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Happy New Year?

By December 31, 2020April 26th, 2024One Comment

Today is the last day of 2020. As I write this blog, I’m debating with myself. Should I wish everyone a Happy New Year? Didn’t we say that last year? And look what actually happened. If I could go back to Dec. 31, 2019, I think I would have used a different adjective.

Gray clouds coat the sky out my window, and tomorrow, snow is in the forecast.

Tomorrow is the first day of 2021. Will it be any different than today? Will it actually feel like a new year? Like anything has changed?


Tomorrow, I will probably find myself shoveling the driveway. It’s not my favorite job, but I do like the results—a cleared path to drive away and get on with life.

In Iowa where I live, barns pop up on hillsides, along country roads, and in deep valleys. They are unique structures, built to house things like farm equipment, farm implements, hay bales, and animals. If animals live in a barn, certain activities are a necessity, which include ‘mucking out’ their stalls. I’ve read this job is nobody’s favorite.

I have never mucked out a barn, but I appreciate what it means: to remove an animal’s waste for its health and comfort. No doubt the animals like the results.

I’m not going to wish you a Happy New Year.

Happy is the toddler, batting around a balloon, smiling at the world until the balloon pops on a sharp needle of the Christmas tree. The dad, perhaps wanting to preserve his hearing, quickly blows up another balloon and restores happy to the child. But happy only lasts a few moments. Happy is temporary. Happy depends on circumstances.

Why would I wish happy on you, when I could wish you something so much better?

Like hope.

Hope gets us out of bed in the morning. Hope enables us to keep moving forward with the expectation that things will get better. Hope strengthens us to shovel the drive so we can get on with life. Hope helps us ‘muck out the barn’ for our health and comfort.

Boy, do we need hope after last year.

2020 only has a few hours left. Tomorrow is a new day, but more importantly a brand spanking new year. Perhaps nothing will change when the ball drops tonight in Times Square, but that doesn’t mean we can’t.

We have this promise:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Let’s get this Hope Party started!

Wishing you a Hope-filled New Year!

Until next time…




Author Joy Cleveland writes Small Town Contemporary Christian Romances that will warm your heart, feed your soul, and quite possibly tickle 'your funny bone.' A product of small town living, Joy strives to craft characters that feel like family and places that feel like home. Currently, she calls Iowa home. When she's not tapping computer keys, she's playing with grandkids, mowing grass, or chasing her dog. A lover of words, she's published short stories, plays for children, and quirky newsletters. "To Call My Own' is her first novel.

One Comment

  • Kimberly Cleveland says:

    Wishing you and your growing family much hope for a healthy and beautiful NEW year! Beautifully said as usual Joy!

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