New Year’s Eve
I’m sitting here alone tonight while my crew is all off to New Year’s Eve events. I’m not really alone, Biscuit is here with me and I am in the midst of a tremendous biography of C.S. Lewis. I anticipate reading until the kids come home from their activities, then getting a good night’s rest for a fresh start tomorrow.
Normally I would have so much to say, but really I am at a loss of words. I am glad to see 2013 go. It’s been a painful year. More painful than the other two since Jack was arrested and we were divorced. Oh, I have so much to be grateful for. We have been sustained and our needs have been met all year. I’ve watched my children really “grow up” this year and all become young adults, even the baby. We’ve had some great fun together.
But the year as a whole has been painful. I have seen my health steadily decline. I have battled discouragement it seems at every turn. Stagnation has seemed to be the theme. The idea that this truly, truly is the “new normal” has settled into my mind and my soul and is starting to collect dust. I see this reflected in letters from my ex-husband as well, which deepens the sadness in me. And there has been tremendous hurt and pain. And loneliness.
I am one that likes the fresh start of a New Year. The possibilities that lay before us. The books to be discovered. The chances to improve, to change, to grow. I would say that I missed a lot of opportunity for growth in 2013–my own fault. How I hope I don’t miss them in 2014.
I need to get back to studying. To praying. To scripture work. All things that I have forgone for at least the last month or so. Out of discouragement and despair, I have put the only thing that can possibly aid my soul on the shelf. I can’t know what is truth and what is not truth, if I’m not searching for it. Doubt looms larger each day. This must be rectified.
Of course, I must lose weight. And I say that not as a New Year’s resolution, though it is, but rather as a necessity for my health. I wrote a post on this not too long ago. I must get focused and stay determined. How I face this one with dread, for I know how often I fail. I can not fail this time. It must come off and it must come off quickly.
On the lighter side, I’ve joined Jon Acuff (an author) in his New Year’s challenge, and I would like to extend this challenge to you. Clear a shelf on your bookshelf. Clean it completely empty. Then, as you read books this year, add them to that shelf. At the end of the year, you will have a shelf full of read books. If you read e-books primarily, you can do this easily by tracking your reading on the website “GoodReads”. (goodreads.com) Just set up an empty shelf and place your read books there, as you read them. You can friend me on Goodreads and we can encourage each other and share our book recommendations with each other as well!
I close this, wanting to encourage you, my readers, as we enter 2014. But I don’t really know what to say except to say another year lies before us. Another birthday will occur. There will be tremendously good times, there will be tremendously hard times. I pray that you will live in hope that is sometimes elusive. I pray that your family will be well. I pray that friendships will be sweet and conflicts will be resolved. I pray that you will grow deeply spiritually and intellectually this year. (and become physically stronger) I pray that we, together, will journey through 2014–upholding one another and fighting for joy with each other. Amen.