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Wow. You take real-lived life, add “December” with all of its fun and festivity, sprinkle in a wee bit of expectation and anticipation annnnnd ……

Voila. Holiday mode.

It took a full week of hermit-mode just to recover :).

Yet, here we are.  We survived. Rhythm and routine have settled in once again, and though I’m not totally accustomed to writing 2016 in my morning journal just yet, we are ready to embrace the coming year.

When I reflect on 2015, I think of “settling in.” New space, new routines, settling in to this stage of family life (which is different then The Baby Stage :)….). This was very lovely, considering it followed 2014, The Year Of Transition. In the space of a year, we moved. Jonathan’s parents moved. My parents sold their farm, retired and moved. Several of our siblings moved. There was a whole lot of moving going on, and we swapped boxes and new addresses there for a quite a while!

2015 was a season of sorting and purging, literally as we unpacked boxes and decided what to keep and what had to go, as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It included a shift to having all three girls in school, which gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own identity, work and worth as a stay at home parent, and to evaluate what ways God might be inviting me to invest my time and energy. It was a time to sift through accumulated habits, and evaluate what was working and what wasn’t anymore. And to ask myself, where to go from here?

Welcome here, New Year

Well… I’m not much into resolutions. But if I were, I know what would be hovering at the top of the list….

  1. Put an e.n.d. to counter space clutter. Seriously, if the kitchen is the “heart of the home,” it is probably wise to have it as organized and tidy as possible. However, no matter how hard I try, there is always some remnants of every day life left strewn about.
  2. Kick guilt to the curb. I’ve always struggled with guilt. (It’s actually a standing family joke. Seriously.) Without warning, guilt can come crashing in – disappointing someone, not handling a situation as well as I feel I should have, spending money on things that don’t, in the long run, really matter all that much. And while guilt may be a powerful motivator, it is not necessarily a positive one.
  3. Embrace each moment for what it’s worth. A long, long while ago, someone once said to me, “Every so often, stop. Look all around you. Take a deep breath. You will never have this moment again.” Especially as the days seem to fly by, and it feels like someone has pressed the “fast-forward” button on life, and the girls are growing up so quickly, I feel like this habit is important. It’s hard for me, always thinking of the next thing that needs to be done, the next project to tackle, to calm that restlessness and just …. rest. And, in reality, there are many many many moments I am glad we don’t have to repeat. Some hard things that I hope we don’t have to go through again. In the midst of the good, and the hard, I can say, “This is it! This is l.i.f.e. And sometimes it is messy. And this moment will not come again. Embrace it.”

I’m not sure where the path of 2016 will lead, what adventures it will include, or the people I will get to share it with. But I know the One who walks it with us, and somehow, that is more than enough.

Psalm 1611