In church on Sunday, our pastor spoke about New Year’s resolutions (of which I’ve already stated: I’m a big fan) vs. Ebenezer stones. Resolutions can serve a purpose, he reasoned, but it is more important to reflect often on the blessings in your life; realizing how your story is a reflection to the world about the realness of God. He indirectly encouraged me to keep writing as he said that our human minds often get the story wrong: we twist the facts, we consider ourselves the main character, and we are forgetful. We should intentionally place markers in our lives to help us remember how God worked for the ultimate purpose of sharing them with others. This is how future generations will come to know Him. My version of this is to write.
This time of year always pulls at the sentimentalist in me and that means reflection tends to come naturally. My heartstrings are strung very tightly and they are moved with just a slight hint of Auld Lang Syne . I tend to guard my heart a little at Christmas because as soon as it is over, I know what is around the corner….the end. The end of another year with my little girls, the end of another year of health and happiness, the end of the known. The beginning of a dark and cold winter, the beginning of the new, the beginning of the unknown.
To stave off these feelings, I put together the video below using only pictures captured by my phone. I think it speaks volumes that my phone contributed far more to our collection this year than our dslr. Something about being portable and usable with only one hand…
So here is our 2013 in 100 seconds:[vimeo http://vimeo.com/82848721%5D
Watching this video, I am struck by several feelings. At the beginning of the year, I remember being….cold. It seemed like it was May before we finally got our outside weather. My life revolved around getting a toddler to use the potty and I stayed in the potty zone for far too long. I remember getting cabin fever and feeling like I would be cold, tired, and pregnant forever.
I remember being pregnant and life before Bea. I knew life would be better with her in it, but in order for that to happen, things had to change first. Some of my fondest memories from this year include my weekly doctor dates with MG. She was always so excited to go and follow our little routine (pretend baby, sucker, real baby’s heartbeat, sticker). The time we had as just the two of us, though sweet, is already growing dimmer. Bea has completely changed things, though for the better. The joy she has brought to each of us has been very real. And as cliche as it sounds, it is a joy to wake up and serve her every day.
I especially remember giving birth and how merciful God was to me in that. Baby Bea made up many of the one hundred seconds of this video and rightly so; she was the biggest and best thing that happened to us this year.
When I look at our summer pictures, my heart is completely welled up with feeling. I had captioned one of the pictures of N reading to the girls, “I will never forget the summer of 2013” and I hope it is true. We enjoyed life together this summer. We took a few trips and MG really bonded with our extended family. I had a newborn but I hardly knew it because I was so well taken care of by so many. Our life was calm and predictable then too…right before it exploded into many unrecognizable pieces. If I could return to this summer and relive most of it, I would in heartbeat.
What the summer brought in feelings, the fall brought the opposite. I remember feeling lonely, often, caring for the girls from sun up to sun down. I remember lots of hard talks about our future, about our present too. I remember searching my soul for grit and knowing I had it in me to continue, sure that good things were to come out of it. I remember feeling frustrated often with MG…perhaps it was the absence of Daddy that brought about her deep mood swings and little to no naps; boundary testing, and withheld affection. I used up a lot of my reserves on her and then felt like I had very little to give the rest of my family.
But then we moved. The pendulum swung…a lot. The things that were hard got better, the things that were easy got harder…for a while at least. We are still trying to find our family rhythm here and I do find myself curious about what I will remember and the feelings I will have about our time in this house. We are making memories for sure….(Christmas Eve was one for the record books…..story to come)
I always enter a new year with a bit of trepidation. I guess you could say I don’t like forced change. 2014 holds a lot of mystery for us. I literally cannot envision where our family will be next year, who we will be sharing life with, and what the girls will be like (Bea especially). But I suppose mystery can be exciting at times and preferable to the tedium we felt last year.
The most important feeling from this year is that we walk away changed. Literal change where our life looks 100% different, but also emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually too. 2013 brought many things our way, my most favorite being this:
Thanks as always for sharing with me and following me through out the year. Tonight we will raise our glasses to (mostly) kept resolutions, a path guided by Faith, and landing where we are meant to be.
May 2014 bring good fortune to you too. Cheers,