If you live in Colorado and haven't appreciated our state in a number of ways in the last week, then you should really just pack up and head out. Right now. Go. I mean it. Seriously, between our weather, the Broncos, and compassion of the people that live here, is this not just the best place to live?
Christmas is over, and my honey baked ham is finally almost gone. She was a good ham, except that every night as I slept, my swollen, throbbing hands reminded me I enjoyed the salty leftovers a little too much. Billy can't judge me though, because he also enjoyed the Christmas fare, namely pies. I hope he never has to choose between me or pie, because I know where I stand.
I always hate when the stash of goodies on my counters dwindles down to nothing but a stale cinnamon roll after the holidays. I generally need closure in most areas of my life, but saying goodbye to all the sugared joy leaves me feeling a little sad. We've appreciated so many yummy treats, which not only tasted good, but helped to numb any unresolved issues. Now that the food is gone, Billy says he's "gonna have to start feeling his feelings".
Taking down the decorations had a similar effect on our youngest child Will. On Saturday after Christmas, I told the boys to get up off their butts and help me put this holiday stuff away. (unfortunately that's exactly how I said it) I softened up quickly when I noticed how sad Will was every time he turned around and something else was gone, such as stockings or the Christmas tree. His shoulders would slump down as he sighed with a heaviness that about broke my heart. I tried to remind him that "as believers, Christmas is in our hearts every day"…and blah blah. I'm pretty sure my sage wisdom was lost on his 8 year old brain that knows his biggest day for gifts is over 360 days away.
And now we sit here, in what I like to call "the in-between". The kids are a bit stir crazy, having had several days at home to play with their new things, and the tension levels ramp up every day about 4:00 pm when we've had a lot of "together time". Like the rest of the world, Billy and I have to get back to real life, working, laundry, and heaven forbid, cooking dinner. The New Year is only a couple days away, and yet Christmas feels like a distant memory. I want to sit and ponder the whole year, but instead I'm breaking up fights, and trying to work off a few pounds of gingerbread cookies and white chocolate peppermint bark.
2013—a whole year has passed and what do I have to show for it? There are broken relationships, a pulled hamstring, and three kids who have problems that aren't simple and easy to fix with a bandaid and a popsicle. There are library fines and school loans that don't seem to go away. I learned that being a stay at home mom is hard to balance with being a working mom. Billy learned that he can't please everyone, and sometimes you have to stick to your convictions even when it doesn't make sense. There are more miles on our old cars, and even more miles on our aging bodies. On the flip side, there's a lot of good this past year brought too. I took my boards and became a registered nurse. Jack made the honor roll. Will tried football. Faith excelled at everything. And Billy spent almost every morning on his knees praying for us, as we learn to take life one day at a time.
The time has come to look ahead. Time to set new goals. Time to choose to see the positive instead of the negative. Time to pray our children don't hear about any school shootings. Time to pray that people can survive natural disasters that have the power to destroy whole cities. Time to pray our nation finds reconciliation as we all wrestle with topics that make us squirm.
For me personally, I have goals to be a better wife and mother. This goal will require me shutting my mouth. Lofty? Yes, but possible. I am going to strive to seek truth in God's Word, not so I appear holy and pious, but so I can continue to daily let go of my old self and evolve into the woman God wants me to become. In 2014, I am going to "feel my feelings" rather than turn to shopping or cookies. I will ask my neighbors how they are doing, with sincerity rather than out of obligation. I will not brag about my pretty feet, and I'll try not to care about my wrinkles. I will climb a 14er. I will try very hard to not yell at my dog. I will ask forgiveness. I will love well.
Happy New Year.