily for embracing (mask up and social distance, people!) – yet realizing what it is we truly treasure – family.

A time of silence.

And a time to speak —-

Especially on behalf of love and peace.

And so, on the eve of this unprecedented year – I would like to offer you these words of encouragement …

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he shall make your path straight …

I think I can say, on behalf of the entire world, we are ready for 2021.

We are ready for life to change.

For joy to increase.

For health to abound.

For healing to take place.

For our paths to go from flipped, turned, twisted, and tossed to be set straight.

And may we do that with trust in the Lord.


Perspective for the New Year…Enter 2014 with J.O.Y.


When you are close to death or experience death, your life no longer revolves around January until January.  It revolves around that moment of “death” to the next year of “death”.  And that’s just the way it goes.  At least for a little while.  For some people, it’s one year.  For some it’s more.

That’s how I feel about 2012-2013.  It didn’t revolve around the calendar year.  It revolved around the moment we knew that Maxwell would not die.  It revolved around the moment that Maxwell would live.  And that’s how I celebrated this past year.  At his one year “survival” mark.  The rest of the months that followed were purely bonus filled with markers on their own:

1.  Oops.  He’s back in the hospital.  This time in Germany.

2.  Oh man…Our marriage isn’t going to survive.  Time for counseling.

3.  Hey, America, we know we’ve been foreigners, but it’s time we come and live amongst your soil once again.

4.  Wow, my daughter couldn’t spell “THE” before stepping foot on American soil halfway through 1st grade, and now she’s read over 250,000 words in one semester of 2nd grade (and for a broader perspective of that—most 2nd grade books are around 6,000 words, so that means that from the start of 2nd grade for one semester, she has read approximately 41 chapter books).

5.  What’s that?  Don’t pack up our little farmhouse and return to Poland, we’re pregnant again?!  Woo hoo!  Another year in the States (Well, for some of us—Rich was gone for a large portion of it).

And, now, here it is.  The actual 2014 two days away.

Two days away and time for a new perspective.

But what perspective is that?

For me.  For us.  For our family…it’s time.

It’s time for us to start anew in 2014.  Yes, our last year and a half has revolved around the “Maxwell Calendar of Death to Life”.  And that’s okay.  But as we enter 2014, it’s time for our family to collectively begin anew.  Afresh.  With a new perspective.

Perhaps your calendar will still revolve around your loss.  Perhaps it will still revolve around your survival.  Perhaps it will still revolve around your uncertainty.  That’s okay.  Each person’s calendar is different.

But, perhaps it’s time for your 2014 to also begin anew?  I don’t know.  Only you do.

My husband had the immense privilege of sharing a message of hope with a group of single parents at a Single Parent Christmas Blessing this December.  It was a privilege to be asked.  It was a privilege to share.  And it was a humbling experience to be amongst some of the strongest people in the world—single moms.  Single dads.

And this is what he shared.  Amongst what life has handed you, remember to keep J.O.Y. in your life:  Jesus over You.

Many of you have heard:  The Lord gives and the Lord takes.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Yes.  We, like many of you, have lived through this.  Mainly focusing on the Lord takes, yet choosing to bless his name.   But let’s look at “Take” with a new perspective that my husband has prepared and preached on in the past.  It also put it all in a new perspective for me.  And it’s a perspective that I am going to take with me into 2014.  Perhaps you too?

The Lord takes…

The Lord takes fear and gives peace.

The Lord takes sorrow and gives joy.

The Lord takes addictions and gives freedom.

The Lord takes anger and gives love.

The Lord takes bitterness and gives forgiveness.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

As you enter into 2014, perhaps it’s time for you to begin anew.  With a new perspective.  A perspective where you put J.O.Y. in your life and live accordingly with:  Jesus over You!

Perhaps it’s time for you to not forget the past but to move forward in the future.  Look at what the Lord has taken this past year and now focus on what he has given.






Just to name a few.

In Polish we say, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!  And that is what we wish you…

That you had a merry Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus and have a very happy New Year!

A new year with a new perspective.

The Lord gives.  The Lord takes.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!