Happy New Year, friends!
In it’s usual fashion, 2018 ended lightning fast. A week into the new year and I’m still trying to unravel 2018 and settle my thoughts for the next. Mostly, we ended on a high note. December presented it’s predictable busyness, but for whatever glorious reason, the holidays were (dare I say?) pretty darn enjoyable this year (save for a disastrous family “fun” trip to ride the Polar Express). In years past, I’ve found myself upset with the difference between the amount of work put in versus the enjoyment received. I beginning to think that season of post-baby hormones, the constant needs of three small children, and sheer exhaustion may have begun to change for me. And I’m ok with that.
I recently read a Joanna Gaines quote that really resonated with me. She said, “It’s always been my nature to reflect on the past and linger there a while. I find myself thinking about what I will miss and how life is just moving too fast.” Truth, girl. She goes on to say, “I’m challenging myself in this new year to live for now. The present…..not thinking about how the good ol’ days have passed us by or how the best is yet to come. But that right now, this very second, this is the gift. These are the days. These are the moments. And I’m gonna breathe them all in. If there’s pain and sorrow, or happiness and hope, let it in and then let it out.”
I mean this is how we should all live, right? Easier said than done, I know. However, I can’t help but feel so strongly about this right now in this moment of my life. In the past many years, each year has felt like a new chance for there to be more good in my year than bad. To do loads of sorting of emotion, healing, moving forward, learning, struggling. Our family has endured our fair share of heartache for many of these years, yet we have emerged together. And for once it feels nice to not necessitate a deep period of reflection, sentiment and hope. It feels good just to be.
For many of you, I know you aren’t looking at 2019 with as much optimism or maybe you’re just in the thick of a place where all you want to is to look towards to future for hope, or even to the past for when life was better. But, I’ve been in all those places. Wishing things were the way they were, and hoping for better ahead. Miserable places to be quite frankly. So, I recognize when life hands you the great blessing of “enjoy the now” and you’re actually able to do so.
There’s sure to be difficulty. If there’s anything I know, it’s that. Each day there is difficulty. Most days there is some level of heartache. But, I have resolved myself enough now to be able to see beyond that. I let those things sting me for a moment, cry if necessary and carry-on. I’m learning to fill my heart up with the giggles, the kisses, the sweetness of babes at 7, 4 and 2, the goodness that God has gifted us with, the difficulties that we DON’T face and let that override the momentary stings of grief or anger or frustration.
I don’t know what your hope is for 2019. And I’m incredibly sorry if it’s a bleak outlook, or a wishful longing back. But know this, seasons change. The hurts lessen. The joys grow. The resolve comes. It may take a year or two (or seven) of forced optimism but it comes. It’s never perfect but it’s a gift when you can look back with gratitude to the fire you walked through to arrive in the beauty and awe of the present.