Saturday, December 31st, 2011
I’m thankful for the moments that have brought me to this moment.
Thankful for being raised by my parents, loved by my grandparents, befriended by my friends, taught by my teachers. Thankful for Latin homework and choir practice and going to skating-rink birthday parties and playing on the tennis team. For vibrant, giggly college dorm life and a lonely grad school apartment. For moving trucks and paychecks and bosses and co-workers and battles and working with ideas. For fresh starts and faithful churches and bumbling breakups. For tension and tears and prayers and acceptance and commitment and the settling of married life.
For a job that led me to a friend. For seeing that friend’s listing of things she was thankful for. For the prompting to try it myself and the glimpse of joy that propelled me to commit to 365 days. For the money to buy a domain name. For my husband’s help in booting up this blog. For God’s whisperings and opening my eyes to all of these posts and more.
For the changes this exercise has caused in my outlook and the days when others have voiced their thankfulness. For the friends and family members I’ve written about and those I haven’t. For the challenge of trying not to repeat a post, and looking that much harder for something new each day.
For the winter day on which I write this final post in the Year of Yay. And for the year of opportunities to come.
May every year be lived thankfully.
Friday, December 30th, 2011
It’s been a quiet week. I generally don’t enjoy the cultural “New Year’s Resolutions” push – so much pressure! We Must All Look Perfect and Smell Lovely and Eat Quinoa in 2012!
I’m putting together more of a to-do list for 2012. It includes: 1) hike more, 2) find at least one new way to fix potatoes, 3) use prayer cards, and 4) write more handwritten notes. These are all things I want to do, rather than resolutions that feel like horrid punishments (“Lose 47 pounds by eating only birdseed!!”).
And if I don’t do them, that’s okay, too.
Instead of reflecting only on what I need to change (which my critical mind tends to do on a daily basis), it’s been nice to reflect on simple blessings as well. I fear that by ending the Year of Yay, I will cease to notice those little things. Also on my to-do list: Keep noticing every blessing, no matter how tiny it may seem.
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
Behind each siren we hear, there are policemen and firefighters and EMTs working around the clock. They’re not going to be millionaires, and we generally take them for granted until the moment we need them.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
Really? I’ve gone 361 days without posting about microwaves?!
This time of year, I’m so thankful for instantly hot beverages. And I recommend this, which I just tried (I got it at the grocery store). Yum.
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
“Is it just me, or does Christmas seem like it’s over before the end of Dec. 25? Is it that still, somehow, we’ve resolved in our hearts that the ‘big event’ was creating piles of thin, tattered paper on our floors?”
I read this piece by Marcus Hathcock today. I was feeling weird – that Dec. 26-31 weirdness he describes. These words kicked me in the butt. Why am I feeling weird? Christmas is great news – and it affects the other 364 days. I love what he says about allowing this to change our lives, instead of looking for a life-changing experience every Christmas morning and subsequently pouting at the inevitable letdown.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
Sunday, December 25th, 2011
“The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. A more lowly place of birth could not exist.”
“He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.”
“The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable.”
“How absurd to think that such nobility would go to such poverty to share such a treasure with such thankless souls. But he did. In fact, the only thing more absurd than the gift is our stubborn unwillingness to receive it.”
– excerpts from “God Came Near” by Max Lucado
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
If you’ve ever been in a crowded church on Christmas Eve, when they turn down the lights and start passing that little flame from person to person until it makes the whole room glow, you know what I’m talking about.
The symbolism of the entrance of the Light of the World is breathtaking.
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
We’re at my parents’ house for Christmas. I grew up in this house, so it evokes lots of memories of Christmas traditions. My mom used to have a candy bowl each year stocked with Hershey’s kisses and Rolo. We would play music from Mannheim Steamroller, Julie Andrews, Evie, and Glad while we made sweet potato delight, ambrosia, cookies and pecan pie. I usually received Turtles and film (how antiquated!) in my stocking.
What are some of your favorite traditions, past or present?
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
As I found at Easter, reflecting on the people who were there in the flesh can really make these holy days come alive.
Obviously, Mary is a big one at Christmas. But before Jesus was even conceived, she showed tremendous faith and acceptance of God’s plan. When an angel told her how she was going to fit into this miracle, “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38)
She didn’t take the time to make a pro/con list. She said, “Ok.”