Well the year ended. It’s officially New Years Day. I spent last night the same way I spend most New Years Eves…with the dog. Before you get sad, I work at a job where you are required to work either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day so it is what it is.
This morning as I woke up the first time, it was 5:30. (I went to bed at like 9:30). I said a brief goodbye to 2018 because on reflection, there’s a lot about the year I don’t love. There was a lot of hard and a lot of broken and just when I thought we had a handle on all the things, the hard decided to show up one more time at the end. It frustrated me to be back there and made me want to just curl up in a ball alone and wait for it to pass. The thing about broken for me is it’s always been easier for me to do that alone, yet as the year has taught me the value of people, it has been hard to do it alone.
But I’ve watched home improvement in various forms and no good remodeling job avoids a little demo. More often than not things have to be torn up before they can be built up. Unless you’re starting from scratch, the existing things have to be broken before beauty can be built up. I guess life is a little like that too sometimes.
As I reflect back, I also see so many blessings in the hard times, so many lessons learned (some more than once unfortunately). I became a home owner this year. And while there are things that try to steal that joy sometimes, like the toilet that decided to leak the other day and a garage full of boxes I’m not quite up to tackling yet, I love this house and the things it’s already allowed me to do. I love that one of my people told me it feels welcoming and they love to come here with me because that’s what I prayed for this house to be. The toilet will get fixed and the boxes will eventually get unpacked but my home will forever be special to me and hopefully others too. For that I am grateful.
There’s been challenges lately, some I don’t even know how to put into words, but I know that it will pass. The thing I can hope for most is to be made better through these challenges. To find beauty in the broken places. To maybe be put back together differently but the cracks will only tell the story. We have survived so much and I’m sure there is plenty left to survive and we’ll survive that too.
If this isn’t the traditional full of resolution and hopefulness New Years blog you maybe expected, that’s okay. That’s not the place I’m at and I strive for honesty at least. The calendar only changed by a day. But as I get up to do something with this day here in a bit, I do look forward to hopefully good things in this year, though I don’t know what they are yet.
A lot of people pick a word for the year. I tend to pick a word for the season and change it as it needs to be changed. I mean I like words and there are so many good ones. I think maybe the word for this year or this season is
It’s a skill I need to learn in so many ways and something I’ve talked about before here. Taking a breath, a pause, and learning to let go of all the things…control, perfection, the sense that it was all supposed to be so different than it is. There’s a quote from Remember God that I love very much (y’all knew I wasn’t gonna leave that book behind).
It’s so hard when you focus on unmet expectations or the way everything seems to be changing or all the difficulties in life. But maybe it’s time to breathe and let those things go. They exist but they don’t have to be the focus. The good exists too. And while I’m always so very skeptical of change, I know good things can come from that as well.
So maybe as I pry myself out of this nice warm bed and go look for something to do today, I just focus on breathing. I will continue to evaluate over the next little bit and work on setting some goals for the year. There are other things in my life that call for evaluation too.
I do look forward to seeing what 2019 will bring and hope that the blessings will outnumber the trials. I hope to continue to be surrounded by people who make me better. I hope to be able to give more than I take. I hope to see God in all the little things as well as the big things. And I hope to continue to learn how to breathe.