January 1, 2021


In 2020, I chose the word OPEN for my word for the year. And here's a short excerpt from my post from this time last year: 

"So I'm opening my hands to let go of my plans in exchange for His. 

Opening my ears to listen to God's voice, but also the voices and stories of those around me. I want my ears to be open and to listen to understand, not respond. 

Opening my mouth to speak up for myself and expressing my needs/desires. 

Opening my eyes to see the beauty of the world around me and to look for those who need love and grace.

And I'm opening my heart to new adventures, experiences, relationships, and opportunities. I also want to just keep myself open to the the fact that 2020 will be different than I imagine or plan for because God is sovereign and in control (and His plans are far better than I could ever come up with, anyway!). 

The prayer that I know I'll be saying over and over again this year is this: God, I'm open to whatever you have in store for me. Be my map and compass, guide me to where you want me, and give me the strength and courage to take that leap of faith into the unknown." 

And if God didn't do just that. I re-read through these words and was in awe of how God worked through me in each of these ways. 

God opened my hands when I let go of my dream of grad school and chose to stay teaching in the classroom. 

He opened my hands to give me the gift of music, specifically learning to play the ukulele while teaching online.

God opened my ears to the voices of my fellow friends and people of color around me as Black Lives Matter took the country by storm. 

He opened my heart to say goodbye to loved ones and also welcome in a new pandemic pup into the family this year. 

God opened my heart to find joy in teaching online this past Spring, find peace in hiking in the forest this summer with my family, and also find love and joy in nannying three amazing girls this summer as well. 

God opened my heart and eyes as He gave me the opportunity to do 8(!) photoshoots this summer and opened my heart to those new adventures and relationships and opportunities that I never saw coming through my camera lens. 

He continued to open my eyes to find beauty in the mundane as the world shutdown because of COVID and even more so when I was stuck at home because of the wildfires that burned through the Pacific Northwest this summer. 

2020 was definitely different than what I expected, and while I wished so many times that it would just end already, I'm 100% grateful for the gifts that I found along the way. 

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall