Looking backwards

I spent New Year’s day thinking about all sorts of things (in my pajamas whilst unpacking the last of the moving boxes from, um, March)…

Pondering perfectionism.  Thinking about my nature to want to “get it right” whatever “it” is.  And how resolutions tend to set me up for disappointing myself, in myself.  Deciding that what really suits me best is embracing 2013 and simply saying a friendly hello to whatever this year holds.

Reminiscing.  That day in February when my little-middle sis showed up early one weekday morning with wide eyes and kids in jammies and a Bartell’s bag.  The shreiking when there were two pink lines but they were already knee deep in adoption paperwork.  The way they embraced the gift and how her heart just keeps growing.  One of my favorite life moments, that day.  Ever.

Thinking.  About the sweetness of the slow summer days and time spent in the grass with all the young ones I love.  Watching the hubby on his tractor mowing for hours with a smile.  The routine of fall and having four children whose education I am responsible for.  The books we read.  The strides they made despite my imperfection.

Relishing.  The way it feels to have unabashed joy for someone else.  November.  It was the day Kim had her baby girl, after six handsome, precious sons had been given to her over these past 11 years.  And December.  When I walked in the front door of the house my sister and her husband had spent months waiting for…..us all holding our breath if it would really come through….this house that was the answer to months of fervent prayers.  Space for the brood God was giving them.  Took my breath away, tears of absolute total joy as soon as I saw her face in that lovely new place.

Celebrating.  Small things – finding 4 free movie tickets and a $20 bill in the terribly disorganized last few boxes I unpacked this afternoon.  Huge things – the day we moved, after I told our kids this bedtime story.  Not a day goes by I am not crazy grateful for this place and for the way people pass through constantly even if it means I am never caught up on dishes and that I’ve had apples waiting to be canned since October.  They are still there.

Laughing.  With a boy who thinks his mom is a superstar because she can make his pajama-clad legs light up with sparkling static electricity.

Treasuring.  The memory of a perfect afternoon here this summer with a friend who I once thought would never be my friend again.  Marveling how God does the impossible and that the end result can be something beautiful beyond words if we let Him in.

Wondering.  Why we lost two babies this year when they were still tiny and small.  Packing up the newborn clothes I’d lent out to friends but kept inside since I thought we’d need them in February…..or June.  Eyes brimming so much I couldn’t even see to read the sizes on them as I held up each darling sleeper in the below-freezing garage last night before tucking them carefully in the storage tote.

If I could sum up the heart of the year in a phrase it would be that I choose Jesus.  I choose people.  I choose dirty hand-me-down couches and mismatched silverware.  I choose to play and to laugh because I know too well how things can change.  I choose sleep over exercise any day of the week.  I choose to love all the way, knowing fully that means I will hurt more.  I choose to be just me and to love the faces around my table best I can, every day.



With the upheaval going on in my own life, I have been consciously stating, “I choose you, Lord. I choose you.” So great to see the similar phrase written here. It is the only answer.


Oh shoot, you’ve got me crying. I have always thought that a friend who could truly share in your joys and sadness was the very best kind of friend. How blessed am I to have that kind of friend in a sister who I also get to be in family with?! Love that two of your 2012 highlights are happy, exciting moments from my life. Love you!


It has been a momentous year for your family – and we could not be more thankful to share it with you.


And, want to add that I share in your loss of those two babies. I cried when I packed up the maternity clothes knowing you were supposed to be the next to wear them, couldn’t bring myself to give them back to you for several weeks. Cried when I looked back at the cousin photo on pumpkins thinking there was supposed to be two more pumpkins needed to sit on for next fall–one for Luke and one for your #6. We will miss their presence in our family and look forward to the day we get to welcome another sweet cousin.


Thank you. So much. Pain hurts less when it’s shared.